Field Education has been designated the signature pedagogy of Social Work Education. Signature pedagogy represents the central form of instruction and learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner. Professionals have pedagogical norms with which they connect and integrate theory and practice. The intent of field education is to connect the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the social work practice setting. It is a basic precept of social work education that the two interrelated components of curriculum (classroom learning and field instruction) are of equal importance within the curriculum, with each contributing to the development of the requisite competencies of professional practice. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria by which students demonstrate mastery of the program’s core competencies as operationalized by the practice behaviors outlined by the School and the Council on Social Work Education Educational and Policy Accreditation Standards (EPAS, 2015) for each level. Field Education is consistently evaluated by student’s as one of highpoints of the student’s education. Click to view the CSWE Competencies. (PDF Download)
Students participate in experiential and integrative learning in affiliated community organizations so that they can apply to real life practice situations what they have learned in the classroom. This experience additionally prepares students for the professional position they will assume in the marketplace after graduation. Students learn under the supervision of a qualified field instructor and with the support of a field advisor and liaison from the School of Social Work.
Check out the Field FAQs infographic created by the Student Executive Council (SEC). (Image Download)
Please visit the program pages below for a full list of FAQs.
BASW Field Education
BASW Students participate in experiential and integrative learning in affiliated community organizations so that they can apply to real life practice situations what they have learned in the classroom.
MSW Field Education
The Field Education Office has partnerships with over 700 agencies to maximize the field opportunities for our MSW students.
Agencies and Field Instructors
The role of the field instructor as teacher, guide, challenger, and role model to the student is a vital one.
Each advisor will work with her or his advisees to clarify educational options, to answer questions about the MSW Program, and to identify career opportunities.
Current Internship/Field Placement Descriptions
Read about the wide variety of field placement options offered by the Office of Field Education.
Resources for Students
Resources for students related clearances, public transportation, and Social Work professional organizations.
The Pitt School of Social Work field office is here to help!