Field and classroom education are integral parts of a single educational experience. The field instruction component of the curriculum provides a structured learning environment for the development of professional social work values, skills, and ethics and for the integration and application of social work theories in a real world setting.
The Office of Field Education coordinates the placement of graduate and undergraduate social work students and oversees the matching of student interest and learning needs with available field opportunities. Suggestions regarding placement options are formulated following discussion of a variety of factors including the student’s interest, background, education, and previous professional experience.
The student’s field instruction experience includes a supervisory relationship with a field instructor in a field placement agency approved by the Field Education Faculty of the School. The field instructor is an interested and concerned teacher, and a resource available to the student. With the School, the field instructor’s task is to help the student develop analytic professional practice skills with the framework of social work knowledge, skills, and values.
Each student is also assigned a field liaison. The task of the field liaison is to be a resource and support to the student, field instructor and placement agency. The field liaison maintains contact with the student and the field instructor during the school year to facilitate the student’s learning and to serve as a “connecting bridge” between the agency and the School.
Students are evaluated from a strengths perspective through which growth points are identified in conjunction with the performance expectations enumerated for our students. The collaborative effort of Field Faculty, field education liaisons, and field instructors and their agencies promotes quality social work education and supports the professional development of our students.