Academic and Professional Behavior Policies

MSW Student Standards Policy
Enrollment Status
Final Course Letter Grade
Academic Probation and Suspension
Three "C" Rule
Incomplete Grades
Continuous Enrollment
Time Limitation
Academic Honesty
GCSW Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism
Disciplinary Action and Termination
Grievance Policy and Procedures


MSW Student Standards Policy

The faculty of the GCSW is responsible for creating a teaching-learning environment that fosters student growth and professional development. The Standards Policy includes criteria used to evaluate each student in six general areas: professional readiness, professional commitment, scholastic performance, attendance and punctuality, professional behavior, and ethical conduct. Evaluation is ongoing, from admissions to program entry, program entry to candidacy, and candidacy to graduation. Students are expected to demonstrate continuous progress in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes, judgment, and behaviors to assume the responsibilities of a competent professional social worker. When students confirm their admission to the GCSW, they are provided a copy of the Standards Policy, and they are required to sign a statement indicating that they have read the policy, and agree to be bound by the provisions therein.
Student Standards Policy

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Enrollment Status

Applicants request admission into either 2 Year, 3 Year or Weekend College enrollment status. Two Year students complete the program in 21 months. This requires enrollment in 15 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters, plus 6 credit hours of enrollment in the summer (first year only). Three Year and Weekend College students have a maximum of four years in which to complete all degree requirements (including field practicum). Three Year and Weekend College students are required to take 11 credit hours in the fall foundation semester. They complete 6 – 9 credits hours in the remaining semesters. See Enrollment Model section for detailed courses of study.

Most students are admitted into the specific enrollment status to which they have applied; however, the GCSW reserves the right to limit the number of students admitted in each enrollment model in a given year. Students who wish to change their status prior to their initial enrollment may have to postpone starting the program for a full year if all slots are full. Once enrolled officially (i.e., tuition and fees are paid), students may change their status only with the recommendation of the academic advisor and approval from the Director of Student Affairs.

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Final Course Letter Grade

Grade Scale
Grade Percent %
A 96-100% of the points
A- 92-95.9%
B+ 88-91.9%
B 84-87.9%
B- 80-83.9%
C+ 76-79.9%
C 72-75.9%
C- 68-71.9%
D 64-67.9%
F Below 64%
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Academic Probation and Suspension

A student whose grade point average (GPA) falls below 3.0 (B) will be placed on academic probation, and will be allowed to continue his/her enrollment only with the written recommendation of the academic advisor and approval from the dean. Permission to continue will be granted only if there is reasonable likelihood that the grade point average will improve in the subsequent semester. Removal from academic probation is granted when the grade point average is raised to B (3.0 or above). Students have 12 semester credit hours to bring their GPA to a 3.0. 

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Three "C" Rule

Effective Fall 2009, any course in which a grade of less than C- is received must be repeated. Students who receive a grade of C+ or lower in 9 semester credit hours of graduate credit, whether or not in repeated courses, will be dropped from the M.S.W. program.

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Incomplete Grades

The grade of I (Incomplete) is a conditional and temporary grade given when students are passing a course but, for reasons beyond their control, have not completed a relatively small part of all requirements. Students are responsible for informing the instructor immediately of the reasons for not submitting an assignment on time or not taking an examination as scheduled. The grade of I must be changed by fulfilling the course requirements by the deadline set by the instructor, but no more than one year from the date awarded, or, in conformance with university policy, it will be changed automatically to F or U (in S-U graded courses).

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Continuous Enrollment

Students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their course of study. A temporary, time limited leave of absence may be granted for compelling reasons with the recommendation of the advisor. However, students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment without initiating an official leave of absence will be considered as having withdrawn from the M.S.W. program. In such cases, students may be required to reapply for admission.

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Time Limitation

As an explicit accreditation policy of the Council on Social Work Education, all requirements for the M.S.W. degree must be completed no more than four years from the date of the student's first enrollment at the GCSW.

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Academic Honesty

All members of, and participants in, the academic life of the university are governed by the University of Houston Academic Honesty Policy. Copies of this policy are distributed to all students during their first semester, but are also available from the dean's office and the advising office. 
UH Academic Honesty Policy

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GCSW Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

Students are expected to demonstrate and maintain a professional standard of writing in all courses, do one’s own work, give credit for the ideas of others, and provide proper citation of source materials. Any student who plagiarizes any part of a paper or assignment or engages in any form of academic dishonesty will receive an “I” for the class with a recommendation that a grade of F be assigned, subsequent to a College hearing, in accordance with the University policy on academic dishonesty. Other actions may also be recommended and/or taken by the College to suspend or expel a student who engages in academic dishonesty.

All presentations, papers and written assignments must be fully and properly referenced using APA style format (or as approved by the instructor), with credit given to the authors whose ideas you have used. If you are using direct quotes from a specific author (or authors), you must set the quote in quotation marks or use an indented quotation form. For all direct quotes, you must include the page number(s) in your text or references. Any time that you use more than four or five consecutive words taken from another author, you must clearly indicate that this is a direct quotation. Please consult the current APA manual for further information.

Academic dishonesty includes using any other person’s work and representing it as your own. This includes (but is not limited to) using graded papers from students who have previously taken this course as the basis for your work. It also includes, but is not limited to submitting the same paper to more than one class. It also includes securing another person to complete any required activities, assignments, quizzes, papers, or exams in any online environment. If you have any specific questions about plagiarism or academic dishonesty, please raise these questions in class or make an appointment to see the instructor. This statement is consistent with the University Policy on Academic Dishonesty that can be found in your UH Student Handbook.
GCSW Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism

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Disciplinary Action and Termination

The nature of social work dictates that practitioners use sound professional judgment. The college reserves the right to terminate enrollment of any student at any time for what the college faculty and administration may believe to be good and sufficient reason(s), such as cheating, plagiarism, misuse of university property, or unprofessional conduct. Explicit policies are found in the GCSW Student Standards Policy, as well in the UH Graduate and Professional Studies Bulletin (online).

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Grievance Policy and Procedures

Students have the right to appeal any action they feel is unfair or in error. The Graduate College of Social Work Policy for Student Grievance is available in the GCSW Student Handbook. It is the responsibility of all students to become familiar with the various policies and regulations of the university and the GCSW and to meet the conditions they impose.

Student Grievance Policy
Grievance Cover Sheet
Notice of Intent to File a Grievance

Foundation Semester Policies

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