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Field Education FAQs

How many hours do students complete?

  • During the Generalist field placement, students are in field for 11.25 hours/week.  Students will complete field hours over the course of 3 semesters.
  • During the Advanced Clinical placement, students are in field for 13.5 hours/week over the course of 4 semesters.
  • Advanced Standing students are in field for 16 hours/week over the course of 4 semesters

What time of year do students start field placements?

Students start their placement in their third semester.  The Online MSW program has three field start periods, so students will be entering field placement during the Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. With that in mind, we are always seeking agencies that can accommodate starting students at any of these points.

How are students in the online MSW program being prepared for field?

  • Students in the online MSW program complete the same coursework as students in our on-campus program. 
  • Students will come into their first field placement having already completed 4 courses (Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Diversity and Oppression, Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis, and Research Methods)
  • Students will take Social Work Practice I and Social Work Practice II during the first two semesters of field work.  Assignments in these courses will relate back to the field work.
  • All students will participate in a virtual Field Orientation workshop prior to starting field.  This orientation will provide students with information about the field placement process, explain expectations of being a student in field, and focus on general skills building to prepare students for initial work within a field agency. 

What is required for an agency to be an approved field placement site?

  • Agencies selected for field sites are drawn from a wide range of agencies and reflect the diverse settings where professional social workers are employed.  The School requires that agencies have a clear definition of the social work role, and that the function be supported in the agency so that students will be able to acquire and strengthen their identification as social workers. There must be appropriate assignments and a qualified MSW with available time to supervise a student, along with a commitment to teaching the core competencies and practice behaviors outlined in the learning contract and evaluation.
  • MSW Supervisor/Field Instructor –Field Instructors are required to have an MSW and two-years post graduate experience Field Instructors will review and comment on students’ process recordings and are required to meet with students for 1 hour each week for supervision.  Field Instructors may be involved with the student on a daily basis, or students may also work with a task supervisor. 

How do I become a field agency site if I am interested in hosting an MSW student?

  • Please visit this page for more information.  There will be more instructions on how to request interns for your program or agency. You can also email onlinemsw@ssw.rutgers.edu with any questions.

What support will agencies receive from Rutgers?

  • Each student is assigned a Field Liaison, who interacts with the student and the agency.  The Field Liaison will make at least one remote or in-person visit each semester to meet with the Field Instructor and the Student. 
  • Regular contact will be provided between students, field instructors, and online program staff to ensure the field placement is proceeding well.
  • You will also receive access to our Field Instructor newsletter and webinars related to supervision topics.
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