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Evaluating Academic and Field Performance

Course syllabi are required by official college policy to have basic information regarding grading criteria. These are reviewed during the first class and if modification is needed at any time during the semester, these changes are fully discussed with the class.

There are several mechanisms used for the assessment of the quality and quantity of the student's work. Social Work faculty utilize traditional testing methods (objective/subjective), term papers, reaction papers, logs, and/or other appropriate assignments. Papers which need improvement in style and/or substance are returned for correction. The department's and the College's philosophy is that a written assignment should be considered an opportunity for critical thinking, library research and the use of proper reference style. A student whose paper is insufficient in any of these areas will be afforded a chance to improve his/her effort. This assures a true learning process.

The Social Work Program uses the following grading criteria:

  • 96 - 100 = A
  • 90 - 95 = A-
  • 87 - 89 = B+
  • 83 - 86 = B
  • 80 - 82 = B-
  • 77 - 79 = C+
  • 73 - 76 = C
  • 70 - 72 = C-

Field performance is evaluated by the student's field instructor who completes a field evaluation form both at mid-term and at the completion of the field experience in the Senior year. This occurs for both SW 470 (Field Instruction I) and SW 471 (Field Instruction II). Senior Social Work majors entering field instruction are given copies of the Field Instruction manual which contains the field evaluation forms. The completed evaluation is reviewed by the student. A meeting is held between the field instructor or field liaison, the Director of Field Instruction and the student at which time disagreements or concern about the evaluation are discussed. At this meeting, consensus is generally achieved. If differences are not resolved, the Social Work major may be transferred to another placement. Usually, the Director of Field Instruction, through her early intervention on behalf of students, knows when problems seem to be occurring and attempts to engage in problem-solving before the situation deteriorates further. Few students transfer to a new field placement. At the end of the semester, students have an opportunity to formally evaluate the quality of their field placement. If the field placement seems to have been consistently problematic, it will not be used in the future.

Elizabethtown College