School of Social Work
School of Social Work
Frequently Asked Questions
No. During field instructor training, we ask that students follow a four-step process:
1. Orientation to the agency (see Orientation Form in appendix).
2. Observing agency activities, client services, meetings, etc. The student and field instructor should process all observations.
3. Student conducts social work tasks in presence of field instructor or designee.
4. Student begins independent work.
No. You may need to arrange with your field instructor to make up these hours.
Field placement takes place during normal business hours, i.e., Monday through Friday during the day. Field opportunities with non-traditional business hours are essentially non-existent. Students need to prepare to participate in weekday field assignments.
We cannot guarantee that an eligible field placement agency is located near your residence. Arranging travel to and from a field agency is the student’s responsibility.
The services an agency provides or does not provide are impacted by many factors. Talk to your field instructor about your agency’s mission, goals, and scope of services.
Field sites are selected first and foremost for educational purposes. The number of students being placed at any given time precludes placements based on personal desire
Tips for Interviews
1. Learn about the agency’s purpose and population(s) served;
2. Have questions prepared;
3. Dress in business attire;
4. Provide your resume;
5. Put cell phone away and on silent;
Tips for successful Learning
1. Be open to learning. Put aside expectations.
2. If you don’t understand something, be sure to ask your field instructor.
3. Be familiar with agency policy and procedure.
4. Develop a habit of self-reflection using the Integrated Processing Model.
Potential settings are visited and carefully reviewed by the Field Education Coordinator. In order to be approved for affiliation by the School of Social Work for the purpose of providing field instruction to social work students, agencies must meet the following criteria:
1. Agencies must be related in their purpose and function to the mission, goals, and objectives of the School of Social Work.
2. The agency administration supports the philosophy of professional education and is interested in and willing to commit staff time to student instruction
3. The agency offers a professional climate conducive to learning; staff relationship and morale contribute to a favorable climate for professional development.
4. Agencies’ philosophy of service must be compatible with the philosophy, values, and ethics of the Social Work profession.
5. Agencies must be clear about their programs and services offered.
6. Agencies’ programs must offer students a wide range of learning opportunities to work with client systems (individuals, groups, families, communities and organizations from various cultural, ethnic, social, religious, and sexual orientation backgrounds).
7. Agencies must have qualified Field Instructors or be willing to allow outside field instructors to work with their personnel.
8. Agencies must have been in operation for at least two years at the time of affiliation
9. Agencies must not be dependent on students to fulfill basic staffing needs.
10. The agency maintains and observes policies with respect to nondiscrimination in relation to clients, staff, students, and faculty.
11. Agencies must make reasonable arrangements for students with regard to space and equipment.
12. Agencies must agree to the execution of a written School/Agency Affiliation Agreement between the University of Southern Mississippi and the agencies’ representative duly authorized to enter into contractual agreements.
13. Agencies must be willing to provide some release time for field instructors to attend field orientation sessions and field instruction continuing education seminars and workshops.
In order to be eligible to supervise the professional must possess:
Helpful attributes for field instructors include:
In the relatively uncommon circumstance that no properly credentialed social worker is available within the agency to provide field instruction, the program assumes responsibility for reinforcing a social work perspective by asking a faculty member to serve as field instructor.
1. Provide timely, honest feedback. Students want to know how they are doing.
2. Address concerns as they arise.
3. Call the field office if you have questions. We’re happy to help.
4. Maintain a professional boundary to avoid dual relationships.
5. Be open to learning from your intern – our students are learning from the latest research.
Step 1: Gathering Objective Data from the Concrete Experience
Describe the experience, focusing on such issues as:
Step 2: Reflecting
React on a more personal level to the experience, focusing on such issues as:
Step 3: Identifying Relevant Knowledge
Examine academic knowledge which might be applicable to the experience, focusing on questions like these:
Step 4: Examining and Reconciling Dissonance
Examine more closely points of discomfort, disagreement, or inconsistency in the experience. As you reflect on points of dissonance in your experience, also explore ways in which this dissonance might be reconciled. At times, however, you will find that dissonance cannot be resolved. Learning to live within ambiguity, conflicting tensions, and paradox is sometimes required. Focus on such issues as:
Step 5: Articulating Learning
Respond to such questions as:
Step 6: Developing a Plan
Consider the question, “Where do I go from here?” This line of thought calls upon you to respond to such questions as: