The Cornerstone of Professional Social Work Education
Field education in the BSSW and MSSW programs is a critical and required component of each student’s academic program. Students in field placements work under the supervision of experienced social work professionals in a variety of settings to integrate theory, research, and practice. Other academic disciplines may use the word “internship” to describe this applied learning experience.
The College of Social Work partners with organizations throughout the state and across the nation to provide student field placements. Placement settings include, but are not limited to, schools, courts, hospitals, nursing homes, state agencies, emergency shelters and residential programs, and mental health and addiction treatment centers. Limited opportunities are also available in international settings. Due to the hands-on nature of social work supervision, placements that host students in the evenings and weekends are very limited.
We believe this opportunity to apply classroom learning in the field allows students to master and synthesize social work knowledge, values, and skills. In addition to their placements, social work students participate in field seminar prior to and concurrent with the field placement. The seminar content and activities are intended to prepare students for a successful field experience.
The College Field Coordinator for each program works with students to explore practice interests, identify and approve prospective placements, and facilitate placement interviews. The College expects students to follow the placement planning procedure provided by their assigned Field Coordinator.
This means that students are not to contact organizations to attempt to arrange their own placements.