In order to gain admission into and progress through the BSW Program at JSU, a student must meet and, in some cases, exceed certain functions deemed necessary by the faculty, and certain ethical requirements suggested by the National Association of Social Workers. These competencies and ethical considerations include, but are not limited to, the National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics. The National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics identifies core values on which the social work mission is based, summarizes ethical principles that reflect the profession's core values, establishes a set of specific ethical standards that guide social work practice, and provides the basis on which the public can hold a practitioner accountable.
SUMMARY OF PRINCIPLES
1. Social workers' primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems.
2. Social workers challenge social injustice.
3. Social workers respect the inherent dignity and worth of the person.
4. Social workers recognize the central importance of human relationships.
5. Social workers behave in a trustworthy manner.
6. Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise.
COMPETENCIES FOR SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
Ethical standards are articulated under social workers' ethical responsibilities to clients, to colleagues, in practice settings, as professionals to the social work profession, and to broader society. In addition, a student in the BSW Program at JSU must be able to develop the following essential competencies that are of importance to social workers.
1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
Social workers serve as representatives of the profession, its mission, and its core values. They know the profession's history. Social workers commit themselves to the profession's enhancement and to their own professional conduct and growth. Social workers advocate for client access to the services of social work; practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development; attend to professional roles and boundaries; demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication; engage in career-long learning, and use supervision and consultation.
2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
Social workers have an obligation to conduct themselves ethically and to engage in ethical decision making. Social workers are knowledgeable about the value base of the profession, its ethical standards, and relevant law. Social workers recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice; make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles; tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts, and apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.
3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
Social workers are knowledgeable about the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and reasoned discernment. They use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity. Critical thinking also requires the synthesis and communication of relevant information. Social workers distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom; analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation, and demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.
4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
Social workers understand how diversity characterizes and shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Social workers appreciate that, as a consequence of difference, a person's life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. Social workers recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, create or enhance privilege and power; gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups; recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences, and view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.
5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
Each person, regardless of position in society, has basic human rights, such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers recognize the global interconnections of oppression and are knowledgeable about theories of justice and strategies to promote human and civil rights. Social work incorporates social justice practices in organizations, institutions, and society to ensure that these basic human rights are distributed equitably and without prejudice. Social workers understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination; advocate for human rights and social and economic justice, and engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.
6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
Social workers use practice experience to inform research, employ evidence-based interventions, evaluate their own practice, and use research findings to improve practice, policy, and social service delivery. Social workers comprehend quantitative and qualitative research, and understand scientific and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry, and use research evidence to inform practice.
7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
Social workers are knowledgeable about human behavior across the life course; the range of social systems in which people live, and the ways social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving health and well-being. Social workers apply theories and knowledge from the liberal arts to understand biological, social, cultural, psychological, and spiritual development. Social workers utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation, and critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.
8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
Social work practitioners understand that policy affects service delivery, and they actively engage in policy practice. Social workers know the history and current structures of social policies and services; the role of policy in service delivery, and the role of practice in policy development. Social workers analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; and collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.
9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
Social workers are informed, resourceful, and proactive in responding to evolving organizational, community, and societal contexts at all levels of practice. Social workers recognize that the context of practice is dynamic, and use knowledge and skill to respond proactively. Social workers continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services; and provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.
10(a) to (d). Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Professional practice involves the dynamic and interactive processes of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation at multiple levels. Social workers have the knowledge and skills to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Practice knowledge includes identifying, analyzing, and implementing evidence-based interventions designed to achieve client goals; using research and technological advances; evaluating program outcomes and practice effectiveness; developing, analyzing, advocating, and providing leadership for policies and services, and promoting social and economic justice.
Social workers substantively and effectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; use empathy and other interpersonal skills, and develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.
Social workers collect, organize, and interpret client data; assess client strengths and limitations; develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives, and select appropriate intervention strategies.
Social workers initiate actions to achieve organizational goals; implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities; help clients resolve problems; negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients, and facilitate transitions and endings.
Social workers critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions. If these competencies cannot be achieved by the student, unassisted or with the provision of reasonable accommodation, the university reserves the right to deny admission or to advise the student to consider an alternative academic major and seek proper counseling.
Admission to the BSW Program requires passage of at least 30 semester hours (including MS 108 and MS 204), a 2.25 GPA, a grade of "C" or better in SW 330 (Introduction to Social Work), and a passing score on the English Competency Exam. Applications for Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Degree Program are distributed to students enrolled in SW 390. This application should be submitted to the Program secretary during the semester. (No student can take SW 391 without admission to the BSW Program.) Students denied admission are encouraged to complete the application as soon as they meet the requirements, and return it to the secretary for the BSW Program in Room 312 Brewer Hall. Students must have been formally accepted to the Social Work Program before taking SW 391, 448, 449, and 450.
The completed Application for Admission to the Bachelor of Social Work Degree Program becomes part of the student's admission file. Generally, decisions regarding admission to the BSW Program are made by the Admissions Committee one month prior to the end of each semester.
The Admissions Committee may take any of the following actions regarding a completed application for admission: (a) acceptance into the program, (B) provisional acceptance, or (c) denial of admission. Acceptance into the program generally means the student has presented evidence of meeting the minimum requirements for admission to the BSW Program. Provisional acceptance may be for academic or non-academic reasons.
Students may be denied admission to or be terminated from the BSW Program for, but not necessarily limited to, any of the following non-academic reasons that are personal or professional:
1. Overtly expressed attitudes, values, and behaviors in opposition to or contrary to those found in the NASW Code of Ethics;
2. Evidence of chemical, alcohol, or drug abuse;
3. Personality, emotional, attitudinal, or personal issues or difficulties that may or actually impair performance, interactions, and relationships with classmates, faculty, agency staff, and/or clients;
4. Dishonesty, including lying, cheating, or plagiarizing in course work and/or Field Placement; and
5. Evidence of certain criminal or unlawful activity.
Students are provided written notice of the Admissions Committee's actions. In the case of provisional acceptance, specific conditions that must be met before the student can be admitted to the program are provided. In the event acceptance is denied, the Committee's decision may be appealed. In addition, re-application for admission to the program is possible. When re-application is possible, the student is notified in writing.
The Admissions Committee reviews the records of all social work students admitted to the BSW Program regarding continued enrollment and readiness for Field Placement during the semester prior to enrollment in SW 448 (Social Work Practice III), SW 449 (Field Placement), and SW 450 (Field Instruction Seminar). Action taken by the Admissions Committee regarding any student is reflected in the student's BSW file. Any information relevant to a student's continued enrollment may be placed in the student's BSW file by members of the faculty or staff. An application for Admission to the BSW Program appears on the following page.
Students considering earning a degree in social work that have been charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony should be aware of the following:
1. A number of agencies/organizations that provide Field Instruction placements for social work students require a criminal background check prior to agreeing to provide Field Instruction.
2. A number of agencies employing social workers may also require criminal background checks prior to hiring employees.
3. Some state licensure laws for social workers inquire about whether the applicant has been charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony prior to allowing the applicant to sit for the licensure examination.
TERMINATION FROM BSW PROGRAM
Students may be terminated from the program for non-academic reasons any time after admission. Non-academic reasons for termination may generally be categorized as personal or professional. The termination process may be immediate, if the violation is of a serious nature, or it may be gradual, if steps are being taken to address conditions identified as violations.
In some cases, the student's academic advisor, along with members of the Admissions Committee, meet regularly with the student in an attempt to alleviate the violation or condition. A contract or agreement for change may be developed with the student and monitored by the faculty advisor or Admissions Committee. Students completing or complying with such contracts may remain in the program. Students not completing or complying with contracts to alleviate conditions may be terminated from the program. Students terminated from the program are provided written notice of that decision. In some cases, a student terminated from the program for non-academic reasons may re-apply for admission at a later date. The decision to re-admit a previously terminated student will be made by the Admissions Committee.
Students may be denied admission to or terminated from the BSW Program for, but not necessarily limited to any of the following non-academic reasons which are personal or professional:
1. Overtly expressed attitudes, values, and behaviors in opposition to those found in the NASW Code of Ethics.
2. Evidence of chemical, alcohol, or drug abuse.
3. Personality, emotional attitudinal, or personal issues or difficulties which may or actually impair performance, interactions, and relationships with classmates, faculty, agency staff, and/or clients.
4. Dishonesty, including lying, cheating, or plagiarizing in course work and/or Field Placement. 5. Evidence of certain criminal or unlawful activity.
Students may be terminated from the BSW Program for academic reasons. The following are examples of important academic issues of which students should be aware:
1. Academic probation or suspension may lead to termination from the BSW Program.
2. Students are not allowed to remain enrolled at JSU if they are placed on academic probation due to failing 60 percent of course work, and they are suspended when failing 60 percent of their course work the semester following their placement on academic probation.
3. Students are not allowed to enroll in SW 391 (Social Work Practice II) until they have been admitted to the BSW Program.
4. Students are not allowed to enroll in Field Instruction (SW 449), Field Instruction Seminar (SW 450), and Social Work Practice III (SW 448) until they have completed all other courses required for the BSW degree with a minimum GPA of 2.25, unless extenuating circumstances are present as determined by the Admissions Committee.
5. Students will not be awarded the BSW degree until they receive a minimum grade of "C" in SW 448, SW 449, and SW 450. This requires a satisfactory performance evaluation by the Field Instructor of the student on the Final Evaluation for Field Instruction. Field Instructors are advised to notify the Field Coordinator of student deficiencies as soon as they are detected in the Field Instruction experience. The Field Coordinator determines the final grade for Field Instruction (SW 449) and the Field Instruction Seminar (SW 450). Students receiving below a "C" in Field Instruction may be encouraged to change to a more appropriate major. Should the student desire to remain in the BSW Program, the application process to Field Instruction will resume with the Admissions Committee making the decision as to re-admission to Field Instruction.
The Social Work Program is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all aspects of its program activities. The program respects and values diversity and does not discriminate on any basis including the following: race, color, gender, age, creed or religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, political orientation, or sexual orientation.