After you have completed your foundation coursework, you will complete a 450-hour practicum to take place over three consecutive eight-week terms. During this practicum, you will work in a social work setting applying the concepts and experiences gained from the program’s curriculum. You will receive both supervision and support from a faculty field instructor throughout these three terms.
At least 50 percent of your field placement will be spent in direct practice with individuals, families and groups. At least 50 percent of your field placement time will be spent working with clients who are economically disadvantaged, are members of ethnic or racial minority groups, are women, or belong to other populations of people who have been marginalized or oppressed.
Throughout your field education, you will complete a sequence of three courses. In this, the first of the three, you lay the foundation for supporting and assessing your field work. There are three aspects to SOWK 8251.
- One hour of formal weekly online supervision with your social work field instructor
- The development of an Education Plan
- The Performance Improvement Plan
In collaboration with your field instructor, you will develop an Education Plan that contains the practice behaviors and learning activities to help you accomplish the program’s required learning outcomes, the criteria for meeting the learning outcomes and who will assess the degree to which the outcomes have been met. Your faculty liaison will make recommendations that strengthen or clarify the expected learning activities. This Education Plan serves as the contract for field education student learning and assessment and is reviewed three times: during an initial site visit, at the mid-point of your practicum and during an end-of-placement site visit.
The Performance Improvement Plan formalizes concerns or areas of needed growth that may surface through your field placement experience. The plan will be written by your field instructor and faculty liaison to formally document areas for improvement and provide concrete expectations for monitoring and self-correction.
Through SOWK 8251, you gain firsthand experience specific to professional social work identity, values and ethics, diversity, human rights, social and economic justice, and cultural competence with emphasis on Hispanic families and children.
- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct yourself accordingly.
- Use supervision and consultation.
- Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
- Recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice.
- Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
- Distinguish, appraise and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom.
- Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and colleagues.
- Engage diversity and difference in practice.
- Recognize the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power.
- View yourself as a learner and engage those with whom you work as informants.
- Critique and apply knowledge to understand people and environments.
Field Education Resources
You are not alone in the field. In addition to faculty support and supervision, a number of professional resources are available to help you during your practicum.
- MSW Field Education Manual
- “Using Supervision”
- Bloom’s Taxonomy of Action Verbs
- CSWE Educational Policies and Standards
- NASW Standards for Practice
Learn More About Helping Others
In SOWK 8251, you begin to put everything you’ve learned about social work into practice in a real-world setting. To learn more about this course or any other course in the online Master of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions advisor right away, or you can request more information.
The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.