SW 8998 Concentration Field Work for Social Workers II

SW 8998 Concentration Field Practice in Social Work I is a four credit hour field practicum course for advanced year students in the MSW program. Field placements are assigned by the Coordinator of Field Education. 

WSU mission statement

Wayne State's mission is to create and advance knowledge, prepare a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities.

School of Social Work mission statement

As a school within an urban research university, the mission of the Wayne State University School of Social Work is to transmit, develop, critically examine, and apply knowledge to advance social work practice and social welfare policy in order to promote social, cultural and economic justice for the betterment of poor, vulnerable, and oppressed individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, and society, by:

  • preparing ethical and competent social work generalists, advanced practitioners and scholars at the B.S.W., M.S.W., and Ph.D. levels, respectively, with learning that primarily emphasizes urban settings;
  • conducting research, primarily relevant to urban populations; and
  • providing innovative leadership and service to the urban community and the profession

Course description

Practicum of MSW program integrated with courses in social work method, human behavior and the social environment, social welfare organization and policy, and research. Coreq: one course in a social work method. Offered for S, M, and U marks only.  Open only to MSW students. The ratio of clock hours to credits is 56.25 to 1. Field placements are assigned by staff within the Office of Field Education overseen by the Director of Field Education. 

A minimum of 4 (four) credits are required for each of two semesters of the advanced year. Each credit hour equals 56.25 clock hours.  A minimum of 225 clock hours per semester is required for a total of 450 clock hours. Students who elect 6 (six) credits for each semester of the advanced year must complete 338 clock hours per semester for a total of 678 clock hours. 

Co-requisite: course in social work methods and field seminar are required by the level of the student.  

Course competencies and behaviors

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior
    1. Make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context 
    2. Use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations 
    3. Demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior; appearance; and oral, written, and electronic communication 
    4. Use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes 
    5. Use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior 
  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice 
    1. Apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels 
    2. Present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences 
    3. Apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies. 
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice 
    1. Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels 
    2. Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice. 
  4. Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-informed Practice 
    1. Use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research 
    2. Apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings 
    3. Use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery. 
  5. Engage in Policy Practice 
    1. Identify social policy at the local, state, and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery, and access to social services 
    2. Assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services 
    3. Apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. 
  6. Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
    1. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies 
    2. Use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies. 
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
    1. Collect and organize data, and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies; 
    2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies; 
    3. Develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies 
    4. Select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies. 
  8. Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
    1. Critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies; 
    2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies 
    3. Use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes; 
    4. Negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies 
    5. Facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals 
  9. Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities 
    1. Select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes; 
    2. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes; 
    3. Critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes 
    4. Apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. 
  10. Analyze the impact of the urban context on a range of client systems, including practice implications 
    1. Examine the distinct characteristics of the urban context and apply the analysis to social work practice 

Texts and required material

The Field Education Manual, Wayne State University, School of Social Work. 

The field instructor may assign readings as part of orientation and on-going instruction. 

Classroom assignments often draw material from the field placement.  Students will need to clear with the field instructor the use of such material used in a written assignment.  All such material must be written to maintain patient confidentiality.  Students often find it helpful to bring other classroom materials to the field placement where the field instructor can help the student with connections and integration of content and practice. 

Performance criteria

Through written assignments (learning plan, process recordings and other), supervision sessions and participation in agency meetings/programs, students will be expected to achieve the learning outcomes identified in the Learning Plan. Student performance is rated each semester using evaluations (mid-term and Field Instructor Assessment of Student Competency (FIASC) at end of semester) For each competency, Behaviors are listed with corresponding performance outcomes. The student's performance achievement is rated for each criterion by the field instructor on a scale that ranges from "Does Not Meet Minimum Competency" to "Exceeds Minimum Competency". 

The field instructor prepares a written description of the student's assignments and other field education experience, the nature of the population serviced, and the learning activities used to evaluate the student's performance achievement.   

The "Field Instructor Assessment of Student Competency, Master of Social Work Advanced Year" is an integral part of the syllabus. 

Grading and assignments

Faculty Field Liaisons will provide detailed syllabus for assignments and requirements, including but not limited to Due Dates for Learning Plan, Process Recordings, Mid-Term evaluation and the FIASC. 

Grading policy

Grades for SW 8998 Field Work for Social Workers II are assigned by the faculty advisor.  The marks for this course may be one of the following: S=Satisfactory, M=Marginal, U=Unsatisfactory. 

A mark of "U" results in termination form the program.  Two marks of "M" result in termination.  A mark of "M" and two grades of "B-" in classroom courses results in termination.  Refer to the School's policy "Academic Termination and Reinstatement" for additional information.  See policies on Academic Termination and Reinstatement for additional information. 

Organization of the course

Advanced Year students are required to complete two days per week for a total of approximately 16 clock hours per week.  The minimum number required to meet the clock hours required for a semester is 225.  A semester is 15 weeks.  Students must remain in placement for the entire semester even if the minimum number of clock hours is attained before the end of the semester.  Agency hours vary; students are to observe the number of hours considered as an "agency day" at the field placement site. 

Field Instructors meet with students in regularly scheduled field instruction conferences of one to one-and-a-half hours per week and at other appropriate times. 

Most Advanced Year field placement experiences will consist of  

  • An orientation to the setting, population, practice tasks and social work methods, persons employed there and the style and expectations for written communication and recording of the student's work 
  • Assignment to practice tasks 
  • Field instruction conferences 
  • Mid-term review of performance 
  • Continuation and refinement of assignment including additional tasks 
  • Evaluation and recommendations for next phase 
  • Opportunities for professional development via agency designated       workshops, meetings and observations throughout the term 

Throughout the term opportunities for professional development through workshops and meetings may be identified by the field instructor as appropriate for the student's development 

Role of the student and instructor

Students are expected to take charge of their own learning. For additional information about the role of students and instructors and learning process, See Wayne State University's statement of faculty and student Obligations to the Instructional Process located in the Academic Regulations sections of the Undergraduate Bulletin.     

Policies for the course

Students must consult the Field Education Manual, Field Instructor, Faculty Field Liaison, or Office of Field Education for details for items that may be listed under this section, including: 

  • SSW Policies and Forms 
  • Attendance policy 
  • Electronic communication policy 
  • Late or missing assignments 
  • Incomplete grade policy 
  • Inclement weather 

WSU student resources

Course learning units

The Learning Plan will be prepared with the field instructor and will identify the outcomes that students will achieve each semester. Student, Field Instructor and Faculty Field Liaison will all sign this plan via the management system used by the OFE.  The student prepares the Learning Plan at the beginning of the field placement and modifies it with the help of the field instructor as the student grows in knowledge and skill. 

Course assignments

Assignments are those made by the field instructor.  See "Field Instructor Assessment of Student Competencies, Master of Social Work Advanced Year" for illustrations of assignments. 



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Updated August 4, 2022