BSW Field Education

  • Is a distinguishing feature and the 'signature pedagogy' of the Department of Social Work at Virginia State University, which is an essential component of social work education that is anchored in the program's mission, goals and core competencies.
  • Provides educationally directed, broad-based agency practice settings where students can achieve program core competencies and meet program goals.
  • Assist students in developing and applying knowledge, values, and skills that will prepare them for graduate school participation or professional generalist entry level social work, equipping them to work with the general population and culturally diverse client systems at the individual (micro), families and groups (mezzo), and communities and organizations (macro) levels of intervention in the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially in the central and southern regions of Virginia.

The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE, 2015) Educational Policy 2.2 states that:

Signature pedagogies are elements of instruction and of socialization that teach future practitioners the fundamental dimensions of professional work in their discipline—to think, to perform, and to act ethically and with integrity.  Field education is the signature pedagogy for social work. The intent of field education is to integrate the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting. It is a basic precept of social work education that the two interrelated components of curriculum—classroom and field - of equal importance within the curriculum, and each contributes to the development of the requisite competencies of professional practice. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria by which students demonstrate the Social Work Competencies. Field education may integrate forms of technology as a component of the program.

Application Process for Field Practicum

A student is eligible to apply for admission to the field practicum (SOWK 399, SOWK 490-499) after having completed all prerequisite courses in addition to the following:

  1. Junior/Senior status
  2. Accepted as a Social Work major – Probationary status (refer to VSU undergraduate catalog – Social Work major   application procedure) must be removed prior to 400 level coursework.
  3. Received a "C" (2.0) or higher in the pre-social work courses: SOWK 210 and STAT 210, SOWK 260.
  4. Overall GPA of 2.5 in 300 level courses, and  an overall 2.5 in the required junior level social work courses (SOWK 315; SOWK 318; SOWK 320; SOWK 330; SOWK 370)
  5. A positive endorsement for practice from the SOWK 370 instructor.
  6. Completed Field Application Form with personal statement.
  7. In addition, the student must possess the basic skills and emotional maturity necessary for working with clients and staff in an internship site. If the Director of Field Education/liaison has concerns about the suitability of prospective intern and develop a plan for addressing these concerns.

Students meeting these pre-requisites must submit an application for Field Instruction and a current resume to the Director of Field Education prior to the last day for dropping a class or withdrawing from the University without penalty of a failing grade (See VSU undergraduate catalog) of the regular semester (fall and spring semester of the student's junior year) preceding placement.

Important Field Education Forms