Field education is a critical part of Penn’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) defines field education as its signature pedagogy. The intent of field education is to connect the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical work of an agency setting. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, and evaluated based on criteria developed in accordance with CSWE education standards. Field placements are determined based on academic expectation, the students’ educational needs and objectives, and agency opportunities.
Selection of Field Instructors
Field instruction can be a very exciting, challenging, and demanding activity. In most instances, assuming responsibility for students’ supervision is an addition to one’s on-going duties. Although many other persons in the field practice agency will be called upon to provide educational experiences, the student’s immediate field instructor is the key person responsible for the student’s learning in the field. Because of this, certain criteria should be considered in taking on this educational function.
Basic Requirements for being a Field Instructor:
- A Master of Social Work degree from an accredited social work program plus two years of post-master’s practice experience;
- Ability to conceptualize and demonstrate practice knowledge and skills and to stimulate the same in students;
- A knowledge and understanding of agency’s program and service delivery methods; and
- Ability to identify and teach principles and concepts from specific practice tasks.
Criteria for Selecting & Continuing Collaboration with Agencies
Negotiations for the development of field practice placements in an agency may be initiated by either the agency or the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2). Students are not required or encouraged to find their own field placements. To qualify as a field placement site, agencies must meet SP2’s criteria:
- Ability to provide students with an appropriate number and diversity of assignments for students to develop knowledge and practice skills;
- Ability to provide experiences that will assist the student’s integration of classroom learning and field practice by providing assignments that support the School’s curriculum;
- Ability to provide appropriate agency space and support services for the student;
- Opportunities for student participation in agency activities, such as staff or administrative meetings, in-service training, etc.; and
- Social work practice in the agency is consistent with the values, ethics, and principles of the social work profession.
Acts of Kindness Pop-Up
Stop by the Caster lobby for some breakfast on your way to class!
Acts of Kindness Pop-Up
Stop by the Caster lobby for a quick afternoon snack as you go about your day!
Faculty & Research
Report: Guaranteed income improved financial well-being and quality of life in Paterson, NJ
In a report authored by SP2’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research, findings from the Paterson Guaranteed Income Pilot Program reveal connections between unconditional cash and recipients’ quality of life, financial well-being, ability to balance their time, and feelings of belonging.