The field practicum provides senior social work students with an opportunity for practical experience in a social service agency, under the supervision and direction of a licensed social worker. The purpose of the field practicum is to continue and complete the social work education curriculum in a social service agency. The practicum is an experiential course (SOWK 4469) in which students apply theories and concepts learned in the classroom to practical situations in agencies. Students gain experience working with individuals, families, groups, and communities.
While in the field practicum, the student is expected to meet specific learning objectives related to the effective practice of generalist social work. The objectives laid out for field work match the objectives of the TWU social work program and are intended to ensure that graduates are capable of functioning as beginning practitioners at graduation.
The student’s final semester of the senior year consists of a block placement in a social service agency four days a week, usually Tuesday through Friday. On Mondays, students are enrolled in the Social Work Integrative Seminar (SOWK 4463) in the morning. The practicum is offered three times a year, in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
The Social Work Program at TWU has the advantage of being able to place students within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex as well as in more rural areas. The program works with a wide variety of social service agencies in order to ensure quality practicum sites with rich opportunities for professional growth. Our agency partners address a wide range of problems and needs, serve diverse client populations, and engage in a variety of interventions from which students may gain valuable knowledge and experience. The Director of Field Education is responsible for placing the student in an appropriate agency.
The admissions process into field practicum takes place during the student’s senior year, in the semester immediately preceding the field work placement. Prior to admission to the practicum, the student is expected to:
- have completed all social work and general coursework except for the practicum, the integrative seminar, and the senior seminar,
- submit an application for the practicum to the Field Director (forms are distributed at the meeting);
- provide evidence in the application that (a) the student has or is completing all prerequisite courses with a C or better; (b) the student has a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5;
- be interviewed by a faculty committee on the date scheduled if requested.
The faculty will review the student’s qualifications and recommend that the student either be placed in the field or that student’s acceptance into the field be deferred. The committee may further advise the Director on the recommendation of field placement settings. Deferment allows the student one semester to take remedial steps towards preparation for field, and to reapply to the field practicum when such preparation is complete. Under rare circumstances, the faculty may recommend that a student not be accepted into field and not be eligible for reapplication.
Once a student has been accepted into the field practicum, the student will be assigned to an agency for practicum. Students will contact the agency immediately and arrange an interview for the practicum position. The student should approach the practicum as a job seeker should approach a prospective employer; she/he should dress professionally for the interview and conduct themselves with professional comportment.
The field practicum is critical to the achievement of the educational objectives of the Social Work Program at TWU. More information about the field practicum is made available prior to the student entering field.
page last updated 12/5/2016 3:00 PM