Undergraduate Field Education Program Overview

An integral part of the School's curriculum, the field practicum gives students the opportunity to develop, apply, and integrate necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes while in practice in social welfare settings. Students complete their field practicum in their Senior year over two semesters concurrent with their classroom courses.

For their practicum, students work 432 hours in an agency, two days per week (generally Tuesdays and Thursdays) for two semesters. Students apply for their practicum in Spring of their Junior year. They are interviewed and evaluated for preparedness and assigned to an agency by the Coordinator of Undergraduate Field Education. In their practicum, students engage in social work practice under the supervision of an experienced practitioner who is qualified and trained to serve as a field instructor.

The field practicum is a generalist practicum that provides learning opportunities on all system levels. Sites used for the field practicum are varied and include public and voluntary agencies such as children and family services, health care, aging, mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, and schools.

The Integrative Field Seminar (RSSW 401) is taken concurrently with the first practicum course (RSSW 400), where students participate in small groups facilitated by their field liaison. The seminar provides learning opportunities that will enable students to compare practice experiences, integrate classroom learning with practice, and increase their critical thinking skills.

Academic credit is given for the field practicum through the field instruction courses. The field instruction courses are graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory(S/U). Students must earn a Satisfactory grade to continue in the program.

Any questions or comments about Undergraduate Field Education can be directed to the Field Office at (518) 442-5321 or at sswfieldoffice@albany.edu.