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Field Education

Field Education is the signature pedagogy of any social work education program. The goal of both the junior (SWK 326) and the senior (SWK 497) social work practicum placements is to allow the student ethical and diverse practice opportunities which culminate in the student’s ability to demonstrate mastery of the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS).

Field internship learning contracts and evaluation tools are centered on the core generalist practice competencies and practice behaviors within the agency contexts of the students’ internship placements. University Field Education faculty and Agency Supervisors collaborate on the development of responsibilities and tasks in the agency that address each competency. Competencies and practice behaviors are assessed from a basic professional expectation in the junior year placement, while the senior placement is evaluated with a more robust expectation of student-demonstrated mastery of skills and knowledge.

 

Goals

  • To provide the student with the opportunity to integrate classroom learning and field experiences through the use of applied practice skills to micro, mezzo, and macro levels of practice
  • To develop the student's ability to operationalize the theoretical knowledge base of the generalist approach to practice in order to prevent, alleviate, or resolve problems in social functioning
  • To assist the student in the appropriate application of basic generalist practice skills in helping relationships
  • To provide the student with the type of educational experience that is best suited to his or her individualized needs for personal and professional development through the utilization of a variety of agencies and practice settings
  • To assist the student in actualizing social work values and ethical principles in practice situations, particularly those helping relationships that involve the specialized needs and/or sensitivity of gender-related, racial, sexual orientation, ethnic, cross-cultural, and/or minority issues, and to enhance the student's ability to resolve situational value conflicts
  • To identify and maximize individualized student strengths, and to recognize and address student needs and limitations which will assist the student in professional development through the interaction of the student and experienced professional social workers
  • To assist the student in developing his or her role as a beginning-level professional social worker by achieving an appropriate balance between self-initiative and the utilization of supervision and consultation
  • To effect further growth in the student's self-awareness through the evaluation of his or her own progress and limitations, and to enhance a commitment to continued personal and professional development throughout the individual's professional career
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