Departmental Policies and Procedures
Credit for Life Experience
No credit is given for college-level learning gained through life experience that may be used toward the social work major.
Sequencing of Courses
Adherence to the prerequisites for the social work courses will be the basis for the sequencing of courses. This will insure necessary preparation for students to successfully complete courses throughout the department. Please note: Students who fail to familiarize themselves with the sequencing may delay their graduation up to one year by missing required courses in the appropriate semester. Students who take courses out of order may not receive credit for those courses.
A Grade of “D” or “F” in a Social Work Course
Students receiving a grade of “D” or “F” must see their social work advisor immediately to discuss plans for improving their grades. Students must receive a “C” or better in all social work courses. Students are allowed to repeat a social work course once. Students who fail to obtain a “C” or better after two attempts will automatically be terminated from the Social Work program.
A student must maintain a 2.75 GPA in all Social Work courses to stay in good standing in the Social Work program.
Failure to Complete a Social Work Course
A student who receives an incomplete in any social work course must submit a completion plan to the instructor. This plan must be approved prior to registration for the following semester. If a student has more than one incomplete at a time, he or she must receive permission of the B.S.W. Director to register for the following semester. If a student has received an incomplete in a foundation course, the student must complete the coursework prior to the next semester. If a student has received an incomplete in an elective course, the student must complete the course within one semester. In many cases, students with more than one incomplete will be asked to withdraw from the program until they have successfully finished the incompletes and then may rejoin the program in sequence.
A student who has a criminal record should be aware that he or she may not be able to obtain a field placement and may not be eligible for licensure as a social worker in the state of Colorado.
Students transferring to Metropolitan State University must first contact University Admissions. Once they have been accepted into MSU Denver and have had their transcripts evaluated, they will know what remaining General Studies requirements must be fulfilled. Regardless of the number of credits that transfer, students will still be expected to meet the Social Work Department prerequisites. Transfer students should meet with the Department B.S.W. Director for advising.
Social Work Course Equivalency Transfer Policy
All students (transfer and non-transfer students) who intend to major in social work must meet the same admission criteria that includes: completion of the non-social work liberal arts courses and the social work introductory courses. All students who are accepted into MSU Denver must immediately request a transfer evaluation through the MSU Denver Admissions Office.
Junior-level transfer students need to meet with the B.S.W. Director of the Social Work Department to be evaluated on an individual basis and receive their application packets immediately upon entering Metropolitan State University of Denver. Completion of the non-Social Work Prerequisite Courses is required prior to admission into the Social Work Department. Junior-level transfer students must complete the admission packet. Acceptance into the Social Work Department is not guaranteed.
For any social work course substitutions from accredited social work programs, students must submit transfer course syllabi and supporting documentation to the B.S.W. Director or designated social work faculty member for approval. Any social work course substitution disputes between the student and B.S.W. Director or designated social work faculty member will be channeled to the Social Work Admission Committee for review.
The only social work course substitutions from accredited programs that will be considered for transfer are those social work professional foundation courses taken in the junior year, i.e., SWK 3050 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, SWK 3060 - Human Behavior and the Social Environment II, SWK 3410 - Introduction to Generalist Practice, SWK 3780 - Social Welfare Policy, SWK 3790 - Research in Social Work, and equivalent social work elective courses. No senior-level social work professional foundation courses, including field experiences, will be considered for transfer into the Social Work Department.
For social work professional foundation courses (excluding field experiences), review of syllabi, including course objectives, content outline, learning activities, theoretical frames of reference, and bibliographies will provide the major basis for determining equivalency. The student must have received a grade of “C” or better in the course. If syllabi omit content that is relevant to MSU Denver Social Work Department’s course content, students may be asked to retake the course, enroll in an independent study to cover the omitted content, or test out of the omitted content.
Any course substitutions other than social work courses must be approved by the B.S.W. Director. If a student has taken a course at another college that has similar content to a non-social work prerequisite course, this course must be accepted for transfer credit by MSU Denver. If this course is not accepted for transfer credit by MSU Denver, the student must appeal the transfer through the University’s Admissions and Records Office. The Social Work Department will abide by the University’s decision.
Scheduling of Classes
In general, the junior-year courses are offered on Monday/Wednesday and/or online/hybrid. The senior-year courses are offered on Tuesday/Thursday, Friday, and/or online/hybrid.
Change of Address
Any time before or after acceptance into the department, please let the office know if you change your address or phone number and also update your address with the University on ConnectU.
ConnectU email is the official means of communication at MSU Denver and within the Social Work Department. Students are responsible for the information sent to their MSU Denver email account.
Departmental Student Listserv
At the time of written acceptance to the Social Work major, students are added to the departmental student listserv with their ConnectU MSU Denver email account. Students are responsible for asking for assistance if they notice they are not receiving these emails and should contact the MSU Denver helpdesk if they are having technical problems accessing their email.
Computer Technology Requirements
Social Work Department website: msudenver.edu/socialwork.
The Social Work Department values computer technology for the enhancement and delivery of its courses. This will require student ability to utilize computer-mediated courses, databases, assignments, and interaction with peers and instructors.
1. As a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, you will have an opportunity to explore the use of information technology in our ever-changing world. Each student has a free email account with the university. Social Work students are required to activate their MSU Denver email accounts and provide the email address to the student listserv at the time of application into the department.
2. The department requires completion of the “Information Literacy Permit” portion of the driver’s license to be included as part of the mandatory online Junior Orientation. The student must score at least 80% in order to receive a valid permit.
3. Distance education course opportunities are available. The Social Work Department is developing courses for delivery online and/or videobroadcast. Please contact the department for more specific details regarding course availability and structure. Distance education courses require a different set of skills and role demands of the learner. Students in online courses become seekers of knowledge, not just receptacles. The “luxury” of lectures are replaced with the student’s own effort to make logical connections, interpret facts, devise arguments, and synthesize knowledge. Distance education learners will write more often, which can be more challenging than oral discussion. In addition, students will need organization, time management, and intrinsic motivation to progress through courses.
Thus, the Social Work Department requires students to successfully complete the social work department’s “Distance Education Driver’s License” as part of the mandatory online Junior Orientation.
Online Junior Orientation
All students accepted into the Social Work major are required to successfully complete the online Junior Orientation within the specified timeframe announced at the time of admission. Two sessions are typcially held over the summer semester before majors start the program. Students who do not successfully complete the online Junior Orientation will be in poor academic standing within the Social Work program and dropped from their core Social Work courses. These students will not be able to start the Social Work major until the following academic year, after they have successfully completed the online Junior Orientation.
Department of Social Work Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior
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 competencies, values, and skills of the social work profession. 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 that occurs within a professional/academic setting. This document does not include the complete NASW Code of Ethics or the CSWE Educational Policies; however, it highlights particular ethics and competencies to serve as a framework of professional and ethical behaviors for social work students to abide by while at MSU Denver. Other aspects of the NASW Code of Ethics or the CSWE Educational Policies are evaluated academically throughout the program’s curriculum. All students in any social work course will adhere to the Social Work Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior as indicated in each course syllabi. Visit msudenver.edu/socialwork for a full version of the document.
Attendance Policy Values Statement
The Metropolitan State University of Denver’s (MSU Denver’s) Social Work Department adheres to the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. In abiding by the standards of the national governing body, CSWE, the MSU Denver Social Work Department provides students and the surrounding communities with a measure of confidence regarding competent, well-prepared, professional social workers at the undergraduate level.
In addition to presentation of course content such as concepts and theories, social work education provides socialization into the profession-the development of an identity as a social work professional. Therefore, classroom sessions meet several learning objectives through the use of lecture, text review, guest speakers, interactive exercises, and student discussion. In order to ensure optimal development of professional identity, classroom attendance is vital. No substitute exists for transactions in the classroom among peers. Discussion includes the negotiation and consensus of terms (i.e., the language of the profession), values, provision of new insights and interpretations, and enhancement of both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Most importantly, students learn from colleagues; absenteeism creates the void of missing voices.
While there are other opportunities for socialization into the profession (Student Association of Social Workers membership and involvement, participation in the department list serve, faculty advising), the most consistent occasion resides in the interaction among students in the classroom with the instructor serving as facilitator.
All students in any social work course will adhere to the Social Work Standards of Professional and Ethical Behavior as indicated in each course syllabi. Visit msudenver.edu/socialwork for a full version of the document.
Social Work Department Late Paper Policy
Papers/assignments should be turned in at the beginning of the class session for which they are due. Late papers will lose one Grade (i.e.: an “A” paper can only earn a “B,” a “B” paper will earn a “C,” etc.). Students are responsible for letting the instructor know if papers will be late. Papers that are more than one week late will not be accepted, unless a revised due date was previously negotiated with the instructor. Documented emergencies are exceptions to this policy. If there is a late paper policy on your syllabus, that policy takes precedence over this statement.
Social Work APA Policy
All written communication in the classroom environment (online and on campus) will be in American Psychological Association (APA) format. Students must follow the course syllabus for information on which APA edition format to employ.
Call (303) 556-3474 to set up Social Work advising appointments:
- If you are an MSU Denver student with Freshman or Sophomore standing, or a transfer student with Freshman status, please make an appointment to see a Social Work peer advisor.
- If you are an incoming transfer student with Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing, please make an appointment with the B.S.W. Director or Department Chair.
- If you are a Junior or Senior student who has been accepted into the Social Work program, please make an appointment with your faculty advisor.
- If you are seeking career advising, please make an appointment with any of the faculty members.