Academic Policies and Procedures

Students' Rights

Social work students in the B.S.W., M.S.W., and Ph.D. Programs have a right to participate in decision-making activities about the educational program and the School of Social Work.  Students regularly contribute to the continued development and growth of programs. The school values students’ input in several critical areas: faculty and course evaluation, school committee work, faculty hiring, and student field placements.

All students enrolled at Indiana University have an opportunity each semester to evaluate their courses and instructors.  At the end of each course, students are given standardized faculty evaluation forms to complete.  These evaluations are confidential, and the results are computer generated.  The evaluations are returned to the faculty to use for strengthening content and learning methods to improve instruction.

Through their elected and/or volunteer representatives, social work students provide input to and learn from each of the following committees: B.S.W., M.S.W., Ph.D., and various others that are convened throughout the year.  Student representatives are viewed as valuable members of these committees.

Students have the opportunity to meet both informally and formally with any candidates being considered for faculty positions.

Each student has the opportunity to provide input for the selection of his or her field practicum assignments.  The field practicum coordinator works closely with the student to negotiate a suitable placement.

Social work students have the right to provide feedback about school policies and procedures and the behavior of faculty and staff members.  In providing either positive or critical feedback, students are expected to follow professional social work norms, values, and ethics.  For example, if a student believes that a faculty or staff member’s behavior is discourteous or ineffective, she or he should discuss the concern directly with the faculty or staff member in question.  If the student has reason to believe that in addressing the faculty or staff member directly, that their grade or safety would be placed in jeopardy, the student should register the concern with the respective program director, who will address and respond to the issue.

If a student believes that she or he has been treated unfairly or unprofessionally by a faculty or staff member or that a policy or procedure is unjust or unwise and the student has been unsuccessful in her or his attempt to address the concern directly with the faculty or staff member, then the student may submit in writing a formal grievance petition to the respective program director.  Grievance petitions are reserved for those issues or incidences that warrant formal investigation and full exploration.  Such petitions should be submitted in a professional manner, consistent with social work norms, values, and ethics.

Student complaints regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation need to be addressed with the Dean of the School of Social Work.  There exists an established complaint procedure available in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

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