Dismissal from the Professional Social Work Program

Any situation that may involve a failure to comply with Social Work Admissions and Retention Standards will be considered by the director of the Social Work Program.  If the student fails to comply with the Social work Admissions and Retention Standards, the director may take any of the following courses of action:

  1. Suspension of the student from the Social Work Program for a specific period of time not to exceed one year or until the student meets academic eligibility requirements.
  2. Suspension of the student from the Social Work Program pending completion of one or more specified tests or evaluation procedures and subject to satisfactory results of such tests or procedures:
  3. Academic dismissal from the Social Work Program.  The director will notify the student, identifying specifically the standard or standards and the corresponding failure to comply on which such action is based.

Notice of any such action shall be communicated in writing to the student involved.

Action of academic dismissal by the director of the Social Work Program may be appealed to the Social Work Program Admission and Retention Grievance Committee within 10 working days of the mailing of the Director's written notice of such action.

Membership on the Social Work Admission and Retention Grievance Committee shall include the Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology department head plus two Social Work faculty (excluding those who serve on the Admissions Committee), and one Social Work Program Advisory Board member.

In response to student appeals of a academic dismissal, the Social Work Program Admission and Retention Grievance Committee will hold a hearing at which it will consider the issues raised, the information presented, and the action of the director.  At such hearings the committee will then consider any matters presented by the student and the director of the Social Work Program.  The committee will make a determination of the appeal based on the information presented at the hearing.

A student who wishes to have a hearing before the Social Work Program Admissions and Retention Grievance Committee shall be entitled to:

  1. receive a timely hearing by impartial persons; *
  2. be present at the hearing;
  3. present his/her case through statements, questions, witnesses and other forms of evidence.
  4. be accompanied by counsel of his/her choice; counsel shall be a member of the faculty, staff, or student body of the University.  However, it should be understood that the student is to be the respondent to questions asked and to otherwise interact with the Committee directly;
  5. refuse to answer questions;
  6. make a record of the events of the hearing;
  7. receive a written notice of the decision reached in response to the appeal.

The elected chair of the Social Work Program Admissions and Retention Grievance Committee shall give written notice of the committee's decision within 10 working days.  The decision of the committee shall be final.

* The committee will consist of at least two faculty committee members other than the faculty that may have been directly involved with the dismissal or suspension action.

General Grievance Procedure

For most situations in which a student believes that unfair treatment has occurred on the part of a faculty member, the following procedure applies.  Complaints about admission to Social Work and retention in the Program are handled by a special committee.  See the above section for those procedures.  There are several steps to follow if a student feels that he or she has been treated unfairly. Although your academic adviser is not directly part of the grievance procedure, your adviser may be able to help you with following the process outlined below.  The order is as follows:

  1. Present your complaint to the faculty member whom you feel has been unjust.
  2. If unresolved and the faculty member in question is a member of the social work faculty, bring your concern to the attention of the social Work Program director.  If the instructor in question is not a social worker, proceed directly to the next step.
  3. Present your concern to the department head of the instructor in question.
  4. If unresolved, go through an appeals procedure.  The department head will provide information on the procedure for invoking an appeals process.

Composition of Appellate Bodies:

Departmental Appeals Committee -In the case of the Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology Department, the Executive Committee of the department is responsible for determining grievance procedures for students and faculty.  The Student Appeals Committee normally consists of the three members of the Executive Committee plus two students.  In the event that the complaint is against a member of the Executive Committee, then an alternate will serve.

School Appeals Committee - Each school shall establish a school appeals committee.  The school appeals committee shall consist of seven faculty members selected in an unbiased manner by the dean from departments within the school.  This responsibility may be delegated to the school advisory council at the discretion of the dean.  The committee shall select from among their number a chairperson who shall assume responsibility for convening the committee and chairing review proceedings.  Five members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of all review proceedings.

Rules of Procedure (see "Student Rights and Responsibilities" handbook, which can be obtained from the Dean of Students office).


The last step would be to report to the Dean of Students office.