Field Education is the internship portion of the Bachelor's Social Work Program and is a critical component of each student's program. Students work with experienced social work professionals in a variety of settings to complement classroom theory and research.
The ULM Social Work Department cooperates with a wide range of social agencies, human service programs, and school settings throughout the state and surrounding areas and is able to provide field placements in a variety of social work practice areas.
Field Education is a unique educational experience in which the student is a representative of the University and the field agency. As a result of this, students participating in field education will be expected to assume the responsibilities prescribed by the agencies to which they are assigned and to abide by the policies, regulations, and conduct codes of the agencies.
The Social Work Department works closely with placement agencies and field instructions to give each student a quality field experience. This field experience allows students to apply theory learned in the classroom to real situations and to test their abilities in supervised educational settings. This experience also allows students to master and synthesize social work knowledge, values and skills.
Field education is the cornerstone of professional social work education. In the senior year, social work students are placed for one semester in an agency setting for supervised field education (SOCW 4021).
Students are placed in an approved social work agency for four full days, weekly, 32 hours a week, for a total of a minimum of 400 internship hours. Application for the internship must be made to the Coordinator of Field Education, during the first month of the Fall or Spring semesters prior to a student's enrolling in field education in social work.
Application forms may be obtained from the Head of Social Work or are available online from this field education web page. To be eligible for the internship, students must have completed all 1000 and 2000 level courses, earned a grade of "C" or higher in all courses required for the major, and earned a GPA of 2.3 in all courses required for the degree. A student must observe all prerequisites in the sequential pursuance of courses leading to a baccalaureate degree in Social Work.
According to Accreditation Standards of CSWE, "academic credit for life experience and previous work experience shall not be given, whole or in part, in lieu of the field practicum or of the courses in professional foundation areas." Generally, enrollment in practicum occurs during the semester in which the students plan to graduate.
The social work student, however, not the University is ultimately responsible for obtaining and retaining a placement under the direction of the Coordinator of Field Education. Students unable to obtain an acceptable placement or to complete a practicum successfully will not be awarded the degree and will be assisted in changing to a curriculum in which they can meet the degree requirements.