The upcoming academic year, promises to be an exciting opportunity for learning. One of the pleasures of participating in field instruction, for me, is sharing with you in the process by which all of you will move into a genuine sense of belonging to the profession of social work.
This year will provide many opportunities to learn and grow. Sometimes that growth will be easy and fun; sometimes it will be difficult. Our hope is that it will always lead you more deeply into an identity as a social worker, and that you will learn the skills and knowledge needed to begin your first professional job after earning your BSW.
The field experience is one that many students approach with some apprehension, but also with a great deal of excitement. The social work faculty and field instructors share that excitement with you as we guide you through this experience. I encourage you to make the commitment to learn as much as possible during the year. Keep in mind that the year will just fly by!
Lissa M. Schwander, Ph.D., MSW
Interim Field Coordinator
Phone: (989) 774-7467
Fax: (989) 774-2140
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 volunteering 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.
Field Orientation Meeting
All students will attend a mandatory field orientation meeting prior to being placed in field. At this meeting, students will learn about the Social Work Field Manual and fill out the necessary forms to begin the field placement process. (The Social Work Field Manual is available to
Field Pre-Placement Interview
The pre-placement interview is a chance for the field director to meet with each student individually. Students will bring their resume and discuss their skills, abilities and preferences for placement. Students should complete the pre-placement form prior to scheduling the interview.
Once the match letter is mailed out, students will set up a field interview with their placement agency to work out the details of their internship. Agencies may require the student to complete background checks, physicals and/or vaccinations prior to working.
All information about field is listed in the field manual. Students should take a few hours and go through this carefully. Visit our preparation for generalist practice website for an overview of the field experience.
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 each student individually 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. Student's will meet with the agency before the placement is finalized and if both parties agree, the student is placed there for the entire school year.
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 field manual.
I work and I 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.