Field Education

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, 2022) for each level. Field Education is consistently evaluated by students as one of the high points of the student’s education. Click to view the CSWE Competencies

Students participate in experiential and integrative learning opportunities in affiliated community organizations. This experience additionally prepares students for the professional positions 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. 

The field education experience is supported through an online software. All field-related documents are both created and housed in this HIPAA-compliant software program. The system is managed by the students, assigned faculty, and the field education office. Requests for field placements, field learning plans, evaluations, and timesheets are a few examples of documents managed through the online software.

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. 

MSW Field Education

The Field Education Office has partnerships with over 600 agencies to maximize the field opportunities for our MSW students.

Agencies and Field Instructors

The field instructor plays an integral role in the student's education. They function as a teacher, a guide, and a role model for the student's development as a social worker. 

Field Advising

Field advisors will work individually with students to identify areas of interest and career goals. Field advisors in collaboration with the student will identify field placement options available to meet the student's needs and educational requirements.

An Overview of the Field Placement Process

Explore the process of field placement.

Resources for Students

Resources for student-related clearances, public transportation, DRS, county agencies, and social work professional organizations.

Contact Us/Field Calendar

The Pitt School of Social Work field office is here to help!