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Section 1.07.00: Grades in Academic Courses and in Field Education

Letter grades from A through E are given for class performance in most cases. Grades of A are given for exceptional individual performance and mastery of the material. The use of A+, A, and A– distinguishes degrees of superior mastery. B grades are given to students who demonstrate mastery of the material: B+ is used for students who perform just above the mastery level but not in an exceptional manner; B– is used for students just below the mastery level. C grades are given when mastery of the material is minimal. A C– is the lowest grade which carries credit. D grades indicate deficiency and carry no credit. E grades indicate failure and carry no credit. Due to the brief length of time in which a one-credit course meets, partial attendance will likely result in a grade of E. One-credit courses may also be offered as S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).

The grading system for all field education courses consists of S, M (marginal), and U. A grade of S is used when the quality of performance is acceptable and credit is granted for the course. M is used when the quality of performance is less than satisfactory, but short of failing. U is used when the quality of performance is inadequate and no credit is granted.

Field faculty are responsible for grading field education performance. Students are expected to adhere to the
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, to meet the School of Social Work Technical Standards, to follow field site policies and procedures and to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Failure to meet these expectations may be reflected in field education grades and/or other action taken by the school.

Grades for field education are S, M, and U. The student's final grade for field education is based on the following sources and documents:

1. The student’s field instructor evaluation ratings on the Online Educational Agreement (OEA) form. Ratings take into consideration a number of factors that include the student justifications of competency-based assignments and practice behaviors.
An incomplete OEA will result in a grade of M, U or I (incomplete).
a. SW 515 "Foundation Field Education" grading scale: See the SW 515 syllabus
b. SW 691 "Advanced Field Education" grading scale: See the SW 691 syllabus
2. The field instructor's end of placement written narrative regarding the student’s performance.
3. Records, reports, logs, and other written materials produced by the student.
4. Verbal assessments of specific aspects of the student's performance provided by the field instructor
and/or secondary field instructor during the site visit and other times, as well as input from other
fieldwork personnel involved in field education.
5. Grades are also determined by evaluating the student’s professional behavior in the field setting. Students
are required to:
a. Maintain appropriate professional behaviors such as attendance, time management, meeting
deadlines, professional appearance, and professional demeanor at all times.
b. Maintain open relationships with their field instructor(s), their field faculty, colleagues, client groups,
the community, the School of Social Work, and learn to give and receive constructive feedback.
c. Exhibit personal responsibility, accountability and the ability to collaborate, and follow through on
d. Demonstrate active listening, professional communication (oral and written) that is timely,
responsible, expressed in a sensitive manner and exhibits self-awareness and self-correction.
6. The OEA evaluation is shared with the student so that a discussion can ensue regarding identified
strengths and areas for improvement as the student moves forward towards graduation.

All students must receive satisfactory (S) grades for the 12 required credits in "Advanced Field Education". Students who do not meet this requirement (students who receive a marginal (M) grade in "Advanced Field Education") must complete additional field education work assignments as identified by the field faculty in consultation with the assistant dean for field education. The number of credits/hours that will need to be repeated depend on the circumstances involved. Students with a 2-credit exemption from "Foundation Field Education" (SW 515) will have the exemption revoked if a grade below S is received after the completion of the first advanced term of field education.

Students who receive an M grade, complete remediation assignments which may include additional hours of field in a subsequent term, and receive a grade of S for this remediation will be eligible to have the previous M grade changed to a grade of MS.
Note: A grade of MS stays on the academic record permanently.

For students requiring 14 total field education credits, no more than 2 credits of a marginal (M) grade in "Foundation Field Education" (SW 515) will count toward the MSW degree. Students who receive an M grade in SW 515 will be placed on academic probation. If the student receives an M in "Foundation Field Education", the student may enroll in "Advanced Field Education" (SW 691) in the following term. The student does not have to repeat the hours or the credits. The student must work closely with their faculty advisor and field faculty to develop a plan for removal of probationary status.

No student may receive credit for an unsatisfactory (U) grade in field education. Receiving a grade of U will require that the student repeat the course.

Students should also be aware that once the term is completed and the grade has been issued, adjustment to registration for SW 515 or SW 691 cannot be changed without approval from their field faculty.

A student who is unable to meet minimum standards in field education may be terminated from the placement at any time. Termination from a field placement will result in a grade of U for the term.

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