The Appointment Process

Individuals usually become a field instructor by virtue of being employed in an approved field instruction agency where the School of Social Work places students or by initiating a request for field instructor status and student placement.

In many field instruction agencies, an individual is designated by the agency to communicate with the School of Social Work in reference to the identification and placement of students in that setting. Such an individual is referred to as a coordinator or liaison for field instruction for that agency. Some agencies designate this to the individual designated for staff training. Information about placement possibilities, the number of students a field site can accommodate, and identification of potential field instructors is communicated to the School of Social Work by this individual who in turn schedules students who have been referred by the School of Social Work for interviews within the field site and with the potential field instructor.

In other settings where there may be only one qualified field instructor, the communication from the School of Social Work generally occurs directly between that person and the faculty member requesting the student field placement.

Application for Field Instructor

Individuals requesting field instructor status are asked to complete an "Application for Field Instructor Status". The University of Pittsburgh and the School of Social Work require an Academic and Personal History be forwarded prior to the official appointment letter. The contents of this form have been included in the new application along with a request for information related more specifically to the field instruction process itself such as whether the individual has served as a field instructor for other schools of social work or whether she or he has had experience in staff training and/or supervision.

Appointments are not considered official by the University or the School of Social Work until this form has been completed and returned to the Field Education Office. Appointments are made official through an Appointment Letter sent from the Dean of the School of Social Work. The Appointment Letter acknowledges the field instructor's status as a Mentor and describes the benefits available to field instructors for the period in which he or she serves as field instructor.