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SWRK 245 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

SWRK 245 - Introduction to Counseling

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

Comparative analysis of major theoretical approaches to counseling and psychotherapy practice; psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive behavioral, gestalt, transactional analysis, rational- emotive therapy and systems theory.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify the basic theories of counseling and psychotherapy.
  2. Identify the application of these theories to the practice of counseling.
  3. Identify the situations that are indicators of the appropriateness of a particular therapy.
  4. Identify the personal qualities of the counselor as they relate to therapeutic effectiveness.
  5. Demonstrate an integration of theoretical and experiential learning in order to begin the process of fo1ming a personal model of counseling.
  6. Identify and implement strategies for professional demeanor, and oral and written communication
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

College-level reading and writing.

Course Topics:
Model 1:Theory in a Clinician's Life and Psychodynamic Approaches
Model 2:Behavioral Approaches and Humanistic Approaches
Model 3:Cognitive Approaches and Systemic Approaches Module 4: Brief Approaches and Theories on the Edge
Model 5:Integrative Approaches to Doing Therapy and Personalizing and Customizing Theory for Clients and Settings
Specific Course Requirements:

You must be knowledgeable in the use of the Internet and related browsers, Microsoft Word for word processing, Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing reading assignments, the online course dropbox for any extra credit opportunities, the quiz function for taking tests, the discussion tool for participating in required discussions, and Real Player, QuickTime or Media Player for viewing/listening to assigned videos/audios. It is your responsibility to ensure your service provider is capable of allowing adequate collections and connection time in order to complete and submit tests and assignments and to participate in discussion boards

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

The instructor may assign or you may research supplementary reference and learning materials.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

GETTING STARTED: In order to get started in the course, you will be required to complete several introductory tasks within the first week of the course. First, you will need to read the syllabus thoroughly. When reading the syllabus, you should take notes about any questions, issues, or concerns you might have and email them via the online course to the instructor for clarification. Afterwards, you must send the instructor an email via the online course stating you have read and understand all of the course requirements. Next, you will want to familiarize yourself with the course tools and to info1m the instructor about any difficulties you might experience in using these tools. Finally, you will post a message to the Introduction section of the discussion board. In the message, you will tell a little about yourself, your education, your previous experiences with online learning, and the reasons you are taking the course. Your completion of these tasks will not be assigned points but will be required to participate in the course.

TESTS: You will be required to complete five tests through the assessment/quiz tool. You will be allowed three hours for each test. Tests will be available for approximately a one week period-if you fail to take the test during this period, you will receive a score of O. In order to take tests, you will go to Assessments and click on the name of the test. Information and instructions for the test will be displayed to the right.Tests will include a combination of objective questions such as multiple choice or true/false and subjective essay-type questions. Test questions will require you to critically evaluate information from your textbook readings and any other assigned materials for each module. Essay questions must be answered thoroughly and written in paragraph form with full sentences. Tests will be worth a possible 100 points each.

NOTE: You should not postpone completing textbook readings and other assignments until the time of the test. The tests will require an understanding beyond trying to look up answers. It is recommended you use the learning objectives and key terms for each module as a guide as you complete reading, viewing, and listening assignments and prepare for tests.


Grading Procedures:

Your progress in this course will be evaluated as follows:

  •  Five (5) tests worth100 possible points each or 500 possible points total
  •  Five (5) discussion sessions worth 20 possible points each or 100 possible points total
  •  Five (5) journal articles worth 100 possible point
Grading Scale:
  Grade  Points  Percentage Scale
 A 627 – 700   90 – 100%
 B 557 – 626   80 – 89%
 C 487 – 556   70 – 79%
 D 452 – 486   65 – 69%
 F Less than 451  Below 65%


Assignments and Projects:
Graded ItemsPoints 
5 Discussions @ 20 points each 100 Points
5 Journal Assignments @ 20 points each100 Points
5 Exams @ 100 points each500 Points
Total Points 700 Points


Class Participation:

Instruction in this course will be conducted in an independent manner. You are responsible for any readings, audios/videos, tests, discussions, written assignments, papers, or other materials as assigned by the instructor. Timely submission of required work is essential for success in this course. You, not the instructor, are responsible for ensuring that work is submitted on the assigned dates and that regular communication with the instructor is accomplished. Due to the independent nature of this course, you must be responsible for checking course announcements frequently and for requesting help when you need it. Thus, you are encouraged to contact the instructor as often as needed via email, telephone, or any other manner deemed appropriate by the instructor. Furthermore, you are encouraged to interact with other students, taking into careful consideration the parameters of academic dishonesty, as this is considered a valuable component of the learning process. A "General" discussion board will be provided for you to interact casually or to discuss course issues, i.e., readings, assignments, study tips, questions to the instructor that might benefit others in the class.

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 22, 2017