A Foundation of Strengths. A Vision of Justice. A Mission of Change.

Chapter 4: BSW Program Expectations and Advancement

BSW Student Standards and Advancement Policies and Procedures


Advancement is a process intended to assure that each student maintains adequate progress in gaining the values, knowledge, skills, competencies, and behaviors required for successful professional practice. For BSW students, advancement has two different meanings. First, all students complete the advancement review prior to begininng 500 level course work. Student advancement at this level allows students to begin taking courses which count toward the major and begin preparing for their BSW practice and practicum courses.  This procedure is outlined in the BSW Advancement Review (http://socwel.ku.edu/resources/forstudents/handbooks/bsw/bsw-advancement-review).  

However, advancement also holds a second meaning, as BSW also have to continually remain in good academic standing as they matriculate through the program. This requires them to remain in good standing in terms of grades, professional conduct, and ethics throughout their time in the school, and to meet our criteria for technical abilities to engage in practice and learning,  Students are automatically advanced if they meet or exceed all our expectations and should consider themselves to be making adequate progress unless they are otherwise informed. 

Because of the nature of professional social work practice, the School of Social Welfare has some expectations of students that are different from those typically found in other academic but non-professional programs. The standards are linked to students’ abilities to become effective social work professionals and are provided so that students and faculty can be clear about expectations and procedures to address academic performance or behavioral concerns. The goal of the Standards is to help students to successfully graduate and provide effective social work services in a range of settings over the course of one’s career.

Upon admission to the school, all students will be provided with and are expected to read the BSW Student Advancement Policy (this chapter), the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and the KU Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Students will then be asked to electronically sign an acknowledgment that they: (1) have read these documents, (2) are aware of their contents, and (3) will abide by the standards elaborated in the documents. The form will be kept in students’ files.

BSW Student Standards

Within the School of Social Welfare, we expect students to meet or exceed certain basic minimum standards to demonstrate their ability to advance to degree completion.  These standards are categorized as technical standards, scholastic performance, ethical behavior and professional conduct.