Field Practicum Overview

The Practicum is an integral part of the social work curriculum. Students complete each field practicum in a community-based organization/school under the direct supervision of a social work practitioner who has a Master of Social Work degree and a minimum of two years post MSW experience. Placements are facilitated by the Director of Field Education who takes into account the student’s professional goals, employment, volunteer, and life experiences.

In order to fully appreciate the organizational dynamics of the field agency, students are expected to be in placement during regular agency/school business hours (usually Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.). This insures optimal access to professional social workers and administrators who are most likely to be available for coordination of activities, collaboration and supervision. Additionally, it is expected that assignments and clock hours are completed at the practicum site (the defined practicum site may include multiple agencies and/ or community home visits).

Each affiliated agency and supervising Field Instructor has been evaluated by CSU. The agency mission, scope of services, funding sources, staffing, client populations, levels of supervision, and learning opportunities are assessed. Concurrently, assessment is made of the credentials and experience of the MSW professionals who elect to directly supervise student learning. The program recruits professionals who have an interest in providing educational opportunities for our students. Populations served by the agencies that are practicum sites are those that have traditionally been considered vulnerable and oppressed such as women, ethnic minorities, the poor, children, people of color, the elderly, and persons of diverse religious and sexual orientations.

The Director of Field Education, Field Instructors, Faculty Field Liaisons, students, other campus faculty and administrators work together in the educational process. Information regarding student needs and progress will be shared among these individuals to optimize student learning.

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