An Overview of the Field Placement Process

Students in field

Field Education is the School of Social Work's signature pedagogy and is intricately woven into the student's scholarship throughout the program.  The Field Education Office works with closely with students to ensure that their internships provide a classroom in the field experience; translating learning into direct application.

The field experience is divided into a generalist experience for BASW and 1st year MSW students and a specialization experience for 2nd year/advanced standing students.   The generalist experience focuses on the development of foundational social work practice and field placements focus on work with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities.   The specialization experience is divided into options for Direct Practice (DP) and Community, Organization and Social Action (COSA).  The Direct Practice specialization provides the skills a student needs to work with individuals, groups and families.  The Community Organization and Social Action specialization builds the skills needed to work with communities and organizations.

The Field Education Office utilizes the EXXAT software platform which houses all relevant documents related to the field experience including, but not limited to Safety Plans, HIPAA and Mandated Reporter forms and trainings, Field Learning Plans and Field Evaluation forms.  Students are provided the opportunity through EXXAT to explore field placement sites with their Field Advisor during the early stages of the placement process.  The field placement process is a collaborative effort between the Field Advisor, the student and the agency. The field placement process is complex and takes into account the unique requirements of the student, e.g., transportation, fellowship processes, areas of interest, as well as agency protocols and requirements.   The Field Advisor coordinates all aspects of the initial contact with the placement up to the point that the student is accepted for a placement.  Students are not allowed to set up field placements on their own, as these placements must be coordinated from the Field Office due to contractual agreements.

There are currently over 600 field sites that provide options for Field Placements.  In order to be considered for a field placement, students must submit a Field Request Form which is available through EXXAT once the student has completed their profile.  Undergraduates will submit the Field Request for during the spring semester of their Junior year for a Fall start date.  Undergraduates must accrue 600 hours of field placement over two semesters. 

For MSW's, once accepted into the program, these students will complete a Field Request Form which will enable them to begin their first placement in late September of their first semester.  This placement will continue through the spring of their first year.  Total number of hours to complete is 360 hours over the fall and spring semester.

Field Request Forms for the second year MSW students are completed in the spring of the student's first year in the MSW program.  Second year/continuing students begin their specialization placement in late Aug/early September and will complete 720 hours of placement over two semesters,

Advanced standing students complete the Field Request Forms soon after acceptance into the program and also begin their 720 hours of field placement in late Aug/early September.  The student is in placement until the end of April.

*****  It should be noted that the identified dates and times are contingent upon the standard enrollment process and start dates which can vary for late admissions. *****