THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG

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15.2  PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

 

First-year Foundation Core Requirements. The professional foundation year of core courses prepares students to use a range of social work knowledge, methods, and skills to facilitate change within a continuum of client systems, from individual to societal. Field education in the foundation year is generic in focus, exposing students to a wide range of clients and programs.

First-Year Required Courses
Note: The timing of first-year foundation courses in may vary slightly depending on the program, but
the foundation courses must be completed before second year (concentration year) courses are undertaken.

 

Fall Semester

 

SW 500 Social Welfare Policy — History, Problems,

 

Programs, and Analysis

3

SW 510 Human Behavior and Social Environments I

3

SW 540 Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families

3

SW 541 Social Work Practice with Groups

3

SW 542 Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations

3

Total semester hours

15

 

 

Spring Semester

 

SW 511 Human Behavior and Social Environments II

2

SW 520 Research Methods for Social Work Practice

3

SW 534 Integrative Seminar I

1

SW 590 Field Education I

9

Total semester hours

15

 

Two Year Programs. The School offers a traditional weekday program in Tuscaloosa, a Saturday program in Tuscaloosa that provides students the opportunity to complete first-year classroom coursework on Saturdays, and a primarily online program. The Saturday program offers first-year (foundation-year) courses each year in Tuscaloosa. The primarily online program offers most courses in an online format, with face-to-face practice skills labs required for some classes. The practice labs are offered on weekends in regionally convenient locations in Alabama. The second-year (concentration year) courses are not available on Saturdays. All students are required to complete a 500-clock-hour field education experience in the spring. For all programs, at least 16 hours per week of field education experience must be completed during customary work days and hours (M-F, 8:00am to 6:00pm).

Advanced-Standing Program. Students admitted with advanced standing must complete 12 hours of coursework preceding the second year (concentration year) of the MSW program.

Required Courses—Advanced-Standing Program

(Spring or Summer Prior to Second Year of MSW Program)

 

SW 576 Intermediate Social Work Research

3

SW 577 Components of Human Development and Social Systems

3

SW 578 Social Welfare Policies and Delivery Systems,

 

Social Problems, and the History of Social Welfare

3

SW 579 Components of Social Work Practice

3

Total semester hours

12

 

Hong Kong Courses. The School of Social Work, under contract with Hong Kong Shue Yan University, allows students to complete the first year of the master's degree program in Hong Kong. All standards and policies of the School of Social Work and the Graduate School, including admissions requirements, apply to students taking these courses.

 

Challenge Examinations. The master of social work program permits admitted MSW students to demonstrate a mastery of specific course content areas by passing a challenge examination. Challenges are permitted in the areas of policy, research, and human behavior. Thus, students in the advanced program may request to challenge SW 576 Intermediate Social Work Research, SW 577 Components of Human Development and Social Systems, and/or SW 578 Social Welfare Policies and Delivery Systems, Social Problems, and the History of Social Welfare. Students in either the Saturday program or the weekday program may request to challenge SW 500 Social Welfare Policy: History, Problems, Programs, and Analysis; SW 510 Human Behavior and Social Environment; and/or SW 520 Research Methods for Social Work Practice. A student who successfully challenges a course will be permitted to take a substitute course in lieu of the required foundation course. The degree-hour requirements remain the same.

Field Education Placement Procedures. The major objective in the placement process is to match the student with the field education setting that offers the best potential for promoting the student's professional development. The School is responsive to personal factors related to location of placements and specific agencies, but it cannot assure an assignment tailored to personal situations. In accepting admission to the School and registering in the MSW program, the student has agreed to accept field education placements assigned by the School of Social Work.

 

Students who are employees of organizations that meet the School's criteria for field education agencies and that agree to the School's requirements may apply to the Field Education Coordinator to arrange a placement with that agency as one of the required field education experiences.

Field education placements are available in the Tuscaloosa area and throughout the state. Students are responsible for arranging transportation and paying any expenses related to field education. Students may not enroll in field education unless they have completed the required courses for the year in which they are enrolled, or unless they are concurrently enrolled in those courses. A student who has a grade of "I" on his or her record will not be allowed to enroll in field education.

A student who is unable to meet minimum standards in field education may be dropped from field education at any time. A student dropped from field education is also discontinued from other courses requiring concurrent enrollment in field education.

Washington, D.C., Placements. The MSW program provides the opportunity for students to complete the second-year field education requirement and other specific program requirements in Washington, D.C. These placements offer special opportunities to obtain field education experience not ordinarily available in Alabama.

 


Second-Year Concentrations. The curriculum stresses specialized knowledge; the ability to understand complex theories, methods, and models of social work practice; and the ability to apply knowledge and skills differentially in the process of selecting alternatives in all levels of practice. The purpose of the second, or concentration, year of the social work curriculum is the preparation of social workers for advanced practice in one of two concentrations: Social Work with Children Adolescents, and their Families or Social Work with Adults and their Families. An emphasis on Program Planning and Administration (PAA) is available with either of the concentrations. The concentration year is built on a liberal arts perspective and professional foundation content, with particular emphasis on populations at risk.
 
Each concentration includes two required courses, the opportunity for three electives (which can be courses from other concentrations), and a field education placement related to the concentration. Two other courses are required during the second or concentration year: SW 525 Evaluation Research, and SW 501 Social Welfare Policy: Advanced Policy Analysis. Students have the opportunity, in collaboration with their academic advisors and depending on course availability, to tailor their concentrations to reflect their own preferences. An emphasis in Program and Agency Administration in either concentration requires that students complete (a) SW 506 Social Service Planning and Program Development, (b) SW 536 Social Service Program and Agency Administration, and (c) a field education placement that provides an opportunity to implement the knowledge gained in these two courses. The School reserves the right to alter the concentration requirements as necessary.

 


Students are required to take the following concentration year courses:

 

Required Courses for ALL Concentrations

SW 525 Evaluation Research

3

SW 501 Social Welfare Policy: Advanced Policy Analysis

3

Electives

9

Total semester hours

15

 

Required Courses—Social Work with Children, Adolescents, and their Families

SW 564 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents in Mental Health

3

SW 565 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice in Child Welfare and Family Services

3

SW 595 Field Education II Social Work Practice with Children, Adolescents and, and their Families

9

Total semester hours

15

 

Required Courses—Social Work with Adults and their Families

SW 532 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice with Adults in Mental Health

3

SW 533 Models and Methods of Gerontological Social Work Practice

3

SW 595 Field Education II Social Work Practice with Adults  and their Families

9

Total semester hours

15

 


 

Electives:
All students must complete 9 hours of electives. Electives may be taken at any time after admission into the program (i.e., interim term, summer, fall, or spring semesters), if prerequisites are met. Electives may include, if openings exist, required courses from the other concentration. If an emphasis in Program and Agency Administration is desired, two of the three electives must include SW 506 Social Service Planning and Program Development and SW 536 Social Service Program and Agency Administration. Electives may also be taken outside of the School of Social Work with advisor approval.  Students are encouraged to consult their advisors to plan their academic programs.

 


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