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Field Education

The Field Practicum is an integral part of the BSW and represents the culmination of undergraduate social work education. This curriculum prepares students for social work practice in an area of concentration where practice is addressed in great depth, breadth, and specificity. In a dynamic profession like social work it is important that we learn to plan, assess, and document lifelong learning. Senior social work students need to become active, self-directed, and collaborative learners. When this happens it is more likely that students will engage energetically in lifelong learning opportunities following graduation. As a result, the quality and effectiveness of service to clients will be heightened.

BSW Field Practicum Team

Team Member  Position  Email 
Diane Calloway-Graham, MSW, Ph.D., CSW
Practicum Director
Logan Faculty
Moises Diaz, MSW, CSW
Assistant Practicum Director
Logan Faculty
Shannon Browne, MSW, J.D
Field Practicum Liaison
Logan Faculty
CJ. Sorenson, MSW, LCSW
BSW Distance Education Coordinator
Brigham City Faculty
Vonda Jump, Ph.D
Practicum Coordinator/Liaison
Brigham City Faculty
Raini Heap, MSW, LCSW
Field Practicum Liaison
Tooele Faculty
Jan Thornton, MSW, LCSW
Field Practicum Liaison
Price Faculty
Jenifer Evers, MSW, LCSW
Practicum Coordinator/Liaison
Moab/Blanding Faculty
 
 
 

  

OVERVIEW OF THE FIELD PRACTICUM REQUIREMENTS

Practicum Courses:
Fall Semester SW 4870: Beginning Field Practicum (6 credits)
Spring Semester SW 5870: Advanced Field Practicum (6 credits)

Field Work. Students will complete a total of 480 credits at their assigned agency. Fall Semester = 240 hours; Spring Semester = 240 hours; Weekly Totals over the 15 week semester = 16 hours. During your placement you are expected to follow all employee expectations. The Agency Practicum Instructor will provide an agency orientation at the beginning of the practicum placement. During the internship teaching/supervision will include a combination of individual conferences, on-the-spot consultations, agency staff meetings, in-service training, and assigned readings.

Integrative Seminar. The Practicum experience is enhanced through professional integrative seminars which ties the field practice experience to the academic program. Students meet regularly in the integrative seminar for the duration of their field placement which is a part of the credit hours for SW 4870 (6) and SW 5870 (6). The seminar facilitates the transition to the professional role as a generalist social work practitioner and promotes the application of social work practice with an emphasis on values, knowledge, skills, and competencies. Students are required to complete competency-based learning contracts and reflective assignments focused on their agency placement. The overall purpose of the integrative seminar is to provide students the opportunity to share experiences, work toward increased competency, prepare for professional employment, and receive additional knowledge that complements and supplements their academic and professional experience. The practicum grade is 60% performance in seminar and 40% performance in agency internship.


Program Supervision. Students will work directly with an assigned social work faculty member who will advise and mentor you in planning to meet your needs and goals of the practicum experience. They will also monitor your experience to make sure all expectations of the program and the agency are met. As a teacher, they assist you with integration of course and field work in the integrative seminar. They will assist you as a mediator in resolving any problems or challenges associated with your practicum experience.

Placements outside the area. Arrangements for placement outside local area of the program will be approved only under exceptional circumstances. Students should have completed all of the course work required for the admission to the field practicum. Students should arrange their schedule to interface with program supervision protocols and complete the integrative seminar. Access to the agency must be in a reasonable location for the field practicum education team to interface accordingly.

Employment-based placement. It is recommended that BSW students avoid full-time employment while in the field practicum which ensures that students have sufficient time and attention to meet the demands and expectations of both the field practicum and any remaining classroom requirements. Only in unusual circumstances, described below, and with the approval of the practicum director, will students working full-time in human service organizations be approved to complete their BSW field placement within the organization in which they are employed.

The following circumstances must be present to consider an employment-based option: evidence that the student would incur incapacitating financial hardship if not allowed an employment-based field placement as well as documentation that sufficient opportunities for new learning experiences are present within the current employment setting. Both student and agency are responsible for meeting the following criteria to gain approval of an employment-based practicum: 1) the employing organization must be able to provide sufficient new learning assignments to meet the required field placement hours, 2) field placement credit is only allowed for work outside of the student’s usual employment work assignments, and 3) the student must receive weekly field instruction from a qualified social worker who is NOT the usual work supervisor.

A student who desires an employment-related field experience option should approach agency personnel and the practicum director for initial approval/permission to pursue the employment-related option. Upon initial approval, the student then submits the completed Employment Related Plan with appropriate agency signatures. All regular field practicum education policies and requirements still apply including the formal learning agreements and evaluations. The practicum director works closely with agencies and field liaisons to ensure these policies are followed.


Procedures for Admission to Field Practicum

The field practicum courses are SW 4870 (Beginning Field Practicum) and SW 5870 (Advanced Field Practicum). Students may register for SW 4870 only after making application with the practicum director. Application must be made during the spring semester of the academic year prior to enrollment in the practicum, and is due by February 20. Application forms are available in Main 239. No applications for the practicum will be accepted from students who will not complete all required coursework by the end of spring semester. Applicants must take the Generalist Practice Test (GPT), on which they must receive a satisfactory (70 percent or higher) score. Students may contact the practicum director, Dr. Diane Calloway-Graham, with questions or concerns (diane.calloway-graham@usu.edu).

Eligibility Criteria for Admission to the Field Practicum
  • Senior status (92-120 credits completed) by the end of the spring semester in which the student applies. Only those students who are candidates for the baccalaureate degree in social work may be admitted to the field practicum.

  • Completion of University Studies program (including Depth Education Requirements) and all social work courses, with the exception of SW 5350.

  • A grade of B- or better in SW 3050, 4150, and 4160.

  • A grade of C or better in all courses required for the major and a grade of C+ or better in SW 1010.

  • No Pass-D-Fail grades received in courses required for the major.

  • Demonstration of appropriate professional, moral, and ethical character, and must abide by the National Association of Social Work (NASW) code of ethics.

  • Maintenance of an overall minimum GPA of 2.5 and a 2.75 minimum GPA in the Social Work Major.

  • A satisfactory score (70 percent or higher) on the Generalist Practice Test (GPT).

  • Students are encouraged to tailor their choice of electives toward their practicum choices.

Students should also be aware that if there are any personal data, such as that included on the application for state licensure, which indicates a potential threat to the public safety and welfare, a student may be denied continuation in the program. If a student is denied admission to the practicum, the faculty will review his or her file upon request.

Students entering the practicum cannot ordinarily begin their placement earlier than the start of fall semester. If they do so, this practice falls outside of the Social Work Program's responsibility, and any accrued hours will not count toward the practicum.
Students entering the field practicum are strongly encouraged to join the NASW and be involved in the NASW Student Program Unit.

Background checks. Background checks are required by most agencies. All students need to complete the expected forms in the agency before beginning their internship. During the student interview process it is important to find out all requirements for paperwork including medical testing. Conducting background checks is the responsibility of the agency and the student. If an agency is not able to pay for these additional requirements, then payment is the responsibility of the student.