Alumni and field instructors at an event at our UCalgary Edmonton campus

Field Education - Northern Alberta

Information about becoming a field instructor with the University of Calgary

Greetings from the Office of Field Education!

Field education, or practicum, is the key method of instruction and learning through which our profession socializes its students to become practitioners. It's often called the 'heart' of social work education, because it's such a critical part of becoming a social worker.

Practicum offers students practical and supervised opportunities to develop and apply their social work knowledge, values, ethics and skills. It also helps integrate the theory and skills students learn in class with their professional practice and social work identity.

We are looking to engage alumni and social workers as field instructors who will contribute to educating the next generation of social workers, please look over the information on this page, and contact us if you have questions.

two people looking at a laptop

What do field instructors do?

During their practicum, all students are supervised by an experienced social worker who functions as the Field Instructor. Besides providing ongoing guidance and feedback, the field instructor gives the student a minimum of one hour of supervision for every 15 placement hours.

Practicum Placements Needed For ...

Give back to the profession as you help to shape the careers of the next generation of social workers. Field Instructors must possess a BSW or MSW and be registered with ACSW.

BSW students require a minimum of two hours per week of educational supervision.

MSW students require a minimum of of one hour for every 15 hours of placement.

  1. BSW students - First Practicum

    BSW students - Practicum I (SOWK 410)

    This practicum provides an introduction to professional social work practice in a specific setting. Most of these students are university transfer students entering their fourth year. Practicum I consists of 300 hours over 13 weeks, three days per week (normally Tuesday - Thursday), from September to December.

  2. BSW students - Second Practicum 

    BSW students - Practicum II (SOWK 412)

    This is the final practicum for BSW students, which is normally completed in the final phase of their program. Practicum II consists of 400 hours over 13 weeks, four days per week (normally Monday - Thursday), generally from January to April, (but sometimes September to December.)

  1. MSW - Foundation Students - First Practicum

    MSW students - Foundational Field Practicum (SOWK 633)

    These students are completing the first year of their MSW program. Many of them will have skills from previous social service employment or volunteer work, as well as knowledge from their undergraduate degree in a discipline other than social work.

    The Foundational Practicum consists of 450 hours over 16 weeks

    • Students are normally in placement three days per week (Monday - Wednesday) for the first 13 weeks (from January to April). 
    • Then four days per week (Monday - Thursday) for three additional weeks (April to May). 
  2. MSW - Advanced Practicum

    MSW students - Advanced Practicum (SOWK 660)

    All MSW students complete this practicum in their area of specialization (e.g., clinical, leadership). For course and thesis - based students, the Advanced Practicum is 500 hours or more.

    The Advanced Practicum consists of three days per week (normally Monday - Wednesday), eight hours per day, from September to April. 


University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work students

What can a student offer?

Our students bring their diverse life experiences, skills and knowledge that compliment their social work education. Over the years, students have helped organizations to create, evaluate and administer programs. They've provided additional organizational capacity, conducted vital research, created social media campaigns, online videos and other outreach materials. Organizations have also told us that students bring in a fresh perspective, often with diverse ethnic, social and cultural lens. 

Field Education Contacts - Northern Alberta

Leeann Hilsen

Associate Director, Field Education
Office of Field Education - Northern Alberta

Julie Mann-Johnson

Director, Field Education
Office of Field Education - Northern Alberta

Krista Osborne

Field Education Coordinator
Office of Field Education - Northern Alberta