Hero Image


Social Welfare Issues and Policy (SWIP) is a course in which students study contemporary issues and policies that influence the delivery of social services. A required element of the course is a five-day trip to Washington, DC. While in the nation’s capital, students visit the Capitol building and Library of Congress, attend oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States, and meet with social work interns in Congress and lobbyists for Councils on Social Work Education (CSWE). Prior to arriving in DC students have scheduled appointments to meet with U.S. senators and representatives on a selected piece of legislation. Students prepare policy briefs that are shared with the policymakers. Through experiential learning, students have the opportunity to advocate for changes in policies that are consistent with social work core values as set forth by the NASW. 

Prerequisite(s): MATH 215; SOCW 212, SOCW 322; PLSC 254 or ECON 213. The course is only available to senior social work majors.

"I absolutely loved the SWIP trip! Before this class I thought policy was kind of boring and I never understood why Mrs. Wilder was so in love with it. Finding something that you are passionate about and advocating for it is so empowering!" 

-Tekoa Penrose, BSW Class of 2012

"The SWIP trip is often regarded as a great opportunity to experience the policy side of Social Work and also grow closer as a class. I can certainly say that for me, the SWIP trip exceeded my unrealistically high expectations on both regards and will be cherished as one of my favorite memories in the program.”

-Krystle Cartagena, BSW Class of  2015

Click to enlarge

Class Meeting in the National Association of Social Workers headquarters for SWIP trip 2018
Social work seniors meet outside of the White House for SWIP trip 2018
At the National Mall