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Class Descriptions

Foundation Topics in Social Work SW503

Credits: 1-3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course is taught by various members of the program faculty. Each version of the course has its own subtitle, some being offered one time only while others are repeated and may evolve into regular courses with their own course number and title. This is an appropriate selection for upper-level undergraduate students.

Diversity and Social Justice in Social Work SW504

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This required foundation course is designed to increase students’ awareness, knowledge, and critical skills related to diversity, human rights, social and economic justice. The topics of this course include developing a framework for 1) engaging diversity and differences in social work practice and 2) advancing human rights and social and economic justice. We will explore the knowledge base that underlies skills needed to work towards justice. These include types and sources of power, multiple social locations, social constructions, social processes, social identities, conflicts, and how all these interact. A major emphasis is on developing skills in critical contextual thinking and analyses, and in praxis, learning to use knowledge and theory to recognize and critique underlying assumptions and paradigms, and inform working for change. Multiple kinds of boundaries are especially important—across groups, between organizations and system levels, and within and between people, related to intersecting social locations.

Share, Explore, Engage, Discover (SEED) Mini-course SW510

Former Curriculum

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: During New Student Orientation, varied social work topics, or themes, will be presented as foundation-level mini-courses inviting students to share, explore, engage, and discover the vast world of social work. This course will emphasize experiential, active, and engaged learning components and operationalize the three SEED goals: 1) Strengthen connection and community at the School of Social Work, 2) Explore PODS (privilege, oppression, diversity, & social justice), and 3) Learn foundation-level social work skills. Each theme will begin by attending a shared welcome experience.

Interpersonal Practice Skills Laboratory SW511

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course offers students the opportunity to practice the assessment, engagement, intervention and evaluation skills essential to interpersonal practice with individuals, families, and small groups while considering the community, organizational, and policy contexts in which social workers practice. The student's field experience and future practice methods courses will build upon the skills rehearsed in this basic course. Throughout this course, students examine social work values and ethics as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ability as these relate to interpersonal practice.

Macro Practice Skills Laboratory SW512

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This laboratory course will focus on developing practical skills for community organization, management, and policy/evaluation, including tools and techniques for successful work in the field. This course provides opportunities for hands-on experience and training using tangible tools that are critical for success in macro practice. Special emphasis will be placed on approaches that strengthen socially just and culturally sensitive practice.

Foundation Field Education SW515

Credits: 2
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Foundation field education assists students applying and integrating Foundation knowledge of social work skills, values, and ethics with practice and in developing a professional social work identity. The field experience provides students with a series of supervised field-based assignments and tasks selected to complement Foundation academic courses. Students may be exposed to a variety of social work roles such as case manager, counselor, advocate, organizer, administrator, facilitator, mediator, educator, and planner. In this context, students are expected to develop knowledge, understanding, and skills concerning relationships with clients, supervisors, co-workers and external constituencies. In addition, students will be expected to develop a Foundation understanding of the context of social work practice as it relates to multiculturalism and diversity; social justice and social change; prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation and research-based practice. Within the field curriculum student learning will involve experiential learning and is based on the identification of field-based assignments and learning activities, and regular supervision with a field instructor.

Interpersonal Practice with Individuals, Families and Small Groups SW521

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course presents social work foundation knowledge and skills essential to interpersonal practice with individuals, families and small groups in social contexts. It integrates content on multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice issues, and it relies on the historical, contextual, and social science knowledge presented concurrently in the foundation SWPS and HBSE courses. The student's field experience and future practice methods courses will build upon the skills presented in this basic course. Throughout this course, students examine social work values and ethics as well as issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, religion, and ability as these relate to interpersonal practice.

Basic Social Work Research SW522

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course will provide content on the logic of inquiry and the necessity for an empirical approach to practice. The process of formulating appropriate research questions and hypotheses, techniques for testing relationships and patterns among variables, methods of data collection, methods to assess and improve the validity and reliability of data and measures, and the ethics of scientific inquiry will be addressed. This course will help students understand practice through the critical examination of methods associated with decision-making, critical thinking, and ethical judgment. The course content will integrate the core themes related to multiculturalism and diversity; social justice and social change; promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation; and behavioral and social science research.

Introduction to Social Welfare Policy and Services SW530

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course surveys the history of social welfare policy, services, and the social work profession. It explores current social welfare issues in the context of their history and the underlying rationale and values that support different approaches. Emphasis is placed on major fields of social work service such as: income maintenance, health care, mental health, child welfare, corrections, and services to the elderly. Analytic frameworks with regard to social welfare policies and services are presented. These frameworks identify strengths and weaknesses in the current social welfare system with respect to multiculturalism and diversity; social justice and social change; behavioral and social science theory and research; and social work relevant promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs and services in relations to the diverse dimensions (including ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality, sex, and sexual orientation).

Trauma Basics SW540

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None

Trauma Informed Practice SW541

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None

Intro to Com Org, Mgt & Policy/Eval Pract SW560

Former Curriculum

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course is a social work foundation offering in methods for macro practice, specifically community organization, management, and policy advocacy. It is partly survey in nature, touching on a range of methods, strategies, and skills. It provides an appreciation of the historical and contemporary importance of these social work methods. The relevance of these methods to diverse populations and identities is addressed. Aspects of culturally sensitive and socially just practice are emphasized.

Introduction to Social Work Practice SW590

Credits: 1
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Introduction to Social Work Practice will prepare students to successfully approach both social work education and social work practice. The course will introduce social work students to key social work ideas, values, concepts, and skills, including the code of ethics, social work’s grand challenges and P.O.D.S. (privilege, oppression, diversity and social justice). Students will be oriented to social work education at the University of Michigan, including how professional graduate education may differ from past educational experiences, specialization options available, and the role of lifelong learning. Students will be introduced to a professional portfolio that they will use throughout their time in the program.

Behavioral, Psychosocial and Ecological Aspects of Health, Mental Health and Disease SW600

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Foundation Essentials Required
Course Description: This course will survey the distribution, determinants, and biomedical, psychological and behavioral aspects of health inclusive of physical, mental and behavioral health and disease across the life span from pre-birth to death. Social, economic, environmental, structural and cultural variations in and determinants of health, disease, and quality of life will be addressed, including the influence of factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, geography, ability, biological, genetic and epigenetic factors. Barriers to access and utilization, geopolitical influences, environmental justice, social injustice, oppression and racism, historical trends, and future directions will be reviewed. Health beliefs and models of health behavior (e.g. Health Belief Model,Theory of Planned Behavior,) and structural determinants of health (e.g. Minority Stress Theory) will be presented, including help-seeking and utilization of health services. Stress, allostatic load, coping and social support, adaptation to chronic illness, the influences of privilege, stigma and discrimination, quality of life, and death and dying will also be covered.

Applied Assessment Skills in Integrated Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse SW601

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Foundation Essentials Required
Course Description: This course focuses on further developing and deepening skills and competencies to conduct brief, evidence-based and evidence informed developmentally appropriate assessment and screening for common health, mental health, substance use and other behavioral health concerns which impact and/or compromise health. Examples include screening and assessment for risky, harmful or dependent use of substances; cognitive impairment; mental health problems; adjustment to illness, behaviors that compromise health; harm to self or others; and abuse, neglect, and domestic violence, etc.

Interpersonal Practice Interventions in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse (Adults) SW602

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Foundation Essentials Required
Course Description: The course will build on intervention therapy and practice from the foundation semester and promote more advanced intervention skill level of engagement, contracting, use of evidence based, evidence informed interventions and termination/evaluation phases. Particular focus will be on advanced clinical competency development regarding: 1. Behavioral activation, 2. Cognitive restructuring, 3. Managing resistance, 4. Emotional Regulation, 5. Functional Analysis, 6. Problem solving Interventions and 7. Chronic Distress Tolerance. This course focuses on skill building to provide a range of brief, evidence-based and/or evidence -informed interventions including prevention, treatment and recovery as well as longer-term treatment and support for clients as appropriate. Examples include: motivational interventions; brief treatments for mental health and substance use problems; adjustment to illness, crisis intervention, and chronic illness management. Core evidence-based/evidence-informed therapies will be the focus of this class including: 1. 1. motivational interviewing, 2. cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and 3. emerging acceptance based therapies of dialectical behavioral therapy(DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Attention will be given to application of interventions with clients across diverse populations and need with a focus on common health and mental health conditions such as depression/anxiety, substance use, chronic pain, etc. Attention will also be given to application of interventions in a variety of practice settings such as community mental health agencies, health care facilities and non-profit agencies. This course will have adult-focused sections and children-focused section and interventions covered may be adapted to meet the needs of specific population focus.

Interpersonal Practice Interventions in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse (Children, Youth, Transitional Youth, and Families) SW603

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Foundation Essentials Required
Course Description: This course will build on intervention approaches introduced in the essential courses and will promote more advanced engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation skills in work with children, youth, transitional age youth, and families. Special attention will be given to issues of diversity as it relates to building therapeutic relationships and intervening with children, youth, transitional age youth, and their families. This course focuses on advanced skill building regarding core practice interventions (e.g. engagement, contracting, problem-solving, emotional regulation, behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring, etc.) using specific brief, evidence-based and/or evidence-informed interventions including prevention, treatment and recovery as well as longer-term treatment and support for these children and youth as appropriate. Examples of practice interventions may include: behavioral/cognitive interventions, motivational interventions; resiliency based interventions, brief treatments for mental health and substance use problems, crisis intervention, parent management interventions, and group interventions. Intervention strategies will be analyzed in the context of delivering trauma-informed culturally responsive interventions.

Advanced Evidence-Informed Interpersonal Practice with Families SW604

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Foundation Essentials Required
Course Description: This advanced practice course builds on content from the previous foundational course(s) and focuses on family functioning within diverse client populations. The focus of this course is on the development and utilization of family-focused skills and interventions with diverse families in the context of a variety of practice settings such as healthcare, mental health, and other community-based settings. To inform practice interventions, this course will be grounded in the integration of various current family theories (i.e. attachment theory, general systems theory, communication theory, social construction theory and developmental theory, etc) as well as an overarching neurological perspective. Broad definitions of "family" will be used, including extended families, unmarried couples, single parent families, couples across gender identity and sexual orientation spectrums, adult siblings, "fictive kin," and other inclusive definitions. The development of clinical skills for engaging, assessing, and intervening with families will be the primary focus of this course. Focused attention on primary models of family theory and practice will inform intervention techniques and skills taught in the course (i.e. Bowen Family Systems Theory, Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy and addition approach(s) informed by identified theories). This course will address stages of the helping process with families (i.e. engagement, assessment, planning, evaluation, intervention, and termination). During these stages, client-worker differences will be taken into account including a range of diversity dimensions such as ability, age, class, color, culture, ethnicity, family structure, immigration status, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), marital status, national origin, race, religion or spirituality and sexual orientation. Various theoretical approaches will be presented in order to help students understand family structure, communication patterns, and behavioral and coping repertoires. The family will also be studied as part of larger social systems, as having its own life cycles, and as influencing multiple generations.

Advanced Evidence-Informed Interpersonal Practice with Groups SW605

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: Foundation Essentials Required
Course Description: This advanced practice course builds on content from previous foundational courses and focuses on the processes of group interventions with diverse client populations, across various client concerns and in a variety of practice settings such as healthcare, mental health, and other community-based settings. The focus of this course is on the development and utilization of group skills and interventions. Particular attention will be given to the recruitment and composition of group members, leadership structure of groups, phases of group development, and group processes such as decision-making, tension reduction, conflict resolution, goal setting, contracting, and evaluation. Students will learn how to assess and intervene with group problems such as scapegoating, member resistance, low morale, over-active participation, etc. They will learn to employ a variety of intra-group strategies and techniques such as programs, structured activities, exercises, etc. Interventions consistent with the achievement of social justice through group work practice will be emphasized. The course will also consider how gender, ethnicity, race, social class, sexual orientation, and different abilities will impact various aspects of group functioning such as purpose, composition, leadership, selection of intervention strategies, and group development.

Mental Health Disorders in Adulthood SW606

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This interprofessional course is for student learners in the areas of social work, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry. This course will present the state-of-the-art knowledge and research of mental disorders of adults and the elderly, as well as factors that promote mental health, and prevent mental disorders and substance related problems in adults and the elderly. Using a clinical case discussion format this class will highlight mental health diagnoses, comorbidity, and collaboration across health professions. Social determinants of health/mental health will be used as an organizing framework for discussing the impact of factors associated with health and mental health across diverse cultures, groups and populations. Classification systems of adult mental functioning and mental disorders will be presented, such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9/10). Students will be taught to critically understand both the strengths and limitations of these classification systems and how to use these systems in practice. Interprofessional education competencies related to teamwork and collaboration, values and ethics, and communication will be addressed.

Advanced Interventions with Substance Abuse Disorders SW607

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: This course targets students who elect to learn more about chemical dependency and other addictive behaviors. Course content and instructional methodologies that are used to enable students to develop knowledge and practice skills in areas of prevention and client intervention of chemical abuse and other addictive behaviors. The course uses a framework for student understanding that addresses chemical abuse and other addictive behaviors based on both theoretical and science-based prevention and intervention approaches.

Intimate Partner Violence SW608

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant social issue in the U.S., which has persisted despite extensive efforts to eradicate it through numerous policy and practice interventions. In this course, learners will be introduced to key concepts, definitions, and theories of IPV. Learners will also receive applied opportunities to implement best practices for identifying, screening, and responding to IPV in health, mental health and substance abuse practice settings. Issues related to those who experience and witness IPV as well as those who use violence will be discussed, including social and cultural factors (e.g., age, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation) associated with IPV exposure.

Culturally-Responsive Practice with African American Communities SW609

Credits: 2
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: Distrust based on a history of unsatisfactory experiences with human service professionals and low retention in, and premature termination of services can reduce successful outcomes for members of African American communities. Participants in this course will examine racial microaggressions in practice as a source of these outcomes. Participants will define and identify racial microaggressions and their impact on clients and on the professional relationship. Attention will be given to the cultural context in the way racial microaggressions are experienced and dilemmas about how to respond. The effect of power differentials on the interpretation of racial microaggressions will be examined. Using an African-centered perspective, the course will be knowledge-, skills-, and values-based and will include assigned readings, powerpoint presentations, video-clips, case studies, and small-group presence of problem-solving. Participants will practice alternative methods of intervening when in the racial microaggressions

Chronic Disease Management and Practice Interventions SW610

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
Course Description: In the U.S. and globally, chronic conditions and illnesses pose significant threats to health and independence across the lifespan. Chronic conditions and illnesses often present a myriad of physical, mental, social, psychological and spiritual distress for individuals, families and care providers and often require frequent and sometimes continuous care from a variety of interprofessional providers in multiple settings. Chronic conditions and illnesses also play a significant role in public health and health care costs and often threaten economic security, driving over 75% of total health care spending in the United States. Unsustainable health care spending is highly impacted by chronic care asmost health care delivered is delivered to people with chronic conditions. This course will explore the important role of social workers in supporting clients and care providers in living with and managing chronic illness utilizing skills such counseling, patient education, patient activation, and enabling adherence to treatment skills. Chronic health definitions, prevalence, risk factors and costs will be explored with consideration to populations who are at higher risk due to social determinants of health, disadvantaged SES, identities, dual diagnoses, other diversity factors and structural disadvantages and oppression. Interventions focused on assessing dysruption, mobilizing problem solving, addressing emotional and cultural components of care, models of care coordination and care management and related skills including knowledge of health care delivery systems, transitional care and collaboration with interprofessional health providers will be explored.

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