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BSW Admission Policy

Admission Policy
This admission policy will outline the process of admission and requirements for admission to the social work major. It will continue with a description of the make up, role and responsibilities of the "Admission Committee."   Lastly the policy will describe the standards for acceptance, and notification of students who apply. 

Admission Process
Students are admitted into the program after completing 60 credit hours of study (usually obtained at or by the beginning of their junior year). Students should apply in the first semester of their junior year in preparation for admittance into the field education portion of the BSW program.

Students should have completed and/or be presently enrolled in all foundation courses and SOCW 0103 at the time of application.  Any student who applies without having successfully completed all foundations courses and SOCW 0103 at the time of application may be conditionally accepted pending successful completion of those courses.

Interested students will need to complete and submit all of the following to the Program Director by November 1st.

1. Application Form

2. Personal Statement Essay
Use the following outline to write an essay and include the essay when you submit your application. Essays must be typed, double spaced, and on 8 ½ x 11 paper. The essay will be evaluated regarding the material below and also will be considered a writing sample to evaluate your ability to express yourself in written form.

Use the Bolded words as headings in your essay.

1. An assessment of your Personal Values and congruence of these beliefs with the profession’s values and ethics;

2. A discussion as to how you will balance outside commitments and the required coursework with a 16-Hour Per Week Internship;

3. An assessment of personal strengths and limitations as they pertain to your Human Service Experience or life experience;

4. A discussion of a personal or professional experience where you needed to maintain Appropriate Boundaries and how you will apply that knowledge to working with vulnerable populations.  

5. Additional Information.  Please add any other information you believe is relevant to this application, that would support your application, or that you think is important for the Admission Committee to consider, including any special needs, experiences, concerns, requests, and so on.

3. 60 Hours of Social Work Human Service Experience
The undergraduate social work program at WSU requires students to complete 60 hours of human service experience by the time they apply for admission to the social work program. This experience is designed to give students an opportunity to engage in face-to-face helping activities that will allow the student to determine if s/he is well suited for a career in social work.

4. Social Work Human Service Activity Form

5.  Updated Resume

6.  BSW Program Code of Conduct Signature Page

*See links for forms at the bottom of the page

Admission Committee
All admission decisions will be made by the “BSW Social Work Admission Committee.”  This committee will be comprised of the Social Work faculty members that serve on the BSW Committee. The committee will be able to: (1) accept a student; (2) accept a student conditionally, or; (3) reject the student.

Standards for Acceptance
For acceptance into the social work major, students will have:

1. a minimum overall GPA of 2.5;

2. a minimum GPA of 2.5 in social work and foundation courses; and no grade below a “C” in any foundation course or social work course taken;

3. shown evidence of sound written, interpersonal, and verbal communication skills;

4.  emotional and mental stability to practice social work (including being free of substance abuse or mental health problems that may negatively impact clients);

5.  a commitment to the profession and adherence to the primary values and ethics of the field as set forth in the NASW Code of Ethics; and

6. shown evidence of a commitment to working with people who are members of oppressed or vulnerable groups.

These are the minimum standards for acceptance and do not guarantee students acceptance into the program.

The university and the social work program maintain and promote a policy of nondiscrimination against any person on the basis of race, gender, age, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, political orientation, veteran status, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Notification of Students
Students will be informed of the status of their application prior to the beginning of the Spring semester. Student who applied will be sent an email to their WSU email address (the WSU issued email address is the official means of communication within WSU) that includes whether they have been accepted, conditionally accepted, or rejected. The email also will include information for students regarding how they should respond or proceed.

Description of Types of Notification

1) Acceptance
In the cases where students are accepted they will be notified of the acceptance and will be directed to make an appointment with their advisor to plan for the next semester and for their entire social work program at WSU.

2) Conditional Acceptance
A student who appears to be a promising social worker but does not fully meet the above admission criteria or has not completed all foundation courses and SOCW 0103 may be conditionally admitted to the program at the discretion of the Admission Committee. The student will be sent an email informing her/him of the conditional acceptance, the reasons for conditional acceptance and his/her responsibilities regarding being admitted.  The responsibilities may include the development of a written contract that addresses how the unmet admission criteria will be ameliorated. If so, the student will be informed of how to proceed with the appropriate parties. For example, if a student had a pre-requisite course still outstanding, the program director and student would monitor the completion of the requirement. If the student was conditionally accepted due to concerns regarding maturity, emotional stability, or any behaviors incompatible with social work, the Academic Retention Committee would invoke a behavioral contract with the student. This student also will be directed to make an appointment for course planning with their assigned advisor. 

3) Rejection of student's application
In the case where a student does not meet the criteria listed above, the student may be rejected. The student will receive an email detailing the reasons for rejection and whether the committee feels the reasons for rejection can be ameliorated if the student wishes to work on the defined issues and reapply at a future date.   Any student who wishes to take further social work courses after being rejected but having the intent to reapply will be strongly encouraged to meet with the Program Director to develop a plan that has the highest potential for admission at a second application.  Students who it is felt cannot make changes that will result in later acceptance will be clearly informed of this in their email.

Students who feel they were unfairly treated during the admission process are urged to meet with the Program Director to discuss their treatment. Further, students who feel unfairly treated have the right to appeal any decision made through the academic appeals process. 

Academic Performance Standards for Retention and Graduation
Because of the responsible positions of authority that social workers hold, and the potential to do harm in those positions, academic requirements in a social work program are by necessity comprehensive.  In addition to student scholastic requirements for completion of courses at certain grade levels, social work students are expected to behave in a manner that is consistent with the values, ethics, and conduct requirements of the profession of social work in their three primary roles in the program:  as learners, as students in a professional program, and as future professional helpers.  Comprehensive academic performance standards in the social work program include cognitive, skill, scholastic, behavioral, and professional components and are primary indicators of professional readiness for practice in the field of social work.

The Academic Performance Standards for the WSU BSW Program fall into 7 categories:  Scholastic, Professional Values and Ethics, Self-Awareness, Interpersonal Relationship Skills, Responsibility and Professional Readiness, Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities, and Communication Skills.

The BSW Program’s academic performance standards and examples of essential behavior for each standard were developed to ensure clarity on expectations for student behavior and achievement and to ensure that students from our program are well-suited for the professional demands, roles, and responsibilities of professional social workers.

Students who are unable to achieve or to demonstrate the essential behavior identified in this document will come before the Academic Review Committee, in accordance with the program policies and procedures that govern how issues of student continuation in and termination from the program are handled.

 

Scholastic Standard:  Includes overall GPA, GPA in required social work courses, and course grades.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Must achieve/ maintain an overall GPA of 2.5.
  • Must achieve/maintain a GPA of 2.5 in required SOCW courses.
  • Must earn a C or better in all required SOCW courses.

 

Professional Values and Ethics Standard:  Students demonstrate adherence to ethical, legal, and professional directives and expectations.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Judgment and conduct are consistent with the values and ethics of the profession as advanced in the NASW Code of Ethics, as well as with established laws, policies, and professional standards of care.
  • Demonstrates potential for adherence to ethical expectations and obligations in working with diverse client populations, validating the dignity and worth of all people.
  • Demonstrates professional and academic integrity in meeting the objectives of the social work program and in fulfilling all program requirements.  Students should remain aware of and abide by the Academic Honesty Policy as defined in The Bulletin.
  • Demonstrates respect for the rights of others and upholds the ethical standards of client privacy and confidentiality at all times.

 

Self-Awareness Standard:  Students demonstrate professional readiness through a commitment to the process of self-reflection and self-critique, assuming full responsibility for professional growth and for protecting clients, peers, supervisors, faculty, and other relevant parties from the adverse effects of performance problems and unprofessional behavior.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Demonstrates awareness of self and its impacts on interpersonal and professional relationships.
  • Demonstrates a willingness to examine and assess the relationship between his/her personal values/socialization and their fit with expected professional behavior, as well as to grow toward professionalism by responsibly reconciling differences, as required by the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • Demonstrates the capacity to assess strengths, limitations, and suitability for professional practice throughout the program of study.
  • Acknowledges, seeks help to resolve, and ultimately resolves personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties that interfere with judgment, academic performance, and/or interactions with clients, peers, supervisors, faculty, and other relevant parties.
  • Advocates for himself/herself in an appropriate and responsible manner.
  • Shows a willingness to receive and accept feedback and/or supervision in a positive manner and to use the feedback to enhance his/her professional development.
  • Demonstrates the ability to deal with life stressors through the use of appropriate coping mechanisms.
  • Identifies appropriate professional learning goals and takes an active role in the learning process.
  • Prepares for and effectively utilizes supervision and other forms of professional advisement and mentorship.
  • Demonstrates a realistic and accurate self-awareness of his/her own strengths, limitations, values, and performance.

 

Interpersonal Relationship Skills Standard:  Interactions with peers, clients, faculty, staff, advisors, supervisors, agency personnel, and field instructors reflect integrity, honesty, and cooperation, as well as a clear understanding of professional role and appropriate boundaries.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Relates interpersonally in a manner that is respectful, nonmanipulative, nondisruptive, nondiscriminatory, and characterized by maturity.
  • Demonstrates interpersonal skills that would indicate an ability to form and to sustain effective helping relationships.
  • Uses proper channels for conflict resolution.
  • Maintains appropriate boundaries in all relevant relationships and arenas.
  • Demonstrates appropriate use of self in the professional role.

 

Responsibility and Professional Readiness Standard:  Appropriate levels of responsibility and professional readiness are demonstrated over the course of the program of study.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Demonstrates responsible and self-directed behavior in adherence to the plan of study and the proper sequencing of courses for program completion.
  • Shows potential for responsible and accountable behavior by observing advisement deadlines, keeping appointments or canceling appointments if unable to keep them, attending class regularly and on time, and observing assignment due dates.
  • Demonstrates ability to adhere to agency protocols and policies, dress codes, and documentation requirements.
  • Demonstrates behaviors on campus, in the classroom, in the field placement, in the community, and with peers that are in compliance with program policies, institutional policies, and professional ethical standards.
  • Refrains from illegal drug use and demonstrates behavior that is consistent with WSU’s Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, as outlined in The Bulletin.
  • Passes drug screens, as may be required by the program or field practicum.
  • Absence of a history involving conviction of a violent crime or other felony.
  • Communicates in advance to all affected parties whenever there is an interruption of planned attendance or task completion, tardiness, or late submission of assignments and identifies appropriate alternatives when a change in plans is necessary.
  • Demonstrates ability to function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems, as a member of a team and of an agency.
  • Demonstrates application of effective time management strategies in completing all professional and academic responsibilities and activities.
  • Responds in a timely and appropriate manner to communication from faculty, supervisors, field instruction personnel, and clients.

 

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities Standard:  Individual reasoning reflects a comprehensive analysis that distinguishes fact from inference; conclusions are grounded in relevant data, information, and evidence.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Demonstrates the ability to identify ways in which biological, psychological, developmental, spiritual, socioeconomic, and environmental factors may affect an individual, family, or groups of various sizes.
  • Demonstrates ability to gather and assess relevant information; to interpret information correctly; to come to well-reasoned conclusions and/or solutions; to think open-mindedly about alternative viewpoints, recognizing their underlying assumptions, implications, and practical consequences.
  • Demonstrates the ability to identify and incorporate classroom learning in assessments and interventions with clients.
  • Demonstrates ability to engage in reflective thinking to overcome personal beliefs rooted in prejudices, sweeping generalizations, stereotypes, and oversimplifications.

 

Communication Skills Standard:  All verbal, nonverbal, and written communication exchanges are in accordance with professional standards.

Essential Student Behavior:

  • Speaks with dignity, respect, and cultural sensitivity to peers, clients, faculty, staff, advisors, supervisors, agency personnel, and field instructors.
  • Shows skill in building rapport and engaging clients, applying principles of sound communication.
  • Demonstrates good empathic and attending skills in client interactions.
  • Demonstrates mastery of the English language in oral and written form.
  • Prepares written products that reflect mastery of the conventions of the written word in clarity, accuracy, completeness, as well as correct grammar and syntax, proper diction, accurate reasoning, and APA formatting.
  • Follows agency guidelines for recordkeeping.

 

Academic Review Policy & Procedures - Probation/Dismissal Procedure
Scope of Policy: This document describes polices governing the procedures for the Academic Review Committee (ARC)   and the use of the “Behaviors Incompatible with Social Work or Academic Performance” form.

Academic Review Committee (ARC) Policy
Purpose of Committee: The committee is charged with reviewing the academic standing of students (BSW &MSW) when issues around academic performance require a formal review.  The committee has the ability to require a plan of action for improvement (probation) or may remove the student from the program (dismissal).

Committee Membership:

  1. The committee will be comprised of three department faculty/professional staff  members,
  2. Members selected on a rotating basis and serve on a per incident basis. Once convened the defined committee would meet if subsequent review is planned by the committee or   warranted based on review.
  3. The reporting faculty member is exempt from serving on the committee.
  4. The program directors will not be able to serve on the committee because they are part of the appeals process.
  5. Department Administrative Assistant will manage the list of rotating faculty.

“Behaviors Incompatible with Social Work or Academic Performance” form
Purpose of Form: This form is used to document student behaviors that are incompatible with being a Social Worker or issues around academic performance. The form once completed is kept on file in the Student’s Department of Social Work file. For repetitive or serious problems the form is used to request an ARC review for a  student.

Procedure for use of Form:

  1. Form is completed by faculty/staff
  2. Form is reviewed with student who signs off on form to acknowledge receipt and review. Student may write a response and include it with the form. If student does not respond within 7 days, the form is forwarded to the chair without the signature. Failure to sign will be noted on the form.
  3. Form is filed in student’s departmental file
  4. In the case where in the judgment of the faculty or staff member the incident is more serious or a repeat event and requires further action the form is routed to the department chair who convenes the committee. Repetitive is defined as 2 reports.

Committee Procedure:

  • The Department Chair will notify assigned committee members of referral to committee.
  • The Department chair will notify all department faculty/staff of the referral and the ARC committee members to give faculty/staff the opportunity to supply the committee with pertinent information or request the opportunity to attend the hearing.
  • The committee will convene to select a chair and determine what background data needs to be gathered. This should include all behavior forms and input from referring faculty,
  • The Chair schedules all dates for meetings. all attendees will be given a minimum of 3 days notice of a meeting.
  • The initial meeting with the student will be held within 14 working days of the referral.
  • The committee chair will solicit information from all relevant parties.
  • The committee will review all relevant information (talk with advisor, field liaison, faculty, etc.)
  • The chair will meet with the student prior to the committee meeting to provide an orientation to the process
  • The committee will meet with the student, and deliberates
  • Committee makes a determination of “no action required”, “probation” or “dismissal” and may define a time limited plan of action or probation plan.
  • The committee will report their determination in writing to the student, the MSW and/or BSW Director, and the Department Chair within 5 business days of the meeting. A copy of the determination will be placed in the student’s department file. The committee will inform the student of their rights regarding appeals including the timelines for appeals (see Student Manual for Policy)
  • If the BSW or MSW Committee have concerns or questions, the program committee may request clarification from the ARC or a meeting with ARC to review the findings and plan
  • All plans will be monitored by either the BSW or MSW committee as routine agenda items during subsequent meetings. When resolved, the appropriate program committee will send a final report to the ARC and file the report in the student’s department file.
  • Continued issues with the student around the plan will be referred back to the original ARC via a written referral with a copy placed in the student’s department file.

Behaviors Incompatible with Social Work of Impeding Academic Performance Form

Appeals
If a student feels he/she was unfairly treated during the admission process, probation process or the dismissal process she/he has the right to have his/her situation reviewed through the academic appeals process. For details on appeals see the section in the BSW Program Manual entitled “Student Responsibilities, Rights, and Appeals.”

Links for Forms

Application Form

Personal Statement Guidelines

Human Service Activity Form

Department of Social Work Code of Conduct Form

Volunteer Agencies for Human Service Experience