Our program identifies field education as one of the most important parts of a social work education. In field placements, students have the opportunity to apply classroom learning in an agency setting. This learning takes place under the direction and supervision of a trained field instructor who is employed by the agency and skilled in working with students.
To maintain a quality field education program in an ever-changing social service environment, our program adheres to three basic principles:
- Integrated model: Our faculty and field instructors work hand-in-hand to support students so they can practice in the field agency what they learn in the classroom. The practice faculty members serve as liaisons to the students’ field instructors.
- Individualized placement process: Students meet individually with a field director to plan a placement to meet their learning needs. Both the generalist and the clinical field placements are developed collaboratively with students’ work experiences, interests, location, and practice goals in mind.
- Support for continued growth of field instructors: Our agency field instructors are supported throughout the field year by the faculty field liaisons and through continuing education and training provided to them free of charge.
During the senior year fall and spring semesters, students spend two full days each week in a field agency for a total of 420 hours. Students meet individually with a field director in the spring semester of the junior year to determine an appropriate field placement. Each field experience is personalized and compatible with the student's work experiences, interests, location, and goals.
Students are required to meet with their field instructors individually on a weekly basis for supervision. A social work faculty member serves as the liaison between the student and the field placement. Students also take a social work practice class each semester with the same faculty member, and a field discussion is integrated into the class.