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Standard 16

Supervision and Mentoring

The program provides candidates with opportunities and experiences to demonstrate knowledge of models of supervision used to mentor pre-professionals in practice and field experience placements. Candidates recognize the important role that field-site supervisors play in pre-professional training of future pupil personnel service providers.


Candidates demonstrate knowledge of models of supervision and mentoring and develop understanding of the importance of the field-site supervisor role in training and socialization to the profession. Demonstration that each content area has been satisfactorily learned and applied is evidenced in a passing grade in the relevant courses, an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and a grade of “Credit” for the field practicum. The specific content areas are listed and discussed below.

Knowledge of models of supervision and mentoring

PPS candidates acquire foundation knowledge of human behavior within formal organizations in S Wrk 212, Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Multi Systems Approach. Theoretical approaches to human service organizations are presented, including Weber and the theory of bureaucracy, human relations, decision-making and contingency theories. S Wrk 246, Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations, builds on this theoretical foundation by adding the knowledge and skills for practice at the organizational level. For example, see the unit on Personnel Management . One of the required content areas for this unit is supervision. Candidates examine a variety of supervision and mentoring models, including tutorial, case consultation, peer and tandem supervision. They also develop knowledge of the basic principles of supervision and characteristics of effective supervisors. Mentoring and consultation among professional colleagues is also addressed.

1.   In addition to the macro level theory and practice skills outlined above, PPS candidates develop knowledge of the professional guidelines and standards for supervision through the NASW Code of Ethics. The NASW Code of Ethics specifically addresses the standards of practice for Supervision and Consultation (3.01) and Education and Training (3.02). These standards include possessing the requisite knowledge and skills, setting clear and appropriate boundaries, not engaging in dual relationships, and evaluating interns in a fair and respectful manner. The newly revised NASW Standards for Social Work Practice in Schools also refer to the professional responsibility of school social workers to “contribute to the development of the profession by educating and supervising school social work interns” (p.8). The Standards can be accessed at

The opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to practice occurs in both years of field practicum, S Wrk 280/281 and S Wrk 282/283. Candidates participate in a minimum of one hour of supervision per week and gain direct experience with the supervisor-intern relationship. This experience is structured as indicated on the learning agreement under Field Supervision:

In some cases, interns may also supervise undergraduate interns, paraprofessionals or volunteers as part of their planned learning experiences. The MSW2 Graduate Field Manual provides candidates with foundation knowledge of the field instructor role and current literature and training in supervising field experience training. Candidates also complete required learning assignments in consultation with administrators, teachers, parents and staff.

The Department of Social Work Education is currently offering on-line field instructor training for field instructors as well as ongoing annual training to strengthen their teaching role. These seminars have included an in-depth orientation for new field instructors, as well as relevant topics for experienced field instructors. Recent topics for the latter group have included Effective Supervision Techniques, Team Supervision, and Cross Cultural Competency for Field Instructors.

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