Professional and Technical Standards

Professional standards

The social work profession demands of its practitioners a commitment to professional responsibility and the demonstration of appropriate interpersonal and ethical behavior. Therefore, the academic curriculum of the Wayne State University School of Social Work requires that all social work students maintain professional behavior in accordance with the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the following Professional Standards. Failure to comply with these standards constitutes academic misbehavior under the Wayne State University Student Code of Conduct and could result in a student's dismissal from the academic program.

  • Integrity: Students must behave in an honest and trustworthy manner with respect to all duties performed in connection with their field placements. This includes representations made in the initial application for placement, work conducted at the field placement, and all other representations made in field related assignments or at field related meetings.
  • Communication: Students must exercise professional judgment in all communications with other students, faculty, staff, clients, and other professionals.
  • Dress: Students must dress professionally and in a manner appropriate for their field placements. If students have questions about the dress requirements of their field placements, they should contact their assigned field instructor.
  • Confidentiality: Students must comply with all applicable ethical and legal standards for privacy and confidentiality as they relate to any and all communications made in connection with their field placements.
  • Attendance: Students must meet the attendance requirements of their field placements. This includes arriving at their field placements on time and working at the placements the whole time they are scheduled to work. This also includes prompt and reliable attendance at all other field related meetings and ancillary obligations. 
  • Performance in field: Students must actively engage in their field placements. This means that they must adequately prepare for the placement, consult with and follow the directions of their field instructors, and complete responsibilities consistent with their curricular year in accord with the specific requirements of their placements. If students have questions regarding their responsibilities, they must consult with their assigned field instructor and/or their faculty field liaison.
  • Self-awareness: Students must demonstrate the appropriate use of self-disclosure and exhibit knowledge of how personal experiences and values affect practice.
  • Self-regulation: Students must demonstrate emotional and behavioral regulation as well as unimpaired judgment in decision making.

Technical standards

The academic curriculum of the Wayne State University School of Social Work requires that social work students meet the following technical standards with or without reasonable accommodations. 

  • Communication skills: Students must have the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing when working with students, faculty, staff, clients, and other professionals.
  • Intellectual capacity: Students must have the ability to discuss and process information in a matter that is satisfactory based on the particular demands of their field placements. In addition, students must be able to think critically, analyze and interpret objective and subjective data, and apply effective problem solving skills while working in their field placements. Students must demonstrate the cognitive ability to effectively use and apply the program's competencies.
  • Physical capacity: Students must be able to meet the physical demands of their field placements, including demands relating to the use of sensory and motor skills.
  • Technological skills: Students must be able to use the technology required to work at their field placements and complete all related assignments. This technology could include, but is not limited to, the use of computers, telephones, and agency databases.


Students who would like to request reasonable accommodations to assist them in meeting these technical standards should contact Student Disability Services:

5155 Gullen Mall
Undergraduate Library #1600
Detroit, Michigan 48202