Skip to main content

Office of Field Education

Field Instructor Information

Welcome! And thank you for working with our students. Your role is probably the most important to the process of field education. Students look to you as mentor, teacher, professional role model, and advisor. To fulfill this role, you will call on all of your experience with clients and your own experience as a professional, remembering that at one time someone performed this role for you.

To qualify as a Field Instructor, you must hold either a BSW or an MSW from a CSWE-accredited university. In addition, you must have two-years of post-degree, professional experience. If you hold a BSW, you may serve as Field Instructor for BSW students. If you hold an MSW, you may serve as Field Instructor for both BSW and MSW students.

You are not required to have a license to serve as a Field Instructor.

Our Students

The UTA SSW graduates BSWs, MSW’s, and Ph.D.’s. BSW and MSW students are required to complete a specified number of hours in field education.

  • BSW students must complete 480 hours of field education in two consecutive semesters of at least 240 hours each in the same agency.
  • First-year MSW students (those who enter the MSW program without a BSW) must complete 400 hours of field education in one semester.
  • Second-year MSW students must complete 500 hours of field education. These students have the choice of completing at least 250 hours in two consecutive semesters (called a “split placement”) or completing all 500 hours in one semester (called a “block placement”) in the same agency.

Our BSW program graduates “generalist” social workers, so these students need an array of experiences in direct practice with individuals as well as with groups, organizations, and communities. These students must work under the supervision of a social worker who has a BSW or an MSW.

Our first-year graduate students also need a “generalist” experience that allows them to work with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. They must work under the supervision of a social worker who has an MSW.

Our second-year graduate students focus their area of practice in one of two concentrations: Direct Practice (DP) or Community and Administrative Practice (CAP). DP students typically focus on clinical assessment and intervention with individuals and groups. CAP students focus on organizational tasks such as planning, fund-raising, grant-writing, advocacy, etc. Second-year students must also work under the supervision of a social worker who has an MSW.

How to Apply

The main contact for your agency, perhaps you or your supervisor, will have submitted an application for the agency. This application includes a place to name the Field Instructor(s). If your name appears on the agency application as the designated Field Instructor, you are able to go to e-intern.com and fill out an application. Without submitting this application, you will not be able to perform the essential tasks of your role. Even if you filled out the agency application, you still need to fill out an application to be the Field Instructor.

Your Role

Your role is complex. As previously stated, you serve many functions as the Field Instructor. In short, we rely on you to teach students how to function as a professional social worker in your agency. This includes role identification, skill-building, and applying theory to practice. You will be asked to evaluate student strengths and devise methods for strengthening the ability to serve diverse populations.

You will meet students who have varying levels of prior work and volunteer experiences. Some students enter field education fully prepared to relate with colleagues and clients. Others will require more support and feedback from you. All students need direct interaction with you to integrate their field experience with their classroom experience.

Once you have been approved through the Office of Field Education to serve as a Field Instructor, you are required to attend the Field Instructor Academy. These six-hour courses are free of charge. However, if you would like to receive CEUs, you may pay a fee through the UTA SSW Professional Development Program. This course meets three times per year, in January, May, and August.

Below are the specific requirements for Field Instructors:

  • You will meet with students, individually or in groups, for one hour of weekly supervision. Students may work under task supervisors part of the time, but we expect that you will meet with the students weekly as well. If you are not able to fulfill this role, students may be removed from your agency.
  • You will sign the supervision logs at each of these sessions and check the students’ time sheets. (See forms)
  • You will work with students early in the semester to complete their Learning Contracts. These contracts serve the same purpose as a course syllabus. They represent the legal agreement between you and your students and specify the learning goals each term. If a student fails to meet the goals in the learning contract, s/he will receive a failing grade in field.
  • You will receive information from the Office of Field Education via email. Please be sure to check for information regarding due dates and other requests.
  • If you are working with BSW or first-year MSW students, your students will be enrolled in a “seminar” course as well as field. The instructor for this course serves as your UTA Field Liaison and also as the “instructor of record.”
  • If you are working with second-year MSW students, your students will not be enrolled in a seminar class, but they will have a UTA “instructor of record,” the Field Liaison.
  • Any problems or concerns you may have about a student should be directly addressed with the student. You may also choose to notify the Field Liaison. This person is available to attend meetings with you and your student and to advise or support you as you identify ways to ensure student success.
  • At mid-term, you will be required go to e-intern.com to complete an evaluation on each student under your supervision.
  • Please review the mid-term evaluation with your students so that they can know their progress and make corrections in their behavior or performance as needed. The mid-term review is essential feedback.
  • The UTA Liaison will also review these evaluations to learn whether students need further support.
  • If at any time you think that one of your students needs corrective action, please confer with the UTA Liaison and complete a “Corrective Action Plan” to outline the specific behaviors the student needs to address. (See forms)
  • If at any time you think that one of your students has made an egregious error or is unable to perform to expectations, please consult with the UTA Liaison. You have the option of removing a student from your agency immediately.
  • You are required to complete a final evaluation at the end of each term for all of your students. These evaluations are submitted through e-intern and will be used to determine the students’ final grade.
  • Please know that although it is rare, sometimes students ask to be separated from their placements or to be placed elsewhere. These requests will initiate a conference with you, the student, and the UTA Liaison.
  • Please know, also, that you will be asked to evaluate the support and performance of the Office of Field Education and the UTA Liaison. This feedback is essential to our being able to better coordinate support for you and your agency.

As you can see, serving as a Field Instructor makes great demands on your time. We recognize your work with our students as a valuable service to us, to our students, and to the profession.

Thank you for sharing your time and expertise.