Field education is a collaboration between the Graduate School of Social Work and field agencies selected for their willingness and appropriateness to provide experiential learning opportunities for MSW students. The importance of this collaboration, and the central role played by the field supervisors, cannot be overemphasized. The field team is a resource for the field agencies and supervisors regarding any questions or concerns.
The success of the internship for any particular student rests heavily on the skill and commitment of the field supervisors and the support of agency administration. An agency agrees to provide regular supervision to a student provided by an MSW Field Instructor with a degree from an accredited university and at least two years of post-graduation professional experience. Individuals with a different advanced degree, or who have ample relevant experience and expertise can serve as Task Supervisors. In this case, the Task Supervisor can be considered the primary supervisor, but the student must still have an MSW Field Instructor to also provide at least biweekly supervision.
-Complete the basic field supervisors’ training offered by GSSW.
-Provide the equivalent of a minimum of 1 hours per week of formal individual field supervision to foundation and concentration year students.
-Identify, with student input at the beginning of each academic quarter, internship assignments that are designed to meet the competencies and practice behaviors and which are outlined on the Individualized Field Education Plan (IFEP).
-Meet with the field liaison and the student quarterly, unless otherwise arranged, to review the student’s progress, learning goals, areas of strength, and areas of growth.
-Notify the field liaison of any substantial difficulties which develop in the internship that may eventually require GSSW intervention.
-Complete the required evaluations with as much substantiation of ratings as is feasible and submit it to the field liaison on or before the date required.
-Provide general feedback to the field liaison regarding the operation of the field internship, agency/field supervisor needs, student needs and any agency policy or service changes that may affect the internship.
- For information on how to list this important position on your resume, see this Supervisor Thank You letter from Assistant Dean for Feild Education and Community Partnerships, Aneesha Bharwani.