The field practicum gives students the opportunity to take on professional roles in order to learn skills, render services and participate in the provision and development of social work service. The hands-on experience reinforces the student’s identification with the purposes, values and ethics of the profession; fosters the integration of empirical and practice-based knowledge; and promotes the development of professional competence.
A minimum of 430 hours of beginning level generalist social work practice experience under the supervision of a professional social worker in an appropriate social agency is required during the last semester before graduation. Final authority for assigning the grade for this experience rests with the Field Director who will consult with the Field Instructor and the social work faculty liaison in determining the grade.
During the spring semester of field instruction, students enroll in and attend a weekly field seminar, which is led by the faculty member who serves as the student’s faculty field liaison with the agency in which they are doing their fieldwork. This seminar allows students to engage in in-depth discussion and analysis of issues related to their application of the practice model. Meeting with students in other field instruction settings broadens their individual perspectives on social work practice and helps them to understand the commonalities of social work practice in different settings.
Field students in the social work program receive supervision by practitioners who hold a professional degree in social work from a Council on Social Work Education accredited program. All field instructors must hold the MSW degree and a minimum of two years professional experience or the BSW degree and a minimum of five years professional experience. In the event that the MSW or BSW supervision is not available in an agency that offers strong and appropriate learning experiences, the student will meet weekly with the faculty field liaison for professional supervision.