Practicum and classroom education are integral parts of a single educational experience. The practicum 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 Practicum Education coordinates the placement of graduate and undergraduate social work students and oversees the matching of student interest and learning needs with available 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 practicum instruction experience includes a supervisory relationship with an Instructor at a placement agency approved by the Practicum Education Faculty of the School. The Instructor is an interested and concerned teacher, and a resource available to the student. With the School, the 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 Liaison. The task of the Liaison is to be a resource and support to the student, Instructor and placement agency. The Liaison maintains contact with the student and the 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 Faculty, Liaisons, and Instructors and their agencies promotes quality social work education and supports the professional development of our students.