Field Education Program
The field practicum sequence is regarded as an extremely important component of you professional development and is governed by the objectives of the BSW and MSW program mission statements, the foundation curriculum, and the two advanced curriculum concentrations: direct practice and management and community practice.
The field practicum sequence provides you with a unique opportunity to realize the goals and objectives of the program through concrete, practical, and community-based interactions with clients and practicing professionals. In the field practicum, you are supervised, monitored, and directed by agency field instructors and School of Social Work faculty.
The field practicum experience allows you to apply to practice the academic knowledge and skills acquired from all areas of the curriculum where diversity, social justice, and attention to the needs of at-risk populations are emphasized. The filed practicum sequence builds upon the generalist foundation, integrating systems theory, the problem-solving process, a strengths perspective, and social work values and ethics.
The field practicum provides an opportunity for you to practice your skills evolving from generalist to more advanced techniques and to apply your theoretical knowledge in settings where human conditions must be respected and enhanced. In essence, the field practicum sequences prepares you for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, particularly those encountered within the complex and dynamic urban environment of Southern Nevada.
Faculty Field Liaison
Students are assigned to a faculty field liaison, who provides the link between the school, the student, and the agency field instructor. They are available for consultation around field issues that arise on the part of the student or the agency. For each assigned student, the faculty field liaison is required to make one face-to-face agency visit per semester. The focus of visit depends on the needs of the student and the agency, and involves consultation around developing the Learning Contract, problem solving any practicum concerns, and clarifying evaluation issues. In the case of concerns or issues requiring immediate attention, the faculty field liaison will make additional agency visits or phone contacts as needed.
Agency Field Instructors
Agency field instructors (AFIs) are vital members of the field training team and, with the support of the director of field, are charged with the responsibility to assure that the planning, teaching, and evaluation components of students' field practicum experiences have a social work focus and are professionally sound. The criteria for selection of agency field instructors are as follows.
- Master of social work degree.
- Two years postmaster's experience in the field.
- Six months experience with the current agency.
- Licensed to practice professionally in the State of Nevada (preferred).
- Reputation for professional competence.
- Attitude of respect for students' competencies and needs.
- Ability and desire to teach social work theory and its application to professional practice.
- Demonstrated identification with the social work profession.
- Thorough knowledge of the purposes, policies, and procedures of the agency.
- Willingness to advance professional development as demonstrated by successful completion of the MANDATORY Agency Field Instructor Orientation as well as participation in other continuing education opportunities.
Agency field instructors must have a current resume on file with the Field Education Program.