Curriculum Design

The MSW program at UTC prepares students for advanced social work practice. Courses equip students to provide competent services to individuals, groups, and communities, with special emphasis on serving older adults throughout the Chattanooga region. Graduates of the program will be prepared for employment as social workers in numerous fields and agencies. Graduates of the program will also be able to obtain licensure as clinical social workers.  

The MSW-UTC program will provide coursework to meet the needs of adult students. All required courses will be offered through personalized, face-to-face evening courses paired with online and hybrid delivery as appropriate for the course material. Students will also complete 900 hours of field education (400 hours in the foundation year and 500 hours in the advanced year) under the supervision of the Director of Field Education and assigned agency MSW field instructors. Students develop learning contracts at the beginning of their internships that outline how they will demonstrate mastery of the social work competences and practice behaviors learned in the classroom.

The first year of the MSW-UTC program involves 30 credit hours of foundation-level course. Foundation-level courses equip students with the knowledge, skills, and professional values that form the core of generalist social work practice. The second year involves 30 credit hours emphasizing advanced practice with older adults and their families.  The curriculum map and the specific courses that make up the foundation and advanced curricula are provided below.

MSW Curriculum Map

Foundation Year
Fall Semester                                                                                                   15 hours
SOCW 5113    Theory and Practice I                                                         3 hours
SOCW 5111    Theory and Practice I Lab                                                 1 hour
SOCW 5213    Social Policy I                                                                       3 hours
SOCW 5313    Social Work Research I                                                    3 hours
SOCW 5414    Foundation Field Education I                                       4 hours
SOCW 5411    Field Seminar I                                                                     1 hour

 

Spring Semester                                                                                              15 hours
SOCW 5223    Theory and Practice II                                                       3 hours
SOCW 5212    Theory and Practice II Lab                                               1 hour
SOCW 5323    Social Work Research II                                                   3 hours
SOCW 5223    Theories of Aging and Development                          3 hours  
SOCW 5424    Foundation Field Education II                                       4 hours
SOCW 5421    Field Seminar II                                                                    1 hour

 

Year Two
Fall Semester                                                                                                   15 hours
SOCW 5133    Advanced Practice with Aging Families I                  3 hours
SOCW 5234    MH & SA Services across the Life Span                   4 hours
SOCW 5333    Program Evaluation I                                                         3 hours
SOCW 5434    Advanced Field Education I                                          4 hours
SOCW 5431    Advanced Field Seminar I                                               1 hour
Spring Semester                                                                                              15 hours
SOCW 5143    Advanced Practice with Aging Families II                 3 hours
SOCW 5244    Leadership and Administration in Social Work    4 hours
SOCW 5343    Program Evaluation II                                                        3 hours
SOCW 5444    Advanced Field Education II                                         4 hours
SOCW 5441    Advanced Field Seminar II                                              1 hour

Foundation Courses

SOCW 5113 Theory and Practice I (3 credit hours)

Defines and describes direct social work practice; knowledge, values, and skills necessary to provide a wide scope of developmental, preventative, and therapeutic services to individuals and families as clients.

SOCW 5111 Theory and Practice Lab (1 credit hour)

Practice lab designed to assist students in applying direct practice skills with individuals and families as clients. Emphasis placed on professional self-development of the core social work competences.

SOCW 5213 Social Policy I (3 credit hours)

The course explores the history and development of social welfare institutions and the social work profession. Content focuses on examining the relationships between social problems, social policies, and social work practice from historical and contemporary perspectives.

SOCW 5313 Social Work Research I (3 credit hours)

Research methodology as it relates to the professional practice of social work. Emphasis placed on assisting students to become critical consumers of research.

SOCW 5414 Foundation Field Education I (4 credit hours)

The course provides students opportunities to apply theories and concepts of professional social work practice within a field agency during a 200 hour field internship experience. Emphasis placed on assisting students to use knowledge and skills for practice with individuals and families.

SOCW 5411 Field Seminar I (1 credit hour)

This course assists students to integrate theory and classroom learning in their field internships. Students use the seminar to provide mutual support, discuss and complete assignments needed in field, explore on-going practice concerns.

SOCW 5123 Theory and Practice II (3 credit hours)

This course assists students to integrate theory and classroom learning in their field internships. Students use the seminar to provide mutual support, discuss and complete assignments needed in field, explore on-going practice concerns.

SOCW 5121 Theory and Practice Lab II (1 credit hour)

Practice Lab designed to assist students in applying practice skills with groups, communities, and organizations as clients. Emphasis placed on learning and demonstrating core social work competences and practice behaviors for indirect practice.

SOCW 5323 Social Work Research I (3 credit hours)

This course assists students in becoming research-informed practitioners, a core competence of social work practice. Students will explore using quantitative and qualitative methods as a means of addressing social problems ensuring the use of evidence-based practice methods with clients.

SOCW 5223 Theories of Aging and Development (3 credit hours)

Exploration of theoretical paradigms used to understand the aging process. Emphasis placed on using theory to understand development throughout the life course to inform social work practice with older adults.

SOCW 5424 Foundation Field Education II (4 credit hours)

The course provides students with a second opportunity to apply theories and concepts of professional social work practice within a field agency during a 200 hour field internship experience. Emphasis placed on helping students use knowledge and skills for practice with groups, communities, and organizations.

SOCW 5421 Field Seminar II (1 credit hour)

This course assists students to integrate theory and classroom learning in their field internships. Students use the seminar to provide mutual support, discuss and complete assignments needed in field, explore on-going practice concerns. Emphasis placed on helping students complete their first-year field evaluation and field report.

Advanced Courses

SOCW 5133 - Advanced Practice with Aging Families I (3) credit hours

The course provides focused content on knowledge, values, and skills for working effectively with older adults and their families. Content includes examination of physiological, psychological, and social dimensions in practice, and different approaches of intervention.

SOCW 5143 - Advanced Practice with Aging Families II (3) credit hours

This course provides focused content on knowledge, values, and skills of group work with older adults as well as indirect practice methods used with communities and organizations that serve older adults and their families.

SOCW 5234 - Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Across the Life Span (4) Credit Hours

Advanced practice course surveying the mental health and substance abuse services available and needed for aging clients across the life span. Emphasis placed on assessing and intervening effectively with clients at different stages in the aging process.

SOCW 5244 - Leadership and Administration in Social Work (4) Credit Hours

An advanced social work practice course focused on leadership and administration, theory and practice strategies, and the influence of culture and diversity on managerial practices. Emphasis placed on the development and use of self as leader serving older adults and their families.

SOCW 5333 - Program Evaluation I (3) Credit Hours

This is a focused research course emphasizing the methods used for ongoing evaluation of direct practice services to older adults and the selection of interventions with the best available evidence to guide practice with older adults.

SOCW 5343 - Program Evaluation II (3) Credit Hours

This is a focused research course emphasizing the methods used for evaluation of communities and organizations serving older adults and their families.

SOCW 5431 - Advanced Field Seminar I (1) Credit Hours

This course assists students to integrate theory and classroom learning in their advanced field internships. Students use the seminar to provide mutual support, discuss and complete assignments needed in field, explore on-going practice concerns when serving older adults and their families.

SOCW 5434 - Advanced Field Education I (4) Credit Hours

The course provides students a focused opportunity to apply theories and concepts of professional social work practice within a field agency that serves older adults. Emphasis placed on the use of direct practice knowledge and skills with older adults and their families.

SOCW 5441 - Advanced Field Seminar II (1) Credit Hours

This course assists students to integrate theory and classroom learning in their advanced field internships. Students use the seminar to provide mutual support, discuss and complete assignments needed in field, explore on-going practice concerns when serving older adults and their families. Emphasis placed on helping students complete their Advanced-year field evaluation and field report.

SOCW 5444 - Advanced Field Education II (4) Credit Hours

The course provides students a focused opportunity to apply theories and concepts of professional social work practice within a field agency that serves older adults. Emphasis placed on the use of indirect practice knowledge and skills with communities and organizations that serve older adults and their families.