The field practicum provides learning opportunities for students to integrate and apply theory to practice and develop competence in performing social work roles within the framework of social work values. The competency model will be the framework for the practicum and the student will be expected to achieve the second level of competence as defined, that is:
1. Function Within the Professional Context: to develop and demonstrate his/her professional identity as a social worker in respect to commitment to and the provision of service to people;
2. Function Within An Organizational Context: to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within an organizational context;
3. Function Within A Community Context: to develop and demonstrate the ability to function within a community context;
4. to develop and demonstrate the ability to identify and assess problems; to plan and carry out intervention; and to evaluate intervention and utilize feedback;
5. to employ effective communication skills relevant to micro and/or mezzo/macro practice.
The Faculty contracts with a wide range of service settings to offer practice learning in social work modalities. Students select practica from the Faculty contracted resources available in any given year. This is a full-year course of three days per week throughout the academic year. Practicum settings are arranged by the Practicum Office. In April, students have an opportunity to learn about the agencies offering practicum and make decisions about which agencies they wish to select for practicum interviews.
Time Requirements: 21 hours per week, from September to mid-April.
Total Number of days in the Practicum is approximately 75 days.
The days listed above are those set aside in the student’s timetable for the Practicum. However, other days may be used if there is no conflict with classes, and if mutually agreeable to student and instructor and approved by the Faculty/Field Liaison. Students are allowed the regular University holidays and may observe their religious holidays, which fall on Practicum days.
Note: Social Service Administration students will have a practicum in administration with hours modified to allow for participation in the executive model classes. A detailed description of the practicum is noted under the Children and Families Specialization.
Note: Practicum Requirements for Students in the Gerontology Specialization
1. Students in the Gerontology Specialization who elect a clinical practicum must complete a case study as part of the practicum requirements. Students will use one of the cases assigned in the practicum. Directions for completing this assignment will be discussed with the students and their field supervisors.
2. Students in the Gerontology Specialization may elect to do a thesis and may forego the clinical practicum. Instead they will link their thesis research to research in progress at one of the gerontology practicum agencies. They will complete a Research Practicum by participating in agency research projects in progress. However, thesis students are not required to spend three days a week for two terms at the research practicum agency. Rather the research practicum time is used to develop a research question, collect and analyze data and complete the thesis. It is expected that student thesis research would be based on a question linked to the agency’s research agenda and data.
3. Students in the Gerontology Specialization may elect to do a thesis and complete a clinical practicum as well. In this case they would spend time in a clinical learning situation as well as participate in a research program at the same practicum agency. Their research question and thesis research would be based on the agency’s research programs.