BUSSW Discontinues Face-to-Face Field Internships this Spring

March 19, 2020

To:                   Students, Field Instructors and Advisors

Subject:          BUSSW Discontinues Face-to-Face Field Internships

Dear MSW students,

As we all know, this current health crisis has been extremely challenging on many levels– and we know it has been so for our students, faculty & staff. We also believe our community can find strength in working through this together.

Issues and information related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have been changing on an almost hourly basis.  We have worked diligently to consider all factors that may impact our student’s ability to complete their education this semester – while balancing it with support and guidance during this unprecedented time.  It is unprecedented for everyone, including faculty, staff and agencies who are also managing their own personal situations, while remaining committed to delivering educational support to our students.

Over the past several days, the Field Education department has been working with advisors and field instructors to support students and agencies as we adjust to the public health crisis and focus on safety. On Sunday, March 16th, 2020, we announced that students would no longer be required to attend their field placements until the end of the semester, May 1st, 2020.

Considering the call to minimize public contact and gatherings, Dean Delva and the senior leadership team made the difficult decision that:

Effective Friday, March 20th, 2020, students NO longer may attend face-to-face field placements. This will be effective until the end of the semester, May 1, 2020. 

Our primary concern is the health and safety of our students and we feel this is the right action at this time – as other schools of social work across the nation are also realizing. This decision was supported by President Brown’s recent announcement that for the remainder of the spring semester, all classes will be held remotely and that all undergraduate students should leave the Boston University residences and return home by Sunday, March 22, or sooner if possible.

We, your advisors, and field instructors will work with each of you to develop individualized plans to complete your field hours remotely. The four student categories (foundation, advanced, advanced standing and HSE), and options we mapped out for each, still apply. Please review those options HERE on the BUSSW COVID-19 web page. Below you’ll find more detailed criteria for completing your field education requirements.

We will likely need to continue to make adjustments as the crisis unfolds and will communicate them as soon as we can.

We know this is a very uncertain time. None of us has ever faced a situation like this.  If we work together, communicate openly, and find ways to develop patience and understanding, I believe we can get through this as a community.

Sincerely,

Denita Johnson
Assistant Dean for Field Education

COVID-19 DISRUPTION OF FIELD PLACEMENTS

CRITERIA FOR STUDENTS

Presented below are criteria for completing field requirements for all students currently in a field placement.  The following criteria presume that the student has achieved ‘competence’ or ‘advanced competence’ in all 9 competencies on their evaluation, as determined by the field instructor and in consultation with the advisor.

  • Students are not allowed to attend their field placements in person. They may choose to continue in their placements in a remote capacity, if permitted by their host agency.
  • Students and advisors must confirm that the agency is able to provide appropriate supervision in order to utilize an Alternate Field Placement Work Plan (found on the Field section of COVID-19 web page).
  • Students in Employer-Based Placements are not allowed to conduct face-to-face-field education tasks or assignments. However, students may utilize an Alternate Field Placement Work Plan. Students should discuss any implications of this suspension with the agency’s HR department.

FIELD CRITERIA FOR STUDENT GRADUATING IN 2020

ADVANCED YEAR STUDENTS—ending in May or August 2020

  • Complete a total of 900 hours (combined foundation and advanced year field hours).
  • Complete 17 process recordings for the current year
  • Final field evaluation

ADVANCED STANDING AND HUMAN SERVICE EXPERIENCE STUDENTS—ending in May or August 2020

  • Complete a total of 900 field hours
  • Complete 17 process recordings for the current year
  • Final field evaluation
  • **The Field Education Department is awaiting guidance and allowance from CSWE on placement hour waivers and BSW placement hour carry-over. **

CRITERIA FOR “J” OR “PASS” IN SPRING 2020 SEMESTER FIELD

ADVANCED YEAR, ADVANCED STANDING STUDENTS, and HUMAN SERVICE EXPERIENCE STUDENTS WHO ARE CONTINUING IN FIELD IN SUMMER

  • Complete 17 process recordings by the end of field
  • Complete Alternate Field Placement Work Plan
  • Complete interim field evaluation to capture progress on the competencies to date
  • A final field evaluation will be required at the completion of field placement

ADVANCED YEAR, ADVANCED STANDING, and HUMAN SERVICE EXPERIENCE STUDENTS-Jan 2020 start

FOUNDATION YEAR STUDENTS-ending in May 2020

  • 360 field placement hours
  • 17 process recordings
  • Reflection Assignment
  • Final field evaluation

FOUNDATION YEAR STUDENTS-January 2020 start

  • Complete 5 process recordings
  • Complete interim field evaluation if no mid-year evaluations available
  • Complete Alternate Field Placement Work Plan
  • Discuss field placement options with field instructor, advisor and field education department

Explanation of Specific Field Education Requirements 

  • If a student is below the required hours to pass/receive a J the student can complete a percentage of missing hours with alternative remote activities unrelated to the agency
  • If a student has not achieved ‘competence’ or ‘advanced competence,’ the student, the field instructor and advisor will work together to develop an Alternate Field Placement Work Plan that provides the student opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in the identified competencies.
  • If a student has not completed the required number of process recordings/analyses, the student, field instructor and advisor will discuss clinical or macro cases or interactions that can form the basis of additional recordings/analyses. These will be reviewed by the field instructor and/or advisor. Please see below for specific numbers.
  • A final field evaluation will be required for students who intend to graduate in the spring. For students who will be extending/continuing in their placements, an interim field evaluation may be utilized.
  • The Policy Assignment is optional for students who have completed the required hours (outlined below) and have met the competency requirements for Competency #5 – Engage in Policy Practice. If these have not been met, the Policy Assignment may be used as an activity towards required hours or as a means of achieving/demonstrating competence.
  • The Reflection Assignment is optional for students graduating in 2020 who have completed the required hours (outlined below) and have met all 9 areas of competency. If these have not been met, the Reflection Assignment can be used as an activity towards required hours or as a means of achieving/demonstrating competence. The Reflection Assignment has been modified (more details to follow).