Colorado State University-PuebloDepartment of Social WorkMSW Student HandbookRevised August 2020Colorado State University-PuebloDepartment of Social Work2200 Bonforte Blvd.Pueblo, CO 81001(719) 549-2631FAX: (719) 549-2705i

TABLE OF CONTENTSI. INTRODUCTIONA Brief History of the Department of Social WorkMission of the MSW ProgramMission of Colorado State University-PuebloConnection of Mission StatementsII. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTSMSW Admission ProceduresMaster of Social Work (Foundation)Master of Social Work (Advanced Standing)Evaluation of Admissions ApplicationsTimeframe of Admissions Evaluations and NotificationNotification of Admission PolicyRetention StandardsIII. FIELD REQUIREMENTSAdmission into Field PracticumField Practicum Admission RequirementsIntegration between Field Practicum and the ProfessionIV. CURRICULUMFoundation: Generalist PracticeAdvanced Standing: Advanced Generalist Practice/Concentration YearV. SOCIAL WORK DEPARTMENT GUIDELINESAcademic RequirementsGrievance with a Faculty MemberNondiscriminationStudent AdvisingTermination of EnrollmentTransfer of Social Work CreditsVI. UNIVERSITY POLICIESAccommodations for Students with DisabilitiesAffirmative Action/Equal Opportunity CommitmentGrievancesGrade Change Policy and Academic Appeal ProcedureSexual Harassment PolicyStudent ConductVII. RESOURCESFinancial AidLibrary FacilitiesOffice of Diversity and Inclusioni

Sheriff's OfficeStudent Social Work AssociationStrengthening Writing SkillsThe National Association of Social Workers (NASW)Colorado NASW ChapterThe Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA)APPENDIX A--Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1975 (FERPA)APPENDIX B--Grade Change Policy and Academic Appeal ProcedureAPPENDIX C--Sexual Harassment PolicyAPPENDIX D--Student ConductAPPENDIX E--NASW Code of Ethicsii

I. INTRODUCTIONThe Masters in Social Work (MSW) student handbook was developed for graduate social workfaculty, advisors, and students. It provides essential information on educational objectives,department, college, and university policies and procedures, and behavior standards for studentsto be retained within the major/program.A Brief History of the Department of Social WorkThe Department of Social Work at Colorado State University–Pueblo has been continuouslyaccredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1982. The program offers BSWcoursework on the main campus in Pueblo and in Colorado Springs through Extended Studies.The department provides social work education under the umbrella of its mission statement andgoals. The Masters in Social Work (MSW) at Colorado State University-Pueblo is designed tomeet the needs of diverse constituencies in southeastern Colorado. As an advanced generalistprogram, the curriculum includes a strong focus on intervention at multiple levels, advancedpolicy analysis, and research skills. Classes for the MSW began in Fall 2019, and the programreceived its candidacy status from CSWE in February 2020. We anticipate accreditation inFebruary 2022.Mission of the MSW ProgramThe mission of the MSW Program at Colorado State University-Pueblo is to prepare competentadvanced social work practitioners with the knowledge, skills, values, and cognitive andaffective processes required to serve diverse client populations in systems of all sizes.Mission of Colorado State University-PuebloThe Colorado State University-Pueblo Department of Social Work mission reflects both theInstitution’s mission and its overall program goals. The university’s mission statement is:“CSU-Pueblo’s success will be measured by the resilience, agility, and problem-solving abilitiesof our diverse student population and the ways in which our graduates are able to navigate workin a rapidly changing world.” (Vision 2028, para 3).Connection of Mission StatementsThe Department of Social Work mission statement refers to competent practitioners who are ableto serve a diverse population in systems of all sizes, which links to the university’s missionstatement’s use of the term resilience, agility, and problem solving abilities. We have tailoredour program to meet the needs of our constituencies in southeastern Colorado, much as theuniversity’s original mission statement from the Board of Governors in 2005 which identifiesaccess to education at a regional comprehensive university. The university is committed todiversity, and our mission statement emphasizes diverse client populations of all system sizes,recognizing the diversity embedded within that phrase.1

II. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTSMSW Program Admission ProceduresAdmission to the Colorado State University-Pueblo Master of Social Work program requires thefollowing:Master of Social Work (Foundation) Bachelor’s degree from a university accredited by a nationally recognized accreditingagency by the Department of Education, with at least 18 credits of liberal arts studies;Course in statistics;Research course;GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale with a “B” grade orhigher in one course in Human Behavior in the Social Environment at the graduate level;3 letters of recommendation, one from a professor, one from academic advisor, one fromemployer or field supervisor;Payment of the application fee of 35; and,3-page statement to include the following:1. Role you expect your graduate studies to play in your professional and personaldevelopment, including your personal motivation for applying;2. Employment history and goals;3. Note your strengths and needs as a graduate student of social work;4. Address diversity in your statement. Even if you have had minimal contact withpeople from diverse backgrounds, describe how you believe diversity relates tosocial work practice. Keep in mind the following:a. Diversity is defined as the sum of a person’s characteristics andexperiences.b. Characteristics may include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,disability, socioeconomic status, spiritual or religious beliefs, age, andother characteristics.c. Experiences may include personal life experiences, such as career history,personal challenges, exposure to different cultures, working with othercultures, and/or speaking another language.Master of Social Work (Advanced Standing)Advanced standing status is reserved only for those students who have a Bachelor of SocialWork degree from a CSWE accredited program or recognized through its International SocialWork Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services, awarded within the last 5 years, 120 hours ofpaid or volunteer work experience in the Human Services field (above and beyond BSW fieldexperience) in a 6-month period during the last 5 years, and meet all other admission criteria.2

Bachelor of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited program or recognized throughits International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Services;Course in statistics;Research course;GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;120 hours of volunteer or paid work experience in human services field (above andbeyond field hours) in a 6-month period during the last 5 calendar years;Most recent field evaluation;3 letters of recommendation, one from a professor, one from academic advisor, one fromemployer or field supervisor;Payment of the application fee of 35; and3-page statement to include the following:1. Role you expect your graduate studies to play in your professional andpersonal development, including your personal motivation for applying;2. Employment history and goals;3. Note your strengths and needs as a graduate student of social work;4. Address diversity in your statement. Even if you have had minimal contactwith people from diverse backgrounds, describe how you believe diversityrelates to social work practice. Keep in mind the following:a. Diversity is defined as the sum of a person’s characteristics andexperiences.b. Characteristics may include race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,disability, socioeconomic status, spiritual or religious beliefs, age, andother characteristics.c. Experiences may include personal life experiences, such as careerhistory, personal challenges, exposure to different cultures, workingwith other cultures, and/or speaking another language.The MAT or GRE is not required for admission.Policy on Readmission to the MSW ProgramFormer students who wish to be readmitted to the program after transferring out or taking a breakmust meet the following criteria:1. Be in good academic standing (passed all courses with a B grade or higher)2. Made arrangements with the MSW Coordinator to withdraw from any enrolled courses orto not enroll for the following semester prior to transfer or taking a break.3. Must not have had any Level 2 reviews through the Social Work Department.4. Must sit through an interview panel to discuss their reason for leaving, reason for returnand their plans to ensure success. The interview retains the right to waive this interview.5. Approval of the interview panel, MSW Coordinator, and Department Chair.6. Nothing in this policy implies that students are guaranteed consideration for readmissionor guaranteed readmission.3

Students who attended another MSW program should sign the release of information so that theMSW Coordinator can have a frank discussion with the other program regarding the student’sconduct and academic progress in that program, including the student’s stated reason for leavingthat program prior to the panel interview.Evaluation of Admissions ApplicationsStudent applications will be reviewed by the Admission’s Committee, which will consist ofMSW-level faculty and one MSW-level practitioner. The committee will rate students based onthe admission rubric, and submit final recommendations to the MSW Coordinator. The programwill admit 25 students into the Foundation, and 25 students into Advanced Standing eachacademic year. Personal interviews may be a part of the admissions process.Timeframe of Admissions Evaluation and NotificationThe Admission’s Committee will meet no later than February 15th to consider applications.Applications submitted after February 1st will not be accepted or considered for admission forthat academic year unless seats are available, and students will be notified within one week theymissed the application deadline and must reapply for the following academic year. Applicantswill be interviewed for admission no later than February 28th.Notification of Admission PolicyStudents will be notified by email provided by the applicant and U.S. mail regarding theiradmission status no later than April 1st of each calendar year. Students must notify the SocialWork Department of their intention to accept the status of admitted so that a seat can be reservedfor them. If students decline to accept the seat, the seat will be offered to the next qualifiedapplicant. Such notification to decline the seat must be sent to the Department of Social Workon or before April 15. If any of these dates falls on a weekend, the due date is the next workdayimmediately following said due date.Retention StandardsProfessionalismThe Colorado State University-Pueblo Department of Social Work defines professionalbehavior as much more than the acquisition of academic material relevant to the work you willbe doing after you graduate. Professional behavior is also about taking responsibility for youractions and thoughts, being accountable, managing your time and energy, and being reliable anddependable. The Council on Social Work Education Competency 1 is directed toward theclassroom and the field setting, emphasizing professional and ethical behavior. In thisDepartment, and specifically in this course, students will be expected to conform to the followingprofessional behaviors: Attending class Being on time and staying for the whole class Turning in assignments on or before the assigned due date4

Paying attention when assignment instructions are reviewed and completing assignmentsaccording to those stated instructions, asking questions if uncertain Being prepared for in-class presentations on the date they are due Consulting the syllabus regarding due dates and assignment instructions rather thanasking the instructor to repeat them for you when they are already in the syllabus Avoiding disruptive behaviorThe emphasis placed on the above behaviors is due to our belief that a student who struggleswith these behaviors while in school is more likely to struggle with these behaviors in aprofessional setting.Consequences of failure to meet the above expectations for this course include but may notbe limited to: For each absence from class, one percentage point will be deducted from the overall 100percentage points that make up the final course grade. Each time a student is late for class, or leaves class early without prior notification to theinstructor, one half percentage point will be deducted from the overall 100 percentagepoints that make up the final course grade. For any assignment that is not turned in by the due date, one letter grade will be deductedfrom the final grade for the assignment. If the assignment is turned in more than oneweek after the due date, the student will lose an additional letter grade for the assignment.Any assignment more than two weeks late will not be accepted and the student willreceive an F for the assignment. Percentage points may be deducted from the course grade for other examples ofunprofessional behaviors, at the discretion of the instructor.In addition, students may be subject to violations of the Standards for Admission, Retention, andTermination to which the Social Work Department adheres.*Modeled on information from Newman University, Wichita, KSPolicies and Procedures for Academic or Disciplinary Probation, Suspension orTerminationAll of the faculty are involved in the formation of students’ professionalism and are responsiblefor reporting concerns to the Social Work Department Chair and other faculty as appropriate toensure ethical practice and academic achievement. The specific process employed for reportingand reviewing any concern relative to a student’s performance will be based on the severity ofthe issue and Social Work Department and University policies.Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative social work GPA for progression in the program.Failure to comply will result in the student being placed on probation. After two consecutivesemesters of failure to obtain a 3.0 cumulative social work GPA, dismissal from the program willoccur and the student will not be eligible for re-admission.Standards for Retention in the Major5

Department of Social WorkColorado State University-PuebloThe Colorado State University-Pueblo Department of Social Work expects all students toacquire, nurture, and maintain the professional knowledge, values, and skills that the professionof social work dictates. Students can and will be comprehensively and continuously evaluated inthe classroom and in their field placement. Expectations are both academic and behavioral; forsocial work, they are seen as indicators of readiness for professional practice. While students areengaged in learning, we expect to see continuous development of the knowledge, values, andskills required for social work practice. Retention, continuation, and termination as a MSWstudent are based on performance standards, including cognitive abilities, demonstration ofskills, behavioral and professional components, and academic performance.The standards set forth by the Department of Social Work are guided by the NASW Code ofEthics (2008) and the Council on Social Work Education competencies. In addition, thestandards are consistent with and complementary to the University catalog, the CSU-PuebloCode of Student Conduct, and the mission and goals of the Department of Social Work.Students needing a reasonable accommodation for any other disability should contact theDisability Resource and Support Center. Students can meet the standards noted belowwith or without reasonable accommodations.STUDENT PERFORMANCE STANDARDSThe Department of Social Work at CSU-P has as its primary goal the education of advancedgeneralist (specialized level) practitioners who possess the knowledge, values, and skills tointervene in diverse client systems of all sizes. Students who are admitted must understand thatthey have the academic ability and personal suitability for successfully completing the socialwork degree. As they complete the coursework in the program, the following criteria will beused to ensure that they continue to be capable of meeting the standards and responsibilities ofprofessional social work. Therefore, retention and termination depend on meeting thesestandards. The standards include but are not limited to the following:1. GPA: Students must Earn a B or better in all pre-requisite courses required for admission to the majorEarn a B or better in all required social work coursesMaintain an overall GPA of 3.0Meet and maintain academic standards of Colorado State University-Pueblo and theDepartment of Social WorkIndicators of Concern: Failing to maintain a 3.0 in all social work courses after admission to the majorFailing to maintain a 3.0 GPA overallFailing to complete either field seminar or field placementEarning a grade of B or less in a required social work courseHas more than one class with a grade of incompleteFails to comply with incomplete grade contracts in a timely mannerRepeating Social Work Courses:6

Students earning less than a B in a required social work course may repeat the courseone time onlyStudents will be allowed to repeat only 2 required social work courses in which theyearned a grade lower than a B.Students may request an exception to these policies by submitting writtendocumentation to the Department Chair requesting readmission to a social workrequired course. The documentation must include the circumstances that led to thisrequest and a plan to resolve the issues that prevented the student from attaining a B orbetter, as well as a plan for readiness should circumstances again arise.2. Personal Accountability: Students must Attend class, arrive on time, return from break in a timely mannerFollow class attendance policy as stated in each course syllabusParticipate in group activities and assignments as requested/requiredComplete work according to the designated deadlines and expectationsBe prepared for classDevelop and follow a plan of studyMeet deadlines for advising, registration, applications, etc.Take responsibility for their own education—read their DARS, know when assignmentsare due, etc.Demonstrate the ability to follow classroom rules, policies, and procedures, as well associal work department policies and proceduresMake arrangements for any needs or accommodations in a timely mannerIndicators of Concern: Multiple absences from classes or field placementMultiple late arrivals for class or fieldPoor organizational skillsUnprepared for classRepeated requests for extensions or other considerations that are not part of a DRSCapproved accommodationsLate or incomplete assignmentsFailing to keep, reschedule, or cancel appointments without a viable reasonInability to adhere to field agency policies and professional standardsLying, cheating, plagiarizing3. Respect/Conduct: Students must Treat all peers, instructors, staff members, and others with dignity and respect at alltimesListen when others speakShow respect for others’ opinionsGive feedback to peers, instructors, staff members, and others in a constructive wayApproach conflict in a cooperative way7

Accept and reflect on positive or negative feedback from peers, instructors, staff, orothersUse person first, nonjudgmental, and strength-based languageBe willing to understand the diversity of people and their thoughts, feelings, andopinionsFollow the NASW Code of EthicsFollow the rules, policies, and standards of professional conduct in the department oragencySupport client self-determination (understand its limits/self-harm or harm to others)Indicators of Concern: Being uncooperative or unwilling to engage in class activitiesConsistently arriving late or leaving early to class or fieldSleeping during classBeing disruptive in class or field placement, including but not limited to: talking withothers, using telephone, mobile device, or other electronic device inappropriatelyInterrupting others who are speakingBeing unwilling or unable to accept feedback from othersFailure to adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics (2015) specifically, Section 2 SocialWorkers’ Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues: (a) Social workers should treat colleagues with respect and shouldrepresent accurately and fairly the qualifications, views, and obligationsof colleagues. (b) Social workers should avoid unwarranted negative criticism ofcolleagues in verbal, written, and electronic communications with clientsor with other professionals. Unwarranted negative criticism may includedemeaning comments that refer to colleagues' level of competence or toindividuals' attributes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex,sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status,political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physicalability. (c) Social workers should cooperate with social work colleagues and withcolleagues of other professions when such cooperation serves the wellbeing of clients.o 2.02 Confidentiality Social workers should respect confidential information shared bycolleagues in the course of their professional relationships andtransactions. Social workers should ensure that such colleaguesunderstand social workers' obligation to respect confidentiality and anyexceptions related to it.o 2.03 Interdisciplinary Collaboration (a) Social workers who are members of an interdisciplinary team shouldparticipate in and contribute to decisions that affect the well-being ofclients by drawing on the perspectives, values, and experiences of thesocial work profession. Professional and ethical obligations of the8

ooooointerdisciplinary team as a whole and of its individual members shouldbe clearly established. (b) Social workers for whom a team decision raises ethical concernsshould attempt to resolve the disagreement through appropriatechannels. If the disagreement cannot be resolved, social workers shouldpursue other avenues to address their concerns consistent with clientwell-being.2.04 Disputes Involving Colleagues (a) Social workers should not take advantage of a dispute between acolleague and an employer to obtain a position or otherwise advance thesocial workers' own interests. (b) Social workers should not exploit clients in disputes with colleaguesor engage clients in any inappropriate discussion of conflicts betweensocial workers and their colleagues.2.05 Consultation (a) Social workers should seek the advice and counsel of colleagueswhenever such consultation is in the best interests of clients. (b) Social workers should keep themselves informed about colleagues'areas of expertise and competencies. Social workers should seekconsultation only from colleagues who have demonstrated knowledge,expertise, and competence related to the subject of the consultation. (c) When consulting with colleagues about clients, social workers shoulddisclose the least amount of information necessary to achieve thepurposes of the consultation.2.06 Sexual Relationships (a) Social workers who function as supervisors or educators should notengage in sexual activities or contact (including verbal, written,electronic, or physical contact) with supervisees, students, trainees, orother colleagues over whom they exercise professional authority. (b) Social workers should avoid engaging in sexual relationships withcolleagues when there is potential for a conflict of interest. Social workerswho become involved in, or anticipate becoming involved in, a sexualrelationship with a colleague have a duty to transfer professionalresponsibilities, when necessary, to avoid a conflict of interest.2.07 Sexual Harassment Social workers should not sexually harass supervisees, students, trainees,or colleagues. Sexual harassment includes sexual advances; sexualsolicitation; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, written,electronic, or physical contact of a sexual nature.2.08 Impairment of Colleagues (a) Social workers who have direct knowledge of a social workcolleague's impairment that is due to personal problems, psychosocialdistress, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties and that interfereswith practice effectiveness should consult with that colleague whenfeasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial action. (b) Social workers who believe that a social work colleague's impairmentinterferes with practice effectiveness and that the colleague has not taken9

adequate steps to address the impairment should take action throughappropriate channels established by employers, agencies, NASW,licensing and regulatory bodies, and other professional organizations.o 2.09 Incompetence of Colleagues (a) Social workers who have direct knowledge of a social workcolleague's incompetence should consult with that colleague whenfeasible and assist the colleague in taking remedial action. (b) Social workers who believe that a social work colleague isincompetent and has not taken adequate steps to address theincompetence should take action through appropriate channelsestablished by employers, agencies, NASW, licensing and regulatorybodies, and other professional organizations.o 2.10 Unethical Conduct of Colleagues (a) Social workers should take adequate measures to discourage, prevent,expose, and correct the unethical conduct of colleagues, includingunethical conduct using technology. (b) Social workers should be knowledgeable about established policiesand procedures for handling concerns about colleagues' unethicalbehavior. Social workers should be familiar with national, state, and localprocedures for handling ethics complaints. These include policies andprocedures created by NASW, licensing and regulatory bodies,employers, agencies, and other professional organizations. (c) Social workers who believe that a colleague has acted unethicallyshould seek resolution by discussing their concerns with the colleaguewhen feasible and when such discussion is likely to be productive. (d) When necessary, social workers who believe that a colleague has actedunethically should take action through appropriate formal channels (suchas contacting a state licensing board or regulatory body, the NASWNational Ethics Committee, or other professional ethics committees). (e) Social workers should defend and assist colleagues who are unjustlycharged with unethical conduct.Discriminatory or harassing behavior as defined by University PolicyAcademic misconduct4. Treating Information Confidentially: Students must Treat information you hear about other students, instructors, or staff in confidenceMaintain confidentiality of information shared in dyads, class, or small groupsUse judgment when revealing personal informationNever use real names of clients or disclose other identifying informationIndicators of Concern: Sharing or discussing information about peers, instructors, or staff inappropriatelySharing information heard in class with others not privy to the learning process andenvironmentToo much or inappropriate revelation of personal informationDisclosing client names or identifying information in class or other setting10

5. Communication: Students must Practice constructive, respectful, and professional communication with peers,instructors, staff, and others (empathy, body language, tone, voice level, activelistening), both oral and writtenUse critical thinking in communication, both oral and writtenArticulate ideas, thoughts, feelings, and concepts clearly orally or in writingWork to improve both oral and written communication skillsAccept, reflect upon, and utilize constructive feedbackFollow the conventions of writing in academic papers, exams, discussion boards, agencynotes, and other written documentsWrite logically, demonstrating good organization of thoughtsFormal papers follow the APA Style Manual and the instructions provided by theinstructorIndicators of Concern: Inability to express oneself clearly and concisely either orally or in writingInattention to or inability to master the requirements of APA style and formal academicwritingInability to communicate effectively with peers, instructors, staff, or othersDisplaying interpersonal relationship skills that are disrespectful, manipulative,immature, disruptive, or discriminatoryFailing to resolve conflict in appropriate ways, using established proceduresDisplaying interview skills that are inappropriate for social work classes and class level6. Professional Values and Ethics, Integrity: Students must Perform activities in accordance with the values and ethics of the profession of socialworkDemonstrate the ability to use the values and ethics of the profession in makingdecisions and in interactions with othersBe self-aware, know one’s strengths or growth areasBe honest with, one’s peers, instructors, staff, and othersLearn and follow the standards for citations in the APA Style ManualDo their own work and take credit only for their own workNever submit whole or partial work for credit in more than one class without thepermission of the instructorSet and maintain clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries with peers,instructors, staff, and othersIndicators of Concern: Violating any section of the NASW Code of EthicsViolating the CSU-P student code of conductViolating policies or procedures in the Department of Social WorkLying, cheating, plagiarizingSubmitting the same work for more than one course without permission of instructor11

policy analysis, and research skills. Classes for the MSW began in Fall 2019, and the program received its candidacy status from CSWE in February 2020. We anticipate accreditation in February 2022. Mission of the MSW Program The mission of the MSW Program at Colorado State University-Pueblo is to prepare competent