Field education is an integral part of the MSW curriculum and constitutes advanced preparation for a wide range of innovative professional social work activities ranging from social action/ justice to community development/capacity-building to policy writing/analysis to program development/ evaluation to supervision to direct/clinical practice - all working with individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and/or systems.
MSW course work and field instruction constitute different approaches to the same educational goal of preparing students for advanced, specialized, and /or leadership social work roles. Field practica are educationally-focussed (rather than a training experience) and, as such, there is a clear differentiation between work and student learning opportunities. MSW field education focusses on the development of advanced social work practice-based values, knowledge, and skills, and the preparation of professionally reflective, self-evaluating, and knowledgeable social workers.
Each MSW student is required to complete a field practicum in a field setting with a field instructor approved by the School of Social Work. The MSW Field Education Coordinator is responsible for facilitating appropriate matches between the student, field instructor, agency mentor (where required), and field setting. Although consideration will be given to all factors affecting the location and type of MSW field practica, final approval of a field practicum rests with the MSW Field Education Coordinator. The School cannot guarantee the availability of MSW field practica in all communities and at all times.
The 500 hour MSW field practicum may take place on a full-time basis over one semester or on a part-time basis over two consecutive semesters. Students must register for SCWK 6917 in the semester in which they will commence their field practicum. Planning must begin at least six months prior to the commencement of the field practicum.