The primary goal of the internship is education and preparation for professional practice. The aim of the Field experience is to provide interns the opportunity to develop and integrate values, knowledge, and skills learned in the classroom with practice in actual practice settings. Practice settings include non-sectarian and religiously-affiliated agencies and organizations. Through the Field internship experience, theory is applied, skills refined, and attitudes, values, and value dilemmas are examined. It is expected that each intern will be fully engaged in the professional learning opportunities provided under the supervision of the Field Instructor. Foundation year graduate interns will be expected to achieve skill development similar to entry level generalist practitioners but at a level that shows readiness for advanced practice in the concentration year. Concentration graduate interns in the advanced placement will be expected to achieve skill development and performance commensurate to entry level MSW practitioners in a specific area of concentration.
Field in the Curriculum
Field internship is the application of the knowledge and skills the student has obtained in the classroom courses. The standard two-year program includes two semesters of Field instruction taken concurrently with other courses, and a third semester dedicated to orientation and training for the final internship. Students complete the final internship in the fourth semester, concurrent with the completion of their research project course and project. Graduate Foundation Field internship, for full-time students begins in the initial fall semester of academic work. Foundation students in Foundation Internship I are enrolled in the following Foundation courses concurrently with Field internship and the accompanying seminar: Practice with Individuals and Families, and Practice with Groups. Introduction to the Profession is completed prior to Foundation Internship I and is required to begin the Field internship experience. Students must complete Practice with Individuals and Families, Practice with Groups, and Foundation Internship I with a minimum of a “B” in order to move into the second semester of Field, Foundation Internship II. Courses taken concurrently with Foundation Internship II may include: Research for Practice; Practice with Communities and Organizations; and Social Policy for Social Work Practice. A minimum grade of “B” is required in Practice with Communities and Organizations and in Foundation Internship II. Part-time students must complete at least Introduction to the Profession, Practice with Individuals and Families, and Practice with Groups prior to entering Foundation Internship I. Practice with Communities and Organizations must be taken concurrently with or prior to Foundation Internship II.
Standard program graduate students and advanced standing students complete a semester of Concentration coursework and Introduction to Advanced Internship III prior to Advanced Field Internship III in the following semester for a total of 550 hours in the field. Prerequisites for the Advanced Internship include all Foundation year coursework, including a minimum grade of B in Foundation Internship I & II or successful completion of the Advanced Standing Seminar; Concentration coursework except the Capstone Seminar, and a minimum grade of “B” in the Advanced Practice course and Introduction Advanced Internship III in order to continue into the block placement in the spring semester. This internship is completed concurrently with a research course and project, both of which culminate in a two-week Capstone Seminar and a formal presentation during the third week on the campus before graduation. Part-time students must complete at least the Introduction to the Field and the concentration practice course with a minimum grade of B, and the human behavior course with a minimum grade of B- prior to entering Advanced Internship III.
Foundation Internship I and II each require the student to complete at minimum, 16 hours per week for 15 weeks, for a minimum total of 240 hours per semester or 480 hours minimum total. Advanced Internship III requires completing a minimum total of 550 hours, 60-100 hours in the Introduction to Field course and the remainder in the Advanced Internship III followed by a Capstone Seminar on campus. Concentration internships are in the student’s area of concentration and are a devoted educational work experience.
All students are expected to complete internship hours across the course of the semester; students will not complete the internship more than one week prior to the official end of the internship.
Field Instructors and Field liaisons for the concentration internship have expertise in the area of concentration and are able to facilitate the student’s learning and research in the concentration.
Students will not have foundation and concentration internships in the same agency or with the same Field Instructor.
Prior to beginning Field internship, all students must attend Field internship orientation. This orientation includes presentation of Field policies, discussion of Field requirements and evaluation, grading procedures, and a description of the Field faculty/liaison system. Failure to attend this orientation will prohibit entry into Field internship and will therefore delay a student’s course of study.
The Application/Registration Process for Field Internship is found in the Field Manuals along with all other policies and procedures related to Field Education. The Generalist Practice Field Manual is the reference for foundation year graduate students. The Advanced Practice Field Manual is the reference for concentration year graduate students.
Students who are denied admission to the field internship are informed in writing, and are directed to contact their faculty advisor regarding any effect on the completion of the degree plan.