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B.3:  Field Experience

Standard 24

Field Experience

Candidates demonstrate competency in school social work practice by successfully completing 1000 clock hours of field experience. At least 450 clock hours are school-based practice supervised by a credentialed practitioner, of which a minimum 100 hours are with at least ten (10) pupils of an ethnic background different from that of the candidate. The school assignment is provided in at least two age groups (preschool, elementary, middle, high school) with a minimum of 100 clock hours at each setting, not to exclude district services and programs or alternative school settings.

If candidates are working toward the acquisition of the Child Welfare and Attendance Credential,150 additional clock hours of field experience are required as part of the total field experience requirement. Ninety (90) of these hours must be completed in a school setting in direct contact with pupils and a minimum of 30 up to a maximum of 60 must be acquired in a setting that is outside the field of education. See Standard 7 of Child Welfare and Attendance standards for reference.


PPS credential candidates in school social work must demonstrate competency in school social work practice. The PPS credential program in the Department of Social Work Education at CSUF offers the PPS school field practicum in the second year (S Wrk 282/283). Credential candidates are placed in a school setting which has been approved by the Department as one which provides the quality and variety of assignments necessary to develop advanced level social work skills in a school setting.

Field experience

PPS credential candidates complete two separate field internship placements. The foundation field internship, S Wrk 280/281, occurs in the first year of the MSW program.   S Wrk 280 and S Wrk 281 each require completion of 200 hours of supervised social work practice for a total of 400 hours of foundation field internship. The advanced field internship, S Wrk 282/283, takes place in the second year of the program. Each semester of the advanced field practicum requires completion of 300 hours for a total of 600 hours. Thus, the MSW/PPS candidates complete a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised social work field internship.

The PPS program with specializations in school social work and child welfare and attendance requires completion of 450 clock hours of school social work internship and 150 clock hours of child welfare and attendance internship. Therefore, the MSW program requirement of 600 hours of second year internship matches exactly with the credential requirement of 600 hours of internship for both the school social work and CWA specializations.

The second year practicum in the schools requires successful completion of field placement hours over two semesters under the supervision of an M.S.W. who also has a PPS credential. Students are required to meet with their field instructors a minimum of one hour per week for supervision. Learning requirements and assignments are outlined in the S Wrk 282 and S Wrk 283 learning agreements as well as the PPS Learning Agreement Addendum.

The PPS addendum includes the requirement for placement in at least two of three settings (preschool, elementary, middle, high school) for no less than 100 clock hours at each level. Assignment of clients must include a minimum of ten pupils who are ethnically and culturally different from the PPS credential candidate. No less than 100 clock hours shall be with pupils and clients who are ethnically and culturally different from the candidate.

In the first few weeks of the field placement, the faculty field liaison who is an MSW with a PPS credential visits the school and meets with the student and the field instructor. The focus of this liaison visit is to ensure that the placement is off to a good start and to assist in the development of the learning agreement. The required assignments for the PPS credential are reviewed and learning assignments are discussed.

In addition to the standard delivery of the faculty liaison role described above, students also participate in a bi-weekly field integration seminar as part of the requirements for S Wrk 282/283. The seminars are organized around practice topics that align with the students concurrent practice classes and are designed to facilitate integration of practice course content and PPS program content with field placement experiences. For example see the Field Integration Seminar Calendar Social Work 282. Regular communication with the PPS field instructors is also maintained by the PPS Coordinator via weekly electronic mail to keep them abreast of concurrent course content and requirements in the PPS classes and to encourage supervisory attention to knowledge and practice areas that need strengthening. Regular faculty liaison site visits occur throughout the year. A final site visit is conducted with each student and field instructor at the end of the year to review learning progress and plan for termination.

By the end of the fourth week of placement, the candidate must submit a learning agreement, which is signed by the student, the field instructor, the faculty liaison, and the Field Coordinator. The learning agreement describes the learning activities/assignments for each semester. Candidates are required to complete foundation (S Wrk 280/281) or advanced (S Wrk 282/283) learning assignments addressing professional development, multi systems social work practice and evaluation of practice. Examples of the four learning agreement templates that are utilized in the MSW and PPS program are located at the end of the field syllabi, Social Work 280, Social Work 281, Social Work 282, Social Work 283.

In addition to the second year MSW learning agreements, S Wrk 282 and S Wrk 283, PPS candidates also complete a learning agreement addendum. The addendum is organized according to the requirements and competencies of the PPS program. Students indicate the assignments that are planned to meet all of the PPS program requirements and list the range of activities to fulfill each of the eleven PPS competency areas. A sample PPS learning agreement addendum is located at the end of the S Wrk 282 syllabus in Section II of this document.

The learning agreements are not signed by the liaison or Field Coordinator and PPS Coordinator until they meet all of the requirements of the program. Monitoring of the learning progress of the candidate occurs during weekly supervision with the MSW/PPS field instructor as well as during regularly scheduled faculty liaison visits. The learning agreement is reviewed and progress toward accomplishing set goals and objectives is discussed.   PPS candidates are formally evaluated in the performance of all required field assignments twice each semester: at the mid-point and again at the end of the semester. They are required to perform satisfactorily in a minimum of 80 percent of required areas in order to receive credit for the field practicum.

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