About Practicum Education

The School of Social Work prepares professional practitioners at the baccalaureate and master levels to provide service to vulnerable and oppressed individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations located in the Detroit metropolitan area. 

Because of Wayne State University's historical legacy, the school places special emphasis on this goal to prepare all professional practitioners to work with clients who have been disenfranchised through unjust and inequitable policies, practices, and programs institutionalized in society and its social institutions. 

Practicum education is an integral part of the social work degree curriculum and is required of all students in the BSW and MSW programs. CSWE (Council on Social Work Education) requires colleges and universities offering accredited social work degrees to provide students educational instruction and opportunities in five areas: human behavior, policy, practice methods, research, and practicum education/work. 

Practicum placement process

The Practicum "launch" begins each year around the beginning of March for the majority of students. This is when students will gain access to the Internship Placement Tracking system (IPT) to create their profile and schedule an appointment with their Placement Assistant (PA) to identify their agency internship site for Practicum in the Fall semester. The school is required to arrange all practicum placements in accordance with CSWE specifications.  Students are not to arrange their own placements, though we encourage students to suggest agencies they would like to be placed with.  Unless otherwise instructed, the process for student placements is as follows:

*Please note: The launch date is different for BSW students in the part-time program. These students will be contacted by the Office of Practicum Education (OPE) for the placement process prior to the start of the winter semester when practicum begins.

flow chart

  1. At launch, student receives email with practicum placement information and access to the IPT system
  2. In IPT, student completes Student Detail Page, uploads resume and arranges an interview with Placement Assistant (PA)
  3. PA interviews with student and reviews Student Detail Page, then contacts potential practicum placement site(s) for referral
  4.  PA makes referral to placement site
  5. Student will receive an email with instructions to contact placement site
  6. Student schedules an interview at the placement site
  7. The placement site's contact person completes the Interview Decision form in IPT, alerting the School if the student is accepted or not
    • If not accepted, process begins again at step 3
  8. If accepted, the student is "placed"
  9. Student will prepare for 1st day of Practicum by coordinating with Practicum Instructor to ensure completion of any agency requirements to begin 

Become a practicum education agency site

If you are part of a social work agency in the metro Detroit or surrounding area, and you would like to work with our social work students, please feel free to contact us. We are always interested in forming relationships with new agencies. The first step in the process would be to complete the Application for Agency Participation.