Academic and Professional Performance
In accordance to the University and the Department of Social Work rules and guidelines, the following outlines the Social Work Termination Policy:
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE
The academic status of students who are formally admitted to the major will be evaluated minimally twice during the academic year by the assigned advisor. The advisors will submit students to the Social Work Admissions Committee for the review and recommend termination when the record of the student shows the following:
- When student’s overall grade point average falls below 3.0
- When a minimal grade of “C” has not been earned in each social work course during the semester
- When student has provided rationale for previous failing grade and has a plan for renewal that seemed sufficient to allow continuance in the major, but still has earned a grade of less than a “C” in a second social work foundation course.
The procedures for Dismissal are as follows:
- Student’s deficiencies will be reviewed by all members of the Social Work Admissions Committee;
- The Committee will meet with the student to discuss academic deficiencies, allowing student to respond; and,
- When evidence substantiates that the student is lacking in the necessary qualifications for meeting the academic and/or ethical requirements of the profession, he or she will be counseled out of the program and assisted in finding a more suitable field of study.
SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM NON-ACADEMIC FAILURE POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Alabama State University Social Work Program’s faculty has an obligation to the social work profession to ensure, in as much as possible, that its MSW graduates are academically, emotionally, and ethically prepared for professional practice. Because of this obligation, students who exhibit signs of mental or emotional stress, engage in behavior which violates the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics, and/or engage in other behaviors (problematic alcohol and substance use, or criminal behavior) will be evaluated to determine if they should continue in the Program, and if so, those requirements that would insure that they are prepared for professional practice.
Alleged problems may be presented by faculty, staff, field instructors, or other students. Information relevant to the evaluation of the problem should be as thorough as possible and include the sources of the information.
Identified problems with accompanying documentation should be presented in writing to the Program Chair. The Program Chair will notify the student and his/her advisor in writing that a potential problem(s) has been identified and convene a meeting with the student and his/her advisor to discuss and evaluate the allegations.
During this meeting, the parties involved will attempt to resolve the difficulties. If the resolution of the problem(s) requires remediation and/or correction, a written remediation/correction plan will be prepared and signed by the student (if the student agrees to the charge and plan), the advisor, and the Program Chair. The written statement of the alleged problem (s) and the remediation plan would be placed in a confidential file established for this purpose. The remediation plan must be explicit with clearly stated behavioral criteria for evaluating its success or failure. Compliance with the remediation plan and completion of the behavioral criteria will be monitored by the Program Chair.
When the resolution recommends a period of withdrawal from the Program, a written plan will be prepared which sets forth the considerations for reinstatement, including the minimal period of time which must elapse before the student can apply for reinstatement and the documented behavioral changes expected. The written plan must be signed by the student, the advisor, and Program Chair and placed in a confidential file. The same procedures will apply if the resolution is a temporary withdrawal of the student from the program.
When the student disagrees that a problem exists or disagrees with the proposed resolution, the student may, within fourteen (14) calendar days, request that the Chair convene a panel of judges to consider the issues and recommend a resolution. The panel shall consist of three faculty members, the Program Chair, and a faculty member other than the student’s advisor, and another faculty member selected by the student. The panel may make one of the following recommendations: (1) the student should continue in the program; (2) the student will continue and agree to work on remediation/corrections for the specified problem; or (3) the student will be required to withdraw, indefinitely or temporarily for the reasons specified.
The Panels’ decision will be presented to the entire Program faculty within seven (7) calendar days for a decision on the recommendation. If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the panel and Program, the student may initiate the procedure described on page 13 of the University’s Handbook of Students Rights and Responsibilities-The Pilot.
Consistent with the values of the Social Work profession, all parties will maintain strict confidentiality in the process. If information is needed from sources outside of the Social Work Program or University, written consent will be obtained from the student to secure a release for such information.
STATEMENT OF STUDENT RIGHTS
In accordance with CSWE standards, the Department of Social Work acknowledges the following statement of Student Rights:
Statement of Student Rights
Students have the right to expect the following:
- Department faculty to provide them high quality instruction and training for generalist social work practice that is consistent with the cognitive and affective of learning Department objective on council on Social Work Education Standards;
- Fair evaluation of performance based on written criteria that are consistent with course objectives;
- An advisement procedure that not only facilitates their development into professional social workers but also assures that the proper courses are taken in proper sequence;
- A written syllabus presented at the beginning of each course specifying the purpose of the course, prerequisites, objectives, course requirements, grading criteria, and expected outcomes;
- Representative participation in the development and evaluation of Program policies;
- Mechanisms that facilitate and encourage participation in their own organization; and,
- Policies and procedures that allows the expression of grievances.
Student input has been critical for the ongoing evaluation of policies related to the academic program and student affairs. Some of the opportunities provided to afford student input in policies affecting academic and student affairs are:
- Advisement sessions with faculty advisor (meet each semester and as needed);
- Students’ opinions that emerge out of Whitney Young Social Work Club, NABSW, and Phi Alpha Honor Society meetings (meet monthly);
- Student formal evaluations of courses and teaching;
- Field instruction seminar (meets weekly); and
- Student membership on the Social Work Advisory Council (meets quarterly).
Two social work majors, who are club officers, are selected each year to serve on the Social Work Advisory Council. Membership on this committee provides social work majors with additional avenues for participating in shaping the policies of the department.
Statement of Student Responsibilities
Students have the responsibility of demonstrating their commitment to preparation for professional social work practice in the following ways:
- Exhibiting behaviors that are consistent with social work values and ethics and that demonstrate respect and sensitivity to rights and dignity of all individuals;
- Demonstrating scholarly interest in assigned classroom readings and activities;
- Participating in student and professional social work association and activities, particularly Alabama State University Social Work Student organizations;
- Scheduling conferences with Department of Social Work faculty advisors prior to registration for assistance with course scheduling to assure adherence to the Department’s policies;
- Participating on committees related to the development and implementation of Department program policies and activities (with other students and faculty); and,
- Utilizing writing, reading, math, and speech laboratories to improve communication skills (on professional subjects and in the professional context)