THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE CATALOG

Table of Contents > School of Social Work


15.3  MSW COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (SW)
Courses are subject to modification without advance notice.

Admission to 500-level courses is limited to graduate social work students only, unless consent of the instructor and the assistant dean is obtained. See the School of Social Work Master's Degree Program Student Handbook for additional course eligibility requirements.

SW 500 Social Welfare Policy: History, Problems, Programs, and Analysis. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Overview of the evolution of social welfare policies and services, and of how social problems affect societal groups. Includes examination of the tools and approaches that social workers might use in analysis and policy formulation.

SW 501 Social Welfare Policy: Advanced Policy Analysis. Three hours.
Prerequisite: SW 500 or SW 578.
The focus of this course is on social welfare policy analysis with particular emphasis on the influence of economic and political issues. This course emphasizes comparative research at both state and national levels.

SW 505 Reminiscence and Life Review in Late Adulthood. Three hours.
The focus of this course is on evidence-based practice models and methods of conducting and utilizing the therapeutic interventions of reminiscence and life review that grew out of the intersection of Erik Erikson’s conceptualization of later life and Robert Butler’s interpretation of successful aging. The course will review the theoretical background of these two interventions, address specific target groups including depressed and cognitively impaired older persons, and older people who are experiencing a life transition. Life review and reminiscence will be discussed as a normal, developmental task as well and as a responsibility in caring for an older adult. Specific methods associated with life review and reminiscence will be reviewed to include a life story book, structured reminiscence, positive core memories, life review and experiencing, and a life challenges interview. Emerging issues in reminiscence and life review will be discussed to include dosage level, procedures for integrating these approaches with other techniques (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy), negative outcomes and cultural and tailoring interventions (the provision of culturally and gender sensitive interventions, elders who have experienced prejudice, discrimination, and social injustice).

SW 506 Social Service Planning and Program Development. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Application and analysis of theory applicable to the field of planning and developing social services and programs.

SW 510 Human Behavior and Social Environments I. Three hours.
Prerequisite: With special permission of the MSW program chair, graduate students outside the School of Social Work may take this course.
Critical concepts, theories, and research related to human bio-psychosocial development across the life span; human development and behavior in the environmental contexts of family, groups, organizations, and communities; and the impact of human diversity on human development and behavior. This course is part of a two course sequence and focuses on earlier stages of human development from conception through adolescence.

SW 511 Human Behavior and Social Environments II. Two hours.
Prerequisites: SW 510 or permission of MSW program chair.
This course introduces students to an overarching conceptual framework and selected theories for understanding human behavior across the life course. This course is part of a two-course sequence and focuses on the later stages of human development from young adulthood to advanced old age.

SW 513 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice in Health Care. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year or advanced standing.
This course prepares students for advanced social work practice in health care settings. Using the Life Course Perspective, health and health care issues relevant to health care social work are addressed.

SW 514 Chemical Dependency. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Introduction to major theories of addiction, state and federal policies regarding drug control, and the effects of substance abuse.

SW 515 Psychopathology. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Presents diagnostic criteria used in recognition and treatment of mental disorders, and theory and research on the etiology of these disorders.

SW 520 Research Methods for Social Work Practice. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
First of a two-course sequence. This course focuses on facilitating the student’s ability to critically consume both qualitative and quantitative research.

SW 522 Social Work Ethics. Three hours. This course will help students develop the knowledge base necessary to identify social work values, ethics and the relationship between the two to social work practice with children, youth, adults and their families. This course is designed to help students develop a better understanding of ethical issues and dilemmas they will experience in their practice and the skills needed to resolve ethical dilemmas and ensure consistent value driven ethical practice in the micro and macro aspects of social work practice. The course will assist students in developing a professional identity within the context of personal vs. professional values and beliefs. Students will acquire the skills needed to engage in professional behavior with clients and colleagues in a variety of situations. A major focus is on identifying legal, ethical and advocacy issues and interventions with low-income populations and those that have experienced social and economic injustice.

SW 523 Family Preservation. Three hours. Prerequisite: SW 565 pre- or corequisite, or permission of MSW program chair and instructor. Overview of family preservation theory and practice. Students demonstrate skills with high risk children and families in their home setting.

SW 524 Family Violence. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Students learn about various forms of family violence across the lifespan, selected theories and their application in prevention and intervention.

SW 525 Evaluation Research. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing; completion of SW 520 or SW 576 (or equivalent).
Students learn to design a practice or program evaluation project, demonstrating the link between designing and conducting research and the practice of social work.

SW 526 "Isms" and Advocacy in Social Work. Three hours. Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.Introduction to various forms of oppression, social injustice and advocacy to prevent and intervene.

SW 527 School-based Social Work Practice. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
This course prepares students for school-based social work practice. Advocacy, program design, and evaluation are also taught.

SW 528 Spirituality in Social Work Practice. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor. Provides an overview of major issues relevant to spiritually sensitive social work practice with emphasis on the role of spirituality in interventions.

SW 529 Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
The course provides advanced level information about the application of selected theoretical frameworks and models of practice, assessment strategies and techniques, the formulation of treatment plans, practice interventions, and practice evaluation.

SW 532 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice with Adults in Mental Health. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Concentration-year standing in the MSW program.
This course emphasizes evidence-based practice models and methods of intervention for effective social work practice with adults experiencing mental health problems.

SW 533 Models and Methods of Gerontological Social Work Practice. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Focuses on evidence-based practice models and methods of social work intervention with older persons and their families.

SW 534 Integrative Seminar. One hour.
Corequisite: SW 590. Integration of foundation course content and field education.

SW 536 Social Service Program and Agency Administration. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Students learn selected theoretical frameworks and apply the knowledge and skills for administration of social service programs and agencies.

SW 537 Forensic Social Work. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for specialized practice in the area of forensic social work.

SW 540 Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families. Three hours.
Prerequisites or corequisites: SW 510 and enrollment in the MSW program.
Theory and practice of social work with individuals and families are explored.

SW 541 Social Work Practice with Groups. Three hours.
Prerequisites or corequisites: SW 510 and enrollment in the MSW program.
The course provides a framework for systematic study of components and issues involved in the practice of social work with groups.

SW 542 Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations. Three hours.
Prerequisite or corequisite: SW 510 and enrollment in the MSW Program.
Exploration of theories of social work practice for intervention at the community level, including selected macro-models of practice, and community practice within human-service organizations.

SW 549 Crisis Intervention. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MSW concentration year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.Focuses on treatment theories and models of intervention that provide a focused approach to the client in crisis.

SW 553 Independent Study. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor, advisor, and the MSW program chairperson and associate dean. Proposals must be completely approved by the last day of class of the semester prior to the semester in which the course is to be taken.
Independent learning experience, under faculty direction, with a contract for an outcome such as a publishable research document.

SW 557 Selected Topics in Social Work Practice. Variable credit.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Intensive study of an area of or specific approach to social work practice. Topics vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

SW 559 Pediatric Pulmonary Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in MSW program and acceptance as a pediatric pulmonary trainee or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Introduces social work students to pediatric pulmonary diseases and to research literature in this area of health care. Offered according to demand.

SW 564 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents in Mental Health. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Concentration year standing in the MSW program.
This course emphasizes evidence-based practice models and methods of intervention for effective social work practice with children, adolescents, and their families experiencing mental health problems.

SW 565 Models and Methods of Social Work Practice in Child Welfare and Family Services. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
This course emphasizes evidence-based practice models of intervention for effective social work practice in child welfare and family services settings.

SW 576 Intermediate Social Work Research. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW advanced-standing program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor. Required for advanced standing students. Prepares the student to engage in research at a level of sophistication and complexity appropriate for entry in the second-year research course.

SW 577 Components of Human Development and Social Systems. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW advanced-standing program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Required for advanced standing students. Provides students with instruction in the major psychological and sociological theories of human behavior that support and enhance social work practice.

SW 578 Social Welfare Policies and Delivery Systems, Social Problems, and the History of Social Welfare. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to advanced standing in social work.
Required for advanced standing students. Prepares advanced standing students for second-year policy and policy-related courses.

SW 579 Components of Social Work Practice. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to advanced standing in social work.
Required for advanced standing students. Designed to provide a foundation for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, and communities, in preparation for second-year practice courses.

SW 580 Aging in a Social Context. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Admission to MSW program or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
Examines aging in social, economic, and political contexts. Special attention is given to various social theories of aging; needs and problems of disadvantaged subpopulations of older people; and social policies and programs affecting older people.

SW 585 Geriatric Care Management. Three hours.
The primary purpose of this course is to provide social workers interested in geriatric care management with the skills and knowledge needed to help prepare and empower family members in meeting the long term care needs of older adults and people with disabilities. The instructor for this course will offer evidenced based information about how to conduct a care giving assessment and intervention with special attention to the complexities of the current long term care industry in the U.S. and to the many resources available to help care givers at the local and national level. This course provides specialized, yet practical information designed to help families successfully meet the challenges of filial responsibility and other forms of care giving associated with disability. The specific tasks of care giving are organized into four categories: medical; legal-insurance-financial; family-social; and spiritual-emotional. Each task reflects a real life challenge that potentially comprises an important aspect of a care recipient’s long term care plan. The model of care giving used in this course underscores the importance of timely professional consultation and the supreme value of proactive preparation that values and honors the preferences of aging parents and family members with disabilities

SW 589 Social Work Practice in End-of-Life Care. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Concentration-year standing or permission of MSW program chair and instructor.
This course provides students with an understanding of the practical and emotional aspects of providing social work services to people who are dying and their families.

SW 590 Field Education I. Nine hours.
Prerequisites: SW 500, SW 510, SW 540.
Pre- or Co-requisite: SW 511, SW 534, SW 541, and SW 542
Planned field experience in human service programs. The student is typically required to be in the field four days and in class one day each week, for a 16-week period. The objective of SW 590 is broad experience in social work practice.

SW 595 Field Education II. Nine hours.
Prerequisite: Completion of SW 590, concentration courses, and SW 525 as pre- or co-requisite.
Placements are individualized according to each student's concentration, career interest, and educational needs. The time requirements are the same as for SW 590.



FIELD EDUCATION AGENCIES
The following list is provided for example only, and is subject to change.

Tuscaloosa Area
Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
Brewer-Porch Children's Center
Children's Rehabilitation Service
Community Service Programs of West Alabama
Counseling Center, The University of Alabama
DCH Northport
DCH Regional Medical Center
Department of Human Resources
Department of Public Health
Family Counseling Service of Tuscaloosa County
Family Options
Gambro Hospice of West Alabama
Mary Starke Harper Geriatric Psychiatry center
Northport Hospital-DCH Office of Public Defender, Tuscaloosa County Courthouse
Taylor-Hardin Secure Medical Facility
Temporary Emergency Services
Tuscaloosa City Schools
Tuscaloosa County Schools
Tuscaloosa Housing Authority Tuscaloosa’s One Place, A Family Resource Center
University Medical Center
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
W. D. Partlow Developmental Center

Birmingham Area
Aids Alabama
Alabama AEGIS, Inc.
Area Agency on Aging
Baptist Medical Center Princeton
Birmingham Aids Outreach
Catholic Family Services
Children's Aid Society
Children’s Hospital
Collat Jewish Family Services
Cooper Green Hospital
Department of Youth Services, Chalkville
Department of Human Resources
Gateway
Glenwood
Hill Crest Hospital
Jefferson, Blount, and Shelby Mental Health Authority
Jefferson County Housing Authority
Lifeline Village
Office of Senior Citizens
Pathways
Prescott House
Spain Rehabilitation Center
Sparks Clinic, UAB Civitan Center
UAB, Department of Psychiatry
UAB Hospital
UAB, 1917 Clinic
United Way of Central Alabama, Inc.
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
YWCA

Gadsden Area
Alabama Baptist Children’s Home
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Calhoun-Cleburne Mental Health Center, Anniston
Catholic Social Services, Huntsville
Cherokee-Etowah-DeKalb Mental Health Center
Cheaha Mental Health Center
Corporate University Huntsville Hospital
Department of Human Resources
Department of Public Health
Family Options
FIRST Family Resource Center
Huntsville Day Spring Counseling Center
Mt. View Hospital
Mt. View Family Services
Parkway Medical Center
Presbyterian Home for Children
The Bridge
 
Mobile Area
Alabama Baptist Children’s Home
Area Agency on Aging
Baldwin County Mental Health Center
Covenant Hospice
Department of Human Resources
FIT Homes
Franklin Primary Health Center
EAP Lifestyle Management
Mobile Mental Health Center
New Way Out Corporation
Providence Hospital
St. Mary’s Home
Thomas Hospital
USA Medical Center
USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital
United Methodist Children’s Home
Wilmer Hall
 
Montgomery Area
AGAPE of Central Alabama
Baptist Medical Center
Barbour County Juvenile Court
Central Alabama Aging Consortium
Children's Rehabilitation Services
Dallas County Juvenile Probation Department
Department of Human Services
Department of Youth Services, Mt. Meigs
Group Homes for Children
Lee County Development Center
Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority
Montgomery County Department of Human Resources
Russell Medical Center
Safety Net Academy
Seraaj Family Homes
Southeast Alabama Medical Center
United Methodist Children’s Home
Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Tuskegee
 
Washington, D.C.
Administration on Aging: HHS
Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
American Healthcare Association
Bethesda Baptist House for Children & Families
Children's National Medical Center
Child Welfare League of America
Commission on Mental Health Services
D.C. Child and Family Services
Downtown Clusters Day Care
Georgetown University Hospital
J.B. Johnson Nursing Home
National Association of Social Workers
National Disability Rights Network
National Institutes of Health
Office of Refugee Resettlement and Human Trafficking
St. Elizabeth Hospital
The Hospital for Sick Children Pediatric Center
U.S. Congress: House and Senate
U.S. Soldiers and Airmen's House
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Washington Hospital Center
Washington Urban League
Whitman-Walker Clinic
Women’s Collective

 

Hong Kong

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

Ko Wong Mo Ching Memorial

Hong Kong Family Welfare Society

North Point Integrated Family Service Center

The Comfort Care Concern Group

Hong Kong YWCA Women's Affairs Department

 


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