General Degree & Academic Standing Information
Course Numbering System
The numbers applied to each course indicate level, semester or trimester hours of credit, and departmental codes. Selected courses numbered 4000-4V99 are open to both advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Courses numbered 5000 and above are limited to graduate students. Only doctoral candidates will be permitted to register for 6000-level courses. Graduate credit will not be conferred for courses numbered below 4000 or for 4000-level courses which do not appear in the Garland School of Social Work MSW Catalog, Graduate School Catalog, or George W. Truett Theological Seminary Catalog. The first digit in the number indicates the level. The second digit in the number indicates the value of graduate credit hours. Thus, “3” as a second digit indicates three credit hours. Some courses may be taken for a varying number of credits, typically from one to three credit hours. In such cases, instead of a digit for the second place in the course number, the letter “V” is used, and the varying amount of credit is indicated at the right of the course title. The last two digits are reserved for departmental use. Online students must register for the trimester and residential students must register for the semester, no cross-registration is permitted (online students may not register for residential classes and residential students may not register for online classes).
The maximum number of credit hours for which a Social Work master’s student may register in a given semester or trimester is eighteen. For residential students, no more than nine MSW course semester hours may be taken in either of the two summer sessions.
Course availability and section instructor are subject to change at any point. Should you need to follow a different plan of study, please consult with your advisor and note that all plans of study will be approved based on current schedules and course prerequisite guidelines.
Grades assigned for GSSW graduate students are:
|Letter Grade||Grade Points|
Grades of C-, D, D-, or F will impact the grade point average (GPA) but will not apply toward the total number of hours required for program completion. Required courses in the MSW program must be completed with a grade of C or higher to meet the degree requirements. If a grade of C-, D+, D, D- or F is made in a required course, the student must repeat the same course and make a grade of C or better to meet the degree requirements for graduation. Courses taken at Baylor may be repeated where the grade received is C or lower, or in courses where a B is required and not met. When a course is repeated, students' transcripts will reflect both grades and both will be included in the overall grade point average. A student will have a maximum of two attempts at any one course, a class with a grade or a W notation counts as an attempt.
Please note: Field seminar courses and the following practice skills courses require a grade of B or higher to meet the degree requirements (listed in order of degree plan): 5561, 5362, 5491, 5492, 5463, 5494, 5490, 5379, 5375, 5376, 5377, 5378. Students earning a grade of B- or lower in one of these courses must repeat the course and earn a B or higher. Residential students who do not make a minimum of a C in 5221should cancel their fall semester. While grades are not entered until the end of the fall semester, if a minimum grade is not met in 5221, students will not be allowed to continue onto the Spring semester. Students who do not meet the minimum grade requirements of this course may be terminated from the program at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
The grade of “I,” incomplete, may be given at the discretion of the faculty member when unforeseen circumstances arise that prohibit students from completing assignments toward the end of the trimester/semester, only after the withdrawal period has ended and when the completed portion of the course work is of passing quality. The faculty member will determine a new deadline for finishing the course requirements that will be no later than the end of the following semester or trimester. If the work is not completed and a final grade is not submitted by that deadline, then the "I" will be changed to a grade of "F." It is the student’s responsibility to complete the course requirements and to see that the incomplete grade is removed from the record in the trimester or semester following the “I”. Professors may request an extension (up to six months) or the grade automatically changes to “F.” An extension must be initiated by the instructor and approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A student may not graduate with an “I” incomplete on their transcript.
Students who receive one or more incomplete grades during a trimester or semester may have their schedule for the following trimester or semester reduced by the number of hours of “incomplete” received. Please note a grade of "I" for any course that is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for subsequent courses may delay the student's course of study.
Social Work Graduate Grade Change Policy
Changes to grades may be initiated by the instructor of the class and must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Changes to grades may only be initiated by an instructor when the original grade resulted from an error or when the original grade was Incomplete. Changes resulting from an error may only be made within one calendar year of the original date that the grade was due and may not occur once the degree to which the course was applied has been conferred. Beyond changes to grades for those reasons, changes may occur when initiated by the Provost based on the finding of a violation of academic integrity or when a grade is successfully appealed through the appropriate process(es); the one-year time limit does not apply to these changes.
Course Repeat Policy
A student may repeat a course for which his or her highest earned grade is a C- or below. A student may also repeat a course, for which they need to earn a higher grade in order to fulfill a course requirement for the MSW degree. Courses may not be repeated in which the student earned a grade of B or higher. A student will have a maximum of two attempts at any one course, where a class with a grade or a W notation counts as an attempt. Courses attempted at the Garland School of Social Work, which includes courses for which a student received a W notation, may not be repeated at another institution for transfer. All grades earned at the Garland School of Social Work will be calculated in the semester or trimester and cumulative grade point averages. Failure to earn the required minimum grade for a course after two attempts will result in dismissal from the program.
A student may audit a course with the written permission of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Only lecture courses may be audited. Audit enrollment is subject to the instructor’s willingness to have nonparticipating students.
Audited courses may not exclude a student seeking credit, may not be repeated at a later date for credit, may not be changed in status after the registration period, and are not considered part of the course load.
Policy on Course Waivers and Academic Credit
The program does not waive course requirements of the professional foundation areas or for the field internship. No academic credit is given for previous work or life experiences.
The maximum time limit for the master’s degree is five years from the time the student first matriculates in the master’s program. Exceptions to the five-year limit will be made by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs only after a careful review of the extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
To qualify for a master’s degree, students must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 and must complete the following requirements:
- Satisfactory completion of the required credit hours.
- Successful completion of internship requirements. See Field Education Manual downloadable from the Field Education website.
- Successful presentation and defense of the Capstone project. Students must receive a grade of “B” or better in the final advanced practice and internship courses in order to be eligible for graduation.
- Personal and professional conduct congruent with the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics, the State Licensing Board Code of Conduct, and with the rules and regulations established by Baylor University as outlined in Baylor University Student Policies and Procedures, including the Baylor University Honor System, General Expectations of Baylor Students, and other policies documented therein.
Filing for Graduation
Students file for graduation with the GSSW the semester or term before the degree is expected to be conferred. Students pursuing joint degree options must file for graduation in both programs or schools.
Posthumously Awarded Degrees
A student in their final year who has successfully completed 75% of the Standard Program degree requirement or who has completed 50% of the Advanced Standing degree requirement who is enrolled in good standing, making satisfactory academic progress, meeting all minimum grade point average requirements for their degree program, and dies before completing their degree may be awarded the degree posthumously upon the recommendation of the Garland School Dean and with the approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
Academic Standing & Continuation in the Program
Students are expected to earn a grade point average of 3.0 for each semester in which they are enrolled. Failure to earn this grade point average in a semester may result in dismissal from the program. Failure to earn a 3.0-grade point average in a student’s final semester may result in not being permitted to graduate.
Students who do not earn the required 3.0-grade point average for a semester may, at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, enroll in a subsequent semester on a probationary status. Students are automatically removed from probation upon completion of one semester and a minimum of 6 semester hours of graduate-level coursework if a semester and overall 3.0-grade point average are attained. Failure to attain a 3.0-grade point average will result in the notification of dismissal. The graduate program is not required to hear student appeals of this decision. If, after completion of the one-semester and the sixth semester-hour credit, the student’s overall grade point average is still below 3.0, the student will receive notification of degree termination from the graduate program. Students receiving financial assistance must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 to avoid loss of financial assistance. Courses taken for elective credit may be included in the computation of the grade point average.
The Garland School of Social Work expects that all students will conduct themselves in a manner fitting their professional identity as Baylor University students and developing social work professionals. This includes personal conduct towards faculty, staff, peers, and colleagues both on and off-campus. Failure to display professional conduct may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal from the graduate program. Students should refer to the Academic and Professional Development section of the catalog for further details.
Grievance and Appeal Procedures
Any student who believes a GSSW faculty member has treated them unfairly with respect to a course for which the student was registered may complain of such alleged unfair treatment involving students' academic work. This protocol is established for the application of the University Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure in the context of the Garland School of Social Work. This includes grades, assignments, field instruction, and alleged violations of professional behavior. Please note: Matters related to alleged violations of the University Honor Code will be handled through the processes identified in the Baylor University Honor Code. Matters related to discrimination will be handled in coordination with the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office through the processes identified in the university’s Title IX and Civil Rights policies.
- Conference with Faculty Member. The student shall present the faculty member with a written statement that details the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. An effort should be made to resolve the matter with the faculty member.
- Appeal to Directors of Field Education. If the situation involves a matter that pertains to field instruction, the student may appeal to the director of the appropriate field program. A written statement that details the circumstances giving rise to the complaint and a narrative of the effort to resolve the situation with field education must be provided to the Director prior to the meeting. If appropriate, the field faculty member will also provide the Director with a written description of her/his view of the situation including efforts to resolve the issue. If the situation is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction within 30 days, they may appeal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- Appeal to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. If the situation is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may appeal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A written statement that details the circumstances giving rise to the complaint and a narrative of the effort to resolve the situation with the faculty member must be provided to the Associate Dean prior to the meeting. The faculty member will also provide the Associate Dean with a description of her/his view of the situation including efforts to resolve the issue. If the faculty member involved in the complaint is the Associate Dean, the student may appeal directly to the Dean of the School. If the faculty member involved is the Dean, the student may appeal directly to the Provost of the University.
- Appeal to the Dean of the School. If the situation is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction within 30 days, or if the student is not satisfied with the findings of the Academic and Professional Development Committee, they may appeal to the Dean of the School (or to the Executive Vice President and Provost if the complaint is against the Dean). The student must provide the Dean with a written statement that details the circumstances giving rise to the complaint and a narrative of efforts to resolve the conflict with the faculty, Associate Dean, or field director. The Associate Dean will provide the Dean with a description of their views of the situation, including efforts to resolve the issue.
- Appeal to the Executive Vice President and Provost or his or her designee. If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved by the Dean of the school, then the student shall have the right to appeal such matter to the Executive Vice President and Provost, who after review may refer such matter to the University academic appeals committee. (see University Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure for details on the academic appeals committee).
Academic and Professional Development Evaluation and Committee Process
Decisions Related to Continuation/Discontinuation in the Social Work Program
In order to continue in their academic program, students must meet the academic and professional standards of the Program and the social work profession. Professional standards are incorporated into the Program as an academic matter. Compliance with both academic and professional standards, including the NASW Code of Ethics, is subject to review in accordance with this evaluation process.
In order to identify and engage students in need of support in meeting academic and professional standards, the GSSW has established the Academic and Professional Development (APD) Committee to assist the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in resolving academic and professional development concerns as needed. The Chair of the ad hoc APD Committee will be appointed by the dean or the dean's designee. The committee consists of the APD Chair, the student’s mentor (if appropriate), and one other faculty member appointed by the APD Chair. If the APD Chair holds a potential adjudicative role in the appeals process, the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work will appoint another member of the faculty to serve as chair. If the mentor holds a potential adjudicative role in the appeals process, the APD Chair will appoint an interim mentor for the duration of the process. After the matter is resolved, the APD Chair will reassign the student to the student’s previous mentor.
The functions of APD are to
- facilitate student development in thinking critically, acting ethically, and practicing effectively within the established standards of social work practice;
- protect potential clients and agencies from sub-standard and unethical practice;
- evaluate students requiring support to meet academic and professional standards;
- develop supportive strategies for achieving academic and/or professional standards whenever possible; and
- recommend to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and/or Dean of the Garland School of Social Work decisions regarding continuation in or termination from the Program.
The APD Committee does not assume a classroom or field faculty member’s responsibility for critical evaluation and decision-making in assigning grades. All matters related to course grades are addressed through the Grading, Course Repeat, Continuation, and Probation policies specified in this catalog.
When problems occur that may be serious enough to necessitate judgments regarding continuation or termination from the Social Work Program, the APD Evaluation Process may be enacted. Criteria used to identify these problems include:
- Behavior in violation of standards of social work practice established by social work values, the NASW Code of Ethics, the Texas Board of Social Worker Examiners Code of Ethics, and the Student Code of Conduct of the Garland School of Social Work.
- Academic integrity violations include cheating, lying, plagiarism, falsifying process recordings, or any other form of client documentation.
- Other university policy violations (i.e. Student Code of Conduct, Title IX Policy, Civil Rights Policy, etc).
- Indication of an inability to effectively apply the knowledge, ability, and skills of the profession.
- Indication of an inability to develop the appropriate knowledge and interpersonal skills necessary for effective social work practice.
The APD Committee may request assessments by professionals outside the program as deemed necessary. Students are also subject to Baylor University’s Honor Code, academic and discipline policies, as outlined in Baylor University Student Policies and Procedures, and the general degree requirements found in this catalog or Baylor University Undergraduate Catalog. Participation in the APD Committee process does not abridge the student’s rights to use the University appeals process.
Academic and Professional Development Evaluation and Committee Procedures
The following procedures are to be followed in making referrals to APD Committee and by all parties involved in the APD process:
- Referrals to the APD Committee can be made only by Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In unusual situations, referrals may be made by the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work following the procedures set out for the Associate Dean.
- When a field director or faculty member identifies an issue that threatens the student’s progress in the program, they will submit a letter to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the student, detailing the concern(s), the steps taken to date, and, if possible, suggesting potential remedies. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may make a referral to the APD Committee without a referral from a faculty member.
- Within two weeks of receiving the letter from the field director or faculty member, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will communicate in writing, to the student, and to the referring faculty member, their decision to (1) determine no further action is required, (2) take action to resolve the issue, or (3) at any point refer the situation to the APD Committee. If the Associate Dean chooses to take action to resolve the issue, the next steps and expectations will be provided in writing to both the student and the referring field director/faculty member. If the Associate Dean chooses to refer to the APD, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will submit a letter to the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work, with a copy to the student, detailing the concern(s) and any action she or he has taken on the situation. This letter should make clear the specific issue(s) the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs wishes the APD Committee to address, steps already taken, and possible remedies as the Associate Dean sees them. The original letter from the faculty member and any additional documentation should be included with this letter.
- Within two weeks of receiving the referral, the Chair of the Academic and Professional Development Committee will be appointed by the dean, and the APD Chair will appoint members to the APD and call a meeting of the committee. At that time the committee will hear the faculty member(s), the student, and anyone else they deem necessary. The committee may meet as many times as necessary, but a final decision should be made in two weeks or less from the date of the first meeting. The committee may request an extension of this time, up to 15 days, from the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work. The Dean of the Garland School of Social Work will assign appropriate staffing to the committee.
- The APD Committee will use its professional judgment to recommend an appropriate course of action to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. This action may include: (A) a developmental plan with input from the student, the faculty member(s), and other appropriate persons to resolve the issues within a specific time limit; (B) a referral to any other university committee for resolution; (C) a recommendation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs that the student be terminated from the program. A copy of the APD Committee’s decision will be sent to the student, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work, and placed in the student’s Garland School of Social Work file.
- If the Associate Dean or APD Committee recommends a developmental plan, it shall include the consequences of failure to follow the plan. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for monitoring the plan but may delegate this responsibility to the mentor or other faculty member. When the terms of the plan have been met, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will notify the APD Chair, and the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work, and place documentation in the student’s folder. If the terms of the plan are not met, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for imposing the agreed-upon consequences.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Associate Dean or APD Committee following the Garland School of Social Work Grievance and Appeal Procedures, beginning with step number 4 – Appeal to the Dean of the Garland School of Social Work.