“The intent of field education is to connect the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated on the basis of criteria by which students demonstrate the achievement of program competencies” (CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, 2008).
The social work field practicum is designed to provide students with a chance to put into practice the theories and skills they have learned in the classroom. The practice of social work is a combination of theory and interpersonal skills with the field practicum a key component of the educational process. The focus of the field practicum is on the interactional process between student worker and client system(s) and use of specific interventions; students have the opportunity to connect the theory and knowledge with actual practice experience. This experience is essential to developing the entry level helping skills required of all undergraduate social work professionals. The nature of the field practicum is practice-oriented, builds on skills and theories learned in cognate social work classes, and involves direct contact and intervention with individuals, families, and groups. Only social work majors may take the field practicum and must have met the required prerequisites.
The Junior Field Practicum course requires student to participate in an observational learning experience in a social service agency for 40 hours during the semester. Immerision in the agency environment will give students an opportunity to expand their understanding of how human needs are met in social service agencies. This experience prepares students for SOCW 428: Social Work Practicum I.
The Social Work Practicum I requires a minimum of 400 clock hours in which the practicum student applies theoretical knowledge within a social welfare context. (The practicum student commits to work in the agency from the first week of September until the third week in April regardless of how many hours have accrued over the minimum. There will be no summer field placements.)
Evie Nogles-Baker, MSSW, CMSW is responsible for the overrall administration, planning, and coordinatio of field instruction. As liaison, she provides overall direction for education of students assigned to the different field agencies. In addition, she confirms that students meet required hours and directs the field practicum seminar.
Evie Nogales-Baker can be reached at 423.236.2640 during office hours or by email at email@example.com.
This agency-based supervisor is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of the student. Field education teaching is conducted by professional practitioners with an accredited bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work selected by the agency and approved by the School of Social Work and Family Studies.
ALCEA is a new intern tracking software that has been implemented to help students, field instructors, field liaisons, and task supervisors improve the field experience. The program enables students to search for possible practicum sites, log field hours, and edit Learning Plans. Field instructors, Liaisons, and Task Supervisors can use the program to track their practicum student's progress and offer feedback about their experiences.
For information and training for field personnel, click here to visit our field resource site.
"Field experience is life changing!"
"I've learned lessons and developed skills in field that
I couldn't have learned in the classroom!"