Letter from the Director
Field Education is a critical part of the social work educational program. As indicated in the Council of Social Work Education’s Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, it serves as the signature pedagogy of the social work profession. Students learn to develop, apply and integrate learned theoretical skills in practice settings.
The University at Albany School of Social Welfare partners with over 400 agencies, providing students with a variety of practice experiences in many specialist fields. The School’s proximity to State government, as well as its locale in one of Upstate New York’s metropolitan areas, presents unique opportunities for social work learning. The educational experience is further enhanced through the collaborative partnership between the Field office and teaching faculty.
Field education is designed to expose students to new and emerging areas of social work practice and prepares them for competency in core skills. Students are supervised by licensed social workers with years of experience. MSW students, whether attending full or part-time, are required to complete two years or 1000 hours of field practica. Full-time MSW students complete a generalist field practicum during their first year of study. The generalist placement exposes students to a broad range of social work skills, offering differential experiences from their previous work experience. For the second year, students participate in the selection of a field placement specific to their desired clinical or macro concentrations.
Each year, Field is a two-semester assignment and students are placed at a single agency, working two full days per week. There are a few unique options for meeting Field requirements, and they can be discussed further with the Field Office. Part-time MSW students are required to take Field during their 2nd and 4th years in the program. BSW Students attend Field in their senior year over two semesters, and have to complete 432 hours.
Feel free to browse the Field Education website for additional information. You may also contact the Field Education office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (518) 442-5321. I am confident that you will have a rewarding educational experience at the School of Social Welfare. The Field Education office looks forward to helping you achieve your educational goals.
Estella Williamson, LCSW-R
Assistant Dean and Director of Field Education