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MSW Field Education

Field Experience

Social Work students must complete two separate internship experiences, Generalist Field Experience and Advanced Generalist Field Experience, in order to graduate from the MSW Program.

  • Generalist Field Experience requires the completion of 400 hours in the field in addition to a weekly, 2-hour, synchronous (live) seminar.
  • Advanced Generalist Field Experience requires the completion of 600 hours in the field in addition to a weekly, 2-hour, synchronous (live) seminar.

 

Students have the option to complete each of their Field Experiences over one, 16-week semester, or over two, 16-week semesters.

Generalist Field Experience (400 hours total)

  • 1 Semester Option: 25-26 hours in the Field per week
  • 2 Semester Option: 12-13 hours in the Field per week

 

Advanced Generalist Field Experience (600 hours total)

  • 1 Semester Option: 37-38 hours in the Field per week
  • 2 Semester Option: 18-19 hours in the Field per week

 

Please Note: Field Experience and Seminar classes are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters for those who wish to complete their Field Experience over 1 Semester. Students who wish to complete their Field Experience over 2 Semesters must complete Part A of their Field Experience over a Fall semester and Part B of their Field Experience the following Spring semester.

If you have any questions regarding Field Experience requirements, please email mswfield@liberty.edu.


Field Enrollment

Prior to a student being eligible for Field Experience, the department must approve the student’s placement through the proper Field Enrollment course. The Field Enrollment course is an asynchronous (online) 0-credit, 16-week Canvas class in which students will turn in all of the necessary paperwork to secure an agency to complete their Field Experience hours at.

  • Students must successfully complete SOWK 545: Generalist Social Work Practicum the semester before they plan to complete their Generalist Field Experience and Seminar.
  • Students must successfully complete SOWK 665: Advanced Generalist Social Work Practicum the semester before they plan to complete their Advanced Generalist Field Experience and Seminar.

 

Please Note: For online students, Field Enrollment classes are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. For residential students, Field Enrollment classes are offered during the Summer and Fall semesters.

 

Locating an Agency

Students who are planning to complete their placement within a 1-hour radius of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA are categorized as Central Virginia Area (CVA) students. Since there are many students needing to complete their field experience or internship hours for various professional degrees in the Lynchburg area, Field Advisors will pair CVA Students with a local agency based off of the student’s interests and agency needs. Liberty University’s Department of Social Work is partnered with a wide array of agencies in the area that meet the criteria for a Social Work Field Placement and can provide excellent practice and learning experiences for our students.

Students who are not planning to complete their placement within a 1-hour radius from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA are categorized as Outside of Central Virginia Area (OCVA) students. Since OCVA Students know their communities and the social service agencies in their area better than their Field Advisor, they will ultimately be responsible for locating an agency to complete their Field Experience hours at. Field Advisors provide OCVA with resources, direction, and support throughout this process.

 

Agency and Supervision Requirements

Students must be able to engage in all nine Social Work Competencies while in their Field Experience. MSW students are able to lead a variety of case management, supportive services, assessment and intervention, counseling, and other services on behalf of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

There are two supervisory roles during a student’s Field Experience. They may be fulfilled by the same person, or by two separate people.

The Agency Task Supervisor must be employed by the agency in which the student is completing their Field Experience. Oversees the day-to-day activities of the student. This role is fulfilled by a trained professional identified by the agency to support and mentor students in placement. The Agency Task Supervisor does not have to have a social work degree.

The Field Instructor does not have to be employed by the agency in which the student is completing their Field Experience. This person, according to accreditation standards, must hold a CSWE accredited MSW degree, plus 2 years of social work practice experience. They provide a one-hour weekly supervision session with special emphasis on social work perspective, development of social work competencies, self-awareness and self-correction, knowledge, values and skills of the profession.

The Agency Task Supervisor and the Field Instructor will collaborate in the development of a learning contract and final evaluation to assess the student’s ability to demonstrate the social work competencies. Both of these supervisors will communicate as needed with each other and with the Field Liaison to discuss the student’s progress and any challenges that arise.

 

If you have any questions regarding the Field Enrollment process, please email mswfield@liberty.edu.


Field Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the Field FAQ document to find answers to questions frequently asked by students who are already enrolled in our MSW program, and those who are interested in our program!


Field Manual

Please read Liberty University’s MSW Field Manual for more detailed information as well as specific policies and procedures pertaining to the Field Enrollment process and Field Experience requirements.

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