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BSSW Program students should familiarize themselves with the Catalog for a comprehensive list of University policies: University Catalog
This website has the most up to date BSSW Program policies (below).
Students can switch sections and add/drop courses without approval up to the 100% add/drop date in any given semester (see the academic calendar for exact dates: http://msudenver.edu/events/academic/). After this deadline, students must submit a request to the Office of Social Work Student Services, Administration, and Finance via the Registration Adjustment Request Form. This form is to be used by students as the first step in requesting a registration adjustment, which includes:
This request should include the current section the student is registered for (for section switches), the section they would like to switch to or be added to (for section switch and late add requests), and the reason they are requesting this switch after the deadline. The Office of Social Work Student Services, Administration, and Finance will reach out to the student via email when a decision has been made or if additional information is needed.
Note: Submitting a request does not guarantee approval and the request will only be reviewed if there are extenuating circumstances. A decision will be made on a case by case basis and if there is space in the new/requested section.
When a student applies to MSU Denver and is planning on pursuing the BSSW Program, they are admitted into the Undeclared Seeking Social Work (UNSW) major. In order to become a Social Work (SWK) major, students must complete all required BSSW Program prerequisites and apply to the major. Admission to the BSSW Program is not guaranteed. When a student is admitted to the BSSW Program, their major will then be declared as Social Work (SWK).
To be considered for the major, students must meet the admission criteria and submit a BSSW Program application to the Department of Social Work in order to determine acceptance into the major. When applying to the BSSW Program, students should have the prerequisite liberal arts perspective courses and the introductory social work courses completed or they should be enrolled with the intent to complete them before the program begins. Students must have earned a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.0 in order to be admitted without conditions into the BSSW Program. Students with a cumulative GPA of below a 2.0 should meet with an academic advisor in the Office of Social Work Student Services prior to applying to the BSSW Program and may be conditionally placed on departmental academic probation at the time of acceptance.
Students are accepted into the BSSW Program once a year. Applications are accepted during the Spring semester for a proceeding Fall start. Students will be notified of their acceptance status by email.
For complete application instructions and admission process information, please visit our BSSW application website.
No credit is given for learning gained through life experience and no life experience credit may be used toward the BSSW Major requirements.
The Department of Social Work offers the Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Master of Social Work Programs fully online. This exciting opportunity allows the Department to reach outside the Denver Metro area to Colorado’s rural communities and beyond. The fully online delivery option also increases access for students balancing work, care-taking, and other responsibilities with school. For more information, please visit our Course Delivery Information and BSSW Program Options and Curriculum pages.
Students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited social work program may apply for advanced standing (where available) in Masters-level social work graduate programs. Depending upon the graduate program, advanced standing students are able to complete their MSW in an accelerated course of study. Students are urged to contact graduate programs for their policies on advanced standing.
The Metropolitan State University of Denver BSSW Program strives to create and maintain an inclusive environment in which all members of the social work community are treated with dignity, decency, and respect. We hold on another to the same standards as we seek on behalf of our clients in striving to end discrimination, oppression and other forms of social injustice. People in our program should be able to work and learn in an environment that is equitable, supportive, emotionally brave and intellectually challenging.
The Metropolitan State University of Denver Student Code of Conduct applies to all MSU Denver students, regardless of level. Students may access the Code of Conduct through the MSU Denver website.
The Department of Social Work at the Metropolitan State University of Denver is mandated by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to foster and evaluate professional behavioral development for all students in the social work program. The Department of Social Work also bears a responsibility to the community at large to produce fully trained professional social workers who consciously exhibit the competences, values, and skills of the profession of social work.
The values of the profession are codified in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics and the Council on Social Work Education has ten core educational competencies that social workers must master. Given this context, the Social Work Department has identified behaviors for the social work student to exhibit in the classroom, the online classroom, field placement, in the Social Work office, through email/phone conversations, and any other interaction in a professional/academic setting.
Actions contrary to the Department of Social Work Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior will result in corrective action in a variety of ways. Examples may include: though classroom assignment feedback, advising sessions, or written documentation of the event.
The Department of Social Work reserves the right to terminate a student’s participation in the program on the basis of professional non-suitability if the Department determines that a student’s behavior has constituted a significant violation or patterns of violations of any of the Department of Social Work Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior listed in this document. In such cases, a Performance Review will be initiated. See the department’s website at www.msudenver.edu/socialwork for the Student Support and Performance Process.
Please download and read the full Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior.
The primary focus of the Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver is the successful education and development of our students. As professional and accredited educational programs it is critical that we all adhere to the standards, ethics, and values of the Social Work profession. We also recognize that there are times in each person’s life when meeting academic and professional standards may be difficult. The Student Support and Performance Process is designed to support students in being successful while maintaining programmatic and professional standards. For further description about our professional and academic standards please see our Standards of Ethical and Professional Behavior (See Appendix 1), NASW Code of Ethics, CSWE, BSSW Student Handbook, MSW Student Handbook, and the Field Student Support Process (see Appendix 2). Students who have applied to the MSW or BSSW Program have affirmed that they will adhere to the Standards of Ethical and Professional Behavior as part of the applications process, although we proactively engage in the Student Support and Performance Process with all potential and current social work students. Depending on the circumstances, a referral to higher or alternative processes of support is possible at any point in the process. Results of the Student Performance Review may include modifications to the student’s plan of study and/or dismissal from the program. For concerns specifically related to performance in a field agency, students will follow the parallel Field Student Support Process, which can be found in the Field Manual.
The Department of Social Work is committed to anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice. The Student Support and Performance Process can be used to provide support for navigating issues related to diversity, equity, belonging, and/or inclusion, such as microaggressions or dynamics of structural oppression. An intersectional framework to understanding identity and power dynamics will be applied throughout this process, with special sensitivity if/when those involved identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and/or other marginalized identities. Further detail is included subsequently in this document about how we seek to engage in anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice throughout this process.
This process is intended to proactively address issues that may create obstacles to student success during any part of their academic program. Students, faculty, and staff are always entitled to utilize University policy and procedure to address their concerns. However, this process is offered to allow for students and faculty to address concerns in a way that supports a quick resolution and options for a minimally invasive approach. As the process continues or involves additional people, it may require additional time for resolution. This process is designed to provide opportunities for early, timely, and direct resolution of conflicts, congruent with our department mission and professional standards. This policy does not prevent students or Department members from pursing alternative University supports or processes as needed; at times University policies may supersede the processes detailed here. This process is intended to work collaboratively with other University support systems and processes, not to replace existing other University policies and practices. (More information about these alternative processes are included following the discussion of the support process.)
Before applying to the program, students should make sure they have read, understood, and agreed to our BSSW Program Criminal History Statement.
A student must maintain a 2.0 overall cumulative MSU Denver GPA and a 2.67 Social Work course GPA to remain in good standing in the Social Work Program. Students failing to meet the minimum GPA requirements will be placed on departmental academic probation until they achieve the grades necessary to raise their GPA.
Students must receive a “C-“ or better in all social work courses. Students earning a grade of less than “C-“ must meet with their social work advisor before the start of the next semester.
A student who is concerned about the completion of a course may request a grade of Incomplete. It is up to the student to FIRST review the University incomplete policy (see below), seek advice about what an incomplete could mean for their academic plan from their academic advisor (email [email protected]), and request approval from the instructor prior to the end of the semester. If the faculty grants the incomplete, students and faculty must negotiate what work needs to be done and by what due date and complete the University Incomplete Agreement Form. Due dates for work could have implications for a student’s enrollment the next semester, so please be sure to confirm the due dates make sense with the student’s academic advisor. Incompletes are not automatic; it is at the discretion of the faculty member whether to grant an incomplete in all circumstances.
Departmental Note: Any outstanding incomplete at the start of the following semester will initiate an automatic performance review and could result in an altered academic plan. Refer to the Sequential Coursework Policy and consult with Office of Social Work Student Services advisors ([email protected]) to see how this may impact you. Faculty must realize they will follow up on the student progress and deadlines agreed upon until the grade is resolved from an “I” to the grade earned after the student does or does not complete the work.
The Incomplete (I) notation may be assigned when a student who is achieving satisfactory progress in a course and who has completed most class assignments is unable to take the final examination and/or does not complete all class assignments due to unusual circumstances, such as hospitalization or disability. Incomplete work denoted by the Incomplete “I” notation must be completed within one calendar year or earlier, at the discretion of the faculty member. If the incomplete work is not completed within one year, the “I” notation will convert to an “F.” Students must have completed at least 75% of the course work to qualify for consideration for an incomplete. The student must be passing the course in order to be granted an incomplete. The course counts toward the student’s attempted hours, does not count toward earned hours, and is not calculated in the GPA or quality points.
Determination of eligibility does not guarantee that an incomplete will be granted. Students who meet the qualifications may request an incomplete from the faculty member who is teaching the course. The decision to grant an incomplete is up to the faculty member or at the department chair’s discretion. The decision to grant an incomplete as an accommodation based on a student’s disability shall be made by the faculty member or the department chair, if the faculty member is not available, in consultation with the Director of the Access Center.
If an incomplete is granted, the student and instructor should fill out and sign an Incomplete Agreement form to clarify what the student needs to do to complete the course.
Graduating seniors may not graduate with an “I” on their MSU Denver academic record if:
The “I” notation may not be given for a self-paced course. If a student does not complete a self-paced course within the semester that he or she enrolled in the course, he or she must re-enroll in the course in order to complete it.
If a student receives an “I” in an online class, the instructor should contact the Educational Technology Center, whose staff will add the student to the online course roster so that the student will be able to logon to the course. This step must be done by the instructor each semester that the student continues to work on the course.
In order for an “I” to be changed to a letter grade, the incomplete work must be completed for the course for which the student originally registered. The student should NOT re-enroll for the same course, unless intending to retake the entire course. In this case, the student will pay tuition and fees.
Prior to entering the program, students are required to take specified prerequisites in the liberal arts and social work. Upon entering the program, students are required to take courses in a specified order. This course sequencing is mandatory and ensures necessary preparation for students to successfully complete courses throughout the program. Please note: Students who fail to follow the required course sequencing may delay their graduation by a year or more. In addition, students who take courses out of order may not receive credit for those courses and may be required to retake those courses.
All written communication in the classroom environment (online and on-campus) will be in American Psychological Association (APA) seventh edition format. As a part of the social work program, students are required to purchase the APA manual. There are several resources available to support students in successfully using APA format. All students have access to the MSU Denver Writing Center for assistance with their writing; see the Campus Resources section at the end of this handbook for information on the Writing Center. Additionally, students may wish to visit the APA website for specific information on using APA style.
Some tips regarding writing in the social work program and the use of APA include:
Make a plan before you begin to write a paper. Sometimes, asking yourself questions can be helpful, such as: Who is the audience for my paper? Why is the topic important to me? What are the necessary components to include in the paper as outlined in the assignment rubric? How and where am I going to include research in the paper? Completing an outline and a rough draft can often be helpful, and then stepping away from the rough draft for a period of time so that when you get back to it your mind will be clear and you can see errors, areas that need to be rewritten, and if the paper is understandable, clear, and informative.
Ensure the paper is formatted according to any instructions in the course assignment and/or syllabus, and be sure to cite references for any material that is not your own. Anytime you use direct quotes or paraphrase source material in your writing, you should include the source in the text of the paper as well as in the bibliography or reference section. For papers related to client or case information, always change names or other identifying information in order to protect a client’s identity.
Metropolitan State University of Denver defines academic dishonesty (including plagiarism) as any of the following:
* The Department of Social Work BSSW Program includes the submission of “all or part of” written work assigned for one course to a second course without having received permission from both instructors.
** The Department of Social Work BSSW Program uses APA-7 formatting for all acknowledgement
Students who engage in academic dishonesty will receive sanctions as determined by their instructor. Sanctions will be dependent on the level of the offense and will also take into account previous incidents of academic dishonesty. The instructor will inform and seek the support of the Program Director when determining the level of the offense and the appropriate sanctions. The Program Director will keep record of incidents of academic dishonesty and will inform the Department Chair of incidents on an as needed basis. The incident may also be reported to the Dean of Students, depending on the level of the offense.
The following list provides examples of possible outcomes for various levels of academic dishonesty. This list is not meant to be inclusive of all possible offenses and sanctions.
All courses offered in the Department of Social have an online component, as course materials (e.g., syllabus, policies) are contained on Canvas, our University’s learning management system. Therefore, although much of this statement pertains to courses that are delivered online, this policy is also relevant for students taking face-to-face classes.
In the service of accessibility for students, all of the courses required for a BSSW major/minor can be taken in an online format (courses are also offered in face-to-face and hybrid formats). Online course delivery, whether it is fully online or hybrid, is a common method of educational delivery across the country. The BSSW Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver strives to provide quality online and hybrid courses to social work students. We adhere to the standards of practice for the use of technology as outlined in the NASW, Technology Standards. These standards say that,
“The roles for social workers are changing and they may need to adjust to the new demands for practice in the information age. Social workers should acquire adequate skills that use technology appropriately and adapt traditional practice protocols to ensure competent and ethical practice” (NASW, Technology Standards, 2017)
A full list of these standards can be found at: https://www.socialworkers.org/includes/newincludes/homepage/PRA-BRO-33617.TechStandards_FINAL_POSTING.pdf
You can expect your instructors to engage in best practices for online teaching. This includes responding to emails, course messages or questions within 48 (working day) hours, grading assignments in a timely manner, providing detailed feedback on assignments, and being available to students in virtual and face-to-face office hours.
The following list of technology is required for you to be successful in the BSSW program at MSU Denver. If you do not have these resources in the form of a computer, laptop, or tablet, they are available in the computer labs on campus for your use. For online learning, you must also have reliable internet connection (see network connections below), webcam, and mic in order to meet synchronous meeting and video discussion/recording requirements. If away from campus, public libraries have computers and reliable internet for public use so connect with your local public library for availability.
Support for Canvas and other technological needs:
Students who have a concern about a course instructor or grade should contact the instructor to discuss and seek resolution regarding their concerns.
If a student needs further advice on the issue, they may discuss with their faculty advisor or the BSSW Program Director. The faculty advisor and Program Director do NOT have supervisory authority, so such a meeting would be to advise the student on steps and processes in place for problem-solving. In alignment with university policy, the student may take such matters directly to the Chair of the Department of Social Work, and should be aware the Chair will probably (unless dealing with severe situations) ask what steps the student has taken before bringing the concern to their office.
Students are advised to review the university policy regarding appeals and concerns on the Dean of Students Office website.
If the concern regards unlawful discrimination, the student is advised to read and follow EO processes found on the Office of Equal Opportunities website.
The BSSW policy for late assignments is as follows:
Role of the Student
It is the student’s responsibility to be in charge of one’s own academic and professional career and seek out appropriate advising resources when necessary.
Role of the Department
The role of the Social Work Department in advising is to provide relevant and useful resources to the student to foster academic and professional achievement through academic advising and professional/personal development advising. In addition, the BSSW Program strives to provide useful information on the program’s website and information materials.
Academic advising is provided by the Office of Social Work Student Services (OSWSS). OSWSS advisors are here to help students understand program requirements, course sequencing, navigating University services, and to make sure students are successfully progressing through the coursework requirements.
Professional/Personal Development Advising
Professional/Personal Development advising is provided by BSSW Program faculty. Students in the BSSW Program are assigned a faculty advisor after admission to the BSSW Program. They are available to discuss short term and long term educational and/or professional goals or personal issues that may be affecting the student in the classroom or field placement. Students can also connect with other faculty members for professional and personal development support.
The Office of Social Work Student Services hosts advising and student support resources, including advising snapshots, course planning resources, and forms and polices, on their website – click here to access these resources
Website: https://www.msudenver.edu/social-work/oswssfa/ Phone: 303-615-0555
Balancing the demands of college life can be difficult. The Counseling Center staff can help you to find ways to manage difficult times and provide you with a comforting place to examine your life and learn more about yourself so you can realize your potential. The Counseling Center is located in the Tivoli Student Union, Room 651 and is staffed by qualified mental health professionals.
The Writing Center offers help at any stage of a writing project, from finding a topic to organizing the content to producing a final draft. They work with writers in all areas of study, at all levels, in all stages of their writing processes, and with all types of writing projects. To schedule an appointment, please visit the Writing Center website. The Writing Center main office is located in the King Center, room 415. They also have locations across campus, including in Central Classroom Building (in the Department of Social Work – rooms 201 and 206). Visit their website to see when they will be at their various locations and to book an appointment.