Professional Expectations of Student Behavior

The School of Social Work at Florida Atlantic University is mandated by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to foster and evaluate professional behavioral development for all students in the social work program. The School of Social Work also bears a responsibility to the community at large to produce fully trained professional social workers who consciously exhibit the knowledge, values, and skills of the profession of social work. The values of the profession are codified in the NASW Code of Ethics. Given this context, all students in the social work program will be expected to exhibit the following ethical standards of behavior.

  1. Accountability:
    Attend class, arrive on time, and return from break in a timely manner.

    • Participate in group activities and assignments at a comparable level to peers. Complete work in a timely fashion and according to directions provided.
    • Come to class prepared, with readings and other homework completed.
  2. Respect:
    Treat all your peers, your instructors and all those you come in contact with, with dignity and respect at all times.

    • Listen while others are speaking.
    • Give feedback to peers in a constructive manner.
    • Approach conflict with peers or instructors in a cooperative manner.
    • Use positive and nonjudgmental language.
  3. Confidentiality:
    Treat any personal information that you hear about a peer or an instructor as strictly confidential.

    • Maintain any information shared in class, dyads or smaller groups within that unit.
    • Use judgment in self-disclosing information of a very personal nature in the classroom. (Class time should not be used as therapy or treatment. If students feel the need to talk about issues they are struggling with, they many consult with their instructor to receive a referral for counseling.)
    • Never use names of clients or disclose other identifying information in the classroom.
  4. Competence:
    Apply yourself to all your academic pursuits with seriousness and conscientiousness, meeting all deadlines as given by your instructors. Constantly strive to improve your abilities.

    • Come to class with books, handouts, syllabus, and pens.
    • Seek out appropriate support when having difficulties to ensure success in completing course requirements.
    • Take responsibility for the quality of completed tests and assignment.
    • Strive to work toward greater awareness of personal issues that may impede your effectiveness with clients.
  5. Integrity:
    Practice honesty with yourself, your peers, and your instructors. Constantly strive to improve your abilities.
  6. Academic:
    Commit yourself to learning the rules of citing other’s work properly.

    • Do your own work and take credit only for your own work.
    • Acknowledge areas where improvement is needed.
    • Accept and benefit from constructive feedback.
  7. Diversity:
    Strive to become more open to people, ideas, and creeds that you are not familiar with. Embrace diversity.

    • Maintain speech free of racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, or stereotyping.
    • Exhibit a willingness to serve diverse groups of persons.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how values and culture interact.
  8. Communication:
    Strive to improve both verbal and written communication skills as these skills are used heavily in interactions with clients and peers and also with creating client records.

    • Demonstrate assertive communication with peers and instructors.
    • Practice positive, constructive, respectful and professional communications skills.
    • With peers and instructor: (body language, empathy, listening).
  9. Social Justice:
    Strive to deepen your commitment to social justice for all populations at risk.

    • Demonstrate an understanding of how institutional and personal oppression impede the experience of social justice for individuals and groups.
    • Strive to learn about methods of empowering populations and enhancing social justice at micro, mezzo, and macro levels.


The School of Social Work may terminate a student’s participation in the program on the basis of professional non-suitability if the School’s faculty determines that a student’s behavior has constituted a significant violation or pattern of violations of the NASW Code of Ethics or Florida Atlantic University School of Social Work’s Student Manual. These violations may include but are not limited to:

  1. Failure to meet or maintain academic grade point requirements as established by the University and the Social Work program.
  2. Academic cheating, lying, or plagiarism. Behavior judged to be in violation of the NASW Code of Ethics.
  3. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of professional conduct, personal integrity or emotional stability requisite for professional practice.
  4. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior toward colleagues, faculty or staff (at the School or in the field placement).
  5. Consistent failure to demonstrate effective interpersonal skills necessary for forming professional relationships (for example, unable to demonstrate nonjudgmental attitude or unable to allow client self-determination).
  6. Documented evidence of criminal activity occurring during the course of study.

I have read and understand this statement of Professional Expectations of Student Behavior and Consequences.