317 Everett L. Marshall Building
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
BSW FIELD PLACEMENT
An opportunity to develop social work skills in a supervised agency environment is an integral part of BSW Social Work education. Students learn to do assessment, intervention, and evaluation. This is a generalist field placement. Students do not specialize at this level. Social Work majors are required to complete a total 400 hours in two consecutive semesters of 200 hours each of field placement during their last two semesters in the social work program, either fall and winter or winter and summer. There are a number of criteria, some of which are listed below. These procedures are designed to give the student the best opportunity for a successful field placement, preparing them for entry-level social work practice or admission to graduate education. For more detailed information, click on the BSW Field Manual link below.
FIELD PLACEMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM
The required Senior Field Experience is two semesters in field placement in a social agency chosen by the School of Social Work Field Office. This placement occurs during the student’s senior year, either fall and winter terms or winter and summer terms. Field courses must be taken in the two semesters prior to a student’s graduation. Students will be in the field 16 hours per week, typically on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for the semesters in the Field Placement cycle. If students request to work in other times, they still must be available to participate in agency staff meetings, consultation, training, and supervision, as needed. The field courses are open only to Social Work majors and students are enrolled in a concurrent weekly field seminar that may involve additional assignments based on the field placement. The seminar instructor serves as the liaison to the agency, visiting the student on site once per semester.
A. ELIGIBILITY FOR FIELD PLACEMENT
- A 2.3 overall grade point average at the time of entering and during field placement is required.
- They must have completed all required Social Work courses through the 300 level with at least a grade of ‘C’ before beginning field placement. (All pre-requisites to these courses must have been met, including EDPS 325 and Psyc 360). Students must be in their last two semesters of the Plans of Study and be ready to graduate at the completion of SWRK 489.
- Students must have received a ‘C’ in all required social work classes, including SWRK 488, to be eligible to continue in the second semester of Field and Practice. Students who receive less than a C in either semester of field placement (488 or 489) must have special department permission to repeat the course.
- Students cannot apply or begin field placement with “Incompletes” on their transcripts in courses used in their Plans of Study as fulfilling graduation requirements. Failure to remove all incompletes results in the student having to delay their field placement until the next time that SWRK 488 is offered.
- The field placement application must be accompanied by a current resume. If placement is in work setting, the student must attach to the field application the necessary request for work site field placement form and agency agreements as indicated below. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor his/her scheduled time to enter Field Placement and to successfully fulfill field placement requirements for graduation.
- All 400 level courses must be taken prior to or concurrently with SWRK 488 and 489. SWRK 488 and 489 each involve 16 hours in a field agency plus a two hour seminar taught by the faculty member who will serve as a liaison to the placement agency. All 400 level Social Work courses must be taken prior to or concurrently with SWRK 488 and 489.
B. FIELD ASSIGNMENT
The BSW Field Placement Coordinator or the Field Placement Director is responsible for assigning students to agencies for their field work experience. Students may not find their own placements. (The only exception to this policy involves students who are requesting that the Field Placement Office consider a placement in an agency in which they are employed. Specific criteria for this situation are listed below, in C. 6 and a separate application is required.) Only Agencies which have been designated as appropriate field placement sites may be used for field placement. Agencies must meet the requirements established by the School of Social Work to be used as a field site, including being public or non-profit (501(c)(3)) agencies. Field placement settings may be within a 60 mile radius of EMU; students may not refuse placement on the basis of geographic location. All BSW field placements are generalist field placements, since students do not specialize at this level. Therefore placements will be made in agencies that provide a generalist experience.
C. FIELD PLACEMENT PROCEDURES
- Students must take the two semesters of field placement in consecutive semesters.
i.e., fall and winter or winter and summer terms. Students must be in the same agency for two semesters, barring circumstances that may necessitate a move, as determined by the Field Director.
- Students are to be in their agency for 16 hours a week.
- If a student misses 16 consecutive hours for valid reasons and the supervisor has been notified, arrangements must be made prior to the end of the semester to make up the time during hours agreed to by the supervisor. Failure to be in placement without proper notification to the supervisor may be grounds for dismissal from field placement or a failing grade depending on the circumstance. Students who need to absent from field for more than 16 hours in the term, may be required to withdraw from a field course and reapply for field placement at a later date. Students who have had repeated absences may be terminated in their field placements and given a grade of ‘E’ by their faculty liaison.
- Students are expected to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics, both in the field, in classes, and at other times. Students who engage in unethical conduct, who behave in an unacceptable manner according to the NASW Code of Ethics, agency policy, or field placement policy; who falsify records or who misrepresent themselves or their work are subject to dismissal from the Social Work program and will receive an ‘E’ in Field Placement.
- Students who do not complete their field placement requirements and need to repeat the placement are also required to retake the field seminar and meet all seminar requirements during the time they are in placement.
- A student must pass both the field and seminar components of SWRK 488 and SWRK 489 with a grade of ‘C’ or higher in order to pass each course. A student, who receives a grade lower than a C in SWRK 488 cannot proceed to SWRK 489.
- Academic credit for life experience and previous work experience cannot be used to meet field placement requirements.
- Students may request to use their place of employment as a field site. They must contact the Field Office for an additional application, the “Request for Work Site Placement” form and enclose it to the Field Placement Application. In order to be considered by the Field Office, work site placements must meet the specific following requirements: be a 501(c)(3) or public agency with an affiliation with the School of Social Work; provide a field supervisor with an MSW and two years of experience who is not the student’s employment supervisor and is a regularly employed member of the agency; provide experiences that are segregated and different from work responsibilities; provide blocks of hours that are separate from work assignment.
It is expected that learning in the field placement will not be compromised by the student’s employed status. To this end, it is important that students negotiate some “flex-time” with their employers so that they can accomplish the goal of becoming an integrated member of an organization/agency team. Students need at least six daytime hours for staff meetings, supervision, consultation, training, and supervision.
- General Liability: Students are covered by general liability insurance while performing activities in field placement. Students are not covered for any criminal activity.
- The University does not carry any health insurance for students while in the field. All students are advised to have health insurance coverage. Students should consult with the EMU Student Government for information on their group policy if no other insurance is available. All inoculations should be current. Students may be asked to provide health information and evidence of a criminal background check to some agencies, prior to acceptance in a field placement.
Below is a link to the BSW Field Placement Manual, which includes all the BSW Policies, including evaluation forms. To view and print the manual, you can choose to use Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not already have the reader, click the Acrobat Reader icon, then follow the instructions from Adobe to download and install the software.
For further information, e-mail Professor Jenny Kellman Fritz.
Download the Field Placement Manual