References and Records
FIFSW Guidelines for Students Requesting Reference Letters
A student may ask an agency-employed Field Instructor to be a referee but such a reference will not be considered an official University reference.
Under no circumstances may an academic letter/numerical grade be stated, or copies of practicum evaluation be issued by the referee.
Any member of the University teaching faculty, including Field Instructors, may write and sign reference letters. Unless requested to compose an official reference on behalf of the FIFSW, the faculty member would indicate the reference is based only on his/her personal knowledge of the student. Usually, official FIFSW references are delegated by the Dean’s office to the student’s program advisor. This letter is based on the student’s total program of study (including the practicum evaluation) as documented in the student’s docket.
In providing FIFSW authorized letters, the following should be considered:
- No verbal references are given; only written references should be issued.
- References should only be issued in response to a written request (no letters “To Whom it May Concern”).
- Reference letters may be sent from the FIFSW only if there is consent from the student, which can be provided by e-mail or in writing. If there is no written consent, a reply should be sent to the inquirer saying that you have no consent from the student.
- Typically, references are provided for students who have been out of the program for three or fewer years. After this period, the reply merely provides the basic information as to the time the student was registered and that he/she did or did not complete the program.
- References for students still in the program/practicum should be brief, indicating that a full evaluation can be provided only after completion of the academic year.
- References for students who have finished one year and are not planning to return for the second year should be concerned only with the performance of the student and should make no statement that the student is ready for professional practice.
The Practicum Administrative System (PAS) is not a replacement for records/transcripts that may be required in the future by a potential employer, regulatory body, or licensing organization, or for other purposes. The Practicum Office is not responsible for providing/verifying the credentials of a Field Instructor after a student has graduated. It is therefore highly recommended that students keep their own records of their practicum details, as these may be required in the future.