BSW Program Admission and Retention

Northern Michigan University is committed to quality in its social work preparation program. Quality programs demand that student participants exhibit characteristics that show promise for success as social workers. Potential for success in the profession is evidenced by the presence of such factors as minimum levels of competency in basic skills and intellectual capacity, good oral and written language skills, aptitude for dealing with social work problems and issues, social workers are required to register or secure a license in most states. This registration or licensure requires that social workers be of sound moral character.

Each student is responsible for knowing and meeting all program requirements. Furthermore, students are expected to have successfully met all of the requirements for admission o the program and to meet all of the requirements for admission to the senior field experience. Failure to meet retention standards may result in temporary suspension or dismissal at any point in the program. 

Admission to Social Work Program

The social work curriculum culminates in BSW degree with an inherent “Human Behavior Cluster Minor.” Many courses may “double count” as Liberal Study requirements. All courses in the human behavior cluster must have been completed or in the process of being completed at time of social work admission. A student must have a 2.5 grade point average in the cluster minor.  Exceptions may be made in cases where students have not completed all courses in cluster minor.  Only cases where students have a high grade point averages in cluster minor courses completed and a plan to complete all courses prior to entering field placement will be considered for this exception.   

The social work curriculum contains two “lower-division” courses (SW 100, SW 230) that also must be completed prior to being admitted into the practice courses. A student must have a 2.5 grade point average in these courses, and must maintain this minimum GPA for all social work courses (SW prefix). 

Although a student may enroll in a few social work courses (SW 308, SW 331, SW 341) prior to applying for the upper division practice methods courses, the sequencing of courses becomes paramount. Practice Methods courses (SW 370 and SW 372) are only offered in the Winter Semester, prior to a student’s senior year. Consequently, application for advanced program admission occurs in Fall Semesters (Oct. 1). Admission packets may be downloaded from the Social Work web site and/or obtained through the Department Secretary. In addition to GPA verification, the packet requires a narrative document addressing pertinent issues. Admission is restricted to qualified applicants and limited by faculty and field placement resources. 

To be eligible for admission to the advanced Social Work Curriculum, and applicant must: 

  • Be admitted to Northern Michigan University.
  • Will have completed all Cluster Minor requirements and have SW 100 and SW 230 by the end of fall semester in which they applied.  (Some exceptions to the completion of Cluster Minor requirements may be in cases where students have a high grade point average in Cluster Minor courses completed and a plan to complete remaining courses prior to entering field placement.)
  • File an application with the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology by Oct 1

Students are admitted on a competitive basis according to the following criteria: 

1.

General academic performance: A GPA of at least 2.50 is required for admission. For admission purposes GPA is calculated separately for the Cluster Minor and the Required SW courses. General Electives are not included. In the case of repeat courses, no more than three repeated courses will be excluded from the calculation.

2.

Evidence of skills and attributes necessary for social work practice.

3.

Employment and volunteer experience in the human services. Although not required for admission, some recognition is given to human service related experience which demonstrates capability for and commitment to a social work career.

 

General Pre-Admission GPA

Area

Course Number

Credits

Economic Justice

EC 101, 201, 202 or 337

4

Social Justice

SO 322, 362, or 382

4

Diversity and Difference

AN 100, Hs 233, NAS 204, HS 273, HS 283, or HS 293

4

Biological Science

BI 100, 104, 201, or 202

4

Sociological Science

SO 101

4

Psychological Science

PY 100 H, L, S or G

4

Research Methods

SO 208, PY 305, or MA 171

4

GPA Must Be 2.5 or above

28

 

Social Work Pre-Admission GPA

Number

Title

Credits

SW 100

Exploring Social Work

4

SW 230

Human Behavior and Social Environment

4

GPA Must Be 2.5 or Above

8

Students entering the BSW Program are assigned to the Pre-Social Work Curriculum. Upon completion of the Pre-Social Work requirements, students must take formal application for acceptance into the Advanced Social Work Curriculum. No BSW students will be permitted to enroll in SW 370 Practice Methods I or SW 372 Practice methods II without admission to the Advanced Social Work Curriculum. Admission is restricted to qualified applicants and limited by faculty and field placement resources.

Retention in Social Work Program

A minimum GPA of 2.50 based on all course work applied to the BSW curriculum (social work major and cluster minor), a minimum of a “C” must be earned in SW 370 and in SW 372.  Evidence of skills and attributes necessary for social work practice and satisfactory results of a review by the Director of the Social Work Program under the standards for admission above are required for enrollment in SW 480 Senior Field Placement and for graduation. All Field Placement applicants are reviewed prior to the Fall Term of SW 480. 

To be retained in the program, students must show continuing progress toward possession of the personal characteristics and competencies which personify the professional social worker.  Reflective of those values, students are expected to comport themselves with integrity during their field placements and as representatives of the university at professional meetings. Any violation of the NASW Code of Ethics on the part of a student engaged in field experience will be considered to be contrary to social work professionalism. Behaviors and qualities which are valued by the social work profession and which are expected of students by the faculty include class attendance and participation, promptness in completing assignments, leadership, commitment to learning, a willingness to build collegiality by working with peers in collaborative, reflective, and problem-solving setting, and a multi-cultural perspective. 

Students must also exhibit academic integrity and continuously demonstrate social work values and ethics in all stages of the program.  Social workers are in a position to be influential adults and academic integrity is an important indicator of social work professionalism.  Failure to do so may also result in a termination from the program.     

Suspension or dismissal for failure to meet retention standards--for academic or professional reasons--may be appealed in accordance with the procedures described in the document entitled Dismissal from the Professional Social Work Program.  As with all programs at Northern Michigan Univeristy, policies and procedures for dismissal adhere to criteria established in the Student Handbook. 

Field Placement Approval GPA Computation

Program GPA is a two step process. First, the GPA for the 28 required credits of the Social Work Major is computed; it must be at least 2.5. In the second step, other program required courses are included. The GPA for the Human Behavior Cluster Minor and the required SW courses must each be at least 2.5.

Approval for Field Placement GPA

Step 1.

Social Work Major

Credits

SW 100

Exploring Social Work

4

SW 230

Human Behavior and Social Environment I

4

SW 308

Research Methods II

4

SW 331

Human Behavior and Social Environment II

4

SW 341

Social Welfare Policy Analysis

4

SW 370

Generalist Practice Methods I

4

SW 372

Generalist Practice Methods II

4

Must Be 2.5 or Above

28

 

Step 2

Human Behavior Cluster

 

Area

Course Number

Credits

Economic Justice

EC 101, 201, 202 or 337

4

Populations at Risk

SO 322, 362, or 382

4

Diversity

AN 100, Hs 233, NAS 204, HS 273, HS 283, or HS 293

4

Biological Science

BI 100, 104, 201, or 202

4

Sociological Science

SO 101

4

Psychological Science

PY 100 H, L, S or G

4

Research Methods

SO 208, PY 305, or MA 171

4

GPA Must Be 2.5 or above

28

BSW Graduation GPA Requirements

Program GPA is a two step process. First, the GPA for the 30 required credits of the Social Work Major is computed; it must be at least 2.5. In the second step, other program required courses are included. The GPA for the Human Behavior Cluster Minor and the required SW courses must each be at least 2.5.

Graduation GPA

Step 1.

Social Work Major

Credits

SW 100

Exploring Social Work

4

SW 230

Human Behavior and Social Environment I

4

SW 308

Research Methods II

4

SW 331

Human Behavior and Social Environment II

4

SW 341

Social Welfare Policy Analysis

4

SW 370

Generalist Practice Methods I

4

SW 372

Generalist Practice Methods II

4

SW 440

Social Work and Social Policy

4

SW 472

Social Work and Diverse Populations

4

SW 473

Integrative Seminar I

2

SW 474

Integrative Seminar II

2

Must Be 2.5 or Above

40

     

Step 2

Human Behavior Cluster

Number

Title

Credits

BI 104

Anatomy and Physiology

4

EC 101

American Economy

4

PY 100

General Psychology

4

SO 101

Introductory Sociology

4

SO 208

Research Methods I

4

SO 372

Minority Groups (formerly SO 282)

4

PS 215

Introduction to Law

4

Must Be 2.5 or Above

28