Field Practicum & Service Learning || Oakwood University

Field Practicum & Service Learning


Students anticipating Field Education must (no exceptions) complete the following requirements:

  1. Complete all prerequisites for Field Education I (SW454) as listed in the university catalog.
  2. Completion of credit hours required with no grade lower than a “C” in any required SW course and a minimum social work cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale at Oakwood University.
  3. Complete all incomplete grades.
  4. Be in good standing, academically, with both the university and the social work program.
  5. Submit a completed Application for Social Work Field Education Form to the Director of Field by the specified date announced in SW400-Generalist Skills (generally during the second week of February of each year) which includes the following:
  • Self-Evaluation of Professional Fitness for Field Form (completed by the student and the field supervisor for their SW400 –Generalist Practice).
  • A recent Unofficial Transcript
  • Criminal Background Check (students will need to pay $15.00 which can be added to school account).
  • NASW membership ($23.00) and NASW liability Insurance ($45.00 with NASW membership)
  • Professional resume’
  • Writing samples (2 graded papers from previous social work courses)
  • Peer Reference Form
  1. Make an appointment with the Director of Field to present the “Readiness for Field” Power-Point Presentation (see appendix for sample) and to discuss Field Application Packet.
  2. Receive letter of acceptance to field from Director of Field Education.
  3. Attend Social Work Fair and/or Schedule and attend interviews with prospective field agency.
  4. Attend 2 required Field Orientation meetings with the Director of Field Education.

Students will be given written notification by the Director of Field Education stating whether they have been selected to participate in Field Education and Seminar I for the Fall semester or have been denied.  Written Notification of a student’s acceptance or denial for Field Education will be given no later than April of each year.

Field Education: Signature Pedagogy

Social work majors are required to complete internship and service learning hours essential for integrating knowledge, values and skills. In SW 202 Introduction to Social Work, students complete 15 service learning hours; in SW 400 Generalist Skills and Practice, students complete 50 internship hours and 15 service learning hours; and in SW 454 and SW 455 Field Instruction and Seminar I and II, students are required to complete a total of 400 hours internship hours (200 hours in each course) and 30 service learning hours (15 hours each semester) in an assigned social service agency. Transportation to internship and service learning placements is the student's responsibility. While engaged in the senior field component, the student is limited to two 3-hour courses of additional class work (must have prior approval)

Field Education Seminar

Field Education and Seminar is a valuable component of the Social Work Program and is completed concurrently for a duration of two semesters during the senior year.  Upon completion of the required pre-requisites, a student may apply for Field Education and Seminar, SW 454 (7 credit hours per semester).  Upon successful completion of SW 454 the student may apply for SW 455 (7 credit hours per semester).  A minimum of 400 clock hours in the agency and an on-campus seminar are required for successful completion of the program.  The requirement of 400 clock hours does not include travel to and from the agency nor does it include lunch time.    The seminar class is held once per week for ninety minutes and affords students with an opportunity to share their numerous and varied learning experiences.  The seminar is also used as a forum to evaluate, discuss and interpret the students’ involvement within their field placement and further conceptualize their experiences through participation in peer learning.

A student is assigned to an agency with the expectation that he/she will remain in that setting for two consecutive semesters, (pending the successful completion of the first semester).  The site may be changed, however, if extraordinary circumstances merit it.  Included in this definition are:

  1. Personality conflict between student and Field Instructor.
  2. Failure to match student’s strengths with the agency’s needs.
  3. Insufficient supervision due to illness, termination or job-status change.
  4. Agency closure.

Every effort is made during advertisement to ensure student-agency compatibility.  However, in instances where the actual practices in the agency create value dilemmas for the students, the students may be placed at an alternative agency.

Students may be assigned to public and/or private agencies serving individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Field education sites are located generally within a ten-mile radius.  In some instances students may be placed in neighboring cities in close proximity.

Field Practicum and Service Learning

Social work majors are required to complete practicums (internships) and service learning projects for the integration of knowledge, values and skills and faith.  In SW202 Introduction to Social Work, students complete 15 hours of Service Learning; in SW400 Generalist Skills and Practice, students complete 50 practicum hours and 15 hours of service learning; and in SW 454 and 455 Field Instruction and Seminar I and II, students are required to complete 400 hours (200 in each course) in an assigned social service agency, and 30 hours of service learning (15 in each course).  Transportation is the student’s responsibility.

A student field practicum orientation is provided each spring semester for all Juniors who will be entering their senior year.  The orientation process includes the completion of the application package and an individual interview with each potential senior field student to review their preparedness for field. Students must show evidence of their completion of all lower division classes and required foundation social work courses in order to be approved for the course SW454.  Applicants to the field practicum must have successfully completed the admission process and be enrolled in SW 400 and SW 451 during the spring semester prior to admission into SW 454.

Detailed information on the social work major is outlined in the Social Work Admissions Manual, Social Work Student Handbook, and Field Instruction Manual (can be accessed on-line at our Social Work website)

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