Field education is an essential pedagogical component of each student's MSW education. Strong clinical supervision and opportunities to practice what is learned in the classroom should characterize the student's field experience.
The support of the applicant's employer is essential, to ensure the viability of the field placement either at the workplace or at another location. The student must have available time (flexible hours, personal time, educational leave) to devote at least eight hours a week to field. After-hours placements are usually not available unless offered by the employer.
Students complete 1125 hours of field education, co-requisite with course work (885 hours for advanced standing students). A minimum of one day and maximum of two days each week is devoted to field for the duration of the program, in an assignment that differs from the student's customary work assignment, and is supervised by an MSW who is not the student's work supervisor. Students generally complete field requirements in a single setting, provided that the assignment includes progressively challenging field opportunities.
The employing agency may provide the student with an alternate job assignment for part of the work-week to meet the requirements for field, or arrangements may be made for an outside agency field placement. Field instruction/supervision must be provided by an MSW with 3 years post graduation experience, who has completed a certification course in Supervision in Field Instruction (SIFI). SIFI should be taken concurrently with the placement, either online or on campus (20 Continuing Education Units are provided for successful completion).
Applicants are encouraged to examine appropriate field opportunities with their employer.
Following preliminary review of application materials, including transcripts, qualified applicants will be invited to submit a preliminary proposal for field education, along with additional Supplementary Materials required for Intensive Weekend admission. Final approval of the field placement is given following admission.