National Catholic School of Social Service
Officers of Instruction
Associates of the Faculty
2007-2008 NCSSS Field Agencies
Adolescent and Family Growth Center, Va.
Affiliated Community Counselors, Inc., (ACCI) Md.
Alexandria Department of Human Services, Va.
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), D.C.
Arlington County Behavioral Healthcare Services, Va.
Arlington County Public Schools, Va.
Army Distaff Foundation/Knollwood Health Service Center, D.C.
Benedictine Counseling Services, Va.
Bread for the City, D.C.
Bright Beginnings, Inc., D.C.
Calvert Hospice, Md.
Carroll Manor Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, D.C.
Catholic Charities - Homeless Services, D.C.
Catholic Charities - Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, D.C.
Catholic Charities of Arlington, Family Services Department, Va.
Catholic University (CUA) Counseling Center, D.C.
Center for Children, Inc., Md.
Center for International Social Development, CUA, D.C.
Chelsea School, Md.
Child & Family Services Agency (CFSA), D.C.
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), Va.
Children's Guild, Inc. - Chillum, Md.
Children's National Medical Center, D.C.
Children's National Medical Center (Freddie Mac Child & Adolescent Protection Center), D.C.
Children's National Medical Center LEND Program, D.C.
College Park Youth and Family Services, Md.
Community Connections, D.C.
Community Support Services, Inc., Md.
Corporation for National & Community Service, Senior Corps, D.C.
D.C. Public Schools Head Start Program, D.C.
Dominion Hospital, Va.
Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center, D.C.
Episcopal Center for Children, D.C.
ESM Cares, D.C.
Fairfax County Public Schools, Va.
Family and Child Services of Washington, D.C., Inc., D.C.
Family Compass, Va.
Family Services Agency, Inc., Md.
Family Support Center, Md.
Fox Chase Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Md.
Frost School, Md.
George Washington University Hospital Psychiatric Unit, D.C.
Georgetown University Hospital - Dept. of Case Management, D.C.
Georgetown University Hospital - Kids Mobile Medical Clinic, D.C.
Greenspring Retirement Community, Va.
High Road School, D.C.
House of Ruth, Domestic Violence Support Center, D.C.
Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Md.
Inova Fairfax Hospital Dept. of Case Management, Va.
IONA Senior Services, D.C.
Jewish Community Services, Md.
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Md.
La Clinica del Pueblo, D.C.
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, D.C.
Life with Cancer, INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Va.
Marymount University Counseling Center, Va.
Multicultural Human Services, Va.
N Street Village, Inc., D.C.
National Center for Children and Families, Md.
National Center for Children & Families - Betty Ann Krahnke Center, Md.
National Center for Children & Families - Family Intervention Program, D.C.
National Council of La Raza, D.C.
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Md.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, D.C.
National Rehabilitation Hospital (Inpatient Social Work), D.C.
Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR/DUCS), Division of Unaccompanied Children's Services, D.C.
Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care, D.C.
Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health System, Md.
Prince George's County Department of Social Services, Md.
Reginald S. Lourie Center, Md.
Sasha Bruce Youthwork, D.C.
Sibley Memorial Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry, D.C.
So Others Might Eat (SOME), D.C.
So Others Might Eat, Center for Employment Training (SOME), D.C.
So Others Might Eat, Jordan House (SOME), D.C.
South Washington/West of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative, D.C.
St. Camillus School Counseling Program, Md.
St. Coletta Special Education Public Charter School, D.C.
St. Elizabeth's Hospital (D.C. DMH), D.C.
St. Luke's House, Md.
Stafford County Public Schools, Va.
State of Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Md.
Suburban Hospital Crisis Intervention Service/Inpatient Psychiatry, Md.
Tahirih Justice Center, Va.
The HSC Pediatric Center, D.C.
The Women's Center, Va.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Migration & Refugee Services, D.C.
U.S. DHHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation (ASPE), D.C.
U.S. DHHS, Administration on Children Youth & Families, D.C.
U.S. House of Representatives Office of Employee Assistance, D.C.
Unity Health Care, D.C.
University of Maryland Mental Health Service, Md.
Veterans Administration National Medical Center, D.C.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, D.C.
Washington Cancer Institute (Washington Hospital Center), D.C.
Washington Hospital Center - Dept. of Social Work, D.C.
Washington Hospital Center - Inpatient Psychiatry, D.C.
Washington Hospital Center - Outpatient Behavioral Health Services, D.C.
Whitman Walker Clinic - Austin Center for Health and Living, D.C.
William Ramsey Elementary School, Va.
Youth Action Research Group (YARG), D.C.
NCSSS Field Educators and Internship Coordinators 2008-2009
Wendy Adams, M.S.W.
In 1918 the National Catholic Welfare Conference, seeking to enhance the education of relief and rehabilitation workers in Catholic social service agencies, established a service school. Graduates of the school proved to be valued employees in the burgeoning diocesan social service programs in the United States and abroad. This convinced the American bishops to call upon the National Council of Catholic Women to develop the program into a professional school of social work for women. In 1919 they formed the two-year graduate school and named it the National Catholic School of Social Service, NCSSS.
NCSSS functioned as an autonomous educational institution during its formative years, but in 1923 its independent status changed. In that year it became affiliated with The Catholic University of America, and its graduates henceforth received their master's degrees in social work from the university. In the same year, NCSSS was admitted to the organization later known as the American Association of Schools of Social Work.
The Catholic University of America, in response to requests by the diocesan director of Catholic Charities for the social work education of priests, religious and laymen, decided to establish an additional school of social work in 1934. Because NCSSS limited its enrollment to women, the new Catholic University School of Social Work was a professional school for male social workers. This school became affiliated with the American Association of Schools of Social Work in 1937.
Almost immediately the two schools began exchanging faculty, students, courses and resources, and by 1939 there was an academic fusion. In 1947 the schools were formally merged as the National Catholic School of Social Service of The Catholic University of America.
Education toward the master's degree, M.S.W., was the primary mission of NCSSS at its inception, but additional degree programs have been subsequently established. The doctoral program was established in 1934 and is the third oldest in the world. Through the university's School of Arts and Sciences, an undergraduate degree program in social work was established in 1969. In 1983, NCSSS developed a graduate training program for Third World social work educators in Santiago, Chile, and graduates of the program have received The Catholic University of America degree, Master of Teaching in Social Work, M.T.S.W. In 2007, the Master of Teaching in Social Work was initiated in the Phillipines.
Derived from the mission of The Catholic University of America, the needs of people and the goals and values of the social work profession, the mission of the National Catholic School of Social Service is to prepare generalist and advanced practitioners, scholars and educators whose work is grounded in the social justice and charity foundation of Catholic intellectual tradition and Judeo-Christian values as well as in the tradition of a modern university, which welcomes all forms of human inquiry and values. In keeping with the teachings and values of the Roman Catholic Church, NCSSS embraces as its special responsibility the education of social workers who promote the dignity of all people as bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings, and who serve the Catholic community, the neighboring community and beyond.
In support of its mission, NCSSS has established the following goals:
1. To advance professional social work knowledge, values and skills through the development and dissemination of social work research and theory, multidisciplinary collaboration and other scholarly activities relevant to the times.
2. To educate students to become ethical social work practitioners and leaders imbued with an understanding of cultural diversity and the intellectual and professional competencies capable of promoting both individual and social change.
3. To educate students to address the basic needs of all people with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of vulnerable, oppressed and impoverished people and communities.
4. To contribute responsibly to social justice and to promote individual and societal well-being in the context of the Catholic and general communities on the local, national and global level.
To this end, we offer accredited programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, as well as continuing education opportunities for the social work community.
NCSSS achieves its goals primarily through its three major programs as well as a variety of additional activities. The major programs are the Ph.D. program, the M.S.W. degree program, and the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work major program. Additional activities include the work of several research and training centers, the Master of Teaching Social Work program for educators in other countries, nondegree enrollment programs, summer and part-time programs and continuing education programs. The school actively participates in the publication of the scholarly journal, Social Thought, as well as in the work of the research centers of the Life Cycle Institute. NCSSS also maintains an on-going relationship in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area with social welfare agencies and programs.
The National Catholic School of Social Service is one of the professional schools of The Catholic University of America. As such it is governed by its own faculty and dean, under the jurisdiction of the university's president, Board of Trustees and Academic Senate. The school recommends students in its graduate programs for M.S.W., M.T.S.W. and Ph.D. degrees directly to the Academic Senate and the university president. The undergraduate program's B.A. degrees are awarded through the university's School of Arts and Sciences. The baccalaureate and M.S.W. programs are fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Center for International Social Development
The Center for International Social Development at the Catholic University of America is an interdisciplinary program of research, teaching, service and public education on the problems and prospects of international development. Drawing on twenty-one faculty from six of the schools of the university, the center aims to promote international development in the interests of peace and justice, with respect for the totality of the human person, through periodic public events and workshops, a graduate certificate program, and collaborative research. The certificate program will offer graduate students at the university and, eventually, professionals in the field the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of development issues.
Center on Global Aging
The Center on Global Aging was established in 1996. This center provides opportunities for the direct personal exchange of ideas and information, supports comparative studies of aging policies and programs from social, political, economic and cultural perspectives among countries, supports international visitors who come to the United States to study aging, conducts seminars on aging issues and provides training on aging. The center also conducts seminars and provides education and training on aging.
Center for the Advancement of Children, Youth and Families
This CUA center, based at NCSSS, seeks to improve the quality of life, safety and well-being of children and their families within their own communities, through the provision of training, evaluation, and research. Grounded in the social justice foundation of the Catholic intellectual tradition and Judeo-Christian values, the center's mission is to facilitate multidisciplinary exploration of trends, issues, values and challenges associated with delivering socially just and culturally competent social work and other services to children and their families.
Center for Community Development and Social Justice
The Center for Community Development and Social Justice is the home within the National Catholic School of Social Service for faculty members throughout The Catholic University of America with shared interests in cooperative, participatory partnerships with communities to build on their strengths and assets, promote individual and community well-being and contribute to social justice.
The center's mission is to strengthen communities, enhance the individual well-being of its members, and promote social justice through a program of community/university collaborative projects which may include training, education, research, capacity building, leadership development, policy advocacy and service.
Center for the Promotion of Health and Mental Health Well-Being
The mission of the center is to develop and conduct research studies that focus on promoting the physical and mental health of individuals, organizations, communities and society. The primary objective of the center is to generate and disseminate knowledge that informs social work practice, enhances the delivery of social services and influences state and national policy in the health/mental health fields. In addition, the center sponsors educational seminars and workshops on health and mentel health issues.
Center for Spirituality and Social Work
The Center for Spirituality and Social Work, CSSW, housed within the National Catholic School of Social Service, provides integrated state-of-the-art social work research, as well as training and service from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual perspective, with a particular emphasis on client-centered spirituality. The CSIW is committed to performing rigorous research on spiritual practices, needs assessments and interventions to serve social work clients and systems. The CSSW also provides training and education for social workers and other helping professionals at the student and practitioner level, along with spiritually sensitive services to social work clients and systems.
In addition to its educational programs and community service, the National Catholic School of Social Service publishes, with the Haworth Press, a scholarly journal, Social Thought. This journal is committed to exploring topics pertaining to diverse sectarian and nonsectarian approaches to religion and spirituality related to social work and the helping professions. The journal also publishes philosophical and theoretical papers that deal with professional ethics and innovations in professional paradigms, world views, conceptual frameworks, and the philosophy of social work.
NCSSS Graduate Degree Programs
Master of Social Work Program
Master of Social Work Program
The M.S.W. program at NCSSS seeks to prepare advanced practitioners who, consistent with their chosen concentrations, act as agents of change to promote individual and societal well-being. The goals of the Master of Social Work program, in keeping with the goals of the school and grounded in the liberal arts, educate social workers whose practice is rooted in traditional values and theory but is current with the demands of the changing practice environment. Thus, the M.S.W. program will:
1. Educate practitioners who will promote the well-being of all levels of client systems within each social environment.
The National Catholic School of Social Service is committed to educating students to contribute responsibly to the fulfillment of social welfare objectives and to enhance the effective social functioning of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Through the admissions process, NCSSS seeks to enroll those who will be successful in the M.S.W. program, and effective and proficient as social work professionals.
Once a complete application portfolio has been received by the NCSSS Office of Admissions, applications are reviewed by the Admissions Committee according to the following criteria:
1. Evidence of student's ability to do graduate work including readiness to engage in scholarly work, evidence of analytic and conceptual thinking and strong writing skills. Evidence of the above may be found in previous academic work, (usually optional) test scores and the personal statement. Academic work should reflect a liberal arts foundation, including both social and behavioral sciences. Coursework in human biology as well as social statistics is recommended. A G.P.A. of 3.0 and above is preferred.
Application to the Master of Social Work degree program consists of the development of a complete portfolio utilizing the guidelines and forms available from either The Catholic University of America Office of Graduate Admissions or the National Catholic School of Social Service Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, The Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20064 (202-319-5496). See our web site: http://ncsss.cua.edu/admissions/masters.cfm to read about the application process and to download required application materials. Applications are accepted for full-time or part-time status for fall semesters and for part-time status only for spring semesters. The application portfolio consists of the following:
1. Completed and signed NCSSS application form accompanied by a $55 nonrefundable application fee.
a. Profession of social work as a career goal. Why does professional social work appeal to you? What aspects of social work are of greatest interest to you? Discuss proposed career goals. Why did you choose to apply to NCSSS?4. Résumé including educational history, work and volunteer experience.
5. Three current letters of reference from persons, other than family and friends, who are able to address personal, professional and academic capabilities. The three references should not come from a single source.
6. Standardized test scores are optional except as follows:
As much of the above as possible should be submitted in a single packet to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
A pre-admission interview may be requested by the NCSSS Office of Admissions after all written material has been received. Applications completed by published deadlines are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis, once all materials have been received. Applications completed after published deadlines will be reviewed only if space is available. All applicants are advised in writing of the Admissions Committee's decision.
Letters of admission indicate whether a student has been admitted to the full-time or part-time program. Requests for changes must be made in writing to the director of admissions. Space is reserved for admitted applicants only when they confirm, in writing, the intent to enroll and when a nonrefundable tuition deposit has been received.
Records of applicants who do not respond to the invitation to enroll are not retained unless a written request to defer enrollment is received. Enrollment may be deferred one time only with the approval of the director of admissions.
Advanced Standing Applicants
Graduates of social work baccalaureate programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education may apply for consideration for "advanced standing" status. Individualized education contracts are developed between the applicant and the director of admissions, indicating the number of semester hours to be waived (not to exceed 30 semester hours). Additional courses beyond 30 semester hours may be required. The criteria for advanced standing status include:
1. A bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE accredited program (received within five years of enrollment in the M.S.W. Program)
Applicants must include with their application a copy of their senior field evaluation for both first and second semesters. Offers of admission are made pending receipt of the final evaluation showing successful completion of the second semester field placement.
NCSSS Transition Course for Advanced Standing Students All students accepted with advanced standing status will be required to take an on-line course the summer prior to their enrollment. This course is designed:
All students accepted with advanced standing status will be required to take an on-line course the summer prior to their enrollment. This course is designed:
NCSSS accepts a limited number of transfer students each year. To be eligible for transfer, courses must have been taken within five years of entrance into the program and grades of B or better must have been earned. Transfer of semester hours may not be applied toward satisfaction of the minimum residency requirements. No academic credit is granted for life experience or previous work experience. There are two categories of transfer students:
1. Students requesting transfer from another accredited M.S.W. degree program to NCSSS must follow the usual application procedure described above. One of the three letters of recommendation must be from the M.S.W. chair or an M.S.W. program faculty member, indicating the applicant has left the program in good standing and is eligible to return. In addition, the applicant must submit course descriptions of M.S.W. courses taken and, when applicable, field work description and evaluation. A maximum of 30 semester hours may be transferred from another M.S.W. program.
2. Students may request transfer of up to six semester hours of elective credits from other accredited graduate programs at the time the advanced year concentration is declared. At that time, the student writes to the M.S.W. chair, submitting a rationale showing that the course is appropriate to the concentration and submitting a copy of the course description and transcript for approval.
Courses that duplicate subject matter of foundation year courses are not transferable.
An applicant from a foreign country must have obtained a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. It is therefore essential that the official transcripts (with an attached English translation) be received for evaluation of course content and credit at the earliest possible date. The Office of Admissions usually requires an independent evaluation of foreign educational credentials. Complete applications from other countries should be received as early as possible to allow time for processing and overseas communication when necessary.
Students from other countries should have previous experience in the social welfare field before applying for admission to the social work program of this school.
Applicants for whom English is a second language must demonstrate their proficiency by taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and have the scores for all three components (listening, writing, vocabulary/comprehension) sent to NCSSS as part of the application process. A minimum score of 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based test) is expected. Proficiency in English will be confirmed upon arrival at the school by means of a personal interview, evaluation by the Intensive English Program of The Catholic University of America and/or review by the director of field education, prior to finalization of registration and participation in a field internship. Ph.D. applicants must also submit the Test of Spoken English.
Information on the TOEFL may be obtained at U.S. embassies or consulates, or by contacting the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Applicants who do not meet all the requirements for admission to the M.S.W. degree program, but whose applications reflect significant potential for graduate study and competent professional practice, may be admitted to the program on a "conditional" basis. Conditional students may earn no more than one grade of C or below, for a period encompassing the first 18 credit hours of the foundation year curriculum, taken consecutively over a maximum of two semesters and two summer sessions. At the end of this period the student's performance is reviewed and the conditional status negated, or the student is required to withdraw from the program.
With the permission of the program chair, nondegree seeking students may take a maximum of nine credits in NCSSS courses, taking no more than one course per semester. Applicants must submit a completed university nondegree application form; an official transcript, and a nonrefundable application fee.
Enrollment in courses as a nondegree student does not guarantee admission to the M.S.W. program. Course offerings for nondegree students are limited and are offered on a space-available basis after registration for enrolled, degree-seeking students is completed.
Qualifying examinations are offered to allow degree-seeking students to waive up to nine semester hours in the following areas: Social Welfare Policy and Services I (581), Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Human Development and Psychopathology (571, 572), and Social Work Research (590). Students must apply to the M.S.W. program chair for approval to take the examinations. All students take the examinations on the same day in August, January, or May. Students must take any qualifying exams within the first two semesters of their entrance to the school. They must verify that, through previous coursework, they have mastered the course material. The Council on Social Work Education mandates that life or previous work experience cannot be used as justification for application for a qualifying exam. A student must earn a grade of 85 or above on a qualifying examination to waive that course. No other course need be substituted, making it possible for a student to graduate with fewer than 60 credits.
Financial assistance is available to M.S.W. students as follows: loans, CUA scholarships (requiring submission of GRE scores), NCSSS grants, and federal work study (FWS) funding for M.S.W. students in field internships. Assistantships and traineeships are not available for M.S.W. students. Applicants to the National Catholic School of Social Service may contact the school's Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (202-319-5496) for information about scholarships, grants and loans.Prospective applicants should request loan information and forms from the Office of Financial Aid, 6 McMahon Hall, CUA, Washington, DC 20064, 202-319-5307.
Information about available loan programs is explained in detail on the CUA Office of Financial Aid web pages: http://financialaid.cua.edu/. To be considered for loans, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
CUA Full- and Half-Tuition Scholarships
The University awards several Full- and Half-Tuition Scholarships based on exceptional academic ability, as evidenced by applicants' academic records and GRE scores, to full-time students. M.S.W. students with exceptional GRE scores and academic records may be nominated for Full-Tuition Scholarships; NCSSS' nominees for these scholarships compete for these scholarships along with applicants to other CUA graduate programs. A limited number of Half-Tuition scholarships are awarded annually to highly qualified master's students; generally, a minimum V/Q GRE score of 1200 is required for consideration.
Applicants for CUA Full-Tuition Scholarships must submit all parts of the admissions portfolio, including GRE scores, by February 1 for the upcoming fall semester. Priority consideration for Half-Tuition Scholarships is given to those who submit all parts of the admissions portfolio, including GRE scores, by February 1.
CUA Provost Scholarships
Both full-time and part-time M.S.W. applicants who submit GRE scores as part of their admissions portfolio may be nominated for Provost Scholarships. These scholarships pay 25% of a student's tuition in fall and spring semesters, as well as in summer sessions. These scholarships are intended to attract students who would be unable to attend NCSSS without financial assistance.
National Catholic School of Social Service Grants
The National Catholic School of Social Service has a limited number of grants, generally ranging from $1,500 - $6,000, awarded based on merit and financial need. Some grants require that students meet criteria determined by the donors, such as specific ethnic, cultural, and/or religious background. Scholarship applications are available from the Office of Admissions and require submission of a resume and an essay providing information about area of professional interest. Renewal of one-year scholarships may be requested.
Applicants for NCSSS scholarships must submit their scholarship applications by April 1, and must have been admitted to the M.S.W. program in order to be considered for scholarship funding. Usually, only those who have submitted a FAFSA are considered for NCSSS grants, since need is a primary consideration in making these awards.
Federal Work Study
Federal Work Study (FWS) is taxable funding awarded annually to full-time and part-time M.S.W. students (1) enrolled in field, and (2) demonstrating financial need (FAFSA). The funding is granted for work completed as part of the regular NCSSS field internship. There is no application deadline, but because this federal funding is limited, early submission of the FAFSA and the field application is strongly encouraged.
To be considered for FWS, (1) complete the FAFSA and (2) submit the NCSSS field application as early as possible. No separate application is required. In 2008-2009, full-time students receiving FWS were usually granted $8,000, payable monthly over the fall and spring semesters, and part-time students receiving FWS were usually granted $4,000, payable monthly during the fall semester only.
M.S.W. Program Objectives
All students in the M.S.W. program will:
1. Apply critical thinking skills to analysis of various theories of development and change in the assessment of client system needs, and the facilitation of client system growth.
Clinical concentrators elect courses within categories on advanced clinical theory, theory and practice with individuals across the life cycle, and theory and practice with family. These elected requirements, together with ethics, evaluation, and a field practicum within a chosen field of practice, form the core of the clinical concentration. This core enables them to facilitate change that will promote individual and family well-being. Thus, in addition to the objectives above, clinical concentrators will:
1. Apply advanced practice theory to understand the development and needs of individuals as bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings functioning in a family or family-like structure, within a chosen field of practice.
Social Justice and Social Change concentrators elect courses within categories on management, policy analysis, social planning and community organizing. These requirements, together with a theory course, ethics, evaluation, and a field practicum within a chosen field of practice, form the core of this concentration. This core enables them to facilitate change that promotes organizational and community well-being. Thus, in addition to the objectives above, Social Justice and Social Change concentrators will:
1. Apply advanced organizational, community, political and economic, and social justice theories to under-stand the issues that arise in management, planning, policy analysis, community development, and community building, within a chosen field of practice.
Combined concentrators must elect within categories of advanced clinical theory, individual and family theory and practice courses as well as macro theory and practice courses. These elected requirements, together with ethics, evaluation and a field practicum within a chosen field of practice, form the core of the combined concentration. This core enables them to facilitate individual and societal wellbeing. Thus, combined concentrators will meet the following objectives:
1. Apply advanced clinical practice theories and social justice/social change theories to understand the development and needs of client systems of all sizes, and the issues that arise in management, planning, policy analysis, community development, and community building, within a chosen field of practice.
Program of Study Leading to the M.S.W. Degree
The school offers several options for working toward the M.S.W. degree: the full-time two-year program, the part-time program, and the advanced standing program. In all cases students must meet the minimum residency requirements of the school. In addition, the National Catholic School of Social Service and the Columbus School of Law offer a dual-degree program where students may earn both the M.S.W. and the J.D.
Full-Time Two-Year Program
The full-time structure is a four-semester (two academic years) program, which provides for a sequential learning experience of coursework and concurrent field experience.
The part-time program allows students to complete their M.S.W. degree requirements over several years, usually completing coursework in the first and third years, and field placement, integrative seminar, and theory and practice coursework in the second and fourth years. Students may fulfill degree requirements by taking some courses in the evening, or in summer, depending on availability of courses. Part-time students complete 18 hours within a calendar year to meet residency requirements. In addition, all requirements for the degree must be completed within five years. During the first semester of graduate study each part-time student, in consultation with a faculty adviser, develops a plan of study for completion of the degree.
Advanced Standing Program
The advanced standing program is individually structured in relation to the courses and credits completed in the social work program at the bachelor's level (see Admissions). Advanced standing students must meet the residency requirement (see Residency Requirements).
Dual-Degree Program: Social Work and Law
The National Catholic School of Social Service and the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America offer a dual-degree program in which qualified full-time students may earn both a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) and a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.).
Applicants for admission to the dual-degree program must meet the separate admissions requirements of each school and must be accepted by each school independently.
Although admission to the dual-degree program is usually decided at the onset of student registration, it is possible to consider a candidate after independent completion of the first year of law school.
Interested applicants may contact the Office of Admissions of the National Catholic School of Social Service and the Office of Admissions of the Columbus School of Law, both at The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 for further information.
The M.S.W. curriculum comprises foundation knowledge (30 credits) and advanced knowledge (30 credits). Its concentrations educate three types of advanced social work practitioners: (1) clinical social workers who will be licensed as effective practitioners within the constraints of a fast-paced managed care service delivery system; (2) those whose indirect practice reflects a depth and breadth of knowledge and skill for advanced policy analysis, planning, and management; and (3) unique practitioners who are capable of indirect practice of substance, but who are also fully licensable as clinicians. M.S.W. students may complete the 60-credit M.S.W. program within a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years. During the graduate program, students complete 12 credits of field placement (two placements over four semesters) and 48 credits of coursework
Full-time students complete the 60-credit M.S.W. program in two academic years. ALL part-time students must take at least six hours of academic credit per semester, and may take up to nine hours of academic credit during the fall and spring semesters. All students must have completed or be concurrently registered for SSS 581, 571, 572, and 605 when registering for SSS 673; similarly, they must have completed or be concurrently registered for SSS 581, 582, 571, 572, 570, 590, and 606 when registering for SSS 674. Part-time students may have to take course(s) during summer sessions, depending on the number of credit hours taken during fall and spring semesters. While we make every effort to offer many courses during late afternoon and evening hours, it is imperative that students understand that they will not be able to complete the entire M.S.W. curriculum only during evening hours. Part-time students generally complete the M.S.W. program within three to four years.
Social Welfare Policy and Services (581, 582) presents the historical and contemporary context for understanding social work practice. Students learn the political and organizational processes that are used to influence policy as well as develop skill in analyzing policy. With a focus on effecting policy change for vulnerable and stigmatized populations, issues of power and oppression are considered. Students are also required to take one of three one-credit policy electives. Social Work Research (590) provides, through lecture and class exercises, the scientific, analytic approach to building knowledge for and evaluating practice against the ethical standards for scientific inquiry.
Human Behavior and Social Environment (571) utilizes an ecological perspective to examine the theoretical frameworks related to the bio-psycho-social-spiritual aspects of human development. Human Development and Psychopathology (572) utilizes a "life course perspective" to analyze pathological human behavior. The discrete course Diversity in a Multicultural Society (570) examines the history of diversity and discrimination, enhancing self-awareness and sensitivity for a culturally competent social work practice. The generalist model of social work practice is introduced through the two generalist practice courses (605-Individuals, Families and Groups, and 606-Groups, Organizations and Communities) and an integrating seminar (673/674). Supplementing supervised practice in the field, the seminar provides the opportunity for practicing skills through role play, case and project presentations, and seminar discussion. The seminar instructor serves as the liaison between the field agency and the school, maintaining and enhancing that link.
Upon completion of the foundation curriculum, M.S.W. students choose among the Clinical, Social Justice and Social Change and Combined concentrations.
Clinical concentrators choose three of four theory and practice courses with individuals at various points in the life cycle: Clinical SW with Older Adults, Adults, Adolescents and Young Adults, and Children, (801, 802, 803, 804); as well as elect between two family courses-the traditional models (821) or strengths-based model (822). These methods are further supported by an advanced theory course, either Psychodynamic (723), Cognitive/Behavioral (724), or Transpersonal (725). Evaluation of Social Work Practice (756) and Ethics (740) reinforce the empirical and value bases of clinical social work. Clinical concentrators have a two-semester field internship along with a weekly Clinical Field Integrative Seminar (871, 872) Clinical concentrators round out their program with six hours of free electives.
Health Care Specialization. Students placed in settings that include hospitals, medical clinics, home health agencies or hospice may select this specialization, which includes all clinical concentration requirements, along with a Health Care Field Integrative Seminar and two-semester field internship (877/878), and a required elective course, Theories and Models of Health Care (665) along with an additional course selected from the following: Death, Health Care Policy, Advocacy and Decision Making, Attachment Theory and Neurobiology, Treatment of Chemical Dependency (668, 653, 663, 662), or an additional theory course.
Social Justice and Social Change. Students select two of the following practice courses: Advanced Policy Analysis, Social Planning, Nonprofit Management or Community Organizing for Equitable Development, (831, 832, 833, 835). These methods courses are supported with a theory course, either Organizational Theories and Change, Theories of Administration; or Theories of Social Justice (880, 885, 946). Program Evaluation (757) and Ethics (740) support these indirect methods of social work practice. Students choose three elective courses in the track they have selected:
Elective courses may include other advanced-year methods and theory courses in the Social Justice and Social Change concentration; relevant courses from NCSSS or other CUA departments (with guidance from the concentration adviser); and relevant courses from the university consortium (with guidance from the concentration advisor and approval from the M.S.W. chair.
Combined. This concentration offers students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and practice skills in both clinical social work practice and in social work planning, administration/management, and policy practice. Combined concentrators select two of the four Social Justice and Social Change concentration methods courses: Advanced Policy Analysis, Social Planning, Nonprofit Management or Community Organizing for Equitable Development (831,832, 833, 835). Combined concentrators have a two-semester field internship and Combined Field Integrative Seminar (873, 874). Combined concentrators select one clinical theory and practice population course: Clinical SW with Older Adults, Adults, Adolescents and Young Adults, and Children (801, 802, 803, or 804); one clinical theory course: Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Transpersonal (723, 724, 725): select one Social Justice and Social Change theory course: Organizational Theories and Change, Theories of Administration, Theories of Social Justice, (880, 885, 946) one family course, traditional or strengths based, (821, 822) and select one of two research courses (756, 757). Like all other advanced students, combined concentrators take the ethics course (740).
In all three concentrations, advanced students enroll in field education and integrative seminar I and II (871/872, 873/874, 875/876 and 877/878). As with the foundation seminars, the seminar instructor serves as the field liaison.
Field internship learning experiences are essential to the achievement of the objectives of the M.S.W. curriculum. In the M.S.W. program each student has the opportunity for a two-semester practicum/internship in two different agency or program settings. In the foundation year, utilizing the generalist model of practice, students gain practice experience with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations using a range of intervention modalities. Their learning experiences in the practicum support what they are learning in the classroom. Direct engagement in service activities enables the student to experience the discipline of professional relationships; to apply human behavior, research, and social policy curriculum content to the theory and practice of social work; to develop the self-awareness required for a professional level of performance; and to learn to integrate social work knowledge, values, skills, and ethics within the context of a professional social work practice setting.
In the advanced year, students practice in agency settings with assignments and activities focused in their chosen area of concentration. Clinical students gain practice skills at an advanced level, learning to differentially apply explanatory theories to the assessment of client systems, to distinguish the appropriate treatment modality for particular client problems, and to differentially apply practice models to treatment planning and intervention. Social Justice and Social Change students learn to differentially apply macro theories to their practice, and they gain the expertise and skills necessary to facilitate change that promotes organizational and community well-being. Combined concentrators have both micro- and macro-practice learning opportunities, acquiring depth in the methodology of both clinical- and macro-social work practice.
Field education is a collaborative endeavor between the National Catholic School of Social Service, the agency and the student. The school, through its Office of Field Education, assumes responsibility for fieldwork being educationally directed, coordinated and monitored.
With some exceptions (e.g., advanced standing students), students complete four semesters of field education (over two academic years). Students are in the field placement 16 hours per week in the foundation year (total of 480 hours) and 20 hours per week (total of 600 hours) in the advanced year (up to 24 hours per week for combined concentrators). Most students are assigned to agencies on Wednesdays/Thursdays during the foundation year, and Tuesdays/Wednesdays/half days on Thursdays during the advanced year. A very limited number of flex-time placements are available to part-time students. These placements all require daytime hours for staff meetings, case conferences and training. Every part-time student should plan for a minimum of one eight-hour block per week during regular working hours, with other hours scheduled on evenings and weekends. Students should be prepared to travel to and from the practicum either by car or public transportation. Agencies and students are expected to arrange field learning experiences so that they are in consonance with the academic calendar. It is the school's expectation that students will have only two weeks' break from the practicum between the first and second semesters. Any additional time away from clients must be negotiated between field instructor and student.
Students are placed in agencies and programs that provide specific social services or use qualified social work practitioners in the planning, administration, and delivery of a variety of human services. These agencies and programs are selected and approved by the staff of the school's Office of Field Education. The school works with agencies in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, Maryland and Virginia. Supervision in the field setting is the responsibility of the field instructor, who is a qualified and committed social work professional, most often agency-based. The field instructor orients the student to the agency, assigns and oversees the student's activities, and provides the student regular weekly one-on-one supervision. In many agencies, additional training opportunities are available to interns, e.g., case conferences, group supervision, peer supervision, and educational seminars.
In placing foundation-year students, the Office of Field Education considers their prior experience, interests and educational goals, as discussed in the field application. The Office of Field Education assists students by providing agency information via an internet-based search engine. Students entering the advanced year research agencies of interest and appropriate to their selected concentration, submit their preferences to the Director of Field Education, and are then referred for interviews.
The weekly integrative seminar, taken concurrently with the field practicum, helps students to integrate course content and the field work experience. Supplementing supervised practice in the field, the integrative seminar provides the opportunity for practicing skills through role play, case and project presentation, and seminar discussion. The seminar instructor serves as the liaison between the field agency and the school, maintaining and enhancing that link, and providing support and monitoring as necessary. The seminar instructor assigns the grade for field education/integrative seminar at the end of each semester. The final grade is based on evaluation of student performance in field education (60 percent) and seminar work (40 percent).
Students in field practica are required to pay an additional fee for malpractice insurance (about $50/year) and to furnish proof of health insurance coverage. Some agencies may have additional requirements, e.g., immunization verification, police clearance, or drug screening.
M.S.W. Degree Requirements
For students entering the M.S.W. program in the fall of 1999 and later, the Master of Social Work degree is conferred upon students who have:
1. Satisfactorily completed 60 credit hours in accordance with the curriculum requirements as specified by the NCSSS faculty. Some students, who have received a B.S.W. degree from a CSWE-accredited school of social work, may meet the requirements with fewer than 60 credit hours by being awarded up to 30 advanced standing credits. Transfer credits may be accepted in accordance with the school's policy.
2. Successfully passed a foundation comprehensive examination during the university-designated comprehensive exam period in which the student is enrolled in the foundation field/seminar (SSS 674). Passing the foundation comprehensive is required for a student to proceed to the advanced curriculum.
3. Successfully passed an advanced comprehensive examination in the student's chosen concentration (Clinical, Social Justice and Social Change, or Combined) during the university-designated comprehensive exam period in which the student is enrolled in the advanced field/seminar (SSS 872, 874, 876, 878); and either designated any two research papers that are already required in advanced courses and will have been completed and graded, to fulfill the "Option of Degree Without Thesis" writing requirement, or they may write a master's thesis.
The minimum period of residence for the master's degree is one year of full-time study (18 credits) beyond the bachelor's degree. A full-time student may not complete this requirement in less than two semesters. A planned part-time student meets this requirement by completing 18 credits in one consecutive 12-month period.
Leave of Absence
A student who must interrupt his or her studies for adequate reasons-such as sustained ill health, family crisis, or military service-may be granted a leave of absence for a stated period, usually not to exceed one year. The student should apply in writing to the dean and the program chair stating the specific reason for requesting the leave.
Approved by the Academic Senate, beginning September 1990 for all graduate students except students in the Columbus School of Law, the following grading system will be in effect:
A grade of C indicates marginal progress toward the degree. Master's students are expected to maintain a minimum of a B- (2.70 G.P.A.) to remain in school and to graduate. A Review Committee shall be called by the chair of the M.S.W. program upon a student's receipt of two grades of C or one grade of F or other evidence of unsatisfactory or marginal work. The receipt of more than two grades of C or below, more than one F or termination from a second field placement during his/her academic program is grounds for dismissal by the dean. In the Ph.D. program, a grade of C ordinarily indicates unsatisfactory progress toward the doctorate. Two C grades, one F grade or a pattern of multiple incompletes will result in the convening of a Review Committee. The receipt of more than two grades of C or below or more than one F is grounds for dismissal.
Please note that the section entitled General Information at the beginning of these Announcements contains information on general university policies which are applicable to all graduate students enrolled in NCSSS.
Doctor of Philosophy Program
The Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work degree is awarded by The Catholic University of America as the mark of the highest academic achievement in preparation for active scholarship, research and leadership in the social work profession. The doctoral program is committed to imbuing students with the knowledge, skills, and vision to promote human rights and social justice. It seeks to further the development of the profession through scholarly research, theory building, and leadership, so that it may increasingly serve society in the prevention, intervention, and ultimate alleviation of social problems as well as the enhancement of social well-being.
PhD Program Goals
Grounded in the content of the curriculum, doctoral graduates are prepared to:
1. Contribute to the critique, transformation, and dissemination of knowledge for the profession in response to existing and emerging social problems.
2. Apply humanistic values, ethical principles, and philosophical and theoretical perspectives to the understanding and alleviation of these problems.
3. Promote and enhance the role of social work in society by assuming leadership and research roles in clinical practice, administration, social policy analysis, and social work education.
Admission to the doctoral program requires the applicant to hold an M.S.W. degree from an accredited school of social work and to have completed a minimum of one year of successful professional practice subsequent to the attainment of the master's degree. The M.S.W. prerequisite is based on the assumption that acquisition of the core knowledge, values and skills of the profession and professional socialization are accomplished during M.S.W. study. The practice requirement is based on the assumption that mastery of social work practice provides a common set of experiences basic to producing scholarship and research in social work. Occasional exceptions may be made for applicants with an advanced degree in a related field and who have extensive subsequent practice or research experience. M.S.W. graduates without subsequent practice experience who wish to proceed directly from a master's to a doctoral program will be considered if they have demonstrated exceptional performance during their M.S.W. program and have the written endorsement of their M.S.W. chair for immediate doctoral study. Admission is selective and determined by the quality of the total application.
Admission is selective. NCSSS seeks to enroll those who will be successful in all aspects of the Ph.D. program and competent as future social work scholars, researchers or educators. Application portfolios are reviewed against the following criteria:
1. Evidence of the applicant's readiness for doctoral study including:
a. capacity for critical and analytical thinking;2. Evidence of personal qualifications indicative of a high level of motivation and capacity for independent study and reflective of a strong identification with the social work profession, its values and standards. Evidence of these qualities may be demonstrated in previous volunteer and employed work experience, the purpose statement or the views of those providing recommendations.
Applications are accepted for full-time or part-time status for fall semester and for part-time status only for spring semester.
With the permission of the program chair, nondegree-seeking students may enroll in a maximum of nine credits in NCSSS courses, taking no more than one course per semester. Applicants must submit a completed university application form, official transcripts, and a nonrefundable application fee. Enrollment in courses as a nondegree seeking student does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D. program. Course offerings for nondegree-seeking students are limited and are offered on a space-available basis after registration for enrolled degree seeking students is completed.
An application to the Ph.D. Program must be supported by materials listed below, sent to either The Catholic University of America, Office of Graduate Admissions or Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, National Catholic School of Social Service, 620 Michigan Avenue N.E., Washington, DC 20064. The application portfolio consists of the following:
1. A completed university application form, with the nonrefundable $55 application fee.
a. Professional goals. Reasons for wishing to undertake doctoral studies, which addresses the relevance of a doctoral education at this school to future professional goals.4. Three letters of recommendation: At least one of the recommendations should be an academic reference.
5. Results of the Graduate Record Examination taken within the past five years.
6. Résumé of all work experience (paid and volunteer).
7. Writing sample of published material or other example of written work that will give evidence of research skills, practice competency, conceptual style and scholarly writing skills.
NCSSS welcomes qualified international students to its program. In addition to submitting all required items (applicaiton fee, transcripts, purpose statement, resume, references, and GRE scores), international students must also submit documentation that shows financial support for tuition and expenses for one year of study.
Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to submit TOEFL scores for both written and spoken English. International applicants must also complete the Request for Visa Documentaion form in the CUA Graduate Admissions Applicaton Packet.
International students must arrange to have their transcripts translated and credits and/or degrees certified by the World Education Service (WES.org)
The Catholic University of America offers a variety of scholarships, grants and loans to new and continuing doctoral students.
1. CUA Scholarships: Based on very high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, full-time applicants are eligible for the competitive CUA Graduate scholarships. Students must submit all application materials by February 1 to be eligible for these awards.
Applicants to NCSSS may contact the school's Office of Admissions and Financial Aid (202-319-5496) for information on scholarships, grants and loans.
Building upon the earned Master of Social Work degree, the doctoral program requires an additional 45 semester hours of coursework taken over 5 semesters for full-time or 7 semesters for part-time study. The program curriculum is composed of a foundation common to all, a choice of two concentrations, an individualized specialization, and the capstone is the dissertation.
Committed to the elaboration of the scientific base of the profession, the 18 credit-hour foundation curriculum includes core social work knowledge and descriptive and explanatory theories derived from other disciplines reformulated and integrated into the knowledge base of the profession. Content includes philosophical issues in social work knowledge building (SSS 940), selected social science theories (SSS 883), theory building in professional social work ethics (SSS 944), the first of three research methodology courses (SSS 950) and the two statistics courses (SSS 947 and 948).
In addition to the foundation curriculum, entering students will be required to complete the Seminar in Scholarly Writing for Social Work.This is a non-credit course, graded Pass/Fail.
Instructors in the six first year foundation courses will, in addition to submitting a grade, write a narrative report of the students' readiness for doctoral study within specific domains. This report will be shared with the student and forwarded to the program chair. All beginning students will be reviewed by the doctoral faculty based on these narratives, and if the group deems it necessary, a review committee will be called to determine with the student a plan for strengthening the student's performance.
Building on foundation knowledge, students choose the Theory and Research in Macro Social Work or the Theory and Research in Clinical Social Work concentration, both of which include content on critique of theories and models appropriate to the concentration. In the 15 credit-hour concentration, all students take a second research course (SSS 953) that deepens their understanding of multiple designs, and then they choose one of two final research courses-one in qualitative (SSS 955) or quantitative (SSS 956) methodology.
Theory and Research Macro Social Work Concentration
Students choosing the Macro Concentration prepare for positions in research and leadership in social welfare policy development, social justice and administration. In addition to the two advanced research courses (SSS 953 and 955 or 956), concentration courses cover conceptual schema for social welfare policy analysis and planning (SSS 890), theories of social justice (SSS 946), theories of organizations (SSS 880); and model construction (SSS 914).
Theory and Research in Clinical Social Work Concentration
Those who select the Clinical Concentration are prepared to contribute to the systematization of the theoretical and technological bases of clinical social work. In addition to the two advanced research courses (SSS 953 and 955 or 956), concentration coursework helps students learn to analyze, critique and compare the theories of clinical practice at the level of the individual, family and small group (SSS 911). They select one of three specialized clinical theories for more in-depth analysis, and they take a course in the conceptual schema for social welfare policy analysis and planning (SSS 890). Concentration content is integrated and applied to the development of a new or adaptation of an existing model of practice (SSS 913).
Students complete their doctoral coursework with 9 credit hours of specialization electives. The specialization may be a field of practice, population, problem, or other such area that will provide a focus for the dissertation. Examples include health, mental health, child welfare, child and family, community development., spirituality, ethics, aging, international development, social work education, or powerty. A package of three courses relevant to the declared specialization will be formulated by the student and approved by the advisor. These courses may be taken at the National Catholic School of Social Service, elsewhere at CUA, in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, or in another accredited university graduate program. Of thse three, only one course may be an independent study; two must be formal courses.
The Comprehensive Exam
In order to be admitted to doctoral candidacy, an NCSSS doctoral student must successfully pass the written comprehensive examination. Students must formally register with the university for the Doctoral Comprehensive Exam. (See CUA Class Schedule for appropriate registration number and procedure).
Students must have completed the 33 hours of foundation and concentration curriculum. Specifically, all students will have completed the foundation (940, 944, 883, 950, 947, 948). Clinical concentrators will have completed 953, 911, 913, an advanced theory course, 890, and either 955 or 956. Macro concentrators will have completed 953, 890, 914, 946, 880, and either 955 or 956.
This two-day written exam is given during the university comprehensive period of the fall or spring semester (see: http://registrar.cua.edu/calendar/). The purpose of these comprehensive exams is to assess the student's ability to organize and integrate knowledge through clear and comprehensively formulated answers during set time limits. The exam will test specifically all foundation and concentration content including that of the final research course.Students may add their own elective content as appropriate to inform their answers.On the first day, students are examined on application of theory to practice.The second day focuses on application of theory to research.Both days are designed to reflect the concentration of the student.
Although consisting of two parts, the written exam is regarded as one entity that must be satisfactorily passed in one sitting. The written exam is graded pass, marginal, or fail. A clear pass requires no oral exam. If one or both days are considered marginal, an oral exam on the content of both days is required to determine if the exam is a pass or a fail. If one or both days are failed, there will be no oral exam, and the student fails and must re-take the entire exam.
The doctoral chair will assign two members of the faculty to read each day's exam.If both graders agree on the grade (pass, marginal, or fail), that grade stands.If the two graders disagree on the grade, the chair will ask a third reader.If two graders ultimately agree that a day's exam is marginal, an oral exam is required.The chair will assign three members of the faculty to conduct the oral.Following the oral, each examiner will assign a grade of pass or fail.If the three agree that the student passed the oral exam, the student will have successfully completed the comprehensive.If two or three grade the oral as fail, the student fails the comprehensive and must re-take the entire exam during the next university scheduled time.A student who incurs two failures in the written comprehensive examination will be dismissed from the doctoral program. After beginning the written comprehensive examination, whether taking the exam for the first time or re-taking because of failure, a student may choose to withdraw from the examination process with no failure penalty.However, a student is limited to withdrawing only once.
For admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree, the student must have successfully completed 45 or more credit hours of course work, and passed the written comprehensive examination.Upon completion of these requirements, the student is officially admitted to candidacy on the first day of the following semester.The candidate must submit a dissertation proposal within two years of acceptance into candidacy.Between the time of admission to candidacy and completion of the doctoral dissertation, the student must maintain continuous enrollment by registering each semester for Dissertation Guidance.
The capstone of the Ph.D. program at NCSSS, production of a scholarly dissertation distinguishes the doctoral degree from all other educational attainments in the social work profession. At its best, the process encourages original thinking, evaluative questioning, indepth objectivity and scholarly independence. Built upon a historical perspective, relevant theory and empirical research, the dissertation fulfills several major functions. It is a production of original research and scholarship that makes a substantive contribution to existing knowledge and to the social work profession. The dissertation involves a process that demonstrates the candidate's mastery of research methodology. Specifically, it requires ability to address an important professional problem, to use research methodology and tools, to organize the findings and to report them in scholarly fashion.
Academic Policies and Procedures
The residency requirements for the doctoral degree are met through:
The doctoral program committee supports the policy of the university for continuous enrollment. Students must either be in class or be registered for dissertation guidance. In the unusual circumstance that a dissertation chair/adviser thinks a deviation of this policy is appropriate (e.g., registration in absentia), this must be approved with the program chair.
Transfer of Credit
During the admissions process, applicants to the Ph.D. program may make a written request that up to 9 semester hours of credit be transferred toward the Ph.D. degree.
Coursework must be appropriate to the chosen concentration, have been earned at an accredited university graduate program, taken within the past five years and graded at the level of B or above. The written request, accompanied by official transcripts and course description from university catalogue or course outline, must be made of the program chair, who will approve each individually.
Approved by the Academic Senate, beginning September 1990 for all graduate students except students in the Columbus School of Law, the following grading system will be in effect:
The National Catholic School of Social Service affirms its right to require its students to meet accepted academic requirements that consist of scholastic and behavioral components. Consistent with Catholic social teaching and social work values, NCSSS respects the worth and value of all persons regardless of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin, handicapping conditions or diversity of opinion. Students' behavior should reflect the core values of the social work profession-service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. Standards for professional performance require that students adhere to ethical standards as outlined in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the requirements stated below.
As required by CUA policy, any NCSSS student who is involved in unethical practices in connection with any work required for a course will receive a grade of F (Failure) for the course. Further penalties may be imposed in accordance with specific circumstances. For example, it is strictly prohibited, as an unethical practice, to submit as one's own written work; for example, term papers, research, or professional papers, dissertations, or exams in which material provided by a professional research agency, the internet, or by other persons is utilized.A graduate student who employs such assistance or other unethical practice in the research or writing of a thesis or dissertation shall be liable to expulsion from the university upon proper hearing by the school and dean.
In the Ph.D. Program, a grade of C, a grade point average of less than 3.0, or a pattern of multiple Incompletes indicates unsatisfactory progress toward the degree.Students are expected to maintain a minimum of a B (3.0 G.P.A.) to remain in school and to graduate.One grade of C or F, or a pattern of multiple Incompletes will result in the convening of a review committee.The receipt of more than one grade of C or below is grounds for dismissal by the Dean.
NCSSS PhD students are expected to maintain accepted standards of professional conduct and personal integrity in the classroom and in the university setting. Students should:
Students whose professional judgment and performance are hampered in any way are expected to immediately seek consultation and take appropriate remedial action by seeking professional help, making adjustments in workload, terminating the field internship or taking any other steps necessary to protect clients and others. Students who are unable to meet any of the academic requirements may be subject to the review committee process.
Students in the PhD program may encounter educational difficulties, have difficulty meeting academic requirements, have exceptional or personal problems or require special attention. To assure that these needs are met without compromising the school's integrity or treating the student unfairly, an orderly procedure has been established. When the student or relevant faculty feels that any of these problems may have arisen, a Review Committee may be convened. The committee provides a formal procedure to deal constructively with the problems. Problems may range from poor academic performance, possible unsuitability for the profession or continued education in the profession or a student's belief that he or she has been treated unfairly.
A Review Committee is convened and chaired by the program chair, although a request to have such a committee may be made by the student, the student's adviser or by any one of the student's instructors. The chair notifies the student and other participants in writing of the date of the meeting and invites them to attend. Participants at the review committee shall be limited to the student, the student's academic adviser, instructors, representatives of the Office of Field Education (when appropriate) and, if the student desires, either one representative from the NCSSS student government or another member of the NCSSS student body selected by the student.
Typically the Review Committee is presented with the concerns and gives each participant, including the student, an opportunity to describe the problem and potential resolution. Based on this exchange, the committee makes a recommendation. If a finding is reached that is not unanimous, a statement of majority and minority findings is written. In all three programs, the Review Committee recommends to the NCSSS dean and the cognizant dean a plan to assist the student. In some situations, the Review Committee may recommend that a student be dismissed from the program. In any case, the student may appeal to the dean the Review Committee's recommendation. In all cases, the final decision is made by the dean.
Students at NCSSS have, in all its programs, access to many resources designed to enhance their learning experiences and opportunities. These include a student advisory system, student government associations for each of the three degree programs, active participation on NCSSS program committees, career planning guidance and an annual job fair.
In addition, the school provides students and faculty members with opportunities to engage in activities that have a local and national impact on the crucial social issues of the times and to do this in a manner compatible with scholarly endeavor. Such activities include evaluative research, community studies, consultation and demonstration of social work practice in the community.
The school also encourages and arranges for faculty members and students to engage in social planning, social action, and research in the community as events and conditions may require.
After enrollment in any one of the three NCSSS degree programs at CUA, each student is assigned a faculty adviser. The adviser assists the student in planning overall academic programs, reviews educational progress and assists with educational problems that may occur. All students meet with their advisers prior to enrollment each semester in order to ensure that the student's work toward graduation is in accordance with academic requirements and individual educational needs. Other meetings may be scheduled by either student or adviser as needed. It is the school's philosophy that regular meetings between advisers and students contribute to both the student's growth and the ongoing evaluation of the program.
STUDENTS' RIGHTS UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ADA
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, all qualified students with a disability (as defined under the law) are eligible for reasonable accommodations or modifications in the academic environment that enables the qualified individual to enjoy equal access to the university's programs, services or activities. The university is not required to provide any aid or service that would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program.
The Office of Disability Support Services provides disability consultation, advocacy and the coordination of support services and accommodations for all qualified students with disabilities. Services and accommodations are determined individually based on disability documentation.
CUA is committed to promoting the full participation of all qualified students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. Students with disabilities are required to meet the same academic standards as other students at the university. It is only through a student's voluntary disclosure of their disability and request for accommodations that CUA can support disability needs. Students who have a disability and wish to make a request for disability related accommodations or services must do so through Disability Support Services (DSS).Each student must submit their documentation along with an intake form to DSS in order to apply for services.Students are encouraged to register with DSS prior to arrival on campus for the upcoming semester.Once eligibility is determined, appropriate accommodations, based on the submitted documentation are put in place. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.(See Student Life Disability Services Policies, Procedures and Services for Students website at:http://policies.cua.edu/studentlife/disabilitysvcs//disability.cfm).
Career services for students and alumni/ae are offered both at NCSSS and the university Career Services Office, CSO. NCSSS maintains Internet listings of social service positions primarily in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas, but also including some positions available nationally. Typically, several agencies come to NCSSS annually to interview job applicants. Students are encouraged to meet individually with CSO staff for assistance in developing rÃ©sumÃ©s and cover letters. They are also encouraged to utilize the job and internship listings of the CSO. Programs are held at the school each year to help students plan their advanced social work studies and to help them clarify professional social work goals. Every spring, NCSSS sponsors and organizes a Social Work Career and Job Fair.
Student Records and References
As a convenience to NCSSS graduates, the school and university maintain copies of transcripts of the student's final academic record and final reference statements. Access to transcripts is through the university registrar, subject to the guidelines of university policy. The final reference statement, kept in confidential NCSSS files, is prepared upon the student's graduation by NCSSS faculty under the leadership of the student's adviser. The student is permitted to review the contents of the statement before it is incorporated into the records. The reference statement may be used as a letter of reference only if the student so desires and indicates by signature. If the student does not want the statement used as a reference, that fact is also noted in the student's record. The school then notifies any inquiring agency that the student has not given permission for a reference to be sent, that the student is a graduate of the school, what the student's concentration was, and the date of graduation. NCSSS suggests to the inquiring agency that if it wants further information it must ask the student to authorize release of the transcript through the university registrar's office.
Each of the three degree programs has its own student association with officers elected annually by its student body. The undergraduate association is called the Social Service Organization and is affiliated with the university's Undergraduate Student Government. Its membership is open to all undergraduate social work students and other students interested in learning about the profession. The student organization for the M.S.W. program is known as the Master's Student Association and its membership is composed of all students in the program. It is affiliated with the university's Graduate Student Association. Students working toward their Ph.D. degrees participate in the NCSSS Doctoral Student Association. Delegates from each student government body are invited and encouraged to participate in faculty meetings and all planning committees of NCSSS.
Through these relationships, the students participate in curriculum planning and program development. The student governments also help NCSSS faculty plan educational forums and social events. They sponsor various speakers programs, newsletters, get-acquainted socials and alumni activities. The student body associations also take major responsibility for planning their graduation ceremonies and new student orientation programs. Representatives from the student associations also participate in grievance and review committees.
Courses of Instruction
Please consult the registrar's Web site at https://cardinalstation.cua.edu for descriptions of courses offered in the current semester.