Graduate Field Policies & Procedures Manual
The purpose of this manual is to set forth the goals and expectations, the roles and responsibilities, and the policies and procedures that form the basis for, and guide the Field Instruction Curriculum in the Graduate program of the UTA School of Social Work. It is intended to assist students, faculty, staff, field liaisons, and field instructors in clarifying, coordinating, and implementing the various aspects of the field instruction process.
This manual is a dynamic document that is subject to continuous review and revision to reflect changes in policies and procedures and ongoing advances in social work practice and education.
The UT Arlington School of Social Work’s vision is to promote human and community well- being and social and economic justice in a diverse society.
The mission of the UT Arlington School of Social Work is to advance knowledge, pursue excellence, provide leadership and service for enhancing well being, and to promote social and economic justice and cultural competence with diverse cultures.
SSW PROGRAM GOALS
1. Prepare generalist BSW and specialist MSSW level practitioners for competent, evidence-informed social work practice with awareness of the systemic and global nature of the environment.
2. Provide leadership and service to communities and organizations to improve service delivery to oppressed and at risk populations, promoting social justice for the well-being of all people.
3. Contribute to knowledge development and promote lifelong learning within
the social work profession.
1. Engage in evidence-informed practice within a system’s framework, based on a generalist foundation.
2. Engage in leadership as well as service roles and activities in local communities and beyond.
3. Understand the impact of oppression on at risk populations in the context of their unique environmental systems.
4. Engage in evidence-informed social work practice; conduct competent practice with diverse populations addressing social class, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, and other issues.
5. Understand the integration of multiple factors—micro and macro—in explaining social problems. These factors include clinical practice, community/administrative practice, policy, research, and human behavior/ social environment.
6. Demonstrate the use of appropriate technological knowledge, and other resources to perform ethical social work practice.
1. The MSSW Program prepares students to practice effectively and ethically with the full range of social systems, emphasizing evidence-informed practice, a strengths approach, diversity, social justice, empowerment, and a critical thinking perspective.
2. The MSSW program prepares students who understand the organizational contexts of social work practice and who are prepared to assume the responsibility for leadership positions, as well as engaging in life long learning.
3. The MSSW Program prepares students, by valuing social work history and
the integration of social work knowledge, to understand professional social work and to be prepared for advanced level concentration in either: Concentration 1: Direct Practice with a specialization in
(1) Child and Family Services, (2) Mental Health Services,
(3) Health and Aging Services (in development)
Concentration 2: Community and Administrative Practice.
2. Understand the value base of the profession and its ethical standards and principles, and practice accordingly.
3. Practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to clients’ age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.
4. Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination
and apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice.
5. Understand and interpret the history of the social work profession and its contemporary structures and issues.
6. Apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice with systems of all sizes.
7. Use theoretical frameworks supported by empirical evidence to understand individual development and behavior across the life span and the interactions among individuals and between individuals and families, groups, organizations, and communities.
8. Analyze, formulate, and influence social policies.
9. Evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own practice interventions.
10. Use communication skills differentially across client populations, colleagues, and communities.
11. Use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice.
12. Function within the structure of organizations and service delivery systems and seek necessary organizational change.
By graduation, students specializing in Direct Practice will achieve the foundation objectives and the following advanced concentration objectives
1. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in direct practice with an area of specialization: child and family services, mental health services, or health/ aging services.
2. Complete multidimensional, bio/psychosocial assessments with client systems and groups in their area of specialization, taking into account client strengths, diversity and social justice.
3. Develop and apply appropriate, evidence-informed, empowerment-based intervention plans within their area of specialization.
4. Critically analyze theoretical models of micro practice to challenge societal oppression and discrimination, as well as for decision-making in practice.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture, and other client characteristics, in conducting culturally sensitive, competent, and ethical social work practice.
6. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate practice activities by use of outcome and process techniques, using the results to modify practice.
7. Demonstrate ability to integrate macro practice into their area of service delivery in order to enhance client well-being.
8. Engage in life-long learning and activities to update and improve professional knowledge and skills.
By graduation, students specializing in Community and Administrative
Practice will achieve the foundation objectives and the following advanced concentration objectives:
1. Build on generalist skills in community assessment to design an intervention strategy including mission, goals, objectives, budget, logic model, and evaluation.
2. Identify, critically evaluate, and apply appropriate, evidence-informed interventions at the agency or community level.
3. Critically analyze and apply a variety of community and administrative theories to practice.
4. Demonstrate skills in ethical and empowerment-based social work practice, taking into account the impact of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture, religion, national origin and other client characteristics in organizations, and communities.
5. Design practice evaluation activities to improve human service interventions in organizations and communities.
6. Demonstrate ability to integrate micro and macro practice, policy, and research into their area of service delivery in order to enhance client well-being.
7. Prepare to engage in life-long learning and activities to update and improve professional knowledge and skills.
Field Instruction has been designated the signature pedagogy of social work education by the Council on Social Work Education and, as such, is an essential, integral component of the School of Social Work curriculum. The MSSW practicum is designed to produce professionally reflective, self-evaluating, knowledgeable, and competent advanced social work practitioners. Field students are assigned to affiliated social service agencies where they engage in supervised learning activities that provide practical experience in the application of knowledge, theory, and skills acquired in the prerequisite professional foundation and advanced curricular areas.
The field practicum is guided by a number of important principles pertaining to social work education. Among these are the following:
• Knowledge, values, and skills learned in the classroom are reified, reinforced, and refined through supervised professional practice.
• Curriculum content areas are most effective under conditions of planned integration and synthesis.
• Graduate students bring with them varied social, cultural, educational, and experiential qualities.
• Educational opportunities and resources provided by field instruction must address the promotion of social justice and institutional change, as well as the enhancement of social functioning of individuals, groups, organizations, and communities.
• Students will develop and demonstrate a commitment to the values and ethics of the social work profession;
• Students will develop and demonstrate a comprehensive view of social work practice and a specialization in one area;
• Students will develop and demonstrate a respect for and acceptance of differences associated with culture, ethnicity, religion, race, class, sexual orientation, age, gender, and physical and mental abilities;
• Students will develop and demonstrate an awareness and understanding of those who are poor, oppressed, vulnerable, and disenfranchised in our society;
• Students will develop and demonstrate a commitment to working towards economic and social justice for clients and their communities;
• Students will develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skill required for advanced social work practice;
Students will develop and demonstrate a commitment to self-evaluative practice and ongoing professional development.
• Students will develop identification with the values and ethics of the profession;
• Students will develop an understanding of the placement environment and the role of social work in that setting;
• Students will develop the capacity to apply social work knowledge, values, and skills to practice;
• Students will develop the ability to apply a generalist perspective to social work practice with client systems of different sizes;
• Students will develop an understanding of how social policies, programs, and institutions impact client systems;
• Students will develop the expanding capacity to engage in social work practice that is sensitive to issues of culture, ethnicity, religion, race, class, sexual orientation, age, gender, and physical and mental abilities;
• Students will develop the ability to effectively utilize supervision;
• Students will develop appropriate and effective communication skills;
• Students will develop self-awareness in the professional role.
• Students will demonstrate the ability to function responsibly and function effectively in an agency setting;
• Students will demonstrate the ability to provide appropriate services to client systems as defined by their area of specialization;
• Students will demonstrate the ability to implement a range of interventions based on comprehensive client assessments;
• Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively apply social work knowledge and theory to practice, and to think critically about practice approaches and decisions;
• Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in an area of specialization;
• Students will demonstrate the ability to engage in social work practice that is sensitive to issues of culture, ethnicity, religion, race, class, sexual orientation, age, gender, and physical and mentalabilities.
• Students will demonstrate appropriate and effective communication skills;
• Students will demonstrate the ability to reflect upon and resolve ethical dilemmas in practice;
• Students will demonstrate the disciplined use of self;
• Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate their level of effectiveness as a social work practitioner;
• Students will demonstrate a commitment to and responsibility for ongoing professional development.
The field instruction program is administered by the Department of Field Instruction, whose director reports to the Associate Dean of the School of Social Work. The Associate Director and the field education counselor assist the director. One full-time administrative assistant provides administrative support.
Faculty, field staff, and/or community agency representatives serve as field liaisons. Finally, approximately 350 social service agencies serve the Department of Field
Instruction by providing diverse practicum sites and day-to-day field teaching and
supervision by qualified field instructors. These agencies are a critical component of the field curriculum and carry a large share of responsibility for the education of students in the field.
The Department of Field Instruction is a component of the UTA School of Social Work. The staff of the department designs, implements, manages, monitors, and evaluates the field practicum curriculum of professional social work education.
The responsibilities of the staff of the Department of Field Instruction include the
• To assign students to field placements.
• To assign field liaisons.
• To review agency applications for affiliation and facilitate the affiliation process.
• To maintain affiliated agency files and related databases.
• To ensure compliance with Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) requirements.
• To consult with faculty, students, field instructors, field liaisons, and Field
Committee members regarding field policies and procedures.
• To conduct on-going evaluation of the field curriculum.
Graduate students who do not qualify for advanced standing status are required to complete two field placements for a total of 13 semester credit hours and 900 clock hours. The Micro/Macro field placement is usually, on a case-by-case basis, waived for advanced-standing students (those who have earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree and been given credit for some undergraduate course work).
The Micro/Macro field practicum (SOCW 5551) consists of 400 clock hours and must be completed in one semester (5 semester credit hours). This course must be taken concurrently with the Micro/Macro Field Seminar (SOCW 5310). This practicum is generalist in nature and provides students opportunities to interact and intervene with a variety of culturally diverse clients and with client systems of different sizes ranging from the individual and family (micro) to the small group (mezzo) to the organization and community (macro). In this placement students should carry a caseload and begin applying the knowledge, theory, and values and practicing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors acquired in the classroom with actual clients and client systems.
Students must have completed the following courses prior to enrollment in the
Micro/Macro Field Practicum and be in good academic standing (3.0 GPA).
• SOCW 5301 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
• SOCW 5304 Generalist Micro Practice
• SOCW 5306 Generalist Macro Practice
• SOCW 5309 Professional Foundations of Social Work
The Advanced field practicum consists of 500 clock hours and may be done in one semester (8 semester credit hours, SOCW 6851) or over the course of two consecutive semesters (4 semester credit hours, SOCW 6451 and SOCW 6452 respectively) in one agency. This placement is intended to build on the first by allowing the student to reinforce acquired knowledge, theory, and values and to refine and hone acquired professional social work skills, attitudes, and behaviors through tasks, activities, and projects of increasing complexity. These should be compatible with the student’s concentration and specialization (Direct Practice with Children and Families, Direct Practice in Mental Health, or Community and Administrative Practice).
Students must have completed all first year foundation courses as well as the micro/macro field practicum prior to enrolling in the second field course and be in good academic standing (3.0 GPA). In addition, students must take an advanced methods course prior to or concurrently with each semester of the advanced placement.
• SOCW 6325 Advanced Micro Practice
• SOCW 6371 Community & Administrative Practice
MSSW students at the second year level may complete one elective field placement. Students must submit a written proposal to the Director of Field Instruction, signed by the potential agency field instructor, outlining a specialized topic and explaining the educational benefits of such a placement. Only one elective placement is allowed and it may not replace or be taken before a required placement. A field elective may not be
done at a student’s place of employment. The elective field course is a standard 3 semester credit hour course (SOCW 6351) with a 188 clock hour requirement. GRADING POLICY FOR MSSW FIELD PRACTICUM COURSES
Field practice courses SOCW 5551, 6451, 6452, and 6851 are graded on a “Pass/Fail”
basis. Field seminar course SOCW 5310 is assigned a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F, W).
Advanced Graduate students doing the 500 hour placement over two semesters receive a grade for each semester’s work. In order to receive a passing grade, students must complete a minimum of 250 hours in the first semester of the placement.
Receipt of a failing grade in an MSSW practicum course may result in dismissal from the program. Should a graduate student fail any semester of the field seminar or the field practicum, they must petition the MSSW Program Director and may be approved/required to repeat either or both.
NOTE: Other possible grading options in the MyMav system for the MSSW practice courses are W (Withdraw), I (Incomplete), R (Research in Progress). A grade of I should only be given in consultation with the Director of Field Instruction; R (Research in Progress) is a permanent grade and is usually not given for a field course.
Social workers hold positions of trust and often work with vulnerable clients. Therefore, a review of the criminal history, including convictions and deferred adjudication by a prospective social worker is necessary to protect the public's safety, health, and welfare.
The criminal history of an applicant to the School of Social Work will be considered in
making admission determinations. Applicants who have such a history will be interviewed by the admissions director, director of the department of field instruction and a faculty member who will determine the student's suitability for admission. Failure to disclose a criminal history in response to admissions materials may be considered an attempt to defraud the university and may subject the student to immediate dismissal from the program.
Prospective students must be aware that agencies have the right to refuse to accept them for field practicum. Acceptance into the social work program does not guarantee a student a practicum if the refusal is based on a student's criminal history. Refusal of a practicum under such circumstances will not entitle the student to any refund of tuition or other fees incurred up to that point of the program. No student will be allowed to graduate with a degree in social work without completing the field placement requirement.
In addition, the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners requires a specific case by case evaluation to determine eligibility for licensing. Graduation from the UTA School of Social Work does not guarantee that a graduate with a criminal history will be eligible to sit for the state licensure exam. It is the responsibility of the students with such histories to inform themselves whether or not their particular circumstance may affect their eligibility for licensure.
MSSW students may begin a field practicum in any semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) provided they have completed all prerequisite coursework and are otherwise eligible to enroll in field.
Because of the complexity of the process and the large number of students placed, the field application process begins early for any given semester. The approximate timelines are as follows:
Semester Application process begins: For Fall – Late April
For Spring – Early September
For Summer – Early February
The application process begins at an “advisory” meeting held by the Department of Field
Instruction to explain the details of the online application process to students who plan
on entering field the following semester. Students who are doing their first or only MSSW field practicum are required to attend this meeting. Notice of the meetings is posted to the MSSW student listserv. Students have approximately three weeks from the date of
the advisory meeting to submit the application online.
Students are assigned by the Department of Field Instruction to interview in agencies that have been approved for affiliation and have signed agreements on file with the Senior
Vice-President for Finance and Administration of the University of Texas at Arlington. Students should not contact agencies to individually arrange internships unless authorized by the Director of Field Instruction to do so.
Generally, the assignment of students is based on:
• Student educational needs
• Student area of interest
• Student geographical preference
• Agency instructional capability
• Agency availability
Students completing the Micro/Macro MSSW placement are assigned to interview in agencies that can provide experiences consistent with the objectives of the Micro/Macro field practicum and that match as closely as possible the students’ stated areas of interest and geographical preferences.
Students completing the advanced MSSW placement are assigned to interview at one of three agencies they select during the application process (usually the student’s first choice). The student’s choice of setting must be able to offer educational opportunities in the student’s area of concentration (Direct Practice or Community and Administrative Practice). Students can view agency information online.
When more students are interviewing at an agency than the agency can accept, any student not selected for placement will be assigned to interview at another agency of the student’s choice. Occasionally, a student may not be able to interview at any of the original three choices. In such cases, the staff of the Department of Field Instruction will work one-on-one with the student to locate an acceptable, appropriate agency.
The primary role of the MSSW student is to meet the educational objectives of the field curriculum as an active participant in an agency setting. Students are assigned to affiliated agencies where they are administratively responsible to an agency supervisor (the field instructor) and where they are expected to comply with agency policies and procedures. Students are also expected to comport themselves in accordance with the profession’s standards of ethical performance.
The student’s responsibilities include the following:
• To assist in developing and carrying out the learning contract.
• To have the learning contract signed by the field instructor and submitted to the field liaison.
• To submit a copy of the mid-term evaluation to the field liaison and to the Department of Field Instruction.
• To have the final performance evaluation signed by the field instructor and submitted to the field liaison.
• To follow agency policies and procedures, especially those regarding confidentiality.
• To abide by the NASW and State of Texas Codes of Ethics.
• To adhere to standards and/or guidelines of the agency’s monitoring or accrediting bodies.
• To accept supervision and respond appropriately to feedback from the field instructor and appropriate agency staff.
• To first consult with the field instructor if problems occur in the placement, and contact the field liaison if a resolution cannot be reached.
• To complete the required minimum clock hours.
• To submit all evaluations (of the field agency, the field instructor, the field liaison and the Department of Field Instruction) to the Department of Field Instruction.
All MSSW practicum students are required to agree to and sign a learning contract in collaboration with the field instructor that identifies the tasks and activities of the practicum experience and that is based on the objectives of the MSSW program. This document is the mechanism through which the program learning objectives are identified, defined, and operationalized by the student and the field instructor and on which the student is ultimately evaluated. Tasks that will accomplish the objectives are identified and methods of evaluation of student performance are specified.
The Micro and Macro learning contract (Appendix C) has been designed to facilitate the student’s application of the knowledge, theory, and values and skill-building experiences that are essential components of the UTA School of Social Work curriculum framework. The contract is divided into two sections. Section A (Social Work Values and Professional Development) consists of five objectives and the accompanying performance and evaluation indicators. Section B (Social Work Practice Skills) has two objectives with respective performance and evaluation indicators. The learning contract (including face sheet) should be printed out and signed by all parties. A sheet that identifies all tasks to be performed by the student should be attached.
The learning contract must be signed and dated by the field instructor and the student and submitted to the field liaison by the prescribed due date each semester.
The advanced learning contract (Appendix D) consists of a face sheet and 3-5 specific learning objectives relevant to the student’s concentration and specialization, the student’s personal goals, and the learning opportunities available in the agency. Each objective should list 5-7 tasks the student will undertake to accomplish the objective and the methods that will be used to evaluate the student’s performance. Each advanced learning contract must also contain an objective related to professional social work role development.
The advanced learning contract is structured so as to provide the student with tasks, activities, and projects that are more complex in nature than those of the Micro/Macro practicum and that are based on the objectives of the MSSW program.
The MSSW Mid-term Performance Evaluation consists of a one-page narrative composed by the field instructor and submitted on agency letterhead assessing the student’s progress at this stage of the practicum. The student is responsible for ensuring that the mid-term evaluation is submitted to the Department of Field Instruction and the field liaison by the assigned due date.
If the student’s performance is below expectation, the field instructor, the student, and the field liaison must meet to determine the necessary corrective action to be taken (see CORRECTIVE ACTION CONTRACT, Appendix H). The identified corrective measures must be put into writing, signed by all parties, and must include a timeline for review of the student’s progress in correcting the identified problems.
The Micro/Macro andAdvancedFinal Field Performance Evaluations are completed online by the field instructor at the end of each semester.
A Weekly Supervision Log (Appendix I) must be completed during each regularly scheduled weekly supervisory conference. The log is meant to provide written documentation of the content of each supervisory session and should include details of the session including any performance issues that are addressed. It is signed by the field instructor and the student and copies are submitted with the final evaluation to the field liaison at the end of the semester or at any time upon request.
The school, the agency, and the student collaborate in the process of integrating classroom theory with field learning experiences. Each semester, faculty and/or community agency representatives are assigned field liaison responsibilities by the Director of Field Instruction in consultation with the Associate Dean of the School of Social Work. The field liaison is the instructor of record and is responsible for assigning the student’s grade in consultation with the field instructor.
The field liaison serves as an educational consultant to the field instructor and the student by contributing to the development of the student’s learning contract, monitoring the student’s educational progress and performance, and maintaining the relationship between the school and the agency. The principal responsibilities of the field liaison are
• To initiate contact with the field instructor and the student.
• To conduct an agency site visit by mid-semester.
• To make contact with the student and/or the field instructor at least once after mid-semester.
• To complete the Liaison Agency Visit Contact Form.
• To assess and monitor the quality of supervision provided to the student.
• To be available to the field instructor and the student to deal with problems that may occur during the course of the placement.
• To review and sign the learning contract.
• To review the mid-term performance evaluation.
• To review and sign the final performance evaluation and submit to the Department of Field Instruction.
• To assign the course grade (usually based on the recommendation of the field instructor).
• To submit all paperwork (learning contract - Appendix C or Appendix D-, evaluations of the field agency, the field instructor and the Department of Field Instruction, and all Liaison Agency Visit Contact Form) to the Department of Field Instruction at the end of the semester.
Students are expected to negotiate their field schedule (specific days of the week, specific hours, etc.) with the field instructor. A breakdown of the approximate suggested number of hours per week to be spent in field (based on semester) is contained in the “Options and Time Requirements” document (Appendix F).
All students must complete the required number of clock hours regardless of sick time, holiday time, or other missed time. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the field instructor to make up any lost time. Absence from regular class to attend field or field-related activities is not appropriate, is considered unexcused, and is subject to the attendance policy of the instructor of the class.
Advanced graduate students completing a split placement may carry over a maximum of 20 clock hours from one semester to the next. Students may also accrue up to 40 additional clock hours at the agency during semester breaks if the agency is agreeable and able to accommodate this arrangement. In some cases, agencies expect students to work some hours through the break in order to maintain continuity with respect to client services.
Advanced graduate students may not complete their hours more than three weeks early and must have permission from their field instructor to end early. Micro/Macro graduate students may not complete field hours early.
All of the above adjustments should be discussed with the field instructor and agreed
upon at the beginning of the practicum.
Sometimes it is necessary to consider the removal of a student from a field practicum after the start of the semester. A student may be removed from a site for a variety of reasons. The following list of issues , although not exhaustive, may result in a grade of "F" for the practicum, and/or termination from the program.
Because of the gravity of the potential consequences, any situation of this sort should be addressed as soon as it is identified using the following procedure.
If at any time during the semester the student’s performance is below expectation, the field instructor must discuss the issue during a supervisory conference and document the details of the discussion on the Weekly Supervision Log (Appendix I). If, after a reasonable time frame (not to exceed 4 weeks in a long semester or 2 weeks in the Summer semester), the issue has not been resolved, the student, the field instructor, and the field liaison must meet and complete a Corrective Action Contract (Appendix H). The Corrective Action Contract is a tool designed to address problematic behaviors and/or situations. It gives the student a clearly outlined description of the problem, required changes and consequences. This allows the student the opportunity to correct the identified behavior(s) and successfully complete the practicum. If the identified behavior is not corrected within the time frame specified in the Corrective Action Contract, the student, field instructor, and field liaison must meet again. If it is determined that the student will leave the agency, the Interruption of Field Practicum by Field Instructor Form should be completed by the field instructor, and submitted to the field liaison and Department of Field Instruction, with all related documents. At this point, the Director of Field Instruction should be included. If warranted, the appropriate Program Director will be consulted and, the matter may be forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee of the School of Social Work. A student who is asked to leave a practicum site under any of the above conditions will be subject to a grade of “F”, forfeiture of all completed practicum hours and possible termination from the program depending on the circumstances..
A situation may occur where there is not sufficient time to create a remedial plan or which is a violation of sound practice or ethics that requires immediate action in order to safeguard clients, and protect the practicum site or the school. The field instructor will immediately notify the field liaison andwill submit to the liaison a complete evaluation of student performance which describes the problem in detail. This can be a detailed addendum to the completedINTERRUPTION OF FIELD PRACTICUM BY FIELD INSTRUCTOR FORM (available in the Field Office) (with or without the student's signature). In these instances the field liaison and Director of Field Instruction, after consultation, will immediately notify the student that the practicum has been terminated and will meet with the student to process the allegation(s) and get the student’s perspective. The student will be asked to submit a written account of the circumstances to the Director of Field Instruction. The appropriate Program Director will be consulted and, if warranted, the matter will be forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee of the School of Social Work by the Director of Field Instruction. The student will be subject to a grade of "F", forfeiture of all completed practicum hours and possible termination from the program depending on the circumstances.
Following are circumstances that will result in a decision by the Office of Field
Instruction to remove a student from a practicum site:
In the above instances the student, the field instructor, and the field liaison will consider the needs of clients as transition plans are made. The student may be given credit for some or all completed hours at the discretion of the field liaison in consultation with the Director of Field Instruction. Credit will be granted, however, only if it is determined that the quality and integrity of the learning experience at the new site will not be compromised.
A student who wishes to withdraw from the field practicum after the start of the semester must first complete the STUDENT REQUEST TO WITHDRAW FROM FIELD FORM (available in the Field Office) , AND consult with the field instructor, the field liaison, and the Department of Field Instruction. The completed form should be signed by all parties and submitted to the field liaison and field office. Once it has been determined that withdrawal is appropriate, University procedures regarding dropping courses must be followed (refer to the current University Undergraduate Catalog and/or the current Registrar’s Bulletin for specific procedures and grading policies).
A student may have legitimate extenuating, personal circumstances (as determined by the fieldinstructor and field liaison) that preclude completion of the placement in the semester for which the student is registered in the course. If this occurs after the prescribed University deadline for withdrawal, the student may, at the discretion of the field instructor, the field liaison, and the Department of Field Instruction, be given credit for some or all completed hours. In such an instance, procedure with regard to grading will be determined on a case-by- case basis. In all such instances the integrity of the field experience must be a primary consideration.
A request by a student to be moved from the assigned field agency to another agency (after the start of the semester) for any reason other than those cited above will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The student must complete the STUDENT REQUEST TO TRANSFER TO ANOTHER AGENCY FORM (available in the Field Office) , obtain all required signatures and submit it to the appropriate staff in the Field Office.
NOTE: In all cases, the transfer of a student from one agency to another during the course of a semester (regardless of circumstances) is dependent on the availability of an appropriate alternate site and cannot be guaranteed.
• The agency must be formally affiliated as an approved placement site with the UTA School of Social Work and the student must have been employed in the agency for at least one year.
• The student’s field assignment duties and responsibilities must
be significantly and qualitatively different from his or her
employment duties and responsibilities and must be in a different department, division or program of the agency.
• A qualified, approved field instructor who is an employee of the agency but not the student’s employment supervisor must supervise the student’s practicum activities.
• The student must be granted an appropriate amount of
employment release time to complete the required number of clock hours for the semester.
• The student must have been employed at the agency a minimum of one year.
A student wishing to do a field at place of employment must complete the 3-part “Proposed Contract for Field at Place of Employment” (Appendix G) and submit it to the Department of Field Instruction for approval. Only one field at place of employment is permitted at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. An advanced-standing graduate student who completed an undergraduate placement at place of employment may not do so at the graduate level.
If a student is offered and wants to accept employment at the practicum site during the course of the placement the student is required to notify the liaison and the Department of Field Instruction.
The School of Social Work has a limited number of agencies available that can offer evening and weekend practicum hours. The majority of agencies cannot provide qualified supervisory staff during these non-traditional hours. Although every effort is made to accommodate a student’s need in this regard, the School cannot guarantee such arrangements. Students are advised to plan ahead so that flexibility with regard to field hours is possible when necessary.
The School of Social Work has affiliated some agencies outside the Arlington/Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. Students needing such placements are encouraged to notify the Department of Field Instruction well in advance of the application period so that individual arrangements can be made.
It is the student’s responsibility to secure transportation to and from the field site.
Reimbursement for agency-related travel in the course of the practicum is entirely at the discretion of the agency.
Transporting clients in the student’s personal vehicle should be avoided; the University is not responsible or liable for accident or injury to client or student in such situations. Students should clarify agency policy regarding insurance coverage and liability before taking on such an assignment.
Students enrolling in any field instruction course are required to obtain professional malpractice liability insurance at the rate of $1,000,000 limit each claim and $3,000,000 limit aggregate. Proof of insurance in the form of a Certificate of Insurance must be submitted to the Field Office before a student will be assigned to interview for a practicum.
Students may not complete a field practicum in any agency in which the student was, or is client of mental health services or any family member was, or is a client of mental health services. It is the responsibility of the student to decline such an assignment.
Foster parents may not complete a field practicum with the Child Protective Services division of the Department of Family and Protective Services. RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS
In order to assist the student in the field instruction process, the Department of
Field Instruction has the following resources available for the student:
• Individual appointment with the Associate Director of Field Instruction, the Field Education Counselor and/or the Director of Field Instruction.
• The field website www.uta.edu/sswfield/ where
students can search for agencies, access field policies and procedures, and apply for practicum online.
• The annual “Field Day” event hosting affiliated agencies and their representatives.
Senior Vice-President for Finance and Administration for approval and signature.