General Student Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The mission of the School of Social Work focuses on the education and preparation of students for professional social work practice. Students are expected to practice upholding the major themes of the School: community building, strengths perspective, and the ethical integration of faith and practice. Students are expected to uphold the core values and ethical standards of the social work profession. These values and ethical principles are identified and discussed in the Council on Social Work Education standards, in the NASW Code of Ethics and in the Texas State licensing standards (or comparable licensing standards in the state in which the student is practicing). As a part of the requirement for baccalaureate entry into the major and graduate entry into the program and for all practice in the community, students are asked to read and sign the following Student Code of Conduct derived from the NASW Code of Ethics and the Texas State Licensing Board regulations. (Numbers at the end of each item refer to the applicable section of the NASW Code of Ethics.)

  1. Social work students are expected to uphold the values, ethics, and standards of the profession. (5.01)
  2. Social work students are expected to treat their peers, faculty, and staff with dignity and respect (2.01A), and avoid unwarranted negative criticism and demeaning comments of these colleagues (2.01B).
  3. Social work students should strive to enhance their competence and recognize the need for continuous professional growth (4.01).
  4. Social work students should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination against persons (4.02).
  5. Social work students should not participate in, condone, or facilitate any type of dishonesty, fraud, or deception (4.04).
  6. Social work students whose personal problems, psychosocial distress, legal problems, substance abuse, or mental health difficulties interfere with their abilities to meet classroom, volunteer service learning, and field practice requirements are expected to take appropriate remedial action and show documented evidence of the success of that action (4.05).
  7. Social work students should not permit their private conduct to interfere with their classroom, volunteer service learning, and field practice responsibilities (4.03).
  8. Social work students engaged in research are expected to protect the confidentiality of human subjects, obtain voluntary informed consent, and inform participants of their right to withdraw from the study (5.02).
  9. Social work students should take responsibility and credit, including authorship credit, only for work they have actually performed and to which they have contributed (4.08).

Standards of Practice

Prior to any academic work in the community that involves the use of social work knowledge, values and skills, students are asked to review the entire NASW Code of Ethics and the applicable state code. The following are some of the major standards for practice in the community as delineated in the NASW Code of Ethics.

Please note: If at any time during your service learning or internship, you find yourself in a situation in which you have questions about a potential ethical concern, please contact your field instructor, faculty liaison, or the Director of Field Education in your program.

    Commitment to Clients (1.01)
      A social worker’s primary responsibility is to promote the well-being of clients.

    Self-Determination (1.02)
      Social workers respect and promote the right of clients to self-determination and assist clients in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals.

    Competence (1.04)
      Social workers should provide services and represent themselves as competent only within the boundaries of their education. It is important to inform your clients that you are a student.

    Conflicts of Interest (1.06)
      (a) Social workers should be alert to and avoid conflicts of interest that interfere with the exercise of professional discretion and impartial judgment.
      (b) Social workers should not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship.
      (c) Social workers should not engage in dual or multiple relationships with clients or former clients in which there are risks of exploitation or potential harm to the client.

    Privacy and Confidentiality (1.07)
      Social workers should protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of professional service, except for compelling professional reasons.

    Sexual Relationships (1.09)
      Social workers should under no circumstances engage in sexual activities or sexual conduct with current or former clients, whether such conduct is consensual or forced.

    Physical Contact (1.10)
      Social workers should not engage in physical contact with clients when there is a possibility of psychological harm to the clients as a result of the contact (such as cradling or caressing clients).

    Derogatory Language (1.12)
      Social workers should use accurate and respectful language in all communications to and about clients.

    Ethical Responsibility to Colleagues (2.01& 2.07)
      Social workers should treat colleagues with respect and should represent accurately and fairly the qualifications, views and obligations of colleagues.

    Social workers should cooperate with social work colleagues and with colleagues of other professions when such cooperation serves the well-being of clients.

    Social workers should avoid engaging in sexual relationships with colleagues when there is a potential conflict of interest.

    Student Rights and Responsibilities

    The rights of social work students include, but are not limited to:
    • Right to participate in shaping the development of plans, programs, and policies that affect quality of the School of Social Work’s curriculum.
    • Right to learn in an environment that promotes individual and career development.
    • Right to learn in a diverse community which provides exposure to a wide range of viewpoints.

    The responsibilities of social work students include, but are not limited to:
    • Accountability for their own learning.
    • Expectation to perform as a social work professional according to the guidelines of the NASW Code of Ethics.
    • Expectation to be an active agent in the process of continuously improving the School of Social Work’s academic program.

    The school policy conforms to the Student Right to Due Process Policy and Procedures as outlined in the Baylor University Student Handbook.

    Change of Address and Telephone Number

    It is frequently a matter of great importance to students for University officials to be able to locate them quickly. For this reason, students are asked to file a notice of change of student local or student home address and telephone number with the Office of Academic Records promptly, and not later than ten days thereafter in any case. Address changes may be made in person on the third floor of the Clifton Robinson Tower or may be sent via email to Additionally, changes in student local or student home addresses may be made through BearWeb. Failure to receive University notices because of an incorrect address provided by the student will not relieve the student of responsibility for responding to the notice.

    Student/Program Communication and Notification

    It is also the student’s responsibility to keep a current address, Baylor University email address, and phone number on file with the office of the School of Social Work. The School will record the postal address, phone number, and email address at the time of initial admission. Any changes in contact information from that point forward must be initiated by the student. All students are required to obtain and monitor a Baylor email account. This contact information will be used to inform students of upcoming events and any unforeseen circumstances such as emergency cancellation of classes. Additionally, many faculty are managing courses through the University Blackboard System.

    The School of Social Work faculty and staff communicate with students through a variety of methods:

      Student Folders - Upon admission to the program, each student is assigned a folder located in a file cabinet in the Student Lounge located in the Speight Plaza building. Information about meetings and class activities, as well as messages from faculty and staff are placed in the folders. Students should check their folders frequently. After the school’s move to its new location, students will be given a new location for receiving messages.

      Email - Faculty use email to communicate with students concerning class assignments, activities, and appointments. All Blackboard communication utilizes Baylor email. All students are required to obtain, monitor and use a Baylor email address.

      Bulletin Boards - The School maintains three bulletin boards located in the Draper classroom building and the Speight Plaza building. Information about advisement, class changes, Social Work Organization meetings, etc, is posted on these boards. Students should make a habit of checking them at least twice a week.

      Website/Electronic Bulletin Boards - The School maintains a webpage within the main Baylor University website, which provides information to current and prospective students, including job announcements for current and graduating students. Electronic bulletin boards (Blackboard) also may be utilized by faculty to post classroom and other important information. Students should check these information sources frequently.

      Other Methods - Other methods of communicating school information to students include updates at student organization meetings, graduate brown bag lunch meetings, baccalaureate meeting of the majors, announcements in classes, standard mail, and email. “The Voice” is a school newsletter that is emailed weekly to students.

    Students should attend the scheduled All School Meetings and check your Baylor e-mail daily. These methods of communication serve as primary channels of information for the baccalaureate and graduate program about program updates and changes.

    Campus Safety

    Baylor considers personal safety on campus a top priority. Residence halls enforce a locked door policy and residents are asked to swipe their student IDs at main entrances to show residential status and gain access to their building.

    The Baylor Department of Public Safety provides additional 24-hour security with car and bike patrols and works in close alliance with the Waco Police Department to create a safe environment for the university community. Seventy-five emergency call boxes are located on campus with direct access to BDPS, which has a staff of thirty-five, including twenty-three commissioned police officers.

    Safety and Security Education Officers are on duty between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. These Campus Living and Learning staff members move freely in and around specific zones of residence halls where they escort students as needed, confront and report unacceptable behavior, check that all exit doors are secure, and alert Baylor police about suspicious behavior.

    Baylor's Crime Prevention and Security Report is provided annually to all students and is available at

    Social Work Student Safety in Field Sites

    Students in the School of Social Work engage in educationally-directed practice in the community. Policies and guidelines to ensure student social work safety may be found in the Field Manual. Students are responsible for reading and following the social worker safety guidelines when engaged in educational placement activities and to assess agency safety using tools provided by the program.