Students in the undergraduate program engage in two practicum courses for developing competencies in generalist practice. Practicum courses are designed to provide practice experience by engaging students in practice with systems of various sizes and two differing types of fields of practice. These courses are based on a strengths perspective model and they maintain a focus on the person-in-environment fit, with particular attention given to both the helping process and development of internal and environmental resources for social functioning.
A wide variety of community agencies serve as practicum sites including agencies serving older people, families and children, youth, adults experiencing stress, addictions and mental health issues, individuals in Hospice programs, persons living with HIV/AIDS, women leaving domestic violence situations, persons who are homeless or living in poverty, and others. In the spring of their junior year, students work with the Field Coordinator to determine an agency to match their interests and circumstances. After an interview with the potential field instructor in the agency, the placement is finalized for the senior year.
On the Bloomington campus, students have a 2-semester practicum throughout the senior year. Prior to beginning practicum courses, the BSW program requires students to complete S100, S141, S221, S231, and S251. Students are required to take S332 and S352 as pre or co-requisites to the field practicum.
In the fall of senior year, BSW students take S381 Social Work Practicum I (4 cr.) that involves a field placement in a community agency for 15 hours a week, including a bi-weekly seminar with other students. Concurrent with this field experience, students take S251 Emergence of Social Services, S322 Human Behavior and Social Environment II: Small Group Functioning, and S323 Organizational Behavior and Practice within a Generalist Perspective.
Students continue placement in the same agency through the spring semester of their senior year. S482 Social Work Practicum II (5 cr.) prepares students for generalist social work practice. Students enrolled in this practicum course are concurrently enrolled in S400 Senior Practicum Seminar, S433 Generalist Social Work Practice III, and S472 Practice Evaluation. Competencies and practice behaviors identified by CSWE will be assessed by both the field instructor and the student during this practicum. These two practicum courses provide students with a minimum of 560 hours of supervised field education.
BSW field placements are arranged by the BSW field coordinators on each campus in collaboration with the agency field instructor and student. Field placements are developed to ensure opportunities to demonstrate the CSWE competencies and practice behaviors as well as the students’ educational needs and practice preferences.