Field Practicum

The Field Faculty would like to extend a warm welcome to returning students as well as new students entering into their first year of field placement.

Field placement is integral in being able to apply and integrate academic coursework. The national accreditation body Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in fact states that field education is the “...central form of instruction and learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner”. The CSWE further states that “In social work, the signature pedagogy is field education”.

There is an increasing need for qualified and well trained social workers in California and throughout the U.S. The budget crisis in the U.S. has led to increased rates of child abuse, lack of medical services, and increased poverty. Social workers are needed more than ever to provide a full range of interventions ranging from case management to therapy.

The MSW program at CSUSB is meant to educate students in both Micro as well as Macro areas of practice. Foundation Year students will learn generalist practice skills in both of these areas. Advanced Year students will learn in greater depth the application of skills to Micro and Macro practice. Further, they will learn to take on a broader range of responsibilities, demonstrate leadership qualities, develop a professional self, and to provide culturally-relevant services.

There are a wide range of field agencies that CSUSB utilizes to place students. In the upcoming the 2014/15 academic year, students will be placed in over 60 different agencies as far north as Barstow, as far east as Indio, as far south as Escondido, and as far west as Tustin, while continuing to provide services to our local partners in the Inland Empire. These sites vary in social work practice areas including: child welfare, mental health, school based counseling, adult protective services, medical social work, gerontology, forensic social work, and criminal justice.

CSUSB was the first program in the State to utilize what is referred to as the Intern Placement Tracking database. Rather than students and field instructors being encumbered by tracking field information by hard copy, this database allows for the development of Learning Plans and Outcome Evaluations on-line. Also, communication between the field site and University is enhanced through this database.

This database has been highly successful in guarding the privacy of students while allowing electronic access for those individuals involved in student internship field education. This process has been highly effective in integrating the field experience with the academic learning in the classroom.

All students attend a monthly seminar which provides them with the opportunity to share their experiences in field and to learn from the experiences of others. It also allows for role plays, discussion of client issues and dynamics, agency functioning, and methods of services delivery at both the Micro and Macro levels.

The Field Faculty hope you have a successful year in your field practicum and your journey into the professional and rewarding field of social work.

Rachel Allinson
Director of Field Education