BSW Practicum

The BSW Field Education Program

As determined by accreditation standards, the field practicum is a requirement of a Social Work degree. Social work students are placed in community social service agencies or organization on an unpaid basis for a period of social work practice. In the practicum, students focus on integrating the theory, knowledge, and skills taught in on-campus courses with learning from doing practice at the agency and in the community. The practicum earns course credit and is evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis.

Bachelor of Social Work students complete two practicums during their degree. The third-year practicum is done concurrently with courses and students are in the field on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the end of October to April. Fourth-year students will be doing their field practicum as a block placement, and they will be in the field Tuesday, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from the beginning of January to the beginning of April.

Part-time students (in either the BSW or MSW programs) may follow a different pattern as their programs are individually organized.

More information and student forms available here.

Third-year BSW Students

Third-year BSW students begin their program in September and participate in a field orientation and preparation course. One day of this orientation is devoted to inviting field instructors to come and present their field placement settings to all of the students. This normally happens the second week of September. Additional sessions focus on preparing students for interviews, identifying learning goals and understanding the roles and expectations of students, field instructors and faculty liaisons.

Students complete a field planning form and turn this in the field education coordinator who then matches the students to specific field instructors. Students are then asked to arrange interviews with two field settings. Once the interviews have been completed and field instructors have indicated which students they will accept, students make their decisions as to which field setting they will accept. Students may interview at more settings if they have not been successful in identifying a match following the first two interviews. It is expected that all students will have finalized their field practicum by mid-October.

School Expectations for a Third-year BSW Student

The preference is for a student to be placed in a community-based setting where the student is exposed any of the following activities: outreach, advocacy, program planning and implementation, working with groups of individuals, participating in meetings, analyzing policies and their implications for practice, providing information and referral services and case management.

It is expected that third-year BSW students focus on developing a professional identity, engagement skills with clients and various systems and gain an understanding of the context of social problems and appropriate responses.

Field Practicum I – SOWK 315

Program Level: 3rd Year BSW

Course No.: SOWK 315

Frequency: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Duration: Mid October – early April (350 hrs @ 8 hrs/day = 44 days)

 

Fourth-year BSW Students

The field planning process for fourth year students will begin in October with an orientation to field practicum choices. Agency instructors and student coordinators will be invited to present field practice settings to students. Students will complete a field planning form which they will submit to the field education coordinator and will be “matched” with two prospective agency settings. Students will arrange interviews with two field instructors. It is expected that all students will have finalized their field practicum by the end of November.

School expectations for fourth year BSW students

Preference is for a student to be placed in a complex system that allows for more in-depth clinical skill development. Students should be involved in any of the following activities: formal assessments, counselling individuals and/or families, collaborating with diverse professionals, exposed to working in teams, presenting at case conferences, group work, understanding accountability structures, implementing intervention plans with clients or groups.

Field Practicum II – SOWK 415

Program Level: 4th year BSW

Course No.: SOWK 415

Frequency: Tuesday to Friday

Duration: SOWK 415 is carried out in the field for a total of 378 hours, or 48 days (8 hours/day) 4 days per week.

 

Information and Forms

General Information

Required for Third-year, SOWK 315 Field Education

Required for Fourth-year, SOWK 415 Field Education

Required for Students on Placement in a Healthcare Setting

Please note: All students requesting a practicum in a healthcare setting will be asked to verify that all required vaccinations are up to date.