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Lakehead 2009-2010 Academic Units Undergraduate Programs and Courses Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences School of Social Work
School of Social Work
Associate Professor and Director D. Tranter
Professors  K. Brownlee,
R. Delaney,
  M.L. Kelley,
  C.H. Nelson
Associate Professors L. Fan,
M. McKee,
  D. Tranter,
  J-A. Vis,
  J. Zamparo
Assistant Professors E. Gray,
  L. Martin (Social Work/Nursing),
  R. Neckoway,
  S. Scott (Social Work/Interdisciplinary Studies),
  E.C. Wiersma (Social Work/Nursing)
Adjunct Professors D. Walker
Professors Emeriti of Social Work D. Carpenter,
  S. Taylor
Field Education & Admissions Co-ordinator J. Zachary
Lecturers L. Fan,
  N. Stevens (Social Work/Interdisciplinary Studies),
  A.M. Walsh (Orillia only)
Sessional Lecturers L. Lawson,
  K. Kortes-Miller,
  M. McKitrick,
  K. Merkel,
  P. Smith,
  D. Walker

Social Work is a growing and challenging profession which provides vital services for individuals, groups, families and communities with various kinds of problems in living. Those involved in social work believe in the dignity and worth of each human being and the potential of all persons for continued growth and development throughout their life spans.

The social work program at Lakehead, which concentrates on being relevant to the social service needs of northern populations, is an innovative program based on an ecological view of social work practice. This approach stresses the social worker's role in providing and facilitating a comprehensive range of helping experiences which relate to the client's needs as a whole person. This requires skill in an integrated practice method which students learn through both classroom courses and field practice experiences in human service agencies with actual client cases under the supervision of a field instructor.

Lakehead has two Honours Bachelor's Degree (HBSW) programs in social work. The four year program is designed to combine a liberal arts education with a professional education. The one year program is designed for those students who have completed the requirements of an approved Bachelor's degree other than social work and related practice experience. Both programs are offered on a full-time and a part-time basis.

The Bachelor's degree in social work is recognized by the profession as the first-level professional degree. Both HBSW programs at Lakehead are fully accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work which is the standard setting body for Canadian social work programs.

There are varied opportunities open to graduates of the Lakehead University Social Work program to enter practice after graduation; or if qualified, to continue in graduate studies in social work at the masters or eventually doctoral level. Career opportunities exist in various settings where social work practice takes place such as in child and family welfare, mental health, corrections, health services, schools and services for the aged. Career advancement opportunities are available to those who qualify in the areas of supervision, program planning, administration, consultation and university teaching.


See Requirements for Admission to Undergraduate Degree Programs in the Admission Requirements and Registration section of this Calendar, page 27.

Admission to first or second year of the HBSW program is subject to the applicant meeting the entrance requirements for Lakehead University (first year) and completing the course work as outlined in the calendar (second year).

All students seeking admission into the third year of the professional years (third and fourth years) of the program are required to formally apply with documentation to the Admissions Committee of the School of Social Work in order that professional and academic suitability may be determined.

During the fall session each year, the Co-ordinator of Admissions and a representative of the Office of Admissions and Recruitment will speak to the students registered in the second year course regarding admission procedures and will answer any further questions the students may have at that time.

Students who are graduates from diploma programs relating to social services should consult with the Office of Admissions and Recruitment to determine their eligibility for advanced standing in the social work program.

During the first two years of their study, students would be well advised to have a second area of specialization, as it is necessary to limit admission to the professional years of the Social Work program because of the number of available field work placements, qualified field instructors and class size limitations. It is important, therefore, that applicants seeking admission to third year of the professional years of the program submit their application with the necessary documents no later than January 15. The candidates receiving the highest ratings in academic and professional suitability will be offered admission, depending on the availability of field placements and class size as stated above.

The candidates who are not offered admission to the Social Work program may continue working towards the Bachelor of Arts degree, in the department of their choice, but must be careful to satisfy departmental requirements in completing their program requirements. They are advised to consult with the Department of their choice for course counselling. Students who have met the requirements for an undergraduate degree and are eligible to graduate, cannot apply for admission to year 3 of the HBSW program.

Formal applications are required for any changes in enrolment status in the third and fourth years. Such applications require a formal written statement, outlining why a change in status is essential, and the approval of faculty. Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld.

Contact the School by e-mail at: socialwork@lakeheadu.ca


See the University Regulations section (page 39) and the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Regulations section (page 127) of this Calendar for conditions to enter, proceed in, and graduate from these programs.

In addition to the University academic regulations pertaining to honours programs, the following regulations apply to Social Work students.

1. Year Level Increments
A student who successfully completes the courses as indicated in his/her program of study will have his/her year level incremented as follows:
Year 1 = < 4 full course equivalents
Year 2 = 4 to < 9 full course equivalents
Year 3 = 9 to < 14 full course equivalents
Year 4 = 14 >

2. Grade Requirements

(a) Continuation

1st and 2nd Years:
To be promoted and to graduate, a student must pass all non-social work courses with an overall average of at least 60%. In both the four-year and one-year programs, the first and second year professional (Social Work) courses (SW1100 and SW2401) must be passed with at least an overall average of B (70%).
Professional Years (3rd, 4th, One Year):
In the professional years of the program (3rd, 4th, One Year), Social Work courses require a minimum grade of C (60%) in each course and an overall average of B (70%) maintained each year. Social Work 3501 and 4501 are graded on a pass-fail basis.

(b) Failed Year

1st and 2nd Years:
(a) A student is deemed to have failed year one or two of the HBSW program if:
(i) the student has failed more than two full courses or their equivalent; or
(ii) the student has failed more than one full course or equivalent with marks of less than 40%; or
(iii) the student attains an overall average of less than 50% in all courses; or
(iv) the student has a failure of more than one full course or its equivalent after special examinations have been given, whether the student writes them or not.
(b) In a failed year, course credit is retained for only those courses in which a minimum mark of 60% has been attained.
(c) A student having failed no more than one full course (or its equivalent) of the year's work after special examinations will be permitted to register for the succeeding year of the program.
(d) A student who has failed a year is eligible to apply for re-admission to the University. A student will normally be granted the privilege of repeating one year only.
Professional Years (3rd, 4th, One Year):
Third year students with less than an overall average of 70% may be permitted to enrol in fourth year "On Probation". One year students with less than an overall average of 70% from the summer term, may be allowed to proceed "On Probation". Fourth Year and One Year students who do not achieve the 70% overall average requirement, after all special examinations are processed, are deemed to have failed the year.

(c) Failed Practicums
A student who has failed a field practicum, may with the permission of the Director and Co-ordinator of Field Education be permitted to repeat the practicum at another location. However, a student who has failed a practicum twice is deemed to have failed the program.

3. Course requirements for the Honours Bachelor of Social Work Degree

To graduate with a four year HBSW degree, a student must successfully complete twenty full courses or the equivalent, which will have been planned in co-operation with a Faculty Advisor. Of the total of twenty courses required, the student must complete a minimum of twelve courses offered by the School of Social Work and a minimum of eight courses other than Social Work chosen in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

Given the significance of human diversity to Northern Social Work practice undergraduate students may apply to the Graduate Co-ordinator for permission to enrol in SW5113.

All Social Work students must participate in a rural field trip for SW3313 if required.

4. Special and Challenge Examinations

Special examinations are governed by the University Regulations on Special Examinations (VII page 41).

A student unable to advance to a higher year may either repeat the year with the approval of the Chair, enter the upper year on probation with the approval of the Chair, or transfer to another program in the University.

A student, admitted into the program, who has previous work experience in an approved social service agency, who has received acceptable supervision (MSW, HBSW or equivalent level) is eligible to request credit for the Social Work 3501 course. Students' requests will be determined by a committee of faculty. Students should contact the Field Education Co-ordinator by October 15th to arrange for the necessary challenge procedures.

The School will assign field placements (SW 3501 and SW 4501) to individual students subject to the availability of suitable placements. In some cases this may require a change of the beginning and/or ending date of the placement from dates given in the Calendar pertaining to given sessions or delay of the field placement to a later session.

Students taking SW 3501 and SW 4501 are required to arrange for their own transportation to field placements located within the City of Thunder Bay or on the periphery such as the Rural Family Resource Centre in Murillo. Many field placements require that students have a car available during placement. Students' selection of available field placements will be limited if they do not own a valid drivers licence. Students may be selected to do one of their field placements in a rural Northwestern Ontario community. Students will be responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing in that community.

5. Criminal Reference Check, Professional Suitability and Unsafe Practice

A criminal reference check and evaluation of professional suitability shall be required for all students prior to field placement. Information from these sources will be used to assist the Coordinator of Field Placements in determining both the suitability of a student to enter the field program and the appropriateness of placements being considered. A student may be excluded from the practicum and/or communication courses when his/her performance is deemed to be unsafe. Unsafe practice is any situation arising from a student's interaction with clients or other students which places these clients, these students or the student at risk for harm.

6. Year Progression and Program Sequence Alterations

Normally all previous social work courses will have been completed prior to the student entering each subsequent year. Permission must be granted by the student's academic advisor or the Director of the School of Social Work before a student may alter this course sequencing.

7. Attendance

In order to achieve the course and year level objectives for each year, and to become competent in the required theory and skills, students should maintain a high level of attendance for all social work courses, and especially for theory, skill and practicum courses/sessions. Absence from these may result in failure. Students who repeat this behaviour over more than one course will not be permitted to continue in the program. (see University Regulations, VIII Deficiency (d) and (e), page 42)

8. Work Standard

All papers and written works should be prepared according to the rules and guidelines of the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association unless noted otherwise.

9. First Class Standing

A Social Work student will be awarded First Class Standing if the weighted average of all the major courses taken is at least 80%. To conform with University Regulations, V Standing (c), page 41, in the computation of a First Class Standing average, in addition to having obtained a minimum overall average of A in the transfer credit courses, students who have completed credits at another institution must have completed a minimum of 2/3 of the courses used in the calculation of the First Class Standing average at Lakehead University.