Nov 30, 2023  
Mercy College 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
Mercy College 2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work, B.S.W.

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Raquel Warley, Ph.D., Program Director


Please note: Changes to this page have been made.  See the Catalog Addendum   for details.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

General Liberal Arts and Sciences  
General Education Requirements 60 credits
Major Concentration  

Foundation Course

Social Work

 3  credits

42 credits

Open Electives 15 credits
Total 120 credits

Students majoring in social work should consult with their social work advisor regarding the proper sequencing of courses and the selection of electives to meet major requirements. Students must maintain a 2.8 GPA in major courses and achieve a grade of B- or better in the Field Practicum in order to continue in the social work major.

There is a 24-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of social work. 

Admission to the Major

A student who would like to major in social work must apply for admission to the social work program. The purpose of the admissions process is to help students to consider and assess their understanding and interest in social work as well as their readiness and capacity to assume the expectations of the program. Program faculty will similarly assess student readiness and ability to meet the requirements of the Major.

Criteria for Admission to the Social Work Program

Students applying to the social work major should:

  1. Have completed at least 45 credits.
  2. Have achieved, at least, a cumulative grade point average of 2.60 (on a 4.0 scale)
  3. Have an interest in or demonstrated capacity to provide help to people.
  4. Demonstrate the aptitude for and/or motivation to enhance skills in clear oral and written expression and the ability to think conceptually and analytically.
  5. Meet for an individual interview with the Social Work Program Director, or designate.

During the interview, the student and Program Director will explore the student’s interests, experience skills and goals and discuss the requirements of the social work major. This meeting includes acknowledgment on behalf of the student of the demands and time requirements of the senior-year field practicum.

In its review, the Program Admissions Committee will take into account all aspects of the student’s application and presentation. The Committee has the authority to make any exceptions to its admissions policy in accepting an applicant and makes the final decision on an applicants’ suitability.

After completing the application process, the admissions committee will determine if the student:

  • is admitted to the social work program
  • offered provisional admission, indicating the specific criteria the student must meet for full admission.
  • or denied admission.

The student will receive a formal letter from the Program Director informing him/her of the Committee’s decision.

Students must apply for admission to the social work major by the end of their sophomore year. They should contact the director of the Social Work Program for information and application procedures for admission to the major.

Transfer students are encouraged to contact the Social Work Program for application materials at the same time they are applying for admission to the College. Freshmen and sophomores intending to apply for admission to the Social Work Program should declare Pre-Social Work as their major and contact the Social Work Program Office for an interview in the Spring semester of their sophomore year. Students usually enter the Social Work Program at the beginning of their junior year, in the fall semester, following completion of the application process and acceptance for admission to the program.

Social Work Foundation Course

Open Electives

  • Any five courses

Additional Information


Mercy College offers a B.S.W. degree in social work that is approved by the New York State Education Department.
The Social Work Program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Termination/Appeals Procedure

In order to remain in the Social Work Program, a student

  1. Must maintain a 2.8 grade point in social work major courses.
  2. Must receive a passing grade of at least a C in the field practicum
  3. Must maintain appropriate professional conduct.
  4. Should demonstrate competency or satisfactory progress towards achieving in written and verbal communication to function satisfactorily in the field

Professional conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Engaging in social work practice under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  2. Behavior that interferes with the student’s academic or professional functioning.
  3. Behavior that jeopardizes the welfare of clients.
  4. Behavior that is disruptive to the learning of other students or co-workers.
  5. Exploitation of a professional relationship for personal gain, etc.
  6. Participating or condoning dishonesty, fraud, misrepresentation or deception in the context of one’s educational experience or professional role.
  7. Breach of professional confidentiality.
  8. Engaging in any form of discrimination.

Students will be notified in writing by their faculty advisor, faculty field liaison, or course instructor if they are at-risk for failing to meet these requirements, and a collateral meeting will usually follow with either the Program Director or Field Coordinator regarding the situation.

The Educational Review Committee

The Educational Review Committee (ERC) functions as a consultative and decision-making committee on students at risk in meeting expected standards in the class or in the field, on students who fail to meet expected standards for continuance in the Social Work Program, and on the suitability of the student’s educational experience for learning.

Composition: The Educational Review Committee is composed of 3-4 Social Work faculty members, including the Program Director who serves as Chair; and a student who attends if the student under review wishes him/her to be present. If three faculty members cannot attend, the Chair will appoint a member of the Program Advisory Board (or other person e.g. Division faculty or a field instructor) to serve on the Committee. If a faculty member is presenting a student’s situation to the Committee, s/he will not serve on the Committee and another member shall serve in his/her place. As the chair, the Program Director will attend all Educational Review Committee meetings and cannot be a designated advisor to a student going up for review. The Field Coordinator cannot be the advisor of a student going up for review due to Field related issues. For specific information regarding resolving Field issues and the Educational Review Committee, please refer to the Field Educational Manual.

The current social work majors will elect a student representative. An alternate student member shall be similarly designated and serve in the absence of the regular student member. Both students must be in good standing and able to assume this important, impartial educational role.

Function: The primary functions of the Educational Review Committee are:

  1. To provide consultation to the faculty advisor or faculty field liaison and student on questions related to the student’s academic and fieldwork performance and the quality and appropriateness of the field placement experience.
  2. To make dispositionary judgments and offer alternative recommendations if the student fails to meet academic or field practicum requirements in the major, violates educational or professional standards of conduct, or the student requests review of an educational issue in which the advisor and student did not agree or which may require an exception to policy.

Decisions may include a change of field placement, an extension of the semester, or in the case of failure, repetition of the semester in field work, probation, intermittence or termination from the social work major.

Procedures of referral and review: A faculty member or student may initiate a request for Committee review. If the student’s academic or field performance is at risk or at a failing level, the following steps should be followed.

  1. Emphasis should be on early identification of problems with the focus on exploration and problem identification including any variables in the academic course situation or field placement that may be adversely influencing the student’s capacity to learn and meet performance expectations. In the case of a field issue, every effort should be made to address the problems at this level and will usually include meetings between the student, field instructor, and faculty member (field liaison). In the event that the issue cannot be resolved at this level, the Field Education Coordinator will play a more active role in determining the best course of action. This includes the decision to request a Committee review.
  2. If a student is at risk or fails to meet the Program’s academic requirements, the student should be presented for review by the Committee. Those standards are identified on page 14 of the Social Work Student Handbook.
  3. The faculty advisor and/or faculty field liaison (depending on where the problems are located must send a written detailed summary (the Guideline is available in the Social Work Program Office). In preparing the report, the faculty member may wish to contact the student’s current classroom instructors to request a brief review of the student’s current class performance. A student initiating a consultation with the ERC should prepare a statement, identifying the issue, question, or request and offer supporting data.

Please note:
The Field Education Coordinator cannot serve as a student’s advisor in matters relating to field work.

The Report should be sent to the Committee Chair at least 4 days prior to the meeting.
The faculty member or student who initiates the request for Committee review contacts the Chair, who will arrange a meeting time and ensures that copies of the Report are sent to the student and committee members at least 4 days prior to the meeting.

Students may bring a student advocate, who is a social work major, and should notify the Chair in advance. Students should also indicate if they want the student member present during the meeting. Field Instructors will not routinely attend meetings of the ERC, but may be invited at the discretion of the Chair. Faculty and students should direct any requests for attendance by the field instructor a week prior to the meeting.

  1. The Chair will notify the student indicating any decisions that were made. A copy of the Report and a summary of the meeting will be kept in the student’s program file.

APPEAL: Students may appeal a Committee decision by contacting the SSBS Dean within two weeks after receipt of the recommendations from the ERC. The SSBS Dean or Associate Dean will review all of the relevant documentation. A written decision shall be sent to both the student and Academic Unit Head/or Program Director within one week after the meeting. The decision rendered by the SSBS Dean is final; no additional appeals will be permitted.

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