One of the most important, and exciting, components of social work education is the field practicum experience. Human service and social change agencies provide settings in which students are challenged and supported in the integration of theories and practice skills. The School of Social Work partners with hundreds of public and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States providing BSW and MSW students high quality field education experiences. International partnerships have occurred and are possible with careful planning. Field education programs are coordinated from the Philadelphia campus. View detailed information about field practicum via the Office of Field Education Portal.
Social work students work closely with Field Education Specialists in identifying placement sites appropriate to curriculum objectives, learning goals and individual interests, allowing for new sites to be developed. In most cases, the Field Education Specialist also serves as a liaison between the School of Social Work and the field placement agency during the academic year. Also, for students already working in a social service agency, it may be possible to design an employment-based opportunity at that site. Currently, many SSW students take advantage of this employment-based option or self-referral option in designing their own experience.
It is essential that students plan carefully for their field practicum, particularly with respect to the mandated hours per semester, educational and supervision requirements. The Office of Field Education expects that students with traditional hours of availability will be able to do their internships during the regular weekday, business hours. Extensive planning is required for students with non-traditional hours of availability. The field office will offer students suggestions of agency sites but strongly encourages students who work full-time to complete a field practicum in an organization that would qualify for an employment-based placement or submit a self-referral form.
More detailed information regarding the field process, criteria, requirements for entering field, field placement information and the field application can be found via Office of Field Education Portal.
Valarie Clemmons, MSW, Director of Field Education
Temple University, College of Public Health
School of Social Work