First, students must attest that they possess the physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral attributes necessary to fulfill the requirements of social work education. To adequately prepare for, and engage in, social work practice, students must be able to demonstrate the following abilities in order to fully participate in all aspects of coursework and the field practicum.
- Communication- A student must be able to communicate effectively, sensitively, and professionally with other students, faculty, staff, clients, field instructor, and practicum agency staff in accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form.
- Motor and Sensory- A student must have sufficient motor and sensory function to be able to attend class and complete a practicum placement, with or without accommodation, by executing motor movements reasonably required to function in an academic environment and provide services to clients. Where indicated by a letter of accommodation from the Academic Achievement and Access Center, they shall make reasonable accommodation in order to allow the student to meet these standards.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities- A student must possess reasoning, analysis, and synthesis abilities. Problem solving, a critical skill required of a social worker, requires all of these intellectual abilities. These skills are necessary in order for students to make proper assessments, prioritize interventions, and measure/report client and community outcomes.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes- A student must possess the behavioral and social skills required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities as specified in the BSW & MSW handbook, and the development of sensitive and effective professional relationships with clients and community members, in accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics. A student must be able to function effectively under stress. A student must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent to social work practice. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skill, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and education process. A student must be willing to effectively use help and supports for medical or emotional issues that interfere with performance.
- Self-awareness-A student must know how his/her values, beliefs, past experiences, and attitudes impact their own thought processes and behaviors. The student must be prepared to engage in self-reflection and change behaviors that obstruct his/her work with clients and community members, agency staff, field instructors, other students, faculty, and staff. A student must be able to tolerate ambiguity.
- Appreciation of diversity- In accordance with the NASW Code of Ethics, a student must be able to work with a variety of diverse groups, and progress towards cultural competence regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical ability.