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School of Social Work

Field Education

About Field Education

Field Education is community-based, experiential, transformational learning for practice as a social worker. The School of Social Work places over 300 students into 200+ agencies and social work practice settings. There are four different levels of professional preparation in field education: undergraduate junior and senior, graduate foundation and clinical. Field Education includes the following key points:
  • Field Education provides meaningful and invaluable learning experiences through the integration of theory and practice.
  • The School of Social Work has over 200 agency partners, in a wide variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, outpatient clinics, public, private, and nonprofit agencies.
  • Field Education instructors are co-educators, who work at the agency site and are teachers and mentors.
  • We guide students through every step of the process- from search to placement to completion. We are with you the whole way!
  • Out students have the opportunity to develop and practice deep cultural humility.
Students at the School of Social Work complete between 475 and 1000 hours in their field settings. Ongoing supervision during the practicum and concurrent integrative field seminars foster student learning and professional development. The collaboration between students, agency-based field instructors and field faculty liaisons is a crucial link between theory and practice.

Social Work Field Education

  • Undergraduate (BSW) field placement
  • Graduate (MSW) field placement
  • Undergraduate (BSW) field placement

    Many of our students refer to their field placements as "transformational" experiences as they prepare to step into the social work profession. You will complete two field placements while in the program:
    • At the junior level, completing 200 hours in the field
    • At the senior level, completing 400 hours in the field

    These hours are typically completed over the course of an academic year. Placements include working with a variety of client within the context of generalist practice. We have developed strong agency partners and guide you through the process of interviewing and earning placement with these agencies.

    Throughout the field program, continuous and intensive involvement provide you with a continuity of contact with the social work profession. Familiarization with routines and procedures help you identify and develop a sense of belonging with the agency, professionals, clients, and delivery systems. Ongoing supervision during the placement, and concurrent integrative field seminars, foster student learning, professional development, and the integration of theory and practice.

    Undergraduate (BSW) field placement

    Graduate (MSW) field placement

    MSW placements are available in a part-time, academic year format, beginning in late August/early September and continuing until April, May, or early June. Under certain circumstances, students may be able to complete field in an alternative, full-time (block) format held during the summer. Summer block placements begin in late May and continue through August. In all cases, students are in concurrent field seminars, which meet every other week on campus.

    Graduate (MSW) field placement

    Undergraduate (BSW) field placement

    Many of our students refer to their field placements as "transformational" experiences as they prepare to step into the social work profession. You will complete two field placements while in the program:
    • At the junior level, completing 200 hours in the field
    • At the senior level, completing 400 hours in the field

    These hours are typically completed over the course of an academic year. Placements include working with a variety of client within the context of generalist practice. We have developed strong agency partners and guide you through the process of interviewing and earning placement with these agencies.

    Throughout the field program, continuous and intensive involvement provide you with a continuity of contact with the social work profession. Familiarization with routines and procedures help you identify and develop a sense of belonging with the agency, professionals, clients, and delivery systems. Ongoing supervision during the placement, and concurrent integrative field seminars, foster student learning, professional development, and the integration of theory and practice.

    Undergraduate (BSW) field placement

    Graduate (MSW) field placement

    MSW placements are available in a part-time, academic year format, beginning in late August/early September and continuing until April, May, or early June. Under certain circumstances, students may be able to complete field in an alternative, full-time (block) format held during the summer. Summer block placements begin in late May and continue through August. In all cases, students are in concurrent field seminars, which meet every other week on campus.

    Graduate (MSW) field placement

    How We Support Students

    We work with you through every step of the field placement process as you learn and grow as a social worker.

    Field Seminar

    Students share knowledge and experiences about social service agencies, discuss issues and topics related to social work, and complete assignments that connect theory and practice.

    Training for Instructors and Students

    New field instructors start by completing an orientation. BSW and MSW students must also complete orientation before placement. The School of Social Work also holds an annual safety/sexual harassment training for students.

    Areas of Emphasis

    Students have the opportunity to apply to one of our Areas of Emphasis programs: Gero Social Work Practice, Military Practice and Practice with People from Immigrant and Refugee Backgrounds.

    Explore Areas of Emphasis

    What Students Say About Field Education

    Whitney Wessels
    MSW, 2014
    Zach LeCrone
    MSW, 2014
    Headshot of Whitney Wessels Headshot of Zach LeCrone
    01 / 02

    Whitney Wessels ‘14, MSW

    "My field placements helped me apply the theory and methods I was learning in my coursework to actual practice. The program has very strong connections with their field placement partners and they know that you're going to have a really rich experience that will help develop you as a professional."

    02 / 02

    Zach LeCrone ‘14, MSW

    "My field placement really got me ready for doing clinical social work. I was doing therapy and every session was videotaped. I enjoyed seeing myself go through the process because I could see the parts of my personality that might be impacting clients, [such as] having a genuine personality. Seeing it in third-person view really gave me the insight to develop my professional identity and personality."

    Members of the Field Practice Institute answer questions on a panel

    01 Here for you

    Field Practice Institute Advisory Council

    The School of Social Work Field Practice Institute is fortunate to collaborate with deeply invested students, field instructors, and agency partners through the FPI Advisory Council. The Council meets regularly throughout the year to provide consultation on emerging issues, program initiatives, opportunities for partnership and program operations.