The purpose of field education in social work is to provide the student with an interface between classroom education and actual practice. The student is provided with opportunities to:
- Develop practice skills by applying classroom theory to real life situations
- Determine which approaches work in practice and how they must be adapted to specific situations
- Understand the effect of the organizational context on professional practice while developing skills in agency-based social work
- Learn to use supervision and consultation appropriately
- Begin to engage in self-assessment
- Develop a professional identity
Field education consists of both an agency placement (internship) with supervision provided by professional social workers and a weekly field seminar on campus. Field placements are arranged for the student by the MSW program Field Directors. Once admitted to the MSW program, students must then apply for admission to Field Education. In order to be eligible for the Field Education portion of the MSW program, students must have the ability to provide their own transportation to and from the placement agency and any agency related travel. In addition, students must be able to pass a background check and provide proof of TB clearance. Agencies throughout Southern California are utilized for student internships.
The Foundation year field placement experience provides the student with a “generalist” view of social work practice. During the first year of internship, the student will spend a minimum of 16 hours per week in a field agency. The student will be supervised in the field agency by a professional social worker. In addition, the Faculty Field Liaison will make at least one visit to the field agency during the academic year. The student will be required to complete a weekly process recording and attend a weekly field seminar on campus, facilitated by their Faculty Field Liaison.
During the Concentration year internship, the student will spend a minimum of 16 hours per week in a field agency specific to their chosen concentration, or area of social work practice interest, and a weekly field seminar. Supervision and agency visits will be the same as outlined above. The second year field placement provides the student with advanced practice experience in a “specialized” area of social work practice. The student will be required to complete a weekly process recording and attend a field seminar on campus, facilitated by their Faculty Field Liaison.
The Field Education Student Manual and all forms can be accessed by the links to the left under “Fieldwork”.
For further information, please contact:
Debra Saxton, PPSC LCSW
Community Field Director
Marcella Mendez, LCSW
Student Field Director