Application and Continuance Requirements for Social Work Majors
Students admitted to PSU may declare social work as their major, but must meet the department’s continuation requirements to (1) gain admission to the social work practicum (SW4430, or practicum for option–12 credits) and the concurrent social work seminar (SW4550), and (2) graduate with a BS in social work. The requirements are as follows:
- a grade of C or better in the required (SW) foundation courses: SW2200, SW3340, SW3350, SW3450, SW3510, SW3520, SW3530, SW4000, SW4550 and a pass in the social work practicum.
- a minimum major grade point average of 2.5 (all courses required for the major).
Students who wish to be readmitted to the major need to follow the most current catalog.
Transfer credit is not granted for either the practicum or the social work seminar. Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience shall not be granted in lieu of any course required for the major.
These academic standards should be monitored by the student and his/her faculty advisor throughout the student’s social work education. To be admitted to the practicum and the seminar (SW 4550), students must have completed all the course requirements of the major, achieved an overall grade point average of 2.0 and a major grade point average of 2.5, and earned a grade of C or better in the eight foundation courses listed above. Permission to enter the field will be granted in writing by the program director/department chair or the field education director.
In addition to academic requirements, students are required to demonstrate professional and ethical behavior. Student behavior that is contrary to the ethics of the profession will be reviewed by the program to determine the student’s appropriateness for continuance in the major. Behaviors that would warrant such a review are based on the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Examples of unprofessional or unethical behavior include impropriety in personal conduct (such as dishonesty or criminal behavior); exploitive relationships (such as sexual relationships or other behaviors pursued for personal advantage), e.g., with practicum clients; and any form of illegal discrimination or discrimination contrary to Plymouth State University policy (see the NASW Code of Ethics).
Students are advised to apply by their sophomore year. Students must:
- Submit a completed application that includes a prepared personal statement. Applications are submitted to the instructor of SW2200 Introduction to Social Work (or the department chair). Completion of the application process is a prerequisite for enrollment in SW3510 Theory & Practice Social Work Intervention I.
- Schedule a personal interview with the department chair or his/her designee. The purpose of the interview is to inform the student about the social work profession and the requirements of the program. Students will be queried as to their reasons for choosing social work as a major, what they know about the profession, and what areas of practice or client populations they want to work in or with. Interviews will be scheduled after receipt of the application and personal statement. If materials submitted are insufficient for decision making, additional information will be requested.
The program’s criteria for selection and admission are a demonstration of the following:
- Intellectual qualities and academic skills needed for education in social work;
- Commitment to improving the quality of life for those facing a variety of individual and social problems;
- Concern for issues of social justice and sensitivity toward groups that have experienced discrimination; and
- Capacity for self-awareness and self evaluation.
Decisions regarding admission will be made by the department chair and the social work faculty. Applicants will receive notice regarding the decision within fourteen (14) calendar days. Students may appeal the denial for entrance into the field experience by following the procedures for an appeal. Students denied admission to the field will be informed in writing of the decision, the reason(s) for the decision, and the option to appeal.
Procedures for All Appeals
Students denied admission to the social work major or the practicum may appeal the decision by sending a written request for reconsideration to the department chair within fourteen (14) calendar days following the decision. The student must specify the basis for the appeal. The department chair will discuss the appeal with social work faculty and the student within fourteen (14) calendar days of written notification of the appeal. Relevant materials, including the initial application and faculty advising notes, if any, will be reviewed. The decision to admit the student to the field or retain the student in the major will also be made within fourteen (14) calendar days of written notification of the appeal. Students have a right to appeal any social work program academic restriction by writing to the department chair. The chair, in consultation with the student’s advisor and the faculty, will review all appeals. The program’s decisions may be appealed to the undergraduate studies office. Further appeal must be made in writing to the Academic Standards Committee.