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Social Work

Student Handbook

Code of Conduct

"Social work practice is as much an expression of values and ethics as it is of knowledge and skills. Values and ethics must not be separated from our practice models, professional behavior, and academic performance standards in social work education."

Social work is a profession whose members are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics and standards advanced by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). (See Appendix E), by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and by the licensing board of the state, the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners (NDBSWE). (See Appendix F). Students admitted to the Social Work Program at Minot State University are expected to adhere to the values and ethics of the social work profession according to NASW and CSWE, as well as to the values and code of conduct of the university community as outlined in the Minot State University Student Handbook.

In November, 2001, the Minot State University social work faculty developed and approved a Student Admissions Contract and Code of Conduct and Statement of Agreement and Understanding (See Appendix G) based on the NASW Code of Ethics and CSWE’s accreditation standards for social work education. The Student Admissions Contract and Code of Conduct outlines the academic and behavioral conduct expectations of students in the Program. All students admitted to the Program are asked to read and sign a Statement of Agreement and Understanding as evidence of their understanding and commitment to the professional code of ethics and conduct as set forth by the Program.

The Performance Review Committee, as part of its function, oversees adherence to these academic, behavioral and ethical expectations of students enrolled in the Social Work Program at Minot State University.

Academic Honesty
Academic honesty is at the very core of any college program. Any behavior deemed as academically dishonest by the department will result in an F for the class. Academic dishonesty would include, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviors:

  1. Misrepresenting another individual's work as one's own. Plagiarism (see definition below).
  2. Copying from another student during an exam.
  3. Copying another students work.
  4. Allowing another student to copy a paper or other class assignment.
  5. Altering one's exam after grading for the purpose of enhancing one's grade.
  6. Submitting the same paper to more than one class.
  7. Use of any material not approved by the instructor during an exam.
  8. Turning in reports intended to be based on field collected data but, in fact, it is not.

Claiming another writer’s words or ideas as one’s own is plagiarism and a breach of both the professional code of ethics and the student code of conduct. Plagiarism is considered a serious academic and ethical violation. It is dishonest to submit ideas, facts, interpretations and phrasing from another source without fully and adequately acknowledging credit to the author of that source. Credit must be given where credit is due.

It is always best to present the information obtained in your references in your own words, as you understand the meaning. If you copy sentences, paragraphs, parts of paragraphs, rearrange the sentences of a paragraph from your reference(s), or even put the concepts/ideas/results/interpretations in your own words and you do not include the proper referencing for this copy, you are committing plagiarism (Olson, 2001). Plagiarism may also include use of statistics, charts and tables derived from other sources. As with the written word, the sources are to be cited.

Plagiarism calls into question the student’s integrity. If a faculty member discovers that a student’s paper (or a portion thereof) has been plagiarized, the paper will be considered unacceptable and action will be taken as deemed appropriate by the faculty member. Actions may range from a failing grade for the individual assignment, and/or for the course, to referral to the Performance Review Committee, potential expulsion from the Social Work Program, and/or university level disciplinary proceedings.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (2001, pp. 349-350), describes the main principles and ethical standards to consider in the preparation of written manuscripts regarding plagiarism.

  1. It is plagiarism to present substantial portions or elements of another’s work or data as one’s own, even if the other work or data is cited occasionally (p. 395)
  2. Quotation marks should be used to indicate the exact words of another (p. 349)
  3. Each time another author is paraphrased, the source must be credited in the text (p. 349)
  4. The work of another author also extends to ideas as well as written words and needs to be appropriately credited. The original author may not always be able to be identified, but must be acknowledged if known (p. 349)

The student is responsible for understanding the rules of referencing and quoting another author’s work. If in question, it is up to the student to discuss any confusion with their faculty instructors, prior to submission of any questionable work.

Duplicate Work
All written work submitted to the faculty must be the original work of the student and prepared solely for the course in which the work was assigned. Unless the student has received prior consent from the course instructor, work that is submitted to meet requirements of more than one course will be considered unacceptable and treated as deemed appropriate by the faculty member.

Sexual Harassment
Minot State University’s commitment to equal opportunity includes an assurance to its employees and students that they will not be subjected to sexual harassment, as such conduct is prohibited at the University. Minot State University defines sexual harassment as follows:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education requirement.
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions, educational decisions (grades, etc.), affecting such individual.
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or learning performance or creating an intimidating or demeaning, or hostile, or offensive working/classroom environment.

This definition is in compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employees or students concerned about violations of this policy may request assistance from the Human Resource Officer in the Administration Building, the Student Life Office located in the Student Union or the Student Development Center in Lura Manor.

Class Attendance
Regular attendance and active participation in all classes is a basic expectation of all students in the Social Work Program. Dependability, punctuality and acting responsibly are characteristics consistent with standards of the profession. The acquisition of professional knowledge and social work skills proficiency demands a time and value commitment by the student. Social workers are to act with competence, honesty and responsibility—which can only be acquired and maintained through conscientious attention and consistent adherence to high standards of professional integrity and performance.

Social work faculty have an ethical responsibility to competently prepare qualified students for entry into the profession. This responsibility does not stand alone but is highly dependent on the student’s interest and motivation to be an active and involved partner in that preparation. Without the student’s consistent involvement, that preparation will not take place.

When a student misses a number of classes, not only does he or she miss learning experiences that may not be able to be duplicated, but the student is also depriving classmates of ideas and opportunities for interaction essential to the learning process. If unforeseen events occur during the course of a semester that prevents attendance/participation for extended periods of time, then it is sensible for the student to withdraw from a class and take it at a time when full participation is possible.

Each instructor establishes his/her own guidelines regarding class absences. Whether or not a student is allowed to make up missed work is at the discretion of the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their instructors regarding absences and missed work.

As a courtesy to students and faculty, the Student Life Office contacts faculty on behalf of the student in emergency situations for absences that extend beyond one week. Notifying the Student Life Office does not constitute an excused absence and students are responsible for contacting their individual instructors at the earliest possible time. Please refer to the Student Handbook for additional information on the University Class Absence Policy.