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School of Social Work

Overview of the Program


The purpose of the Field Education Program is to provide students within the BSW and MSW programs an opportunity to learn hands-on through an internship work experience. Field education in the generalist year provides the student with an opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of social service systems in urban settings, apply theoretical knowledge to urban problems such as poverty, and to determine how to access appropriate community resources. In addition, students learn to communicate oral, written, and technological information reflecting professional social work skills. This is expanded and enhanced in the specialized area of practice year, allowing students in this year, to obtain an experience that is aligned with their declared area of specialized practice: 1) Urban Children, Youth, and Families; 2) Gerontology; 3) School Social Work; 4) Public Health; 5) Addiction in Social Work Practice.


Generalist (BSW/MSW First) Year
The generalist year provides the student an opportunity to integrate social work theory and knowledge from a generalist perspective. The field placement provides a well structured environment in an urban-based setting for students to apply generalist knowledge, values and skills learned in the classroom. The generalist field objectives are designed to enable students:To gain first hand knowledge of social welfare and agency policies, programs, procedures and services and the manner in which they impact upon client systems in an urban setting.

  1. To integrate social work theory with social work practice and to apply theoretical knowledge to urban practice situations.
  2. To perform basic generalist practice skills as they relate to the profession and practice of social work in urban settings
  3. To understand the issues of poverty, socioeconomic disadvantage, interpersonal and community violence, substance abuse, and mental health problems, social injustice and discrimination, and how these impact the urban client system, as demonstrated by the ability to identify problems, determine solutions and access appropriate community resources.
  4. To demonstrate an awareness of self in the professional context, accept the value of diversity and differences, and is sensitive to and accepting of the inherent dignity and worth of each individual client and their rights to self discrimination and decision making.
  5. To perform culturally appropriate client interviews and assessments as demonstrated by the identification of problems/needs and strengths, and the determination of interventions, plans, goals, and evaluations
  6. To demonstrate ability to proficiently communicate oral and written information in a manner that reflects professional social work skills.

Specialized Area of Practice (Advanced Standing/MSW ]Second) Year
During the specialized year students select one of the five Areas of Specialized Practice (ASP; formerly referred to as concentration) to demonstrate social work practice knowledge: 1) Urban Children, Youth, and Families; 2) Gerontology; 3) School Social Work; 4) Public Health; 5) Addiction in Social Work Practice. Students are assigned to a field placement in urban social work service settings as part of their selected area of specialized practice demonstrating autonomy and independence. In the specialized year field students must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate with greater depth and breadth the ability to integrate theoretical frameworks that guide assessments, intervention and problem solving as fundamental skills in social work practice as they relate to ethical dilemmas, oppressions, and social injustice.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of social problems and social forces that impact the urban population served by a field of practice, critically analyze and successfully carry out preventive and intervention strategies with increased levels of autonomy and proficiency.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge, skills, values, and reflect leadership in practice and an ability to advocate for clients to promote equity and access to resources in an urban setting.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the values and ethics of the social work profession and an ability to apply these at an advanced level that leads to appropriate and effective ethical decision making.
  5. Utilize research data with reduced levels of supervision to evaluate practice, programs, policies and service delivery systems.
  6. Demonstrate a well developed understanding of cultural diversity and be able to conduct culturally effective practice interventions at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
  7. Demonstrate ability to effectively utilize supervision, professional meetings and other resources to build on practice skills and promote professional development.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to communicate through oral, written and technological methods in a manner that reflects advanced professional practice.