Field Education for Students

Structure

Charles River and Off-Campus Program Students

The foundation placement is two days a week (16 hours) and the advanced placement is three days a week (24 hours). Both are typically scheduled from early September through early May.

Several alternative scheduling options are available for part-time students. Among these options are:

  • The summer block program for qualified students to do the foundation placement (32 hours/week for 15 weeks). Please note that this is only available on Charles River Campus with sufficient enrollment.
  • For the advanced year, the calendar-year option (16 hours/week for 12 months) or the modified block placement (32 hours a week for 23 weeks or 36 hours a week for 20 weeks)
  • Students (except Advanced Standing students) also can complete one of their two placements at an agency at which they are employed if the agency and proposed placement meet specified criteria (available from the Field Education Department)
  • Advanced Standing (available on the Charles River Campus only) students have one internship of 900 hours

Online Program Students

Students in the traditional track are required to complete two internships:

  • The foundation placement is two days a week (16 hours) and begins in the 4th semester in the program.
  • The advanced placement can be completed at 16 hours a week for 3 semesters, 24 hours a week for 2 semesters, or as a block placement. The advanced placement begins in the 6th semester of the program.

Students in the human service experience (HSE) track have a single, extended internship consisting of 1,000 hours in the field, completed in a consistent schedule, ranging from 16 to 36 hours a week. HSE students enter the field in the 4th semester in the program.

Field internships begin three times a year, at the start of a semester in September, January, or May.

Students may complete one of their two field placements at their place of employment if the proposed placement meets the School’s criteria and is approved by the School.

Agency Supervision

Students receive supervision in their field placements from qualified field instructors who are agency employees. Primary field instructors have an MSW and at least two years of post-master’s social work experience.

Advising

Charles River Students

Each student is assigned an advisor when entering the program. The advising role includes:

Academic Advising

  • Serve as a resource when a learning problem is identified; convene problem resolution meetings when necessary, and gather information on the student’s performance in classes and field as part of that process
  • Serve as a sounding board and referral source, and general support regarding personal problems or life issues that affect the student’s participation in school (e.g., health, family, financial, housing, workload)

Field Liaison (for students in field placement)

  • Serve as the liaison between School and agency
  • Consult with the student and field instructor (agency supervisor) about assignments, learning contract, evaluation, etc.
  • Serve as the student’s advocate to ensure that the School’s expectations of the agency are being met
  • Serve as a troubleshooter, problem-solver, and mediator in the event that a problem in the field placement is identified
  • Visit the agency at least once each semester to meet with the student and field instructor(s) to assess progress toward goals
  • Work with the student in planning for advanced year placement
  • Meet the CRC Faculty Advisors

Off-Campus Program Students

Each student is assigned an advisor upon entering the program. The advising role includes:

Academic Advising

  • Facilitate Integrative Seminar meetings with advisees during first year in the program
  • Serve as a resource when a learning problem develops or is identified; convene problem resolution meetings when necessary, and gather information on the student’s performance in classes and field as part of that process
  • Serve as a sounding board and referral source, and offer general support regarding personal problems or life issues that arise while the student is in school (e.g., health, family, financial, housing, workload)

Field Liaison (for students in field placement)

  • Serve as the liaison between School and agency
  • Consult with the student and field instructor (agency supervisor) about assignments, learning contract, evaluation, etc.
  • Serve as the student’s advocate to ensure that the School’s expectations of the agency are being met
  • Serve as a troubleshooter, problem-solver, and mediator in the event that a problem in the field placement is identified
  • Visit the agency at least once each semester to meet with the student and field instructor(s) to assess progress toward goals
  • Work with the student in planning for advanced year placement
  • Meet the OCP Faculty Advisors

Online Program Students

In the first semester in the program, students are assigned to an advisor on the BUSSW campus who provides an orientation to the Online MSW Program, academic resources and information, and an overview of field education requirements. At the beginning of students’ second semester in the program, they are assigned to a regional advisor who will stay with them for the rest of their time in the program. That advisor’s role includes the following:

Academic Advising

  • Serve as a resource when a learning problem develops or is identified; convene problem resolution meetings when necessary, and gather information on the student’s performance in classes and field as part of that process
  • Serve as sounding board, referral source, and general support regarding personal problems or life issues that arise while the student is in school (e.g., health, family, financial, housing, workload)

Field Planning

  • Assist student in identifying learning and professional goals and type of placement student is seeking
  • Assist student and Field Education staff in identifying appropriate potential field placement sites
  • Support student through interview and selection process

Field Liaison (for students in field placement)

  • Serve as the liaison between School and agency
  • Consult with the student and field instructor (agency supervisor) about assignments, learning contract, evaluation, etc.
  • Serve as the student’s advocate to ensure that the School’s expectations of the agency are being met
  • Serve as a troubleshooter, problem-solver, and mediator in the event that a problem in the field placement is identified
  • Visit the agency (in person, via Skype, or via conference call) at least once each semester and meet with the student and field instructor(s) to assess progress toward goals
  • Work with the student in planning for advanced year placement

Integrative Field Education Seminar

Charles River Students

Students in foundation placements participate in a required Integrative Field Seminar taught by Field Education Department staff. This seminar is designed to help students integrate classroom and field learning. Topics covered include learning contracts, recordings, supervision, evaluation, ethical and legal issues, practice within complex organizations, and multicultural practice.

Seminar Schedule

Off-Campus Program Students

The Off-Campus Program Integrative Seminar spans the three years that students are enrolled in the program, and its focus follows the learning tasks students encounter at different stages in the program. The first year, the seminar provides an introduction to social work roles, values, and ethics; a review of the field placement process; and preparing for the foundation field internship. During the second year, the seminar focus is on expectations for the foundation field internship, the advanced field placement process, and preparation for the advanced field internship. In the final year, the seminar focus is on expectations for the advanced internship, portfolio review, social work career and licensing information, transitions, and endings.

Integrative Seminar Blackboard

Online Program Students

The Integrative Seminar is delivered in online modules which students take once a semester. The seminar is designed to familiarize students with the social work profession and its core values, engage students in preparation for the foundation and advanced internships, help students utilize specific learning tools in the classroom and field internships, assist students in integrating their classroom and field learning, and assist students with licensing and the job search.

The Placement Process and Required Forms

Not sure what forms you’ll need during your field placements at BUSSW*? We’re here to help.

Forms and Helpful Information

Charles River Campus Students

Placement Packets

If you have any questions about which form to use, please email us!

*Some forms will require advisor(s) and field instructor(s) signature.

Off-Campus Program and Online Program Students

Please click here for more information.