Practicum Education Manual - IV. Practicum Education for Undergraduate Students: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
A. Goal of the BSW Program
The goals of the BSW program are to:
- prepare BSW students for ethical, competent entry-level, generalist professional social work practice, particularly in urban settings with diverse, poor, vulnerable and oppressed individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities; and
- foster a commitment to continuing education, maintaining competence in practice, and enhancing and increasing opportunities for BSW graduates for renewal and advancement within the profession.
The BSW degree program prepares practitioners at the generalist level with practice skills, integrated with areas of social concern.
B. Objectives of the BSW Program
The objectives for practicum education in the senior year are for students to:
- learn a variety of interventive methods and techniques for use with individuals, families, small groups, and for service delivery and change in organizations, neighborhoods, and communities; and
- articulate a framework or frameworks for the differential use of these intervention methods and techniques with at least two social-system levels (individual, family, small groups, organization, neighborhood, and community).
C. Practicum education requirements for the BSW degree
All BSW students are required to successfully complete 460 clock hours in internship placements, in addition to the required practice courses and practicum seminars, to earn a BSW degree. Students are required to complete 10 credit hours of internship placement. The table below details the requirements for BSW students in internship placement.
|Year||Hours per week||Weeks per semester||Hours per semester||Semesters||TOTAL clock hours||TOTAL credits|
The designation of actual days assigned to internship placement at the placement site for students in the BSW program is set in consultation with the student, the practicum instructor, and the Faculty Practicum Liaison. The following requirements should be met when arranging the student's internship placement schedule:
- Students must attend internship placement a minimum of two days a week.
- Each "agency day" is approximately 8.0 clock hours. Students with an evening/weekend placement must attend practicum with no less than 4.0-hour blocks of time.
- Students must remain in their internship placements until the last day of class: Even if the student has attained the minimum clock hours required, a student must stay in practicum until the end of the semester. The Office of Practicum Education establishes the first day of internship and the last day of internship each semester.
- BSW students must take the concurrent coursework while in practicum. Students that fail to do so jeopardize their standing in the program.
- All BSW students are required to complete the appropriate Practicum Placement seminar each semester they are in Practicum Placement.
D. Senior year student requirements and assignments
To aid in the successful completion of the internship placement learning experience, all students in the senior year are required to:
- Register for practicum education, which is course SW 4998, for the appropriate credit hours per term.
- Declare interest in a place of employment (POE) to the OFE, if it pertains. A student entering the senior year may be considered for a POE if the student has not previously been placed there and has been employed by the agency for a minimum of six months. There is a formal application and approval process that must be adhered to.
- Complete a learning plan at the beginning of the first semester of internship placement outlining the goals, objectives, and tasks for the internship placement. The forms will be made available via the Intern Placement Tracking, IPT, system, and must be submitted using the IPT system. The learning plan is considered a "living document", meaning it should be revisited and amended as necessary throughout the internship and at the start of each term. An example learning plan can be found on the school's website: Learning Plan.
- Complete process recordings or PRACSIS as assigned each internship placement semester. Full and part-time students will complete 5 process recordings or PRACSIS per term. The documents are to be reviewed with the practicum instructor and then submitted to the Faculty Practicum Liaison. The forms will be made available via the Intern Placement Tracking, IPT, system, and must be submitted using the IPT system. Process recordings do not preclude other forms of recordings which may be assigned or required by the practicum instructor or Faculty Practicum Liaison. An example process recording and PRACSIS plan can be found on the school's website: Student assignments.
- Complete a time log to track internship placement hours. The time log will be made available via IPT at the beginning of the term, and it is the student's responsibility to record hours weekly. The student will submit the form at the end of the term via the IPT system.
- Consult with the practicum instructor on the Midterm Evaluation to assess progress in internship during the term. The Midterm Evaluation should be completed by the practicum instructor, and task supervisor if applicable, and submitted to the Faculty Practicum Liaison. The forms will be made available via the Intern Placement Tracking, IPT, system, and must be submitted using the IPT system. A copy of the Midterm Evaluation can be viewed, for reference only: Midterm Evaluation.
- Consult with the practicum instructor on assessment of student competencies at the end of the term. The Practicum Instructor Assessment of Student Competencies (PIASC) should be completed by the practicum instructor, and task supervisor if applicable, and submitted to the Faculty Practicum Liaison. The PIASC is required in order to determine a grade for practicum. The forms will be made available via the Intern Placement Tracking, IPT, system, and must be submitted using the IPT system. A copy of the BSW PIASC viewed on our website: BSW Senior PIASC.
Before starting internship placement, all BSW senior-year students should review the syllabus for SW 4998. Major assignments related to internship placement will be completed in practice method courses. The SW 4998 practicum education syllabus is included below.
E. Part-time study
BSW students in the part-time degree program must complete requirements within three years after acceptance. The senior-year internship placement spans two semesters (fall and winter) in the third year of the program. The aggregate internship placement requirements are the same for both the part-time and full-time programs.
No placement is less than two days per week. For part-time students, scheduling days/hours for internship placement is set in consultation among the student, the practicum instructor, and the Faculty Practicum Liaison. The schedule shall allow for continuity of service to clients, and the ability to meet curriculum expectations for practicum education, as specified in this manual. Students in the part-time program may complete the 16 clock hours per week requirement in major blocks of time, no less than 4 hours, unless approved by the school and the agency.
Student internship placement should be scheduled during normal business hours, which for some agencies includes evening and weekend hours. However, evening and weekend only placements should not be expected.
Students in the part-time degree program must meet the same admission and academic requirements as full-time students. Information about part-time BSW study may be obtained from the School of Social Work, Office of Admissions and Student Services (OASS).
F. Block placement
BSW students are not permitted to have a block placement for internship placements.
G. Three-day-per-week placement
BSW students are not permitted to have three-day-per-week internship placements.
H. Place of employment (POE)
BSW students may be considered for a place of employment (POE) if student has been employed by agency for a minimum of six months. To be considered, a student must be in good academic standing and demonstrate a strong academic record. Tasks to be performed as a student must be different from those performed as a staff member.
To be considered, a student must declare interest in a POE when meeting with their placement assistant. Students who are approved for a POE will still be expected to complete all requirements and tasks pertinent to internship placement. Link to the POE policy and application
I. Dual relationships with agency
"Dual relationships" describes any situation where multiple roles exist between a student and a practicum instructor, the student, and clients within the agency, and/or the student and other employees or associates of the agency. This includes any pre-existing personal and/or professional relationships with the agency that have the potential for either conflict of interest or negative impact upon practicum education objectives. Students shall not be placed at an agency with any person with whom he/she has a familial or quasi-familial relationship, even if that person is not assigned as a practicum instructor.
As a result of this policy, it is prohibited for students to return for internship placement to an agency where they have completed a previous internship placement or employment. Agencies in which the student has completed volunteer work may be considered but must be approved by the Office of Practicum Education.