Faculty members do not have a formal student advising load as part of their workload; however, faculty are expected to make themselves available for student advising during office hours and by appointment. Faculty office hours should be listed on each syllabus. Students are likely to seek out faculty for professional advising about their career aspirations and path. Students will find faculty members’ bios located on the school’s website in order to determine research interests, subject areas of expertise, courses they teach and designation of concentration/specialization chairpersons.
Academic Advising is provided by the Office of Records and Registration http://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/academics/office-of-registration/.
The Academic Advisor organizes group advising sessions for students multiple times a year and meets with students individually to discuss their plan of study and confirm they are on track to graduate on time. Students are encouraged to speak with the school’s Academic Advisor to develop an educational plan which meets the academic requirements needed to complete the program within the prescribed time frame. In addition, the Academic Advisor and the staff of the Office of Records and Registration are available to talk about curriculum matters, the structure of the academic program, academic rules and degree requirements. Although the Academic Advisor will assist students in developing a Plan of Study, each student must assume responsibility for knowing curriculum requirements and seeing that these requirements are met by reviewing the materials on the School’s website.
The SRC, a standing committee of the faculty, is responsible for reviewing allegations of academic dishonesty and/or unprofessional (problematic) behavior of a student in the classroom, the field instruction setting and the school community at large brought before it by a member of the school community. Additionally the Committee reviews allegations of illegal behavior and/or conviction of a crime by/of a student brought to its attention. Members of the school community include faculty, field instructors, students and staff.
Academic Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:
a. false reporting of practice in the field placement,
b. false reporting of classroom work as it affects the evaluation of a student’s performance,
c. bribery, seduction, or threats in relation to performance evaluation, cheating and/or plagiarism, whether by using work as one’s own and/or without citation regardless if taken from the WEB, printed materials, or work produced by others. (Please see NASW Code of Ethics, Standard 4.08.)
Student Handbook 2018-2019
Problematic Behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following:
d. commission or omission of any act, which does not conform to generally accepted standards of responsible professional practice (e.g. NASW Code of Ethics),
e. behavior which jeopardized the safety or rights of students, faculty, staff or clients of the School or University or a Field Instruction site,
f. theft of property,
g. malicious destruction or damage to property belonging to others,
h. threat or commission of physical violence against any person,
i. abusive, obscene or violent behavior while on University property or participating in University activities,
j. use, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs,
k. falsification, forgery or modification of any official document or written communication,
l. knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment of financial obligations to the University,
m. failure to follow the rules and regulations of field instruction sites participating in the School’s program,
n. commission or omission of any act which would provide cause for denial or revocation of a social work license.
Conviction of a crime occurs when a student has been convicted of criminal behavior or sentenced to probation before judgment by a court of legal jurisdiction.
At the end of every semester, each student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is reviewed by the Office of Records and Registration to determine if the student is in good academic standing. Good academic standing is having
a GPA of 3.0 or higher. A student will be dismissed after 2 semesters of having a GPA of below 3.0. (Academic Probation). A student who, for the first time, obtains an overall GPA below 3.0 will be notified that the student
is being placed on Academic Probation. A student on Academic Probation for the first time is required to meet with the Academic Advisor prior to the start of the next semester to develop an academic plan to assist the student in improving the student’s grades. Failure to meet with the Academic Advisor may result in an administrative hold on the student’s account that prevents further registration. Once on Academic Probation, a student is not eligible for incomplete grades (with Field as the only exception).
A student, who has previously been on Academic Probation and is found to have completed an additional semester with an overall GPA below 3.0, will be dismissed. The Office of Student Affairs may consider an exception to dismissal for a student with a strong potential for achieving a 3.0 GPA by the end of the student’s next semester. If granted the exception, a student must achieve a 3.0 GPA by the end of that one granted semester to remain in the program.
Suspension is the denial of enrollment for a specified period of time. Grounds for suspension for problematic professional behavior include but are not limited to:
- ethical violations,
- academic dishonesty,
- conviction of a crime, and
- Falsifying information on the admissions application.
(See the Student Review Committee (SRC) Policy for an explanation of the SRC referral and hearing process.)
A student who is suspended does not need to reapply to the school but must comply with the written terms of the suspension. Suspensions may be up to one year in duration. The student must document and submit evidence of the student’s compliance in a written appeal requesting re-entry to the School, in accordance with the timeline given in the terms of the suspension. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will communicate the decision regarding the appeal for re-entry into the school.
Dismissal is the denial of enrollment for an indefinite period of time. A student who has demonstrated “academic failure” or problematic professional behavior will be dismissed from the program. Examples of academic failure include but are not limited to:
- having earned failing “F” grades in two, three-credit courses OR
- having earned failing “F” grades in two semesters of field practicum OR
- having earned failing “F” grades in a combination of one, three credit course and one semester of field practicum. two semesters of Academic Probation.
For a course where the student receives their first “F” the student may retake the course. The grade received for the re-take will be placed on the student’s transcript and calculated in the student’s revised GPA. However, the initial F will remain on the transcript. The second “F” will result in automatic dismissal, even in circumstances when the first “F” has been replaced with a passing grade. A course where a student receives a second “F” grade may not be repeated.
Grounds for dismissal for problematic professional behavior include but are not limited to:
- ethical violations,
- academic dishonesty,
- conviction of a crime, and
- falsifying information on the admissions application.
(See the Student Review Committee (SRC) Policy for an explanation of the SRC referral and hearing process.)
To be considered for readmission, the dismissed student must submit an application for admission to the School, meet all admission requirements, and be judged on the student’s merits in relation to the pool of applicants. Additionally, an applicant for readmission must submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s understanding of the grounds for dismissal and the applicant’s plans for success should readmission occur.
A dismissed students who is readmitted must start the entire program from the beginning. Previously earned credits are not automatically accepted but may be credited upon review. A Student must request credit reviews in writing; these are facilitated by the Office of Admissions. At least two years from the time of dismissal must have elapsed before matriculation will be permitted. The Office of Admissions will refer applications for readmission from a dismissed student to the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
If a student would like to request classroom or field practicum accommodations for a disability, they should promptly contact the UMB Office of Educational Support and Disability Services at 410-706-5889 or email@example.com to avoid delay in the receipt of accommodations. Disability accommodations are not retroactive nor provided until approval has been completed with this office.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is committed to the principles of equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities in compliance with the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.
UMB will not discriminate on the basis of disability against a qualified person with a disability in regard to application, acceptance, grading, advancement, training, discipline, graduation, or other aspects related to a student’s participation in an academic program of UMB.
While a student’s request for accommodation is always considered, the Office of Educational Support and Disability Services (ESDS) engages in an interactive process to devise a plan that is acceptable to the University, the School, and the student. Determination of whether an accommodation is reasonable is made by ESDS in consultation with School Liaison and other appropriate campus personnel. In keeping with the provisions of the ADA, an accommodation will not be approved: (1) that is incompatible with the technical standards for admission to, and completion of the program; (2) that alters the fundamental nature of the academic program; (3) that would result in a risk to the health or safety of the student or another individual; or (4) that would result in undue hardship to the University.
A decision that an accommodation would result in undue hardship due to its cost must be approved by the Assistant Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. Proposed accommodations will also incorporate any school specific practices for handling of disabilities. UMB may offer alternative accommodations that differ from those suggested by the student.
UMB students and applicants may allege violations of this policy by following the Guidelines and Process for UMB Student Grievances. However, students and applicants are encouraged to resolve alleged violations and complaints informally by contacting ESDS.
Types of Accommodations
For a complete list of available accommodations, including testing accommodations, please visit the following site: http://www.umaryland.edu/disabilityservices/for-students/types-of-accommodations/
If hired as teaching faculty, they will have the same guidelines as Clinical Professors.
Clinical Instructors with full-time non-teaching positions can teach one or more classes as a supplement with justification submitted to UMB HR.
Course coordinators are faculty within the School who are responsible for managing multi-section courses. Coordinators are the point of contact for faculty teaching any of the courses listed below, and meet as needed with faculty teaching a section of the course. Once assigned one of the courses below, faculty should contact the Course Coordinator for an orientation to the course syllabus, assignments, readings and other course-related questions. For a list of the current course coordinators go to:
Faculty may want to provide articles to students via Blackboard. In order to be compliant with copyright, there are some rules.
A summary of main points follows:
- If the library has access to an article via a journal subscription, you can provide a permalink to it. Most databases and online journals have ways for you to create a permalink yourself to post in Blackboard. Please see the attached handout for more information.
- If the library does not have access to an article, there are a few ways you can share it with your students according to copyright Fair Uselaws:
- Faculty can post it in Blackboard once for one semester, and then take it down at the end of the semester.
- Faculty can get permission from the copyright owner.
- The library can seek permission for you when you submit your materials through the Course Reserves process.
- Post material in a password protected environment like Blackboard.
- Post permalinks to PDFs instead of the actual PDF.
- Allow access only to students enrolled in the current class.
- Post only what you would typically distribute in a face-to-face classroom environment.
- Take material down after the semester has ended.
- Post an entire book or journal issue.
- Post a PDF online unless there is no other possible way to distribute the material.
- Forget to ask permission if you want to repeatedly post material that the library does not have access to.
The Associate Deans for the MSW and PhD programs assign faculty to courses beginning in the spring of each year, in response to the stated preferences of each faculty member and in accordance with the School’s workload policy.
Course schedules for each semester, UMB’s academic calendar, and the SSW registration calendar and important dates can be found at: https://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/academics/calendar/
The Library's Course Reserve system maintains, for use in specific courses, a collection of materials including books, book chapters, periodical articles, lecture outlines, sample exams, and class notes. Items are placed on reserve at the request of instructors and are either held for use at the Circulation Desk or are made available via the electronic reserve system, depending on format and copyright permissions status. Faculty may submit their syllabus to the library here: http://www.hshsl.umaryland.edu/
The syllabus should be submitted as far in advance as possible to the Health Science and Human Services Library (Green and Lombard Sts., 706-7996). Janice Hicks and Kristen Hood can assist faculty in placing readings on reserve. The library places the required articles on electronic reserve for downloading onto hard copy, which facilitates students getting copies of readings. Book chapters cannot be put on electronic reserve. Books and book chapters will be on reserve at the reserve desk in the library.
For Course Reserve FAQ: http://www.hshsl.umaryland.edu/resources/reserves/faculty.cfm
Faculty members are responsible for managing courses in their absence. In the event of an absence, faculty must have a procedure in place to notify students of canceled class, have coverage for the class, or have an alternative assignment available to the students. Possible alternatives include: a colleague teaching the class, creating an online module, having students watch a film or attend a campus lecture and write a reflection paper, etc.
For complete University System of Maryland leave policy: http://www.usmd.edu/regents/bylaws/SectionII/
Duties within this category of faculty vary and can include a combination of teaching, research and service activities.
If primarily hired as teaching faculty, the following workload will apply:
10 month contract
80% Teaching = 8 courses = 10% buy-out/course for service above and beyond expected duties
12 month contract
80% teaching = 9 courses
Research Professors are expected to dedicate 100% of their time to research-related activities. Further:
If not 90-100% grant funded, an alternative work-plan could include about 1 course for every 10% of unfunded time or equivalent service on research-related committees.
Research Professors can teach one class per semester as a supplement to their duties with written justification submitted to UMB HR.
All Tenure-track faculty are expected to meet the following workload requirements, as identified in the UMB workload policy and summarized as follows:
50% Teaching = 5 courses (Liaison load = 1 class: 5 -6 student load)
Tenure-Track faculty can buy-out of a course for 10% of their 10-month institutional salary
We have a general understanding that all Tenure Track faculty should teach at least 1 course a year (e.g. faculty cannot buy out of all 5 courses)
Faculty are not required to teach a night or weekend class, as has been the norm in the past, but Administration reserves the right to ask for faculty to teach certain sections when necessary.
FEC will help guide Administration in developing clarity about what kinds of administrative duties/professional service warrants a course buy-out.
The School of Social Work Masters Program has different types of courses for which students receive academic credit: in-person courses, on-line and hybrid (part in-person and part on-line) courses, graduate seminars (SOWK 789 Faculty Research Project, SOWK 798 Independent Study, SOWK 790 Independent Student Research Project, SOWK 799 Masters Thesis and SOWK 705 International Social Work), and field practica.
All courses meet the Federal and Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) definitions and regulations for assignment of credit hours summarized as follows:
1) In-person courses include a minimum of 1 hour of direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work each week for fifteen weeks per credit. A 3-credit course, therefore, requires a minimum of 45 hours of direct faculty instruction and 90 hours of student work for fifteen weeks.
2) On-line and Hybrid courses do not require as much “seat time” as in-person classes but the amount of student work expected in each is equivalent to an in-person course, as described above.
3) Graduate seminar courses meet less than 1 hour a week per credit hour for fifteen weeks, but require a substantial amount of outside student research. Therefore, a 3-credit graduate seminar course requires the equivalent amount of work per semester as a regular in-person 3-credit class but fewer hours of direct faculty instruction.
4) Field Practica: Foundation year field placements are two full days a week for 6 credits a year: a total of sixteen (16) hours each week for a minimum of fifteen (15) weeks each semester (a minimum of four hundred and eighty  hours for the Foundation year). Advanced year field placements are three full days a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) for 12 credits a year: a total of twenty-four (24) hours each week for a minimum of fifteen (15) weeks each semester (a minimum of seven hundred and twenty  hours for the advanced year).
Every course grade should be based on at least two grading mechanisms. A mid-term assignment must be graded and the grade returned to the student no later then the ninth week of the classes - or the 9th class in summer- (so that the student may drop a class by the drop date if that is necessary.)
Final grades should be turned in by the grade submission due date established by the Office of Records and Registration each semester, and grades should not be changed once they are turned in unless a mistake was made. Grade submission due dates are posted on the SSW Registration and Important Dates calendar posted on the SSW website: http://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/academics/calendar/
It is the policy of the University of Maryland to conduct business as usual on every scheduled day and that employees are expected to report to work. In the event of inclement weather the president or his designee can decide if it is necessary to close the campus, no other University official has the authority to make this decision. Once a decision is made the Office of Communications and Public Affairs will contact both the media and internal communications personnel to ensure that the information is disseminated quickly and efficiently.
During a campus emergency or inclement weather, up-to-date information is available online at http://www.umaryland.edu/alerts/ or by calling 410-706-8622.
An incomplete grade is given under exceptional circumstances to a student who has made satisfactory progress in the course and because of illness or circumstances beyond the student’s control is unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the semester. The incomplete grade is not designed to accommodate an illness or circumstance that is long in duration where the student misses the majority of a course. More appropriate avenues for such long illnesses or circumstances are to withdraw from the course, retake the course, take a leave of absence from the program, or to withdraw from the program.
The student is only eligible to receive an incomplete (“I”) grade when there is a reasonable expectation that all course requirements can be completed with a passing grade. The grade of “I” may be considered only for a student who has completed at least half of the course, completed approximately half of all coursework assignments (if assigned) with at least a grade of “B”, and, in the judgment of the instructor, is performing at a grade of “B” or better (or in a field course, a grade of passing). The instructor retains the right to make the final decision on granting a student’s request for an “I”, even though a student may meet the eligibility requirements for this grade. If the course in which an “I” is assigned is a pre-requisite for another course, the student cannot attend the other course until a final grade for the pre-requisite course is entered. For the classroom, the student must obtain permission in writing from the instructor for an incomplete “I” grade to be entered. This is evidenced by the submission of an Incomplete Grade Form (http://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/media/ssw/students/forms/Incomplete_Grade_Form.pdf ).
Timelines for completion of work must be agreed upon in writing by the instructor and the student and written into the Incomplete Grade Form. The instructor will determine a deadline no later than 6 weeks from the last day of the semester in which the course was attempted and write it into the Incomplete Grade Form. In the case of a student enrolled for a course where the incomplete course is a pre-requisite for the upcoming Fall, Spring or Summer semester, the deadline for the grade to be entered by the instructor must occur at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the first class of the next enrolled course. For Field Education courses, in the case where there is not enough time between semesters to make up missed field days and assignments, the student, field instructor and faculty field liaison will develop a written plan for completion of missed field days and assignments. The Incomplete Grade Form will be used to document this plan. This plan may extend beyond the 10 day limit, but may not exceed 4 weeks from the last day of the semester. The administration of the Office of Field Education must approve the plan in writing.
It is the student’s responsibility to complete and submit the remaining coursework before the assigned deadline. The instructor will submit the grade change, converting the “I” to a letter grade, no more than one week after receiving the student’s completed work. All grade changes must be submitted by the instructor to the Office of Records and Registration using the Supplemental Grade Form. If the student does not meet the deadline(s) as written, the “I” will automatically convert to an “F”. Instructors may not issue a terminal “I” grade.
Faculty Member Decides to Develop a New Course
The first step is to determine if that course will fit within a Concentration or Sequence in the Master’s Program. That determination is made by the instructor in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (ADAA).
Course fits within a Concentration or Sequence
- For a proposed course the Faculty Member seeks to initially teach as a 699 course:
- A complete syllabus must be submitted and reviewed by the home Concentration or Sequence Curriculum Committee, who can provide feedback and request revisions in consideration for approval to be taught as a 699.
- Once taught twice as a 699, the syllabus goes back to the home Curriculum Committee for a second round of reviews and requested revisions in consideration for approval as a permanent course in the catalog.
- The course is then submitted to the MPC for final approval as a permanent course in the course catalog (then assigned an appropriate course acronym and number by Records and Registration in coordination with the ADAA).
For a proposed course the Faculty Member seeks initial full approval as permanent course in the course catalog:
- The proposed course syllabus must be submitted to be reviewed and revised by the home Concentration or Sequence Curriculum Committee in immediate consideration for full approval and inclusion in the course catalog (and assignment of an appropriate course acronym and number).
- If the Curriculum Committee does not decide in favor of full approval, the 699 process would still be an option.
Course does not fit within a Concentration or Sequence
For new courses that do not fit in a Concentration or Sequence:
- The syllabus must be submitted to MPC for review and requested revisions.
- The MPC can approve the course as a 699. The course can be taught twice as a 699.
- After being taught twice, the course syllabus is resubmitted to the MPC for a second round of review and requested revisions. The MPC will also seek input from the ADAA as to the enrollment rates and potential as a permanent course in the course catalog. The MPC then can consideration the course for approval as a new course to be included as a Special Topic in Social Work in the course catalog (and given a SOWK course designation and number by Records and Registration in coordination with the ADAA). Such courses would serve as electives for students, and if so approved could meet the program requirement as an advanced course that includes diversity content.
Important Process Considerations:
- Curriculum Committees will be expected to review a syllabus and provide feedback in the very next meeting if: 1) a complete syllabus is provided to the Committee Chair at least a week before the next meeting, and 2) the proposing instructor can attend.
- If the proposing course instructor can make requested revisions between meetings: 1) Curriculum Committees will be expected to review revisions by email, and 2) if revisions are acceptable to members, then the committee will be expected to officially approve syllabus by email.
Important Calendar Considerations:
- Returning Students register for Summer and Fall in early April, and Entering Students register in late April;
- The Summer and Fall course schedule is finalized in mid-March;
- Students register for Spring classes in early November; and
- The Spring course schedule is finalized in mid-October.
Independent Study (SOWK 798)
Faculty can serve as a Chair for students interested in completing an independent study. Faculty interested in doing so should consult with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for procedures for approval of such courses.
If the most appropriate textbook for a course is self-authored, the faculty member must ensure that he/she is not “improperly profiting from the choice of materials."
The SGC is the committee to which MSW students can grieve actions of the faculty, administrators, and/or staff. Membership shall consist of a chair plus five faculty members elected by the Faculty Organization for two-year staggered terms. The chair will be a full professor elected by the FO at large. All faculty members will be tenured faculty and at least two (in addition to the chair) will be full professors. The chair of SGC will select from the panel three faculty members to review the grievance and will appoint one of these three as chair. The chair must be a full professor; the chair of SGC may serve as the chair of a grievance review. A voting student representative will be selected by the Student Government Association (SGA) for each grievance. The committee will make recommendations to the SGC chair and the Dean. The chair of the FEC may not serve on the SGC.
The Student Grievance Committee shall review any student complaint alleging one or more of the following:
1. Arbitrary and capricious action on the part of a faculty member, including but not limited to, evaluation or grading.
2. Violation of standards of professional behavior on the part of faculty, administrators and/or staff.
3. Violation of due process according to generally accepted norms of the University community.
4. Any behavior that violates the University’s Policy on Faculty, Student and Institutional Rights and Responsibilities for Academic Integrity (Board of Regents’ Policy III-1.00; see University of Maryland, Baltimore Student Answer Book) on the part of faculty, administration, or support staff.
The Student Review Committee (SRC), a standing committee of the faculty, is responsible to review allegations of academic dishonesty and/or unprofessional (problematic) behavior of a student in the classroom, the field instruction setting and the school community at large brought before it by a member of the school community. Additionally the Committee reviews allegations of illegal behavior and/or conviction of a crime by/of a student brought to its attention. Members of the school community include faculty, field instructors, students, and staff.
Upon review of the allegation(s) the Committee shall determine whether or not it believes the incident(s) occurred, and whether it meets the standards of academic dishonesty or unprofessional (problematic) behavior
If the Committee finds that the student engaged in academic dishonesty and/or unprofessional (problematic behavior) it makes a recommendation to the Dean of the School for disciplinary action against the student. If it does not find that the student engaged in academic dishonesty and/or unprofessional (problematic) behavior it will so state and will recommend to the Dean that no action be taken.
Students pursuing professional education are expected to attend all classes. Individual instructors may include attendance as part of the course requirement and include class participation as part of a student’s course grade. Faculty members are responsible for clearly articulating their class attendance policy to students verbally and on their syllabus. Faculty members should also communicate with students that they expect to be notified when a student will be absent from class. Students may be excused from class for illness, religious observance, participation in University activities at the request of University authorities, and compelling circumstances that are beyond the student’s control (please see the UMB policy on absence for religious observances – http://cf.umaryland.edu/umpolicies/usmpolicyInfo.cfm?polid=100§ion=all).
Course syllabi should be posted on Blackboard by the first class session of each semester and should include office hours. [Master Syllabus Template]
All SSW syllabi must include the following three statements verbatim:
- Academic Integrity
Academic integrity is a central value of the School of Social Work. Therefore, all academic dishonesty will be treated seriously, as described in the MSW Student Handbook.
- ADA Disclosure and Accommodation Requests
Students with Disabilities: It is the policy and practice of the University of Maryland Baltimore to create inclusive learning environments. If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need accommodations for this class, it is your responsibility to register with the Office of Educational Support and Disability Services (ESDS). For more information, visit:
To avoid any delay in the receipt of accommodations, you should contact ESDS as soon as possible. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive and that disability accommodations are not provided until an accommodation letter has been processed. Any student registered with ESDS is welcome to contact the instructor as soon as possible for assistance in coordinating the approved accommodations for this course.
For detailed information pertaining to disability services (policies and procedures), students can access the Student Handbook on the SSW web-site and access the Appendices Link and then click onto the documents titled Policy & Procedures for Students with Disabilities and UM Guidelines for Documenting a Disability.
97-100 = A+
93 - 96.9 = A
90 - 92.9 = A-
87 - 89.9 = B+
83 - 86.9 = B
80 - 82.9 = B-
77 - 79.9 = C+
73 - 76.9 = C
70 - 72.9 = C-
67 - 69.9 = D+
63 - 66.9 = D
60 - 62.9 = D-
59 and under = F
For final grades, any grade below C- is registered as "F".
The following point equivalency is in effect:
A+= 4.33, A= 4.0, A-= 3.67, B+= 3.33, B= 3.0, B-=2.67, C+= 2.33, C= 2.0, C-= 1.67 (F= failure/need to repeat class)
The letters A+ through C- are used for credit for a course, P (Pass) is the passing grade for field courses.