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Bachelor of Social Work Program Student Handbook

A leader in preparing social workers for strengths-based generalist social work practice with vulnerable populations.

Last revised by Indiana University School of Social Work September 2023.

Forward #

This handbook has been designed as a reference to assist students in understanding the undergraduate social work degree program including its curriculum, policies, and procedures. Students are encouraged to refer to this handbook at various points in their academic career. It is organized as an overview of the School of Social Work, including its history and mission; the Code of Ethics to which the School subscribes; the specifics regarding the BSW program; and services and opportunities available to the BSW students. This handbook also serves to supplement University materials already provided to students on the Bloomington, Indianapolis, Gary, Fort Wayne, Richmond and South Bend campuses.

While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, the Indiana University School of Social Work reserves the right to change with notice, curricula, policies, courses, rules or other matters. The School attempts to make changes only as necessary and only to enhance and improve the educational experience.

Questions should be directed to:

Chapter 1 Introduction Social Work at Indiana University #

The Indiana University School of Social Work offers baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs in social work on various Indiana University campuses. As a system school, its curricula and policies are consistent across campuses. The Bachelor of Social Work program prepares students for generalist social work practice. The Master of Social Work program prepares graduate students for advanced social work practice in an area of specialization. The Doctoral program prepares students for leading roles in areas such as social work education, social welfare policy analysis and development, administration, social work practice, and advocacy.

The Indiana University School of Social Work was founded in 1911 as the Department of Social Services. Shortly thereafter, the first courses in the field of social work were offered through the Department of Economics and Sociology. Between 1911 and 1944, various administrative and curricular changes were put into effect and degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels were offered. In 1944, the Indiana University Division of Social Service was established by action of the Trustees of Indiana University. The organizational status was changed in 1966 when the Graduate School of Social Service was created. In 1973 the name changed to the School of Social Service and, in 1977, it became the School of Social Work in order to reflect more clearly its identification with the profession. The Master of Social Work (MSW) program received its accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in 1923, and the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program received accreditation in 1975. Since then, both programs have enjoyed accredited status. The next review for reaffirmation of accredited status will be in 2029. The School started the Ph.D. in Social Work program in 1994 and a Pre-Doc program in 1977.

Indiana University is a major multi-campus public research institution, grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, and a world leader in professional, medical, and technological education. Indiana University’s mission is to provide broad access to undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education for students throughout Indiana, the United States, and the world, as well as outstanding academic and cultural programs and student services. Indiana University seeks to create dynamic partnerships with the state and local communities in economic, social, and cultural development and to offer leadership in creative solutions for twenty-first century problems. Indiana University strives to achieve full diversity, and to maintain friendly, collegial, and humane environments, with a strong commitment to academic freedom.

The Indiana University School of Social Work (IUSSW) strives to be an exemplary university and community-based collaboration advancing social and economic justice, empowerment, and human well-being in a changing global landscape. The mission of the IUSSW is excellence in education, research and service to promote health, well-being, and social and economic justice in a diverse world.

The Bachelor of Social Work and the Master of Social Work programs are both accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national body authorized to accredit the baccalaureate and graduate level social work programs in this country, to assure student exposure to a quality professional educational experience. This accreditation enables Indiana University BSW and MSW graduates to sit for the state licensing exam(s) in Indiana as well as in surrounding states. BSW graduates also qualify to apply for advanced standing in a graduate social work program.

CSWE promotes high quality social work education through accreditation of programs, annual conferences for social work faculty and practitioners, professional development activities, task force work on educational programming, and the publication of several journals.

Further information regarding CSWE including a national accredited program directory can be found at CSWE Website.

An extremely important policy infused in all aspects of the School is the Policy on Non-Discrimination. This policy states:

Based on tradition of the social work profession, and consistent with Indiana University’s Equal Opportunity Policy, the Indiana University School of Social Work affirms and conducts all aspects of its teaching, scholarship, and service activities without discrimination on the basis of race color gender, socio-economic status, marital status, national or ethnic origin, age, religion/creed, disability, and political or sexual orientation.

The School of Social Work has a strong commitment to diversity and nondiscrimination. Indeed, diversity is a celebrated strength. This perspective is demonstrated by the composition of its faculty and student body, curriculum content, recruitment and retention activities, participation in University committees dealing with oppressed populations, numerous service activities, including advocacy on behalf of the disadvantaged, selection of field practicum sites, and School policies.

What you should know about sexual misconduct:  IU does not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and all forms of sexual violence.  If you have experienced sexual misconduct, or know someone who has, the University can help.  It is important to know that federal regulations and University policy require faculty to promptly report complaints of potential sexual misconduct known to them to their campus Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) to ensure that appropriate measures are taken and resources are made available.  The University will work with you to protect your privacy by sharing information with only those that need to know to ensure the University can respond and assist.  If you are seeking help and would like to speak to someone confidentially, you can make an appointment with a Mental Health Counselor on campus (contact information available at  Find more information about sexual violence, including campus and community resources at Indiana University Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Chapter 2 Social Work as a Profession #

Social Work: A Profession of Leaders #

There are numerous definitions of social work explaining its fundamental mission. One of these definitions is the one adopted by the National Association of Social Work Board of Directors: “Social work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and to create societal conditions favorable to their goals” (cited in Colby & Dziegielewski, 2001, p. 91). This definition clearly identifies the long- standing commitment of the profession to intervene both at the individual and environmental levels.

Fields of Practice #

BSW graduates are prepared to work effectively with individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations in a variety of settings. Graduates are employed in both public and private agencies. They provide both direct and indirect services to individuals, families and groups, and are often involved in organizational planning and management. Some of the settings in which they may be employed include:

  • advocacy programs
  • aging services
  • businesses and industry
  • child and adult day care centers
  • children and youth services
  • churches
  • community action agencies
  • community crisis centers
  • correctional facilities
  • criminal justice agencies
  • disability service agencies
  • domestic violence programs
  • employee assistance programs
  • head start programs
  • home care agencies
  • homeless shelters
  • hospices
  • hospitals/clinics
  • income maintenance programs
  • legal services agencies
  • mental health services
  • public health agencies
  • residential treatment programs
  • schools
  • substance abuse programs
  • training/vocational centers
  • vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • voluntary association

Code of Ethics in Social Work #

A code of ethics can help establish standards for behavior and expectations in performance. The Bachelor of Social Work Program has adopted the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics as its standard of expected behavior and performance. Students admitted to the BSW Program are expected to adhere to the standards described in the Code. The Code can be found in English at NASW Code of Ethics and in Spanish: NASW Code of Ethics in Spanish.

Social Work practitioners have chosen to develop and adopt ethical codes in addition to the NASW Code of Ethics. Links to other Codes of Ethics are listed below. These are provided for information and exploration. It is important to remember that students in the BSW Program will be held accountable to the standards found in the NASW Code of Ethics.

National Association of Black Social Workers’ (NABSW) Code of Ethics can be found at NABSW Code of Ethics.

International Federation of Social Workers’ (IFSW) Code of Ethics can be found at IFSW Code of Ethics.

American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work’s Code of Ethics can be found at ABECSW Code of Ethics.

Indiana Licensure #

BSW graduates of Indiana University are eligible to apply for legal licensure by the State of Indiana. Upon receipt of a complete application and a passing score on a standardized examination, the Indiana State Professional Licensing Agency designates the BSW graduate a Licensed Social Worker (LBSW). You can visit the Bureau at Indiana Professional Licensing Agency

Chapter 3 Indiana University Bachelor of Social Work Program #

BSW Program Vision and Mission #

The BSW Program’s vision is to be a leader in preparing social workers for strengths-based generalist social work practice with vulnerable populations. The BSW Program is committed to high standards for educational delivery and achievement; the core values of the profession (service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence); diversity among students, faculty, and staff; and development, dissemination, and assessment of effective practices.

Reaffirmed in 2021, the Bachelor of Social Work Program’s mission reads:

…to prepare students for generalist social work practice with vulnerable people in Indiana and beyond and prepare graduates as critical thinkers and lifelong learners, who reflect a global perspective, recognize strengths, enhance opportunities, create change, and contribute to the empowerment of the people they serve.

Definition of Generalist Practice #

The BSW program’s mission statement speaks to the commitment to preparing generalist social work practitioners. The BSW Program defines generalist practice as follows:

Generalist social work practice focuses on improving the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and society by creating social change both within and among these social systems in a global context.

Grounded in the liberal arts, generalist social work practice utilizes research informed knowledge, professional social work values and ethics, and a core set of competencies transferable across a variety of social service practice settings. Generalist practitioners are educated to think critically as they engage, assess, intervene, evaluate practice outcomes, and engage in practice informed research. Generalist social workers respond to a variety of context and strive to protect human rights, promote social and economic justice and provide culturally competent services.

Educational Goals #

  1. Prepare graduates for generalist social work practice within a global context.
  2. Prepare graduates with a broad liberal arts foundation that emphasizes the development of critical thinking.
  3. Prepare graduates to serve vulnerable people and to promote social and economic justice.
  4. Prepare graduates with a foundation for lifelong learning, including graduate education.
  5. Prepare graduates to engage in research informed practice and integrate technological advancements.

Educational Outcomes #

The BSW Program’s Educational Outcomes are derived from the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) competencies as articulated in the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards document (CSWE, 2015). The BSW Program is evaluated based upon students demonstrating, at the point of graduation, the ability to:

Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior

Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice

Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice

Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice

Engage in Policy Practice

Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities

Chapter 4 BSW Curriculum #

Overall Degree Requirements #

The curriculum for the BSW degree consists of a minimum of 120 credit hours attained through required and elective courses. Of these 120 credit hours, 42-45 credit hours are devoted to general/supportive liberal arts courses and 52 credit hours to social work courses (see individual campus supplements). The remaining required credits are earned through elective courses. Students are free to select elective courses, a certificate, or a minor of their choice.

The BSW program is offered on six IU campuses: Bloomington, East, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis and South Bend. Students come in through application to the School of Social Work. Application deadlines vary by campus.  Students in the BSW program must have at least a “C” in core social work courses and complete all required 100, 200, 300-level social work courses, before enrolling in the 400-level course work. Students must be accepted into the BSW Program before taking 331, 332, 322, and 352.

Credit for Life Experience #

Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience is not given in whole or in part toward the social work degree.

General Education Requirement #

Degree requirements are divided into four areas.  General education, support courses, required courses and electives. General education course requirements vary by campus. Students are expected to meet the general education requirements specific to their campus.

The BSW Program has basic educational requirements consistent across campuses. The BSW course requirements are listed below. Work with your BSW Academic Advisor to ensure you meet both the campus and BSW general education requirements.

Program Support Courses #

  • Professional Writing Skills (SWK S204) OR an intensive writing course approved by the IUSSW program on the student’s campus (e.g., ENG W231)
  • Public Speaking
  • Modern American History
  • Human Biological Science
  • American Government
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • A 3 credit 300 or 400-level Social Work elective or social science course

Social Work Course Sequencing #

Both full-time and part-time options for completion of the 300 and 400-level required social work courses are available. Please note that course sequence varies by campus. See the BSW campus specific Degree Map on your campus.

Pass-Fail Courses #

Students can take a maximum of four elective courses as Pass-Fail. All required support and required social work courses must be taken for a letter grade. IU Policies developed during Covid-19 in Spring 2020 supersede this policy.

Field Practicum Courses #

Field practicum courses provide students with opportunities to apply and integrate content from all areas of the curriculum and to develop competencies in generalist practice.

In the BSW Program, students enroll in two practicum courses in the senior year. Only students who are admitted into the BSW Program and have completed all 300-level social work courses are allowed to take the Practicum courses. Practicum courses are designed to provide social work experiences with various system sizes (individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities). Practice takes place in a wide range of fields of practice (i.e. child welfare, mental health, medical, addictions, homelessness, etc.). Field agency sites include multi-service community centers, child welfare agencies and group homes, nursing homes, services for the physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged, health settings, advocacy agencies for various clientele, and many other specialized services.

In the fall semester of the final year (usually the 4th year), students enroll in S481 Social Work Practicum I, a six (6) credit hour course. In this first semester of the practicum sequence, students complete a minimum of 240 hours of supervised practice in a community agency during the Fall Semester (15 hours per week) as well participate in the seminar classes. The seminar classes are taught by faculty. Seminar assignments relate specifically to field experience journals, process recordings, and the beginning development of the students’ second program outcome measure. Faculty works closely with the students and the assigned agency field instructors to provide support and guidance throughout the practicum experience. In the second semester of the final year, students enroll in S482 Social Work Practicum II, a seven (7) credit hour course and continue in placement at the same agency as S481. During this second semester, students complete a minimum of 320 hours of supervised practice in a community agency (20 hours per week) and participate in seminar classes.  The seminar classes are designed to integrate theoretical material gained from social work practice and theory courses with the realities of practice issues as experienced in the practicum agency as well as for students to complete the second program outcome measure.

Given the nature of human service organizations, most practicum sites expect students to practice during the daytime hours. Very few sites are available in late afternoons, evenings and weekends. Applicants are encouraged to assess their day time availability for the field practicum courses before applying to the program.

Professional Liability Insurance #

Indiana University School of Social of Social Work provides liability coverage for its students that meets the minimum expected standards set forth by the profession. Copies of the certificate of liability can be given upon request. In some situations, students may be required to carry additional professional liability insurance, often termed malpractice insurance, by their field practicum agency. This request would mean that the students would be covered through inclusion in the School’s blanket Professional Liability policy and through their own personal student liability policy as well. Students who are placed in a health care provider listed in I.C. 34-18-2-14 are also covered by Medical Malpractice Insurance coverage with limits of not less than those prescribed for health care providers as set forth in I.C. 34-18-4-1. Students who are denied coverage under the school’s blanket professional liability insurance are required to obtain and pay for their own Professional Liability Insurance. These students are unable to proceed with their practicum placement until they provide a Certificate of Coverage to the Field Coordinator and the Agency. If a student is not able to continue in their practicum, they will not be able to graduate.

Students are asked questions relevant to their eligibility for malpractice insurance when they accept admission to the School as well as when they apply to participate in a field practicum. If a student has a criminal history or other previous professional/legal challenges, they must discuss this with the campus Program Director and/or field coordinator as these challenges may impact eligibility for malpractice insurance, an agency’s willingness to provide a field placement as well as their future licensure. The IUSSW’s Professional Liability Insurance provides coverage during the time students are in the field placement and is limited to practice issues. This insurance does not provide coverage for the social work student who volunteers at the field placement agency or any other agency.

Situations that can lead to civil or criminal action against a student include:

  • Misrepresenting qualifications, such as failing to inform the client of student status.
  • Providing treatment without obtaining proper consent.
  • Keeping inaccurate or inadequate records.
  • Administering inappropriate or radical treatment.
  • Failing to consult with or refer to specialists.
  • Failing to seek proper supervision.
  • Failing to take action to prevent a client’s suicide.
  • Failing to warn third parties of potential harm.

Chapter 5 BSW Program Admissions #

All students who plan to earn the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree must apply for and obtain admission into the BSW Program.  Social Work majors who fail to apply and obtain admission into the BSW Program may not be allowed to enroll in required 300 and 400-level social work courses.

Admission to the BSW Program #

Enrollment in the BSW program requires formal admission to the IU School of Social Work. The following are the minimum requirements for consideration for admission to the program:

  1. Regular admission to the university.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours. Although we encourage early application, advanced students may also apply.
  3. Satisfactory completion (grade of C or higher) of the required course SWK-S 141 Introduction to Social Work.
  4. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  5. Evidence of characteristics or potential required of competent social work practitioners as defined in the mission statement of the School. Such evidence may be derived from application materials, letters of reference, pertinent work or volunteer experience, and performance in SWK-S 141 Introduction to Social Work.

Conditional Admission Policy #

Applicants may be granted a conditional admission to the program when one or more of the admissions requirements is not yet fulfilled. For example, if a student has not completed Introduction to Social Work (SWK-S141), the applicant can be admitted conditionally.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to assure that these outstanding conditions are fulfilled. Upon completion of outstanding items, the conditional admission will be changed to a full admission.

Sex Offenders Screening Policy Applicable to Students #

It is the policy of the School of Social Work that no student or applicant who has been convicted of sex offenses against children shall be eligible for admission or continuation into the BSW, MSW or Ph.D. programs.

School of Social Work Application Procedure #

Applicants and Transfer Students

Applicants will be asked to self-report any history of sexual offenses against children. Any applicant or transfer student whose name is on the Sex Offender Registry will be ineligible for admission or transfer and shall be notified.

Continuing Students

Any continuing student whose name appears on the Registry during the time of matriculation, or has been convicted of an offense for which the student can be listed on the Registry, shall be ineligible for continuation in the program.


The electronic application to the BSW Program shall include a statement giving notice to potential applicants that criminal convictions may render persons ineligible for admission.

Non-exclusive Policy

Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to preclude the School from taking other appropriate action in such cases, or in the case of applicants or students involved in other conduct or criminal activities not covered in this policy.

Right to Appeal

Any student already admitted to one of the IUSSW programs who is deemed ineligible for continuation based upon a record of criminal conviction may appeal to the Dean or designee for reconsideration if the student believes there are extenuating circumstances that might mitigate the findings.

Policies #

A student with a criminal history other than those deriving from sexual offenses may be eligible for admission into IU BSW program. Eligibility in these circumstances is determined on a case- by-case assessment. While having a criminal background may not preclude students from participating in the BSW program, students should be aware of educational and professional implications. Agency policies and state laws may impose limitations for students and professionals with criminal histories attempting to obtain field placements, employment in certain practice settings, and/or professional licensure. Laws vary by state and are subject to change over time. Students should consult individual state licensing agencies for further information. While a student with a criminal background may view their own history as only a minor offence, field agencies may not. Some crimes, such as crimes of violence or dishonesty, are particularly disfavored. Applicants are advised that the School relies on third parties, such as social service agencies and other facilities, to provide field education and that a criminal history, or a serious driving infraction, can affect the School’s ability to find a placement; IUSSW has no control over these third parties and the School makes no guarantee that it can place any student, with a criminal history, or a serious driving infraction, even when charges may have been plea bargained down or resulted in probation or diversion. IU BSW program is not responsible for disruptions in a student’s educational plan resulting from a criminal background.

Students are required to disclose any convictions, charges, probation/diversion in writing unless the conviction has been expunged (even if a charge has been dismissed), or a serious driving infraction, as part of the formal admission process and again prior to beginning the field placement process. Students must report to the best of their ability anything that may come up on a national criminal background check on self-disclosure form.  If in doubt, students should disclose the charge. This means that self-disclosures must be truthful, accurate, and complete. If a student knows of certain information yet is unsure whether to disclose it, the student must disclose the information. It is incumbent upon students to inform their social work advisor as soon as possible, of any criminal charges of any kind are levied against them at any point during the program, unless it has been expunged. Failure to disclose this information can result in dismissal.

Students transferring from another four-year accredited academic institution or a community college into Indiana University have their transcripts evaluated by the University Admissions office in relation to their progress toward meeting general education and supportive area degree requirements. In most instances, the University Admissions Office assessment is accepted in relation to general and supportive area course requirements. Students transferring from all other institutions must apply to the BSW Program, even if they have been accepted by another BSW Program.

All social work courses beyond the 100 and 200-level must be taken in an accredited social work program. Transfer courses taken at another accredited BSW program must also meet Indiana University’s academic standards (an earned letter grade of “C” or better), and be judged as equivalent to the School of Social Work’s required social work courses by the Program Director on the campus where students are applying for admission.

The following process is used to determine whether a social work course taken at another CSWE accredited BSW program is accepted in place of an Indiana University required social work course:

The student submits to the campus BSW Program Director the syllabus from the proposed transfer course, the text (if available), and any other information relevant to the decision.

If appropriate, the Program Director shares or reviews this information with the social work faculty member who teaches a similar course. They will decide whether the course is acceptable in place of the IUSSW course.

The Director will notify the student in writing of the acceptance or rejection of the transfer course in place of a social work course.

Field practicum courses may not be transferred from another program.

Students accepted into the Bachelor of Social Work program may request a transfer from their initial IU campus of acceptance to another IU campus. Such transfer requests usually stem from changes in family, medical, or financial circumstances requiring students to be closer to home and/or community supports. Students need to be in good standing to transfer to another IUSSW BSW Program campus. Good standing includes acceptance in the BSW Program, a GPA cumulative 2.0 or better, earning a “C” or better in each required social work course. Students must have a 2.5 to graduate from the BSW Program.

Students communicate with their advisor and use the BSW Program Transfer request form to initiate the process. The BSW Program will attempt to accommodate transfer requests. Student requests, verification of the need, campus resources, practicum availability, general education requirements, and course sequencing may be considered when determining whether a student may transfer. In some cases, student needs and campus resources may not match. In these cases, and through consultation with the initiating campus program director, the transfer campus program director may deny or approve the request.

If a transfer request is accepted, the student is responsible for initiating the appropriate inter-campus transfer process at the university level. The student is also responsible for noting any additional general education requirements that must be met at the transfer campus.

For students who have had to interrupt their education for a number of years, the program will assess the currency and fit of past social work coursework with the current curriculum. If necessary, students will be asked to retake certain courses.

Students who return to the University after an absence of at least three consecutive years who have completed courses in Social Work must have the previously completed courses revalidated. The BSW program assumes that all social work courses more than five years old, to count as meeting BSW requirements, must be revalidated or retaken. When determining whether a completed course meets current curricular expectations, the program, at minimum, will consider the current state of knowledge in the subject matter, changes in subject matter since completion of the course, and current BSW competencies.

Chapter 6 BSW Program Advising #

Student Academic Advising #

The advising program assists students throughout their educational careers as they prepare to become competent social workers. The advisor monitors student progress, provides consultation in planning a course of study, and assists in problem solving with regard to both classroom and field course work. The advisor also acts to facilitate communication between students and their classroom and field instructors. The advisor serves as resource person who students can talk with about any education-related issues or questions. In keeping with the goal of the program and the spirit of social work, the advising relationship among administrators, faculty, and students is one of collaboration. Upon admission each student is assigned to an advisor, a faculty or staff member possessing a minimum of a master’s degree in social work.

Role of the Advisor #

The functions of the advisor are:

  • To help students identify emerging strengths and clarify personal career goals in the context of realistic professional opportunities.
  • To help students select required and elective courses congruent with program requirements, course sequencing, and their interest and ability. The tools provided include the Degree Map and the Interactive Graduation Planning System (iGPS).
  • To assist students to assess their academic progress and standing:
    • through assessment of the number of credits earned each semester in relation to students’ academic plans of study and dates of anticipated graduation.
    • through assessment of grades, including those for individual courses as well as cumulative social work GPA, and overall GPA consistent with the BSW program grade policies.
  • To help students identify conduct and/or academic deficiencies which pose potential threats to future satisfactory academic performance and help the student remedy the difficulties.
  • To help students identify and utilize campus and/or community services when necessary for financial need, personal counseling, skill deficiencies and/or other difficulties threatening satisfactory academic performance.
  • To participate in the Student Performance Review process with students who are identified due to deficiencies in academic performance or conduct, as stated in the policy.
  • To help students who fail to meet the academic requirements for continuation in the BSW program by facilitating the transition out of the program or through the provision of information and advice during appeal processes.
  • The process of student advising is assumed to be an ongoing, collaborative effort. Students are encouraged to anticipate or avoid serious difficulties by consulting with the advisor. Many advisors use e-mail and Advising Records (ADRx) to enhance the promptness of communication with students. Students are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their academic enrollment.

Checklist for BSW Students #

  • Participate in BSW student orientation.
  • Review and discuss the record of degree requirements and educational plan with your assigned academic advisor or the Program Director.
  • Make sure you have developed an education plan based on the BSW Degree Map (iGPS) and adjust your class schedule accordingly.
  • Know and check your IU email account at least every 48 hours.
  • Read and consult as necessary the BSW Student Handbook.
  • Become familiar with IU and campus resources available to students.
  • Become familiar with APA manual and guidelines for all assignments submitted in BSW courses.
  • Clarify with your advisor that you will have 120 hours to graduate and check your Academic Advising Report in the Student Center.
  • Meet with your assigned academic advisor.
  • Share with your advisor your educational progress, struggles, and needs.
  • Register for classes as indicated by your advisor (be aware of sequenced courses).
  • If changes are needed in the education plan (iGPS), contact your advisor or Program Director. Please, do not change your schedule until the changes have been approved by your advisor.
  • Use available educational resources to enhance your scholastic performance.
  • Attend program meetings held by program administrators.
  • Support and participate in the social work activities on your campus.
  • Participate in field informational session(s).
  • Submit field application as requested.
  • Prepare your resume.
  • Complete field modules if required on the student’s campus.
  • Meet with BSW Field Coordinator.
  • Complete appointment with field practicum agency in a timely fashion (if applicable).
  • Complete Commencement Application forms
  • Meet with your assigned advisor to check if all requirements will be completed by December, May, June, or August deadlines.
  • Order your cap and gown.
  • Read thoroughly all graduation information.
  • Consult with your advisor to confirm again that all requirements have been met.
  • Attend graduation ceremonies!!
  • Students are responsible for the timely enrollment and completion of BSW courses as indicated by the program.

Chapter 7 BSW Academic and Performance Standards #

Educational Requirements #

For continuance in and graduation from the program, students are required to:

earn at least a “C” in each required Social Work course;

maintain a minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA in required Social Work courses and a minimum 2.5 overall GPA (a “C: is 2.0 and a “B” is 3.0);

carry out professional activities congruent with the values and ethics of the profession;

comply with any contract which might have been entered into under either a Conditional Admission or a Student Performance Review.

Grade Appeal Policy #

Petition for Change of Grade

If a student believes that a semester grade was improper and capricious, they must use the following steps to seek resolution of the matter:

  1. The student must meet with the instructor of the course in an attempt to resolve the matter.
  2. If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, they should discuss the issue with the respective campus BSW Program Director within 15 working days after receiving the grade. The director may request written documentation. The director will then consult with the instructor to attempt a resolution. The program director will advise the student and the instructor of the outcome of their decision in writing. If the program director is the instructor of the course in question, the student would be referred to the Senior Program Director.*  The student would be referred to the Associate Dean if the Senior BSW Program Director is the instructor of the course in question.
  3. If such a consultation does not result in a mutually agreeable solution, the student may submit a formal appeal to the Office of the Dean. The Associate Dean typically handles all student issues on behalf of the Office of the Dean. However, if the Associate Dean has already been involved in the grade issue because the instructor is the Senior BSW Program Director, the appeal will be handled by the Dean or their designee.
  4. If the appeal is denied through the Office of the Dean, the student may consult the University grade appeal policies and procedures for further action.

Student Review Process #

All students are admitted on the assumption that they have the potential academic ability and personal suitability for completing the professional program in which they are enrolled. All students in the BSW Program are expected to maintain the standards established by the School of Social Work and those held by the social work profession. To promote student successes, students may be asked to participate in a Student Success Meeting (SSM) and/or a Student Performance Review (SPR). A SPR is a more serious intervention or a response to a problematic situation.

*On the IU Northwest campus the student is referred to the Associate Dean of the College of Health of Human Services.

Criteria #

Any of the following, though not an exhaustive list, may be grounds for a SSM or SPR:

  • Conduct that is not congruent with the values and ethics of the social work profession (e.g., NASW, NABSW, CSWE) and the academic code of conduct for students at Indiana This includes behavior in the student’s field work, social media interactions/postings, and the classroom that does not conform to the profession’s values and ethics.
  • Behavior that interferes with the student’s functioning and/or jeopardizes the welfare of others, including, but not limited to, threatening or disruptive
  • Failure to communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form, including interviewing skills and interpersonal skills which permit comfortable interaction with other people.
  • Failure to adhere to practicum agency policies and professional
  • Failure to use sound judgment, both in work with clients and regarding oneself, such as failure to seek professional help for physical or emotional problems which interfere with professional functioning.
  • Having more than one Incomplete at a time in course work or having received more than two grades of Incomplete in any courses after admission to the
  • Academic dishonesty, including cheating on examinations or plagiarism as discussed in Chapter 7, Indiana University and IUSSW Policy on Plagiarism
  • Marginal academic
  • A request by a faculty member for a review due to student’s poor course work
  • Failure to self-disclose any form of criminal history, or a serious driving infraction, in writing during the formal admission process or prior to the field placement process.

Student Success Meeting (SSM) #

This is considered an interventive approach. It is expected that students are communicating with their advisor and faculty members consistently as determined in their partnerships. When an advisor or faculty member believe that a student meets any of the above mentioned criteria, or at the request of a student, a Student Success Meeting can be requested. This meeting will be arranged by the director and include at minimum, the student and the director, and may include the advisor, and/or identified faculty if appropriate. The purpose of this meeting is to collaboratively create a measurable plan to target identified issues or needs. The goal of this process is to serve as early intervention for the student to create clarity for timely solutions that would lead to successful retention and professional development. If the student fails to attend this opportunity, fails to follow through with the agreed plan, or if the situation warrants, this intervention may not be available. The program director has discretion to immediately schedule a SPR without a SSM. Appropriate documentation will be made available by and for all those involved in alignment with IUSSW process.

Student Performance Review (SPR) #

The SPR is designed as an interventive or reactionary process to address a more serious need for intervention or a response to a problematic situation. When it is determined a performance review is needed based on the above mentioned criteria, or at the request of a student, the program director will be convene a date and time within a 14 day period and notify the student in writing. This review will at minimum include the student and their advisor who will serve as the student advocate, and the director. Other faculty may be invited as appropriate. The student may invite an outside person of support to attend this review however, they will not be allowed to contribute.

When a student’s performance is evaluated as deficient, the director will determine what, if any, course of action could bring the student’s performance into compliance with School and professional standards. Students will be notified in writing by the program director the outcomes of the review. In situations where such action is feasible and desirable, probationary status will be assigned and a probation contract will be created. The contract will set forth problems to be solved, actions to be taken to solve said problems, and a time-period for completion of designated actions and re-evaluation of student performance. Consequences for probation violation also will be included in the contract. Contract will be sent to student using IU email and a certified letter requiring student signature as agreement in addition to AdRx documentation. If the student fails to fulfill the contract, or, if while working on the contract some serious impropriety or failing academic performance occurs, it may be determined that the student cannot continue in the BSW program. Discontinuance can occur during any semester of enrollment in the BSW Program, including the last semester of enrollment. Appropriate documentation will be made available by and for all those involved in alignment with IUSSW process.

Automatic Dismissal and Probation #

Educational Requirements for graduation from the program, students are required to:

  1. earn at least a “C” in each required Social Work course;
  2. have a minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA in required Social Work courses and a minimum 2.5 overall GPA (a “C: is 2.0 and a “B” is 3.0);
  3. carry out professional activities congruent with the values and ethics of the profession;
  4. comply with any contract which might have been entered into under either a Conditional Admission, Academic Probation or a Student Performance Review.

Automatic Dismissal and Academic Probation Policy:

Students who earned less than a “C” in a required Social Work course or dropped below an overall or Social Work GPA of 2.5 will be placed by the program director (or designee) on academic probation or dismissed from the program.  To remain in the BSW Program, these students are required to meet with the director (or designee) upon request and sign a contract that addresses a plan for their success.   They must raise both Social Work and overall GPA to 2.5 within an academic year to avoid automatic dismissal.

Any student receiving below a “C” in a required core social work course must repeat the course and earn a “C” or above.

Criteria for Automatic Dismissal from BSW Program

  • Failure to carry out professional activity in conformity with the values and ethics of the profession
  • Failure to sign and/or comply with any contract including those related to conditional admission, academic probation, or performance review process in the program.

Policy implementation – August 1, 2019

Notification Procedures #

The following procedures are used in the event a student falls under any of the criteria for Automatic Dismissal:

If a student is dismissed for any of the above, the instructor for the course or the program administrator will notify the advisor. Also, the student should notify the advisor immediately.

Within 15 working days of receiving the above notification, the Program Director will send by IU email and certified mail a written statement to the student indicating that they have been discontinued from the program and explain the due process procedures. Copies of the letter should be forwarded to the student’s advisor.

The advisor will meet with the student, should they wish to discuss options and the reinstatement procedures.

Reinstatement Procedures for Dismissals #

A student wishing to continue in the program may request reinstatement to the respective BSW program director for continuance. The request for reinstatement must be presented in writing and address two major points. First, there should be an identification of extenuating factors, if any, which contributed to the poor performance in the course. Second, there should be a discussion of the steps which would be taken to alleviate the impact of those factors and to improve academic performance if permitted to continue in the program. A written request for reinstatement must be submitted no later than twelve months after notification of dismissal.

Upon reviewing the student’s request for reinstatement, the Program Director will review the case, including consultation with appropriate faculty such as the student’s advisor, and make a decision.

The Program Director will inform the student and advisor of the decision in writing, including email. The director will also inform the student of their right to appeal a negative decision regarding reinstatement.

Social work courses may be repeated after a student is reinstated in the program OR by permission of the Program Director.

During the reinstatement process, it is incumbent upon students to inform the program of any criminal charges of any kind are levied against them that have not been expunged. Failure to disclose this information can result in dismissal.

Procedures to Appeal a Negative Reinstatement Decision #

If a student has not been reinstated by the BSW Program Director, the student who chooses to appeal must present a substantive written statement within 15 days for an appeal to the Dean’s Office of the School of Social Work in order to request a review*.  The appeal is reviewed by the Dean or their designee, typically the Senior BSW Program Director. This Office is the final option for appeal within the School of Social Work.

In conducting a review of the case, the Dean or designee may decide to convene an Appeal Committee if more information is needed. This step is entirely at the discretion of the reviewer. The Appeal Committee will consist of at least three full-time faculty members (not including the advisor) who are not primary actors in the reason for the student’s dismissal.

If an Appeal Committee is convened, the Chair of the Committee will inform all parties involved. The student will receive a notice of at least 15 working days by certified mail and by IU email of the meeting date. The student will have the right to:

Present information on their behalf;

Have up to two additional guests present. The student should inform the Chair of the Committee in advance regarding the names of the guests and the nature of the information they bring. If the guests are students or outside of the IU system, FERPA rights need to be respected by asking the student to sign a release of information.  The Chair reserves the right to structure the hearing and the length of time each party can speak. Generally, only those guests with information relevant to the issue that led to the dismissal are invited to speak. The student and students’ guests may be present only for the information-giving portion of the meeting and must leave prior to deliberation by the Committee.

The student’s advisor will meet with them prior to the hearing and, in the hearing, present comprehensive information concerning the student’s overall academic/professional performance. To prepare this background statement, the advisor shall secure performance information from classroom and field faculty who have taught the student. The advisor may ask questions at any time during the hearing, including during the committee’s deliberations. The advisor may also recommend actions to resolve the performance problem. However, the advisor shall not have a vote during the proceedings.

The recommended actions of the Appeal Committee shall be forwarded in writing to the Dean’s Office of the School of Social Work*. Copies will be sent to the student, student’s advisor, and placed in the student’s official electronic file. The action by the Dean or designee is final.

* Students on the Gary campus follow the IU Northwest appeal process, which involves the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Information regarding the appeal process on the campus can be found in the IU Northwest Supplement of this Handbook.

Confidentiality #

All procedures related to a performance review must be carried out in a manner which assures protection of the student’s right to privacy regarding information about their academic records, performance, and conduct. All written documents prepared for dismissal or review will be placed in the student’s permanent file. The student has the right to review all written information which is presented to either the Performance Review or the Appeals committee.

Members of the committee and other persons who appear at the hearing are expected to maintain confidentiality with regard to all aspects of the hearing.  Actions of the committee are to remain confidential and are to be shared only with those persons involved with the student in an educational capacity.

Bereavement Policy #

In keeping with the mission of Indiana University School of Social Work (IUSSW) to promote health and well-being for all, it is the IUSSW policy to recognize the effects that a significant loss can have on a student and their academic work.

In the event that a student experiences the death of a family member, relative, or other significant loss, the student will be excused from class for bereavement for up to seven (7) calendar days. Requests for bereavement leave and/or additional days, e.g. for travel, cultural, or faith traditions, must be made to the program director or the designee for the campus in which the student is enrolled. The student must provide the request in writing via email. The program director or designee will notify the student’s instructors of the request. Upon return, the student must contact each faculty member to arrange to make up any missed assignments.

Students who are in a practicum placement must also notify their Field and/or Task Instructor to negotiate absences from their agency. Students must make up any hours missed in order to accumulate the required number of hours for each practicum.

In exceptional situations, absences in excess of what is covered by this policy may significantly impede a student’s ability to successfully complete a course. In such cases, the student should first discuss options for course completion or withdrawal with their instructors. If the student determines they are not able to return after 7 days, they should contact their program director or designee about possible options.

If a student will be absent because of a significant loss, the student is responsible for notifying the program director or designee as soon as possible of the absence. The program director or designee will communicate with the individual’s course instructors of record about the bereavement leave of absence. The program director or designee may ask for additional documentation if necessary.

Students facing grief and loss benefit from supportive, empathetic environments in which they can process their experience. See your advisor or program director for supportive services on each campus.

This policy applies to all classes offered by the IUSSW. The program director or designee will request that students’ other professors also honor and respect the terms of this policy. It is the right of other professors outside of the IUSSW to follow or not follow this policy. The School of Social Work cannot enforce this policy outside of our system school. A student could petition the Office of Academic Affairs on their respective campuses regarding other classes if needed.

Academic and Scholarly Guidelines #

  • Class and field practicum attendance is required in the BSW program.
  • Students are to be present a few minutes before classes start and remain for the whole class period.
  • Failure to attend and participate fully will violate program expectations and the student may be subject to penalty as specified in course syllabi and field practicum documents. Regular class and practicum attendance is viewed as the personal and professional responsibility of each BSW student.
  • Active participation in BSW orientation, course peer reviews, field meetings, and other educational functions is expected.
  • Students are expected to reflect interest in and respect for their colleagues in a manner that is congruent with the values, ethics, and skills of the profession.
  • Students should foster a climate of civility at all times.

Indiana University Codes of Conduct #

Scholarly Writing Guidelines #

  • In written assignments, students are expected to prepare documents in a scholarly and professional manner. Submissions should be typewritten in double-space format and carefully edited for spelling and grammar. All direct quotations, paraphrases, empirical research findings and other restatements of the research, scholarship, or creative work of others must be appropriately annotated using the standard bibliographic citation methods set out by the American Psychological Association (APA) in the most current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The APA Manual serves as the guide for style and format of all papers submitted in the BSW program. Visit the following web site to become familiar with APA style:Purdue Online Writing Lab APA WebsiteCompetent and effective social work practice requires well-developed and refined communication skills, including the use of the written word. Writing well helps social workers communicate information accurately and concisely to others involved in helping diverse client systems. For this reason, formal writing assignments in social work courses are evaluated on quality of the scholarly content as well as the quality of its presentation. (Please see Appendix D for the Grading Criteria for BSW Papers, and Selected Social Work and Related Journals. Professional writing is also expected when using email.) Students experiencing writing difficulties are advised to seek assistance from available resources at the campus level.

Indiana University and IUSSW Policy on Plagiarism #

The School of Social Work follows the Indiana University policy on plagiarism which states: Plagiarism is a form of cheating and is grounds for failing the course and possible dismissal from the program and/or university. Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge.

  1. A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.
  2. A student must give credit to the originality of others and acknowledge indebtedness whenever:
    • Directly quoting another person’s actual words, whether oral or written;
    • Using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories;
    • Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
    • Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
    • Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.
  3. A student must not submit substantial portions of the same academic work for credit or honors more than once without permission of the instructor or program to whom the work is being submitted.

Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct – Indiana University.

IU School of Social Work Addendum to Indiana University Policy on Plagiarism #

In addition to the university statement on plagiarism which is published in the IU Student Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, the IU School of Social Work defines plagiarism as including:

  • The intentional or unintentional use of information from another person without full acknowledgment. Such use, even when unintended, causes the work to appear to be the student’s own work and thus the student, not the original author, benefits from the omission of proper acknowledgment.
  • Copying or using information from web sites without appropriately documenting the internet source.
  • Buying or using a document written by another person.
  • Submitting any part of the student’s own work which has been previously submitted, unless one’s own prior work is fully acknowledged and appropriately cited.
  • The use of artificial intelligence not improved by the instructor

Academic Honors #

The BSW program has a Dean’s list to recognize student excellence. The policy, as approved by the Faculty in 1997, reads as follows:

BSW students with a semester GPA of 3.75 or better will be named to the Dean’s List.

The IUSSW BSW Recorder will forward the names of the eligible students to the Office of the Dean. This information should be forwarded within two weeks following the posting of semester grades.

The Dean of the School will notify students of their achievement by email.

A program director may post the dean’s list on the webpage within the School. Only students taking a full course load (12 credit hours or more) in either the Fall or Spring semesters will be eligible.

The Dean’s List will be compiled twice a year.

Each year, graduating students who rank in the upper 10 percent of their graduating class are recognized by graduating with Distinction (Highest, High, and With Distinction). These students are awarded specially colored “cords” which they wear attached to the shoulder of their graduation gowns during the commencement ceremony.

Honors specific to individual campuses are listed in the specific supplements.

Chapter 8 BSW Policies and Procedures #

These are additional policies under which the BSW Program operates.

Student Academic Files #

An academic file is created and maintained for each social work student to facilitate the advising process. The 481 and 482 LET becomes part of the students’ academic file. All student files are confidential. Students can request to review their student files from the BSW program director or designee on each campus. The perusal of the file will take place in the presence of the program director or designee. In the case where a student transfers from one campus to another, their academic file follows them. For specific information on federal guidelines regarding student record confidentiality (FERPA), see Appendix H.

Incomplete Policy #

A grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned by an instructor only when exceptional circumstances such as an illness, injury, or a family emergency prevents a student from finishing all the work required for the course. The grade of Incomplete may be considered only when a substantial portion of the course work has already been completed, the coursework is of satisfactory quality, and no more than one major exam or assignment is outstanding. The student who does not meet these requirements should meet with their advisor to withdraw from the course(s) in question. The student should refer to the Registrar’s Office on their respective campus regarding the policies and deadline for automatic withdrawal for the semester in question.

The student is responsible for initiating the request for a grade of Incomplete. If the instructor agrees, the instructor and student complete and sign the form Record of Incomplete and Completion of Course Requirements (see Appendix C) to ensure that a sound educational plan and time frame for completion of course requirements have been established. Failure to fulfill the terms of this contract within the stipulated time frame may result in a failing grade. For removal of a grade of Incomplete, the student is subject to the IUSSW policy, which has precedence over the University policy. The student in the School of Social Work is expected to complete outstanding course work expeditiously, since many courses serve as prerequisites for others. Generally, students may carry no more than one grade of Incomplete at any given time. However, in cases of severe crisis, a student may work with their advisor to request grades of Incomplete in multiple courses.

Grievance Procedures #

If a student believes that they have been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by a faculty or staff member, or that a policy or procedure is unjust or unwise, then the student may submit, in writing, a formal grievance petition to the Dean of the School.* Grievance petitions are reserved for those issues or incidences that warrant formal and thorough investigation. Such petitions should be submitted in a professional manner, consistent with social work values and ethics.

* Students on the Gary campus follow the IU Northwest appeal process which involves the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. Information regarding the appeal process on the campus can be found in the IU Northwest supplement of this handbook.

Student complaints regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation have established complaint procedures available in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

The Code is also available online.

Civility #

In 1999, the Bloomington Faculty Council passed a Statement of Civility which articulates the meaning of civility for Indiana University.  The IUSSW has adopted this policy and expects students to adhere to its tenets.

As members of an institution of higher education, we have dedicated ourselves to creating an environment where each individual is important and can succeed. Our institutional ethic compels us to foster the best possible environment for doing our work as educators, learners, and supporters of the educational process. When any one of our members is prevented from doing her or his best, the entire community is diminished. As members of an institution of higher learning, we must periodically reaffirm the fundamental ethics and values that form the framework for our university.

Among those values is fostering a climate of civility and mutual respect. Because the university is so complex and diverse, we will not always agree with one another. Nevertheless, we expect everyone to speak and act with respect for one another. This civility and respect should be extended to all persons regardless of their role at Indiana University, and regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and age.

If we are to be true to our commitment to diversity and welcoming all, everyone must do his or her part. While no set of rules or policies can wholly govern human conduct, it is important to state that civility is a fragile construct that each of us must cherish and preserve (Bloomington Academic Guide, Policy 1-3, 1999).

Student Technology Use #

Computers may be used to support the learning activities in the classroom. These include such activities as taking notes and accessing course readings under discussion. However, non-academic use of laptops and other devices are distracting and seriously disrupt the learning process for everyone. Neither computers nor other electronic devices are to be used in the classroom for non-academic reasons. These include emailing, texting, social networking, and use of the Internet.

Cell Phone Policy #

The use of cell phones during class time is sanctioned at the discretion of the instructor. When allowed to be used in class, phones should be set on silent before class begins. In the case of an emergency, students are expected to step out of the room to take the call. Failure to meet these expectations may result in a loss of participation points or a request from the instructor to leave class. It is also expected that students will not text and or engage in social media interactions, on their cell phones during class lectures. There are times cell phones are used for in-class activities and thus yield to the direction of your instructor.

Electronic Communication #

Students are expected to follow appropriate email etiquette when communicating with faculty, staff, and peers. Correct grammar and spelling are expected at all times. Inappropriate use of email will be grounds for student review. For specific guidelines on acceptable use of technology and information resources, please visit the IU online safety website.

To promote confidentiality and for compliance with FERPA regulations, the BSW program requires that students utilize their official IU email accounts when corresponding with the program. Faculty may not respond to student emails that are NOT from university accounts.

Social Media Policy #

Students are expected to adhere to the standards and guidelines of the social work profession when interacting with classmates, field instructors and colleagues using social media or social networking sites such as, but not limited to, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr and LiveJournal. Establishing informal relationships with faculty and clients through social media and networking sites can make it difficult to maintain professional boundaries and are thus not appropriate.

Students should be aware that all social networking postings can potentially be made available to the public at large including their prospective clients, employers and colleagues. Privacy settings are never absolute, and confidential or personal information about peers, clients, and faculty should not be posted online. It is expected that students follow confidentiality standards in both face to face and online environments.

Before communicating online, students are cautioned to think through, carefully, their postings which reflect on themselves, their field agency, the IUSSW and the social work profession itself. All postings should be professional and respectful in tone including those “private” posts between site members. Please know that what is found in your online portfolios can sometimes be grounds for not being hired at a placement site. Violations of the NASW Code of Ethics as evidenced online can result in disciplinary action including possible dismissal.

Nondiscrimination Policy for People with Disabilities #

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Indiana University will not exclude or deny benefits to any otherwise qualified person with a disability. This nondiscrimination includes procedures for applying for jobs, hiring or firing of employees, compensation, job advancement and training. Students with disabilities are able to access services on each campus to enable them to fully access educational opportunities. Students who have questions about compliance requirements should contact the following:

Please contact the Office of Accessible Educational Services.  (812) 855-7578)

Please contact Student Support Services.  (765) 973-8310)

Please contact Academic Success and Achievement Programs. (219) 980-6942 or (219) 980-6941)

Please contact Services for Students with Disabilities 260-481-6658; fax 260-481-6018.

Please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at (317) 274-2306).

Please contact the Office of Disability Support Services (574) 520-4256).

Posthumous Degree Policy #

The Indiana School of Social Work wishes to honor the efforts of students who are enrolled in one of its degree granting programs. Should a student in good standing die before completing their degree, the School of Social Work may award an honorary Posthumous Degree to the family, or significant other, of the deceased in the year following the death.

Chapter 9 Student Assessment and Feedback #

The School of Social Work recognizes students are adult learners and have much to offer to the continued development and growth of the BSW program. It is critical to the BSW Program to have student input in these areas: program assessment, faculty evaluation, School committees/task forces, and student field placements.

Program Assessment #

The BSW program conducts yearly assessments of the BSW educational objectives approved by the faculty. As our accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education has moved to a competency-based educational model (CSWE, 2015), we assess student competency on CSWE-identified behaviors. The assessment includes ratings from students and field instructors through the S481/482 field evaluation as well as from faculty through case presentations.

Faculty Evaluation #

All students enrolled in the BSW program have an opportunity each semester to evaluate their courses. At the end of each course, students are given standardized course/faculty evaluation forms to complete. Online course evaluations may be provided. These evaluations are confidential with the results being computer generated. These evaluations are read by the respective program director and then returned to the faculty to utilize in strengthening content, teaching, and learning methods. Also, the program uses these evaluations to partially assess program and student learning outcomes.

School Committees/Task Forces #

Students may have the opportunity to participate in school committees/task forces through their elected representatives.

Search and Screen Process #

Students may have the opportunity to meet both informally and formally with candidates being considered for faculty positions on their campuses.

Student Field Practicum #

Students are asked to evaluate the agencies in which they have completed their practicum experiences.

Chapter 10 Student Opportunities #

Students are encouraged to be involved with both BSW sponsored university organizations and external professional social work organizations. Some of the organizations are:

Student Social Work Organizations / Clubs #

Based on interest BSW students can organize social work clubs on any of the IUSSW campuses. The School recognizes the student organization as an integral component of professional education. Although the organization is autonomous, the campus Program Director (or designee) serves as advisor in order to encourage group identification and to help guide student participation in the BSW program. Student association officers help with the formulation and modification of policies affecting student affairs, writing student grants, and implementing student-related projects/functions.

Phi Alpha Honor Society-Kappa Gamma Chapter #

Students who have completed the first semester of the junior year social work courses with an overall GPA of 3.50 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) and a GPA of 3.50 or higher in required social work classes are invited to join the Phi Alpha Honor Society. All courses from the student’s undergraduate career, including courses taken from other higher education institutions, are included in the overall GPA calculation.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) #

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has over 150,000 members worldwide. As a member, students receive all of the benefits and privileges of a regular member at a reduced cost. Members receive the Social Work Journal, the monthly newsletter, the State newsletter, group rate health and disability insurance coverage, discounts on all NASW specialty journals, and other valuable information.

Students are encouraged to become members of this Association immediately following their admission into the program. The National Association of Social Workers Indiana Chapter is located at 1100 W. 42nd Street, Suite #226, Indianapolis, IN 46208, (317) 923-9878. Contact the  Also visit the NASW Indiana website.

National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) #

As mentioned earlier, the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) was established in May of 1968 in San Francisco, California, to promote the welfare, survival, and liberation of the Black community. Membership is open to any African-American employed in a social work capacity, or others not employed but working in a voluntary capacity in a social work setting or program and who accept and adhere to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association.

The purpose of the organization is to:

  • provide a structure and forum though which Black social workers, any workers in related fields of social service, and interested citizens may exchange ideas, offer their services, and develop or refine skills in the interest of the Black community and the community-at-large.
  • work in cooperation with, or to support, develop, or sponsor community welfare projects and programs which will serve the interest of the Black community and the community-at-large.
  • strengthen human services in all service systems in all aspects pertaining to the Black community, and to ensure that services are available to Black individuals, families, groups, and the community.

For information regarding a local chapter of the NABSW, contact: National Association of Black Social Workers, Central Indiana Chapter, Inc., P.O. Box 20149, Indianapolis, Indiana 46220-0149, (317) 767-5502, or visit the NABSW website.

BSW Child Welfare Scholars Program #

The Child Welfare Scholars Program is designed to provide BSW students special course work and practicum experiences that lead to employment as a public child welfare worker in Indiana. Students who participate in the program receive financial support through the Department of Child Services (DCS). These scholars graduate with a minimum commitment of two years of employment with the DCS. Students who participate in the program and only receive a stipend, commit to one year employment.  BSW students who are interested in this opportunity will submit an application during the fall semester of the junior year. If selected, students will receive full in-state tuition, mandatory fees, and a stipend for the senior year to cover books, travel in practicum and additional training expenses required for participation in the program. Students must maintain full-time status (12 credit hour minimum), a minimum of 2.5 overall GPA, and a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the social work courses. Contact the campus BSW program director for further information.

Chapter 11 Scholarship Opportunities #

The School of Social Work offers scholarship opportunities for BSW students who demonstrate exemplar achievements, leadership and service in various areas of interest. The scholarships assist with spring tuition expenses, and in general, the awards are modest. The BSW program notifies students by email when scholarship applications are available, usually around September 1st. The notice includes which scholarships are available for that academic year and how to apply. Students must first complete the IU general scholarship application at

Scholarship awards are made around the first of December. Recipients must complete fulfillment tasks by a given deadline. It is very important for students to check their email and respond in BAM (Blackbaud Award Management scholarship system) by the deadline to prevent delays in awarding the scholarship. Students may explore additional scholarship opportunities open to all incoming and continuing students at their individual campuses.

Occasionally new opportunities become available with different deadlines. Students would be notified by email about different deadlines should this occur.

Students may explore additional scholarship opportunities open to all incoming and continuing students at their individual campuses.  Below are a list of some of these scholarships offered through the campus partners:

Appendix A: Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards #

A new Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards has been approved by the CSWE Board of Directors in 2015.

Purpose: Social Work Practice, Education, and Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards

The purpose of the social work profession is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person-in-environment framework, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons, locally and globally.

Social work educators serve the profession through their teaching, scholarship, and service. Social work education at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels shapes the profession’s future through the education of competent professionals, the generation of knowledge, the promotion of evidence-informed practice through scientific inquiry, and the exercise of leadership within the professional community. Social work education is advanced by the scholarship of teaching and learning, and scientific inquiry into its multifaceted dimensions, processes, and outcomes. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) uses the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) to accredit baccalaureate and master’s level social work programs. EPAS supports academic excellence by establishing thresholds for professional competence. It permits programs to use traditional and emerging models and methods of curriculum design by balancing requirements that promote comparable outcomes across programs with a level of flexibility that encourages programs to differentiate. EPAS describe four features of an integrated curriculum design: (1) program mission and goals, (2) explicit curriculum, (3) implicit curriculum, and (4) assessment. The educational policy and the accreditation standards are conceptually linked to each other. Educational Policy describes each curriculum feature. Accreditation standards are derived from the Educational policy and specify the requirements used to develop and maintain an accredited social work program at the baccalaureate (B) or master’s (M) level.

In 2008 CSWE adopted a competency-based education framework for its EPAS. As in related health and human service professions, the policy moved from a model of curriculum design focused on content (what students should be taught) and structure (the format and organization of educational components) to one focused on student learning outcomes. A competency-based approach refers to identifying and assessing what students demonstrate in practice. In social work this approach involves assessing students’ ability to demonstrate the competencies identified in the educational policy.

Competency-based education rests upon a shared view of the nature of competence in professional practice. Social work competence is the ability to integrate and apply social work knowledge, values, and skills to practice situations in a purposeful, intentional, and professional manner to promote human and community well-being. EPAS recognizes a holistic view of competence; that is, the demonstration of competence is informed by knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes that include the social worker’s critical thinking, affective reactions, and exercise of judgment in regard to unique practice situations. Overall professional competence is multi-dimensional and composed of interrelated competencies. An individual social worker’s competence is seen as developmental and dynamic, changing over time in relation to continuous learning. Competency-based education is an outcomes-oriented approach to curriculum design. The goal of the outcomes approach is to ensure that students are able to demonstrate the integration and application of the competencies in practice. In EPAS, social work practice competence consists of nine interrelated competencies and component behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes. Using a curriculum design that begins with the outcomes, expressed as the expected competencies, programs develop the substantive content, pedagogical approach, and educational activities that provide learning opportunities for students to demonstrate the competencies. Assessment of student learning outcomes is an essential component of competency-based education. Assessment provides evidence that students have demonstrated the level of competence necessary to enter professional practice, which in turn shows programs are successful in achieving their goals. Assessment information is used to improve the educational program and the methods used to assess student learning outcomes. Programs assess students’ demonstration of competence. The assessment methods used by programs gather data that serve as evidence of student learning outcomes and the demonstration of competence. Understanding social work practice is complex and multi-dimensional, the assessment methods used by programs and the data collected may vary by context.

The nine Social Work Competencies are listed below. Programs may add competencies that are consistent with their mission and goals and respond to their context. Each competency describes the knowledge, values, skills, and cognitive and affective processes that comprise the competency at the generalist level of practice, followed by a set of behaviors that integrate these components. These behaviors represent observable components of the competencies, while the preceding statements represent the underlying content and processes that inform the behaviors.

Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior Social workers understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards, as well as relevant laws and regulations that may impact practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Social workers understand frameworks of ethical decision-making and how to apply principles of critical thinking to those frameworks in practice, research, and policy arenas. Social workers recognize personal values and the distinction between personal and professional values. They also understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions influence their professional judgment and behavior. Social workers understand the profession’s history, its mission, and the roles and responsibilities of the profession. Social Workers also understand the role of other professions when engaged in inter-professional teams. Social workers recognize the importance of life-long learning and are committed to continually updating their skills to ensure they are relevant and effective. Social workers also understand emerging forms of technology and the ethical use of technology in social work practice. Social workers:

  • make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context;
  • use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
  • demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication;
  • use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and
  • use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.

Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice Social workers understand how diversity and difference characterize and shape the human experience and are critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including but not limited to age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. Social workers understand 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 also understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination and recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values, including social, economic, political, and cultural exclusions, may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create privilege and power. Social workers:

  • apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels;
  • present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences; and
  • apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies.

Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice Social workers understand that every person regardless of position in society has fundamental human rights such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers understand the global interconnections of oppression and human rights violations, and are knowledgeable about theories of human need and social justice and strategies to promote social and economic justice and human rights. Social workers understand strategies designed to eliminate oppressive structural barriers to ensure that social goods, rights, and responsibilities are distributed equitably and that civil, political, environmental, economic, social, and cultural human rights are protected. Social workers:

  • apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels; and
  • engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice.

Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice Social workers understand quantitative and qualitative research methods and their respective roles in advancing a science of social work and in evaluating their practice. Social workers know the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and culturally informed and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers understand that evidence that informs practice derives from multi-disciplinary sources and multiple ways of knowing. They also understand the processes for translating research findings into effective practice. Social workers:

  • use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research;
  • apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings; and
  • use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

Engage in Policy Practice Social workers understand that human rights and social justice, as well as social welfare and services, are mediated by policy and its implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Social workers understand 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 understand their role in policy development and implementation within their practice settings at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels and they actively engage in policy practice to effect change within those settings. Social workers recognize and understand the historical, social, cultural, economic, organizational, environmental, and global influences that affect social policy. They are also knowledgeable about policy formulation, analysis, implementation, and evaluation. Social workers:

  • Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services;
  • assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services;
  • apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice.

Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Social workers understand that engagement is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers value the importance of human relationships. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to facilitate engagement with clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand strategies to engage diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness.  Social workers understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions may impact their ability to effectively engage with diverse clients and constituencies. Social workers value principles of relationship-building and inter-professional collaboration to facilitate engagement with clients, constituencies, and other professionals as appropriate. Social workers:

  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies; and
  • use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Social workers understand that assessment is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in the assessment of diverse clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand methods of assessment with diverse clients and constituencies to advance practice effectiveness. Social workers recognize the implications of the larger practice context in the assessment process and value the importance of inter-professional collaboration in this process. Social workers understand how their personal experiences and affective reactions may affect their assessment and decision-making. Social workers:

  • collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies;
  • develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies; and
  • select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Social workers understand that intervention is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are knowledgeable about evidence-informed interventions to achieve the goals of clients and constituencies, including individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge to effectively intervene with clients and constituencies. Social workers understand methods of identifying, analyzing and implementing evidence-informed interventions to achieve client and constituency goals. Social workers value the importance of interprofessional teamwork and communication in interventions, recognizing that beneficial outcomes may require interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and inter-organizational collaboration. Social workers:

  • critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies; • use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes;
  • negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies; and
  • facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities Social workers understand that evaluation is an ongoing component of the dynamic and interactive process of social work practice with, and on behalf of, diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Social workers recognize the importance of evaluating processes and outcomes to advance practice, policy, and service delivery effectiveness. Social workers understand theories of human behavior and the social environment, and critically evaluate and apply this knowledge in evaluating outcomes. Social workers understand qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating outcomes and practice effectiveness. Social workers:

  • select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes;
  • critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes; and
  • apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.

Educational Policy 1.0—Program Mission and Goals The mission and goals of each social work program address the profession’s purpose, are grounded in core professional values, and are informed by program context.

Values #

Service, social justice, the dignity and worth of the person, the importance of human relationships, integrity, competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry are among the core values of social work. These values underpin the explicit and implicit curriculum and frame the profession’s commitment to respect for all people and the quest for social and economic justice.

Program Context #

Context encompasses the mission of the institution in which the program is located and the needs and opportunities associated with the setting and program options. Programs are further influenced by their practice communities, which are informed by their historical, political, economic, environmental, social, cultural, demographic, local, regional, and global contexts and by the ways they elect to engage these factors. Additional factors include new knowledge, technology, and ideas that may have a bearing on contemporary and future social work education, practice, and research.

Accreditation Standard 1.0—Program Mission and Goals #

1.0.1 The program submits its mission statement and explains how it is consistent with the profession’s purpose and values.

1.0.2 The program explains how its mission is consistent with the institutional mission and the program’s context across all program options.

1.0.3 The program identifies its goals and demonstrates how they are derived from the program’s mission.

The explicit curriculum constitutes the program’s formal educational structure and includes the courses and field education used for each of its program options. Social work education is grounded in the liberal arts, which provide the intellectual basis for the professional curriculum and inform its design. Using a competency-based education framework, the explicit curriculum prepares students for professional practice at the baccalaureate and master’s levels. Baccalaureate programs prepare students for generalist practice. Master’s programs prepare students for generalist practice and specialized practice. The explicit curriculum, including field education, may include forms of technology as a component of the curriculum.

Educational Policy 2.0—Generalist Practice #

Generalist practice is grounded in the liberal arts and the person-in-environment framework. To promote human and social well-being, generalist practitioners use a range of prevention and intervention methods in their practice with diverse individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities based on scientific inquiry and best practices. The generalist practitioner identifies with the social work profession and applies ethical principles and critical thinking in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Generalist practitioners engage diversity in their practice and advocate for human rights and social and economic justice. They recognize, support, and build on the strengths and resiliency of all human beings. They engage in research-informed practice and are proactive in responding to the impact of context on professional practice. The baccalaureate program in social work prepares students for generalist practice. The descriptions of the nine Social Work Competencies presented in the EPAS identify the knowledge, values, skills, cognitive and affective processes, and behaviors associated with competence at the generalist level of practice.

Accreditation Standard B2.0—Generalist Practice B2.0.2 & B2.0.3 #

The program explains how its mission and goals are consistent with generalist practice as defined in EP 2.0.

B2.0.2 The program provides a rationale for its formal curriculum design demonstrating how it is used to develop a coherent and integrated curriculum for both classroom and field.

B2.0.3 The program provides a matrix that illustrates how its curriculum content implements the nine required social work competencies and any additional competencies added by the program.

Educational Policy 2.2—Signature Pedagogy: #

Field Education Signature pedagogies are elements of instruction and of socialization that teach future practitioners the fundamental dimensions of professional work in their discipline—to think, to perform, and to act ethically and with integrity. Field education is the signature pedagogy for social work. The intent of field education is to integrate the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting. It is a basic precept of social work education that the two interrelated components of curriculum—classroom and field—are of equal importance within the curriculum, and each contributes to the development of the requisite competencies of professional practice. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria by which students demonstrate the Social Work Competencies. Field education may integrate forms of technology as a component of the program.

Accreditation Standard 2.2—Field Education Signature Pedagogy #

  • 2.2.1 The program explains how its field education program connects the theoretical and conceptual contributions of the classroom and field settings.
  • B2.2.2 The program explains how its field education program provides generalist practice opportunities for students to demonstrate social work competencies with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities and illustrates how this is accomplished in field settings.
  • 2.2.4 The program explains how students across all program options in its field education program demonstrate social work competencies through in-person contact with clients and constituencies.
  • 2.2.5 The program describes how its field education program provides a minimum of 400 hours of field education for baccalaureate programs and a minimum of 900 hours for master’s programs.
  • 2.2.6 The program provides its criteria for admission into field education and explains how its field education program admits only those students who have met the program’s specified criteria.
  • 2.2.7 The program describes how its field education program specifies policies, criteria, and procedures for selecting field settings; placing and monitoring students; supporting student safety; and evaluating student learning and field setting effectiveness congruent with the social work competencies.
  • 2.2.8 The program describes how its field education program maintains contact with field settings across all program options. The program explains how on-site contact or other methods are used to monitor student learning and field setting effectiveness.
  • B2.2.9 The program describes how its field education program specifies the credentials and practice experience of its field instructors necessary to design field learning opportunities for students to demonstrate program social work competencies. Field instructors for baccalaureate students hold a baccalaureate or master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program and have 2 years post-social work degree practice experience in social work. For cases in which a field instructor does not hold a CSWE-accredited social work degree or does not have the required experience, the program assumes responsibility for reinforcing a social work perspective and describes how this is accomplished.
  • 2.2.10 The program describes how its field education program provides orientation, field instruction training, and continuing dialog with field education settings and field instructors.
  • 2.2.11 The program describes how its field education program develops policies regarding field placements in an organization in which the student is also employed. To ensure the role of student as learner, student assignments and field education supervision are not the same as those of the student’s employment.

Implicit Curriculum #

The implicit curriculum refers to the learning environment in which the explicit curriculum is presented. It is composed of the following elements: the program’s commitment to diversity; admissions policies and procedures; advisement, retention, and termination policies; student participation in governance; faculty; administrative structure; and resources. The implicit curriculum is manifested through policies that are fair and transparent in substance and implementation, the qualifications of the faculty, and the adequacy and fair distribution of resources. The culture of human interchange; the spirit of inquiry; the support for difference and diversity; and the values and priorities in the educational environment, including the field setting, inform the student’s learning and development. The implicit curriculum is as important as the explicit curriculum in shaping the professional character and competence of the program’s graduates. Heightened awareness of the importance of the implicit curriculum promotes an educational culture that is congruent with the values of the profession and the mission, goals, and context of the program.

Educational Policy 3.0—Diversity #

The program’s expectation for diversity is reflected in its learning environment, which provides the context through which students learn about differences, to value and respect diversity, and develop a commitment to cultural humility. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including but not limited to age, class, color, culture, disability and ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, marital status, political ideology, race, religion/spirituality, sex, sexual orientation, and tribal sovereign status. The learning environment consists of the program’s institutional setting; selection of field education settings and their clientele; composition of program advisory or field committees; educational and social resources; resource allocation; program leadership; speaker series, seminars, and special programs; support groups; research and other initiatives; and the demographic make-up of its faculty, staff, and student body.

Accreditation Standard 3.0—Diversity #

  • 3.0.1 The program describes the specific and continuous efforts it makes to provide a learning environment that models affirmation and respect for diversity and difference.
  • 3.0.2 The program explains how these efforts provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment. 3.0.3 The program describes specific plans to continually improve the learning environment to affirm and support persons with diverse identities.

Educational Policy 3.1—Student Development #

Educational preparation and commitment to the profession are essential qualities in the admission and development of students for professional practice. Student participation in formulating and modifying policies affecting academic and student affairs are important for students’ professional development. To promote the social work education continuum, graduates of baccalaureate social work programs admitted to master’s social work programs are presented with an articulated pathway toward specialized practice.

Accreditation Standard 3.1—Student Development: #

Admissions; Advisement, Retention, and Termination; and Student Participation Admissions

  • B3.1.1 The program identifies the criteria it uses for admission to the social work program.
  • 3.1.2 The program describes the policies and procedures for evaluating applications and notifying applicants of the decision and any contingent conditions associated with admission.
  • 3.1.4 The program describes its policies and procedures concerning the transfer of credits. 3.1.5 The program submits its written policy indicating that it does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience. The program documents how it informs applicants and other constituents of this policy.

Advisement, retention, and termination #

  • 3.1.6 The program describes its academic and professional advising policies and procedures. Professional advising is provided by social work program faculty, staff, or both.
  • 3.1.7 The program submits its policies and procedures for evaluating student’s academic and professional performance, including grievance policies and procedures. The program describes how it informs students of its criteria for evaluating their academic and professional performance and its policies and procedures for grievance.
  • 3.1.8 The program submits its policies and procedures for terminating a student’s enrollment in the social work program for reasons of academic and professional performance. The program describes how it informs students of these policies and procedures.

Student participation #

  • 3.1.9 The program submits its policies and procedures specifying students’ rights and opportunities to participate in formulating and modifying policies affecting academic and student affairs.
  • 3.1.10 The program describes how it provides opportunities and encourages students to organize in their interests.

Educational Policy 3.2—Faculty #

Faculty qualifications, including experience related to the Social Work Competencies, an appropriate student-faculty ratio, and sufficient faculty to carry out a program’s mission and goals, are essential for developing an educational environment that promotes, emulates, and teaches students the knowledge, values, and skills expected of professional social workers. Through their teaching, research, scholarship, and service—as well as their interactions with one another, administration, students, and community—the program’s faculty models the behavior and values expected of professional social workers. Programs demonstrate that faculty is qualified to teach the courses to which they are assigned.

Educational Policy 3.3—Administrative and Governance #

Structure Social work faculty and administrators, based on their education, knowledge, and skills, are best suited to make decisions regarding the delivery of social work education. Faculty and administrators exercise autonomy in designing an administrative and leadership structure, developing curriculum, and formulating and implementing policies that support the education of competent social workers. The administrative structure is sufficient to carry out the program’s mission and goals. In recognition of the importance of field education as the signature pedagogy, programs must provide an administrative structure and adequate resources for systematically designing, supervising, coordinating, and evaluating field education across all program options.

Educational Policy 3.4—Resources #

Adequate resources are fundamental to creating, maintaining, and improving an educational environment that supports the development of competent social work practitioners. Social work programs have the necessary resources to carry out the program’s mission and goals and to support learning and professionalization of students and program improvement.

Educational Policy 4.0—Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes #

Assessment is an integral component of competency-based education. Assessment involves the systematic gathering of data about student performance of Social Work Competencies at both the generalist and specialized levels of practice.

Competence is perceived as holistic, involving both performance and the knowledge, values, critical thinking, affective reactions, and exercise of judgment that inform performance. Assessment therefore must be multidimensional and integrated to capture the demonstration of the competencies and the quality of internal processing informing the performance of the competencies. Assessment is best done while students are engaged in practice tasks or activities that approximate social work practice as closely as possible. Practice often requires the performance of multiple competencies simultaneously; therefore, assessment of those competencies may optimally be carried out at the same time.

Programs assess students’ demonstration of the Social Work Competencies through the use of multi-dimensional assessment methods. Assessment methods are developed to gather data that serve as evidence of student learning outcomes and the demonstration of competence. Understanding social work practice is complex and multidimensional, the assessment methods used and the data collected may vary by context.

Assessment information is used to guide student learning, assess student outcomes, assess and improve effectiveness of the curriculum, and strengthen the assessment methods used. Assessment also involves gathering data regarding the implicit curriculum, which may include but is not limited to an assessment of diversity, student development, faculty, administrative and governance structure, and resources. Data from assessment continuously inform and promote change in the explicit curriculum and the implicit curriculum to enhance attainment of Social Work Competencies.

Accreditation Standard 4.0—Assessment #

4.0.1 The program presents its plan for ongoing assessment of student outcomes for all identified competencies in the generalist level of practice (baccalaureate social work programs) and the generalist and specialized levels of practice (master’s social work programs). Assessment of competence is done by program designated faculty or field personnel. The plan includes:

  • A description of the assessment procedures that detail when, where, and how each competency is assessed for each program option.
  • At least two measures assess each competency. One of the assessment measures is based on demonstration of the competency in real or simulated practice situations.
  • An explanation of how the assessment plan measures multiple dimensions of each competency, as described in EP 4.0. • Benchmarks for each competency, a rationale for each benchmark, and a description of how it is determined that students’ performance meets the benchmark.
  • An explanation of how the program determines the percentage of students achieving the benchmark.
  • Copies of all assessment measures used to assess all identified competencies.

2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards

Appendix B: BSW Independent Study #

A. Process #

The student must complete the upper portion of the Independent Study Proposal Form and discuss the independent study with their faculty advisor for guidance and preliminary approval.

The student may then request any member of the faculty of the School of Social Work to serve on a voluntary basis as instructor of the independent study. The primary rationale for such a request should be based on the interest of the faculty member in the topic of the student’s proposed study. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of the student to obtain an agreement for instruction of their independent study. If the student is unable to get a faculty member to serve as instructor of the independent study, they may contact the Program Director for further assistance.

A copy of the Independent Study Proposal Form and the proposal must be submitted to the Office of the Program Director for final approval.

The level and amount of work required is comparable to the number of credits to be earned. A general guideline is that about three clock hours of work per week are needed for each credit.

B. Independent Study Proposal #

Please elaborate on the following questions on a separate sheet and attach it to the Independent Study Proposal Form.

  • Describe the issue or challenge you propose to study.
  • Specify the objectives to be accomplished or questions to be answered.
  • Describe the methodology that will be used to conduct the study/project.
  • Describe the expected end product of this independent effort.
  • Research projects requiring human subjects review must also have Institutional Review Board approval. For more information visit the IRB website.

Contact your advisor for access to

Appendix C: Record of Incomplete and Contract for Completion of Course Requirements #

Please contact your advisor to complete the Incomplete form.

Appendix D: Grading Criteria for BSW Papers #

All direct quotations, paraphrases, empirical research findings and other restatements of the research, scholarship or creative work of others must be appropriately annotated using the standard bibliographic citation methods set out by the American Psychological Association in the most recent edition of the Publication Manual. The APA Manual serves as the guide for style and format of all papers submitted in the BSW program.

Effective practice of generalist social work requires good writing skills to communicate information accurately and concisely to others involved in helping client systems. For this reason, formal writing assignments in social work courses will be evaluated both for the content and ideas presented and for the clarity of that presentation. The grade for a paper will be based on the following criteria:

  • Neatness
  • Correct grammar (noun-verb agreement, sentence structure, proper and consistent verb tense, etc.)
  • Use of non-sexist language
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Correct usage of current edition APA style

  • Structure and format of the paper
  • Logical sequencing and continuity of ideas
  • Clarity of expression
  • Conciseness

All formal papers will be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. APA style is to be used. Copies of the APA Manual are available at the campus bookstore and are a valuable resource in student’s library.

Indianapolis students experiencing writing difficulties are advised to seek assistance at the University Writing Center in Room 427 of Cavanaugh Hall. Please call 317-274-2049 to schedule an appointment or drop by the University Writing Center to pick up some written handouts available. If you really get in a pinch call the Writing Hotline at 317-278-9999.

In Bloomington, contact Writing Tutorial Services at 812-855-6738, Ballatine Hall.

In Fort Wayne, contact the Purdue Fort Wayne Writing Center, 260-481-5740 or by email.

In Gary, contact the Writing Center at 219-980-6502, Hawthorn Hall 418.

In Richmond, contact the Office of Tutorial Services at 765-973-8431, Springwood Hall, Rm. 202.

In South Bend, contact the Academic Centers for Excellence at 574-520-5022, or visit the Writer’s Room in Schurz Library, 1st Floor.

Appendix F: Policy Against Sexual Harassment #

By Action of the Trustees of Indiana University

Harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of federal and state law. Indiana University does not tolerate sexual harassment of its faculty, staff or students. Individuals who believe they are the victims of sexual harassment, as well as those who believe they have observed sexual harassment, are strongly urged to report such incidents promptly. Indiana University will investigate every sexual harassment complaint in a timely manner and, when there is a finding of sexual harassment, take corrective action to stop the harassment and prevent the misconduct from recurring. The severity of the corrective action, up to and including discharge or expulsion of the offender, will depend on the circumstances of the particular case.

Once a person in a position of authority at Indiana University has knowledge, or should have had knowledge, of conduct constituting sexual harassment, the university is exposed to liability. Therefore, any administrator, supervisor, manager or faculty member who is aware of sexual harassment and condones it, by action or inaction, is subject to disciplinary action.

A. Definitions #

Following federal guidelines, Indiana University defines sexual harassment as follows:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis of for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.

B. Application #

This University policy is designed to protect all members of the University community. It applies to relationships among peers as well as to superior/subordinate relationships. It also applies to all individuals, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

C. Provisions #

Faculty, staff and students have the right to raise the issue of sexual harassment. Further harassment against complainants or retaliation against complainants or others who participate in the investigation of a complaint will not be tolerated. Appropriate and prompt disciplinary or remedial action will be taken against persons found to be engaging in such further harassment.

  1. The university will deal with reports of sexual harassment in a fair and thorough manner, which includes protecting, to the extent possible and to the extent permitted by law, the privacy and reputational interests of the accusing and accused parties.
  2. Education is the best tool for the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment. Each dean, director, department chair, and/or administrative officer is responsible within his/her area of jurisdiction for the implementation of this policy, including its dissemination and explanation.
  3. It is the obligation and shared responsibility of all members of the University community to adhere to this policy.

D. Enforcement Principles #

Enforcement and implementation of this sexual harassment policy will observe the following principles:

  1. Each campus must have procedures–consistent with notions of due process–for implementing this policy including where complaints are made, who investigates complaints, how complaints are resolved, what procedures are available for appeal, and how records are kept.
  2. The Campus Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity shall serve as a resource with regard to interpretation of sexual harassment guidelines.
  3. Confidentiality of information relating to investigations of complaints of sexual harassment shall be maintained to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances and to the extent permitted by law. Individuals charged with implementing this policy shall share information with regard to given incidents of sexual harassment only with those who have a “need to know” in order to implement this policy.
  4. Investigations must be conducted promptly and thoroughly.
  5. Whether a particular actions constitute sexual harassment will be determined from the facts, on a case-by-case basis. The University will look at the record as a whole, as well as the context in which the alleged misconduct occurred.
  6. Both the charging party and the respondent will be notified of the outcome of the investigation.
  7. In the event it is found that sexual harassment has occurred, corrective action, up to and including discharge or expulsion of the offender, will be taken through the appropriate channels of the university. The corrective action will reflect the severity and persistence of the harassment, as well as the effectiveness of previous remedial action. In addition, the university will make follow-up inquiries to ensure the harassment has not resumed and the complainant has not suffered retaliation. For more information or to make a complaint contact:

Office: Office of Affirmative Action

Location: Poplars 825

Phone: 812-855-7559

Office: Office of Affirmative Action

Location: Whitewater 121

Phone: 765-973-8232

Office: Office of Equal Opportunity

Location: 980 Indiana Ave, #4443

Phone: 317-274-2306

Office: Office of Affirmative Action

Location: Raintree Hall, Room 213

Phone: 218-980-6705

Office: Office of Equal Opportunity

Location: 980 Indiana Avenue, #4443

Phone: 317-274-2306

Office: Office of Affirmative Action

Location: Administration Bldg., #247A

Phone: 574-520-4384

Appendix G: Smoking Policies #

State law was enacted on July 1, 2012, which mandates that nearly all public places and places of employment in Indiana — including facilities on university campuses, restaurants, and other workplaces – – be smoke free. This change comes as the result of Indiana’s first statewide smoke-free-air law, House Enrolled Act 1149.

The new state law makes smoking in IU facilities or within eight feet of an entrance illegal and a citable offense. As such, the IU Police Department will be involved in efforts to maintain all IU campuses as a smoke-free environment.

As of Spring 2008, the entire IU Bloomington campus is smoke-free.

Smoking will not be permitted on any part of the IU East campus, the Danielson Learning Center, and the Connersville Center including buildings, parking lots and patios. Smoking will be impermissible in university owned or leased vehicles being used on or off campus as well as privately owned vehicles on campus.

Effective Date: 01.01.2008; updated 01.15/2014

The use or sale of tobacco, tobacco products, and smoking related products is prohibited on Indiana University property

The use or sale of tobacco, tobacco products, and smoking related products is prohibited in university-owned, university-operated, or university-leased vehicles.

The use of tobacco, tobacco products, and smoking related products is permitted inside privately owned vehicles.

Limited exceptions may be approved in writing by the campus chancellor or provost or relevant vice president and must be in accordance with state law.

In accordance with Indiana state law, signs prohibiting smoking must be posted at all public entrances.

In accordance with Indiana state law, managers or officials in charge of a public building must ask an individual who is smoking in the public building or within 8 feet of the entrance of a public building to refrain from smoking and to cause that individual to be removed if the individual then fails to refrain from smoking.

In accordance with Indiana state law, ashtrays or other smoking receptacles are prohibited in public buildings or at the entrances to public buildings.

Indiana University has determined that all campuses will be smoke-free in order to promote the health and well-being of employees, students, and constituents. Four of the IU campuses are already smoke-free as well as all medical facilities of the Clarian Health Partners system. Further, several major hospitals and communities in our region have also developed smoke-free policies or are moving in that direction. This campus policy is in response to the University-wide policy requirement as well as the overall desire to provide a healthier work and learning environment for our campus community.

IU South Bend Tobacco-Free Policy

Tobacco use or sale, including, but not limited to smoking, is prohibited on university-owned, -operated, -or leased property.

Exceptions may be granted for specific auxiliary enterprises, as approved by the chancellor.

Tobacco use, including, but not limited to smoking, is not permitted in university-owned, -leased, or – operated vehicles.

Enforcement of this policy will depend upon the cooperation of all faculty, staff, students and visitors not only to comply with this policy, but also to encourage others to comply with the policy, in order to promote a healthy environment in which to work and study.

Violations of this policy should be referred to the appropriate administrative office for review and appropriate administrative action: for faculty, the Office of Academic Affairs; for staff, Human Resources; or for students, the Office of Student Services.

Appendix H: School Records Confidentiality (FERPA) #

Indiana University's Annual Notification of Student Rights under FERPA #

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or entity with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent; the Indiana University Foundation and Indiana University Alumni Association; and vendors of services such as email or other electronic applications, enrollment verification, and so on); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Finally, “public information” may be released freely unless the student files the appropriate form requesting that certain public information not be released. This form is available at the Office of the Registrar.  Public information is limited to name; address; e-mail address; phone; major field of study; dates of attendance; admission or enrollment status; campus; school, college, or division; class standing; degrees and awards; activities; sports; and athletic information.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Indiana University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-5901

Appendix I: BSW Program Transfer Request Form #

Please contact your advisor and see the website for the Transfer Request Form