CHP Student Handbook

Chamberlain University Technical Standards for Master of Social Work (MSW) Program

Chamberlain University is committed to the achievement of superior student outcomes for a diverse population of students. Learning is designed to provide all students with the best academic experience and support services to become extraordinary social workers. Field education experiences are designed using a holistic experiential learning model that recognizes and fosters each student’s professional potential to ultimately improve outcomes in communities across various fields of social work practice.

When considering a social work program, the student must evaluate their abilities and skills. To succeed in a graduate program, a student must possess certain abilities and skills deemed essential functions for the care of the clients they will serve.

Students seeking admission and currently enrolled students should be aware that all students must meet technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations in addition to meeting academic standards. Students will be required to maintain satisfactory demonstration of both academic and technical standards for progression through the program.

A candidate for Chamberlain’s MSW degree must have abilities and skills in four areas: Acquiring Knowledge; Developing Communication; Integration of Knowledge for Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation of Practice (Intellectual and Motor); and Developing Appropriate Professional Approaches (Behavior and Character).

Chamberlain is committed to excellence in regard to accessible education; we encourage students with disabilities to seek accommodations. To make an accommodation request contact the Office of Student Disability Services at [email protected]

The following provides an overview of the technical standard requirements for the MSW program:

Acquiring Knowledge: Must demonstrate the ability to learn in classroom and education settings, to find sources of information and acquire the knowledge as well as to be a life-long learner who can adapt their skills to new developments and techniques.

  • Demonstrate accurate knowledge of social work as a profession
  • Demonstrate clarity of thinking to process information and appropriately apply it to situations in the classroom and field
  • Demonstrate grounding in relevant social, behavioral, and biological science knowledge and research—including knowledge and skills in effective relationship building

Developing Communication: Must demonstrate communication skills for sensitive and effective interactions with clients, families, and/or communities and teams.

  • Comprehend information and communicate effectively and sensitively, ideas and feelings with other students, faculty, staff, clients, and other professionals
  • Communicate in ways that are respectful, safe, and protect the privacy of students, faculty, staff, clients, and other professionals
    • Reports should be professionally presented and use correct grammar and spelling in all communication
    • Apply appropriate American Psychological Association (APA) referencing, source citation, and documentation
    • Express ideas and feelings clearly

Integration of Knowledge for Assessment Intervention, and Evaluation of Practice (Intellectual and Motor): Synthesize information, problem solve and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory assessment strategy and plan of care. Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data related to assessment and intervention with clients and client systems. Re-evaluate plan of care and make appropriate changes as indicated by the evidence.

  • Exercise proper judgment and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner according to the appropriate role level for which the student is being prepared. Ask for help when needed and make proper judgments of when a task can or cannot be carried out alone
  • Exhibit the ability to conceptualize and integrate knowledge and appropriately apply that knowledge to professional practice
  • Accurately assess client strengths and needs for the development of appropriate interventions
  • Implement plans of care and use data to adapt plans as needed to best serve clients
  • Obtain and interpret information from assessment of client’s environment and responses to bio, psycho and social health and well-being across the continuum (spanning time and differing circumstances)
  • Use research data to understand both client problems and effective strategies for intervention based upon individual client situations and circumstances

Developing Appropriate Professional Approaches (Behavior and Character): Must have the ability to effectively handle and manage heavy workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and function in the face of ambiguity inherent in the various problems and life circumstances of clients.

  • Maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients, families, students, faculty, staff, field instructors, and other professionals under all circumstances
  • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for clients’ needs
  • Manifest concern for others
  • Demonstrate integrity, accountability, interest, and motivation
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior, including a strong commitment to the goals of social work and to the ethical standards of the profession, as specified in the NASW Code of Ethics and the Codes of Ethics for Social Work Boards of Examiners in relevant jurisdictions
  • Take appropriate responsibility for own actions and consider the impact of these actions on others
  • Be receptive to feedback and supervision in a constructive manner, as well as use such feedback to enhance professional development/performance
  • Comply with program, agency, & institutional policies, professional ethical standards, and societal laws in classrooms, field practicum, and communities
  • Demonstrate responsible and accountable behavior evidenced, for example, by knowing and practicing within the scope of social work

MSW Technical Standards Evaluation Purpose and Process

All Master of Science in Social Work (MSW) students at Chamberlain University must meet Technical Standards with or without reasonable accommodation. If at any point a student ceases to meet the Technical Standards, they may choose to work with the Office of Student Disability Services or the Office of Equity and Access to determine if reasonable accommodations could remove barriers. Should a student be observed by MSW colleagues and/or field education experience site as not meeting Technical Standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, or self-reports such, an evaluation is conducted to determine if a student has the functional ability to remain in the program. The purpose of this evaluation process is to support clients,’ students,’ and colleagues’ safety as well as provide clear feedback and direction to students in pursuits of their academic achievements.

If a student is directly observed by either a Chamberlain University MSW colleague or field education experience site being unable to satisfy the Technical Standards, with or without the use of an approved reasonable accommodation, or self-reports such, the student may be immediately excused from their academic duties.

Students are not permitted to report to their field education experience site and/or for other academic duties until the evaluation is complete and they receive a decision, which states that they can return, from the MSW Program Dean or their designee based off of the physician’s recommendation.

As part of the technical standard evaluation, students are required to have their applicable healthcare provider complete Chamberlain’s Standardized Medical Clearance Form. This form is used to determine if the student is able to return to academic duties.

The MSW Program Dean or their designee will make a determination on the ability of the student to continue in the MSW program based on the healthcare provider’s specific recommendations and findings related to the student’s ability to meet the Technical Standards. Potential outcomes include, but are not limited to, students being returned to the program with a full release, with or without reasonable accommodations; taking a leave of absence; or dismissal from the program based on a healthcare provider’s opinion that the student cannot be successful in the program with or without accommodation.