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.
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
BSW students - First Practicum (SOWK 410)
BSW students - First Practicum
BSW students - Practicum I (SOWK 410)
Students are normally eligible for their first practicum after completing 3rd year courses and attaining 4th year status in the Faculty of Social Work. This practicum provides an introduction to professional social work practice in a specific setting. Students with an accredited Social Work Diploma are exempt from this practicum. Practicum I consists of 300 hours over 13 weeks, three days per week (normally Tuesday - Thursday), September to December. Field Instructors must possess a BSW or MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum of two hours per week of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student.
BSW students - Second Practicum
BSW students - Practicum II (SOWK 412)
This practicum is required of all BSW students and is normally completed in the final phase of the BSW program. Practicum II consists of 400 hours over 13 weeks, four days per week (normally Monday - Thursday), generally January to April, but sometimes September to December. Field Instructors must possess a BSW or MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum of two hours per week of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student.
MSW - Foundation Students - First Practicum
MSW students - Foundational Field Practicum (SOWK 633)
These students are completing the first year of the two-year MSW program. These students have some social service experience and an 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 13 weeks (January to April) and four days per week (Monday - Thursday) for 3 additional weeks (April to May). Field Instructors must possess an MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum of one hour of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student for every 15 hours of placement.
MSW - Advanced Practicum
MSW students - Advanced Practicum (SOWK 660)
All MSW students must complete this practicum in their area of specialization (e.g., clinical, leadership). For course-based and thesis based students, the Advanced Practicum consists of a minimum of 525 hours. The Advanced Practicum consists of three days per week (normally Monday - Wednesday), eight hours per day, September to April. Field Instructors must possess an MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum one hour of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student for every 15 hours of placement.
Calgary program students are expected to attend practicum in Calgary. However, please note that the Faculty of Social Work also delivers BSW and MSW programs in other Alberta regions (e.g., Edmonton, Lethbridge) and through our Distance programs and therefore there are also opportunities available to offer practicum placements in areas outside of Calgary for those programs. Please contact us for more information.
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.