Social work is unique among majors in the College of Liberal Arts. It represents professional and personal preparation to work in a field that demonstrates a caring and concern for others through practice based on knowledge, values, ethics, and skills that define social work. The faculty has a responsibility to prepare and motivate students to become competent entry-level generalist social work practitioners. During the admission and retention process students are expected to identify areas of self and academic growth necessary to successfully complete the mission, goals, and objectives of the program.
The goals of the admission and retention process are to have students and faculty identify the values and ethics that are necessary to be considered a generalist social work professional at the undergraduate level. The faculty has the responsibility for the monitoring of the student’s motivation, commitment, capacity, and limitations for social work practice. The intent of the monitoring process is to preserve the mission, goals, and objectives of the social work program.
The screening, selection, and retention process is designed with the objective of having students and faculty mutually assess the student’s readiness and commitment to be a social work major. This process acknowledges the importance of producing graduates who are able to meet the challenges within the profession. In addition, this process supports the commitment of the student to ongoing self-reflection and professional development.
Screening and Selection Procedures
The following are admission criteria for all students entering the social work program:
- Student demonstrates commitment, motivation, and capacity to successfully complete social work program requirements. This is assessed through successful completion (C or above) of the courses, Introduction to Social Work (SOCWORK 133) in addition to the Program’s application process.
- Student has a minimum overall 2.0 grade point average.
- Student has submitted the required written application (available from social work program director) including the written rationale for selecting the social work major.
- Student has had a formal interview with the social work faculty to discuss personal and professional ethics and values that are the foundation of the social work profession. This interview will include a review of program policies and procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.
Students accepted into the social work program are notified in writing by the social work program director.
Students who are not accepted into the social work program may re-apply after interviewing with the program director.
Admission of Transfer Students
Students who transfer from other colleges or from other majors at Bloomsburg may be formally accepted into the social work program by following the Screening and Selection Policy and its procedures. The student transcripts will be evaluated by the social work program director. Preserving the integrity of the program's mission, goals, and objective is of primary importance in assessing the student's transcript. Every effort will be made not to duplicate coursework.
Fulfillment of Social Work Field Education Practicum Credits
All students must fulfill all academic and field education requirements of the Bloomsburg University Social Work Program. Other related fieldwork/internship and or life experiences will not be substituted for the required 400 hours of internship.
Procedures for Terminating Program Enrollment and Progress Review Process
Accreditation standards mandate that social work programs have policies and practices for “terminating a student’s enrollment…. for reasons of academic and nonacademic performance. This implies “performance as social work practitioners” (CSWE, 1994). Handbook of Accreditation Standards and Procedures, 89 & 127.
Bloomsburg University Social Work Program prepares students for generalist social work practice. The faculty is charged with integrating the standards of the profession throughout the program. Students and the client systems that they serve will benefit from the faculty purposefully teaching and evaluating performance, conduct/behavior, self-awareness, and the communication skills of the students.
The purpose of the Student Progress Review Process (SPRP) is to assist students who have difficulty with the personal/professional integration of the standards of the profession, knowledge and skills of social work, values and ethics as identified in the NASW Code of Ethics.
Program Professional and Personal Evaluative Standards
The following professional and personal standards and indicators are the bases on which the student is evaluated.
- Plans and organizes work effectively.
- Consistently turns in assignments complete and on time.
- Makes arrangements for his/her special needs.
- Attends class regularly.
Indicators of Concern:
- Poor organizational skills.
- Repeated requests for extensions on assignments and exams.
- Turning in assignments late or incomplete.
- Multiple absences from class beyond guidelines in class syllabus.
- Multiple absences from field placement.
Conduct and Behavior Standards
- Demonstrates ability to work cooperatively with others.
- Actively participates in class discussion groups/role plays.
- Shows respect for others’ opinions.
- Is open to feedback from peers/faculty.
- Demonstrates a willingness to understand diversity in people regarding race, color, gender, age, creed, ethnic, or national origin, disability, political orientation, sexual orientation, and populations at risk.
- Conducts him/herself according to the NASW Code of Ethics. (Inclusive of relationships with clients, colleagues, practice instructor, internship director, faculty, and peers)
Indicators of Concern:
- Appears to create conflict in class, which impedes learning and/or building effective relationships.
- Uncooperative/unwilling to participate in class activities.
- Consistently late for class, or leaves class early.
- Consistently late for field placement.
- Disrupts class process with inappropriate behavior.
- Uses derogatory language or demeaning remarks.
- Appears unwilling/unable to accept feedback.
- Monopolizes class discussions.
- Consistently complains about class workload to the point of impeding class process.
- Unwilling/unable to develop an understanding of people different from oneself.
- Discriminatory behavior or harassment towards others on the basis of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disability.
- Physical acting out directed at clients, faculty, staff or fellow students.
- Unethical professional behavior. (Based on NASW Code of Ethics)
- Academic misconduct based on university policy.
Emotional Self-Control and Self-Understanding Standards
(Unresolved personal issues that may interfere with the student’s ability to effectively work with client systems.)
- Appears to be able to handle discussion of uncomfortable topics.
- Deals appropriately in class with issues, which arouse emotions.
- Demonstrates an awareness of one’s own personal limits.
- Understands the effect of one’s behavior on others.
Indicators of Concern:
- When engaged in self-disclosure, the student appears to be working through unresolved personal issues that interfere with client interaction.
- Appears unable/unwilling to control emotional reactions.
- Demonstrated alcohol/drug abuse, and or mental health issues in the class and or field placement.
- Verbal threats directed at clients, faculty, staff, or students.
- Demonstrates impaired judgment, decision-making, or problem-solving skills.
- Consistent failure to demonstrate ability to form effective client/social worker relationship (e.g., shows judgmental attitude).
Communication Skills Standards
- Shows consistency in written communication. Written assignments demonstrate: good spelling, appropriate use of punctuation, clear structure, paragraphing, good organization, follows logical sequence.
- Demonstrates ability to write effectively in records.
- Shows command of the English language.
- Abides by University standards.
- Demonstrates use of critical thinking skills.
- Is able to clearly articulate ideas, thoughts, concepts, etc.
- Has the ability to communicate clearly.
- Has working proficiency of the English language even when English is not the student’s primary language.
Indicators of Concern:
- Written works are frequently vague, shows difficulty in expressing ideas clearly and concisely.
- Student has many errors in the area of spelling, punctuation, structure, etc., and does not make effort to show improvement.
- Plagiarized the work of others.
- Appears to have difficulty expressing him/herself when speaking.
- Difficulty communicating so that others can hear or understand.
- Lacks a working proficiency of the English language when communicating.
Student Progress Review Process
The program’s Student Progress Review Process (SPRP) is designed to ensure personal and professional behavior congruent with Bloomsburg University’s Social Work Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives. Each semester after mid term grades are distributed faculty meets to discuss any student concerns related to grades and classroom/out of class behavior. Any student in the program for whom a faculty member has identified professional developmental concerns, the procedures listed below will be followed
- Conference between the faculty member and the student is held. The faculty member will notify student of procedures including notice about the presentation of concerns to other faculty and the student’s right to attend, participate, and bring an advocate to the SPRP session or to submit a written response to be considered in the discussion. After the review of the information by the faculty committee, the student and the student’s advocate may be asked to leave the room during deliberations. Written minutes which identify the faculty course of action will be completed and recorded.
- Recommendations of the faculty will identify the following possible directives:
- Written contract, which designates the criteria for needed personal and/or professional change. Student’s faculty advisor will facilitate this process.
- Faculty group will prepare a rationale for dismissal. A typed mailed copy will be sent to the student within five working days. The mailing address will be provided by the student or taken from the most current listing available. The student’s advisor will coordinate this process.
- Concerns may be unfounded; student will be notified immediately (in writing) of this decision.
A student can appeal with a written statement to the social work program director within 10 days of the letter of notification from the committee. The statement must specify reasons for disagreement with the committee’s decision and rationale for considering a different decision. The committee will then convene within 10 days of receipt of the statement to review the appeal. The student initiating the appeal will be invited to address the committee with the option of being accompanied by an advocate. The committee will render, in writing, a follow up decision or continuation of the original decision. If the student believes the committee’s appeal decision was made in error, a written statement of appeal may be submitted to the department chairperson. The student may also appeal the department decision with the Dean of Liberal Arts.
This appeal process uses the framework of the University’s grievance procedure as its model. (Student Non-Academic Grievance Policy PRP 4862)