Master of Social Work with a Child Welfare Focus
Field education (i.e. practicum) is the signature pedagogy for social work. This means that field education is the key method of instruction and learning through which our profession socializes its students to become practitioners. Because it is such a critical part of becoming a social worker, the practicum is often considered the 'heart' of social work education.
Practicum offers students practical and supervised opportunities to develop and apply their social work knowledge and skills. The practicum promotes integration of the theory and skills students are learning in the classroom with their professional practice and social work identity. In practicum, all students are supervised by an experienced, agency-based social worker who functions as the Field Instructor. In addition to ongoing guidance and feedback, the field instructor provides the student a minimum of one hour of supervision for every 15 placement hours. Students are also linked with a university-based faculty member who acts as the Faculty Liaison. The faculty liaison, who is the teacher-of-record for the practicum course, facilitates the integrative seminar that accompanies the practicum placement, makes regular visits (on-site or via distance) to placement agencies and participates in evaluations of the student's achievement.
The Field Education Manual outlines the faculty's policies and procedures related to field education. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the Field Education Manual. While students can work with their placement agencies to create a schedule, students are required to be in practicum a minimum of two days (14 hours) and a maximum of 5 days (40 hours) per week.
In addition to the faculty liaisons, who work closely with students and field instructors, the faculty and staff at the Office of Field Education are committed to providing quality support to further enrich the field education experience of students and field instructors. We are available for consultation to students, field instructors, partner agency representatives, and faculty liaisons.
We wish you a successful and rewarding field education experience!
Jessica Ayala, Director of Field Education
Angela Judge-Stasiak, Coordinator Field Education (Distance)
The IPT database will be used during your practicum. Students will receive an email at the start of practicum detailing login information and the forms required. Students are not required to utilize the database until they are provided with the login information which will coincide with the beginning of the practicum.