MSW Field Education

Field Education is designed to provide MSW students with an opportunity to integrate and use their academic learning in a practice setting. We believe that each student brings to the field experience unique abilities, learning styles and career goals. In addition, the learning experiences available in each agency differ. In recognition of all of these variables each student at the University of Maine participates in an individual educational survey prior to entering field.

The MSW Field Expectations (PDF) describes the MSW Generalist Year Field Education (SWK 595) and the MSW Specialized Year Field Education (SWK 695).

SWK 595 Generalist Year Field Practicum
MSW students enrolled in the Regular or Extended MSW Program complete a two-semester field experience (SWK 595) as part of the MSW Generalist curriculum. Students enroll in SWK 595, MSW Generalist Year Field Practicum for two consecutive semesters, during which they participate in a Field Seminar in addition to the practicum itself. The field practicum serves as the link between classroom knowledge of the generalist perspective and the actual practice of social work from the generalist perspective. The practicum implements all components of the curriculum. The field practicum is sequenced to assure that students have the opportunity to meet the expected generalist year competencies and performance descriptors as delineated in the course syllabus and the field evaluations. Each semester of field carries a different emphasis that correlates with classroom learning. This systematic relationship between field and classroom provides further opportunity for application of knowledge, value, skill, and affective and cognitive processes to field and for analysis of the field experience through the lens of generalist social work practice. Students complete a minimum of 400 hours in the Generalist Year Field Agency.

SWK 695 MSW Specialized Year Field Practicum
All MSW students complete a two-semester field experience as part of the MSW Specialization Year curriculum. The purpose of the field practicum in the advanced year is to provide an opportunity for students to develop advanced practice skills. The Specialization Year field practicum is designed so that students may demonstrate the achievement of the MSW Program competencies and specialization year observable behaviors. Students participate in a field seminar that provides an opportunity for students to discuss, explore and analyze the relevance and applicability of the knowledge, skills and values learned throughout the MSW Program. The seminar is the critical link between the classroom and field. It provides a key mechanism for students to apply theory to social work practice across diverse settings and at multiples levels of intervention with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The seminar also serves the purpose of addressing professional, ethical, policy and practice concerns that the students identify in the field placement. Students complete a minimum of 500 hours in the Specialization Year Field Practicum.

Field Forms and Policies provides additional information.