Social Work Field Placement
Undergraduate practicum instruction is the final and most complex element of the generalist social work curriculum at CMU. This is accomplished through the integration of theoretical knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and professional identity in a guided, professionally supervised educational experience within an agency setting. The intent is to deliver an educationally oriented experience in which the student has the opportunity to develop competency in generalist social work skills. Students will experience, and become equipped, to handle increasingly more challenging practice situations. By the end of the field placement, social work interns will be ready to assume the responsibilities of a beginning level generalist practice social worker.
At Central Michigan University, the majority of students participate in a traditional fall-spring field placement, which is a senior year learning experience. Field placements require about 14 hours of field learning activities per week in the practicum setting during the academic year field experience. These are supervised by the assigned agency Field Instructor. The student shall accumulate a minimum of 200 hours for each of two consecutive semesters, a total of at least 400 hours in the field experience. Students are expected to remain in the field practicum through the entire semester even when that will result in more than 200 hours during the semester.
Admission to the field practicum
Prior to field placement, students must be admitted to the program, have their major form signed, finished their 100 hours of social work related experience and completed the appropriate course prerequisites. If a student was admitted with conditions, the conditions must be met prior to the student being placed in field or field placement can be delayed.
All information about field is listed in the Social Work Field Manual. Students should take a few hours and go through this carefully.
Frequently asked questions
Can I choose my field placement?
Field placements are assigned by the field director. Students can always make a request for an agency, but the decision lies with the field director. The field director meets with students and discusses their primary needs. The director considers many factors such as type of placement, location, needs, skills and experience of both the student and the field instructor when making a placement. Students will meet with the agency before the placement is finalized and if both parties agree, the student is placed there for the entire practicum.
What do I wear?
Students in field are expected to dress professionally.
Where do I get my field manual?
Students are expected to download the Social Work Field Manual.
I work and can't take time off. What do I do?
This is your senior year of college. The only thing that stands between you and a BSW degree is 2 semesters. Most students find that the experience they gain in field far surpasses the inconvenience of a busy schedule. If it is any consolation, you're with a great group of people. Hopefully, you planned ahead to take very few classes your senior year.
Can I do my internship over the summer?
Maybe. Talk to the field director if you are interested in a field placement in the summer.
Who is the field director?
Lissa M. Schwander, Ph.D., MSW
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: (989) 774-2690
Email the field director for more information