1. How is my Field placement determined? Do I get to choose?
The final decisions on where students are placed for their Field internship experiences rest with the Directors of Field Education. However, students' preferences are strongly considered, as well as the students' interests, strengths, educational needs, and feedback from other faculty and supervisors who are familiar with the students' work. For more information see the Field Application Process for the BSW or MSW program.
2. What if I want to complete my Field placement at an agency that has not been used before?
Students can note an agency on the Field application and/or to the Director of Field during a scheduled interview. The Director of Field will explore the agency possibility, and if the agency meets the learning needs of the internship experience and is both able and willing to provide social work supervision for a student, an Agency Affiliation Agreement will be sent through the Baylor University Office of General Counsel's office. Once the signed agreement is returned to the Office of General Counsel, then the agency is approved and the student can be placed there.
3. How many hours are required for the Field Placement?
The BSW and MSW Foundation internship require two semesters of completing 240 hours at the Field placement, for a total of 480 hours. The MSW Concentration internship requires a total of 550 hours, with 60-100 of those hours being completed during the Fall semester and the remaining 450-490 hours being completed in the Spring.
4. When can internship hours be completed?
Students in the BSW or MSW Foundation Field placements begin their internship hours during the first week of classes for the internship semester (first semester is fall, second semester is spring), and can complete their time at their Field placement no earlier than one week before classes end. Students in the spring semester of the MSW Concentration internship will begin earning their hours the week before classes start and then finish mid-April. Most internship hours are completed during the normal work-day schedule, though there are some placements that will involve the student in evening or weekend activities or responsibilities. If you are concerned about how your own schedule will allow for field placement hours to be completed, you should make that known to the Directors of Field Education during the Field application process.
5. Will I be paid for the work I do at my Field placement?
The Field Education office is committed to securing compensated internships when possible, though the majority of internships are not compensated. However, the Field Education office is committed first to the educational integrity of the internship and does not guarantee any student the possibility of a compensated Field internship. Some internship stipends will be provided through the agency directly to the student while others are provided through the agency to Baylor and then to the student. Others may be provided through grants in the School of Social Work. Students with special needs or interest in compensated internships should discuss these needs with the Directors of Field Education. All students will have equal opportunity to apply for subsidized internships. When more than one student is interested in a compensated internship, the students will interview with the subsidy provider who will have significant input in making the final decision about the placement.
6. Can I still work at my current job while I complete my Field placement?
The School of Social Work often recommends not having a job while in your internship semesters, due to the amount of time and energy that the Field placement requires. However, we also understand the financial needs that can exist and recognize that there have been students who have been able to hold an outside job and successfully complete the Field placement/internship.
7. What if I am employed by an agency that takes interns? Can I complete my placement there? Is it possible to have my internship in my place of employment?
Students can intern at their place of employment if they meet the following criteria: the Field placement must have social work as its primary function; the organization must be one in which social work practice is clearly distinguishable from the practice of other disciplines; the organization must provide social work students with a qualitatively different experience from that provided by regular employment; the student must answer to a different supervisor than the work supervisor; the Field placement must have a clearly identifiable education focus guided by the learning contract and unencumbered by workload of regular employment; the agency must support the student's obligations for academic coursework and assignments related to the integrative seminar and research project; the agency must meet all requirements of any agency site for Field placements including affiliation with the SSW; the employment work hours and internship hours must be clearly articulated ensuring release time for course and Field instruction; under no circumstances will a student do more than one Field placement at the place of employment; the student, employer, Field Instructor and Field Education office must sign the Contract for Placement in Place of Employment, which can be obtained through the Field office.
8. Will I need to have my own car?
All students will be expected to secure reliable transportation to and from their Field placements when completing hours for their internships. Some placements may prefer students to have a car to conduct particular duties of the internship, such as hospital visits or community outreach. If a student does not have a car available to him or her, this would be important to communicate during the Field application process so that transportation needs can be taken into consideration when assigning Field placements. *The School of Social Work does not reimburse students for the use of their automobiles in conducting agency business, nor does it provide liability insurance coverage for agency-related travel.
9. What is the difference among a Field placement and an internship?
The terms Field placement and internship are used interchangeably. The Field placement or internship is the heart of social work education. It is the mode of study that emphasizes the practical application of professional knowledge and values to the real life problems and concerns of individuals, families, groups, communities and/or organizations under the supervision and instruction of competent social work practitioners and educators.
10. When and how do I obtain a Field placement?
The process for being placed at an agency for internship takes place the semester before the internship will begin. For more information see the Field Application Process for the BSW or MSW program.
11. Will I have to transport clients during my internship?
It is the strong recommendation of the School of Social Work that interns not transport clients in their own vehicles. Baylor University does not provide any coverage for transportation of clients. Interns who transport clients do so under their own automobile insurance and at their own risk.
12. What is the difference between a Field Instructor, Task Supervisor, and Field Liaison?
The Field Instructor, Task Supervisor, and Field Liaison have distinct and complementary roles and responsibilities in Field Education. Each comes alongside the student, in their respective roles, to assist the student in realizing their educational goals.
13. Will I have to purchase my own professional liability insurance?
The University provides limited professional liability insurance coverage for students involved in professional Field internships in the United States. This insurance includes coverage for professional activities required as part of the educational experience only. The School of Social Work has been assured by duly appointed University administrators that this coverage is adequate and will cover both in compensated and uncompensated placements. However, the faculty strongly recommends each student also purchase his/her own professional liability insurance through NASW or a comparable professional group or private insurance firm. Students should also ask the agency about availability of professional liability or malpractice insurance coverage provided by the agency. The limited professional liability insurance coverage provided by the University does not cover internship activities outside of the United States.
14. What happens if I am unable to complete my internship?
Completing the hours and tasks for the Field placement experience, in addition to passing the internship academic course, are required for successfully completing the internship. Two semesters each are required for completing the BSW internship, MSW Foundation internship, and MSW Concentration internship, and the internships are required for completing the degrees. These two semesters are expected to happen consecutively, and any exceptions to that would require approval by the Associate Deans.
15. What happens if the agency is not able to provide learning experiences to meet my learning needs?
Field agencies are carefully selected by the School of Social Work. If an agency is not able to provide learning experiences to meet a student's learning needs, the Field Instructor, the Field Liaison, and the Director of Field Education, will work, procedurally, with the student and the agency to ensure that the student's learning needs are met. Occasionally, perhaps rarely, however, a change of Field placement may be necessary.
16. Am I restricted to Waco or Texas for my Field placement?
For the most part, BSW internships happen in Waco and McLennan County, but you will see below an excerpt from the School of Social Work Catalog that provides more information on out of town opportunities in Baccalaureate Field Education: Area placements shall be those in Waco, McLennan County, and within 90 mile radius (driving distance for seminar) of Baylor University. Most students will be placed in Field placement sites within Waco and McLennan County and its neighboring counties. The Field Education office has developed a number of placements in Bell County including Temple, Belton, and Killeen, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and in the Austin/Travis County area. If students are interested in placements in these areas that are not on the approved list of Field placements, the student should ascertain that the site and supervisor meet the SSW criteria and then talk with the Director of Field Education-Generalist Practice office about developing that site. Students in these areas will be expected to return to the campus each week to attend integrative Field seminars unless special approval is given by the Director of Field Education-Generalist Practice office to use distance technology. In the event a student would like to be considered for an out-of-area placement, the following must be followed:
17. Are there international internships?
There are opportunities for international internships. International internships have included placements in Nairobi and Kitale, Kenya; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Manila, Philippines; Kaula Lampur, Malaysia; Singapore; Chisinau, Moldova; and in Toronto, Canada. Students interested in international internships must use the same criteria set for out-of-area internships. (See question regarding out-of-area placements.)
18. What is the process for approval of Field faculty?
Field Instructors and Task Supervisors must be approved to serve as Field faculty. For more information see the Field Faculty page.
19. What are the benefits for serving as Field faculty?
Field Instructors and Task Supervisors receive several benefits for serving as Field Faculty. For more information see the Field Faculty page.
20. How can I receive information as Field faculty?
Once a person is approved as Field Instructor or Task Supervisor, he or she is added to the School of Social Works mailing list and will receive electronic newsletters, emails from the Field Education office, and Community Connection, the School's newsletter.