The Field Manual has been developed to provide information and guidance for students, Field Instructors, faculty, and others involved in the Field Program. It is not intended to be exhaustive and will continue to be revised and changed as needed. The most current copy of the Manual is maintained here on the CSUSB School of Social Work website.
The Master Field Calendar contains all required dates for field education with the exception of seminar dates, which are provided to students at the beginning of each calendar year and occur approximately three times per quarter on either a Thursday or Friday.
The Intern Placement Tracking system is a web-based software system designed to keep track of students placed in internships with various agencies. The CSUSB School of Social Work implemented IPT in order to effectively track student placements, maintain an electronic Learning Plan Agreement and Outcome Evaluation, and provide a “green solution” to a significant component of our field education program. The IPT system allows both the School of Social Work and field agencies to communicate with students. Because of this, it is an essential part of your field work responsibilities to keep all information current.
Process recordings in conjunction with regular supervisory guidance are important tools in the learning process. The process recording is an educational tool that helps the student review, reflect, internalize, assess, and understand the client encounter, including the latent issues and feelings that contribute to that interaction. It affords the student the opportunity to explore and apply the conceptual knowledge from the classroom to real practice. The key to receiving the most out of a process recording is to focus on your “gut reaction”, which means that you reflect on your experience, observation, etc. and then write down your “gut reaction” without filtering what you are writing. This will help you assess feelings and reactions to situations.
Using the student’s regular workplace for a field practicum is strictly prohibited in most Schools of Social Work. The goal of work is performance, while the goal of the practicum is student learning. However, it is possible for a student to obtain a placement at the agency where she/he currently works providing that the educational experience includes substantial 'new learning' in the areas of knowledge, values, and skills. The student’s regular work may not be considered a field practicum unless the student submits the required documentation and all requirements for this rare exception are met. Approval of the use of an employment setting as a field placement is dependent upon the ability of the agency to safeguard the student’s learning needs. This normally means that a different supervisor in a different unit would supervise field work with different clients than are part of the student’s regular work assignment.
Students requesting a field practicum at a current job site must complete the Job Conversion Application or Job Related Placement Application. The application will describe the student's current work assignments and identify how field work activities will be significantly different from employment responsibilities. The request must be submitted during the Field Application process. However, prospective students need to be aware that this type of request is rarely approved, is not addressed during the admission process, and should consider if they are in a position to complete field practicum hours if such a request is not approved. The proposal will be reviewed by the Director of Field Education and/or Field Coordinator who will make a decision on the proposal. Criteria for consideration includes (but is not limited to):
- There must be an MSW employed at the work site who is NOT the employment supervisor who is willing and able to be a field instructor.
- Field Instructor must be an MSW and cannot have any authority over the student's employment status. The MSW Field Instructor must meet the qualifications required of all Field Instructors.
- The field instruction tasks/assignments must be different from the employment tasks AND must be in accordance with the curriculum of the School of Social Work.
- Job conversions and job related placements must be approved in writing by the agency and the Director of Field Education. Job conversion and job related placement forms are available on the CSUSB School of Social Work website.
- The request for job conversion or job related placement must be discussed prior to the Placement Interview with the Director of Field Education or Field Coordinator to allow for time to investigate it as a viable option. Documentation to support request must be submitted at the Placement Interview.
Any deviations at all to the above must be reviewed and approved by the Field Coordinator and/or the Director of Field Education.