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Info for Agencies

Field Education would not be possible without strong partnerships with our placement agencies. MSU’s Social Work Field Education Program works with more than 200 placement agencies throughout the state to allow our students to see the diverse practice opportunities for social work professionals. While each placement agency offers unique learning experiences, all placement agencies meet the requirements set forth by the Council on Social Work Education.

Agency Placement Requirements

Staff Credentials

The agency should have a supervisor with an MSW or a BSW, with at least two years practice experience, who can commit at least one hour a week to direct supervision/consulting. Should an agency not employ any staff with a BSW or MSW, the placement may still be approved with an outside supervisor. This is done only with the approval of the Director of Field Education. In agencies where there is no BSW or MSW on site, the student and Field Education Director will assist in arranging for an external (BSW/MSW) to supervise the student a minimum of one hour per week.

Junior Field Experience placements prefer but do not require an MSW or BSW credentialed staff for supervision.


Responsibilities of the Agency Supervisor

  1. Be knowledgeable of the philosophy, objectives, and goals of the practicum expectations in order to provide educational supervision to the student.
  2. Attend the Field Instructor Training and any additional relevant workshops relating to practicum.
  3. Provide continuing supervision to the student and to consult with the University Field Instructor in regard to the student's field work.
  4. Represent the agency in the development of and accountability for the Student Practicum Contract.
  5. Assist in the development of the student's Integrative Learning Plan.
  6. Provide structured supervision with the student totaling at least one hour per week.
  7. Provide constructive feedback to the student throughout the placement and assist the University Field Instructor in the evaluation of the student's performance in the practicum.
  8. Identify and assist in resolving problems arising in the practicum.

Responsibilities of the Agency

  1. Provide a qualified staff member to serve as the Agency Field Supervisor. The assignment of an Agency Field Supervisor implies that the agency agrees to allow the staff member adequate time to devote to supervising the student, conferring with the University Field Instructor, and attending instructional workshops conducted for Agency Field Supervisors.
  2. Accept and enforce a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, culture, educationally-unrelated or service delivery unrelated disability in accepting students for placement or clients for services.
  3. Permit the student to utilize information from his or her case(s) or agency (excluding identifying information) for required course assignments.

Agency Field Supervisor Training

Training for the practicum semester is required for all Agency Supervisors working with students in their senior placement. In order to achieve the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) educational requirements, supervisors must be updated as to any and all changes that have occurred since they last supervised a Social Work student. Our goal is to prepare and equip agency field supervisors before or shortly after the student is placed in the agency. Training is offered in person at the beginning of each academic semester and provides two hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attendees. Should an Agency Supervisor not be able to attend, the University Instructor will provide a modified training during the initial on-site visit.

Memorandums of Agreement

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is not required by the MSU Social Work Field Education Program. However, some agencies require this to be in place prior to any student placement.  Should this be necessary with an agency, the Director of Field works with the agency to facilitate this process. Because completion of the MOA process typically takes between 4-6 weeks, initiation of the process should begin when the student initially contacts the agency for placement.