Senior Field Experience and Seminar B – SOWK 477

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Senior Field Experience provides students with the opportunity to perform in the role of a social work practitioner under the supervision of an experienced master's level social worker. In one semester, students will have experienced a minimum of 100 field hours in a setting, which employs social workers. Students will meet for one hour weekly to discuss the theoretical and conceptual concepts learned in the classroom with the practical experiences in field placement.

Prerequisite

SOWK 370

Rationale

Field education is a central component of the instruction and training that the student receives to prepare them for a professional career in social work. While receiving supervised practice experience in an agency setting, the student will participate in a seminar course that offers them the opportunity to process their field experiences and engage in further learning. The integration of classroom and field activities provides the student with a unique and comprehensive learning experience to support their development as professional social workers.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

As a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the program is governed by the Council’s Education and Policy Standards (EPAS).  Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate the following competencies at a BSW level.

A.   Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior (Competency 1)

  • make ethical decisions by applying the standards of the NASW Code of Ethics, relevant laws and regulations, models for ethical decision-making, ethical conduct of research, and additional codes of ethics as appropriate to context;
  • use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in practice situations;
  • demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and oral, written and electronic communication
  • use technology ethically and appropriately to facilitate practice outcomes; and
  • use supervision and consultation to guide professional judgment and behavior.

B.    Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice (Competency 2)

  • apply and communicate understanding of the importance of diversity and difference in shaping life experiences in practice at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels;
  • present themselves as learners and engage clients and constituencies as experts of their own experiences; and
  • apply self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse clients and constituencies

C.    Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic and Environmental Justice (Competency 3)

  • apply their understanding of social, economic and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels
  • engage in practices that advance social, economic and environmental justice.

D.    Engage in Practice-informed Research and Research-Informed Practice (Competency 4)

  • use practice experience and theory to inform scientific inquiry and research;
  • apply critical thinking to engage in analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods and research findings; and
  • use and translate research evidence to inform and improve practice, policy, and service delivery.

E.    Engage in Policy Practice (Competency 5)

  • identify social policy at the local, state and federal level that impacts well-being, service delivery and access to social services.
  • assess how social welfare and economic policies impact the delivery of and access to social services;
  • apply critical thinking to analyze, formulate and advocate for policies that advance human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

F.    Engage with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (Competency 6)

  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to engage with clients and constituencies; and
  • use empathy, reflection, and interpersonal skills to effectively engage diverse clients and constituencies.

G.    Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (Competency 7)

  • collect and organize data and apply critical thinking to interpret information from clients and constituencies.
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the analysis of assessment data from clients and constituencies.
  • develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives based on the critical assessment of strengths, needs, and challenges within clients and constituencies; and
  • select appropriate intervention strategies based on the assessment, research knowledge, and values and preferences of clients and constituencies.

H.   Intervene with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (Competency 8)

  • critically choose and implement interventions to achieve practice goals and enhance capacities of clients and constituencies;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in interventions with clients and constituencies;
  • use inter-professional collaboration as appropriate to achieve beneficial practice outcomes;
  • negotiate, mediate, and advocate with and on behalf of diverse clients and constituencies; and
  • facilitate effective transitions and endings that advance mutually agreed-on goals.

I.     Evaluate Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities (Competency 9)

  • select and use appropriate methods for evaluation of outcomes;
  • apply knowledge of human behavior and social environment, person-in-environment, and other multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks in the evaluation of outcomes;
  • critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate intervention and program processes and outcomes; and apply evaluation findings to improve practice effectiveness at the micro, mezzo and macro levels

Course Assignment

SEMINAR – APPROX 30% OF COURSE GRADE

Seminar Participation Quizzes

For the web seminar sessions, the student will meet online weekly with his or her instructor and peers. (Please note attendance policy, as penalties for missing this class may apply.) The student will share his or her field experiences during the seminar and discuss how these experiences relate to the theories and practices learned in social work courses. The student is expected to be on time, attend the entire session, and actively participate in order to earn full points. An active participant is one who attends the seminar web sessions, actively listens, reacts to information shared, asks pertinent questions, shows signs of understanding, shares relevant insights, and contributes to the general learning of the class. The student should come to class prepared to share their field experience and how they are applying what they learned in the classroom in their field placement. To help facilitate the discussion, the student should have the NASW Code of Ethics Document and the LU Social Work Competencies and Practice Behaviors Document available during the seminar. Culturally diverse perspectives are welcome. These quizzes will contain 3 true/false and essay questions.

Measures Competencies #1–9 (knowledge, values, skills, cognitive & effective processes).

Field Agency & Case Presentation

The student will make a professional presentation to the seminar class that facilitates application of key social work competencies. This presentation will provide the substance for a significant portion of the designated class time. The student will prepare a PowerPoint presentation according to the format provided on Blackboard, and will be responsible for facilitating class discussion addressing the pertinent issues. Professional attire is required. To support the integration of theory and practice, the student will incorporate into each presentation at least one academic reference. A detailed guide is provided on Blackboard. During the first week of seminar, the professor will develop the schedule for presentations. Each student’s presentation must be completed on the designated date to receive credit.

Measures Competencies #1–9 (knowledge, values, skills, cognitive & effective processes).

FIELD PLACEMENT – APPROX 45% OF COURSE GRADE

Learning Contract

Draft: The student will complete a revised draft of the Learning Contract form with input and support from his or her Agency Task Supervisor and Field Instructor and/or Faculty Field Liaison.Meeting: AS needed, the student will arrange and participate in a web or telephone conference with his or her Agency Task Supervisor, Field Instructor, and Faculty Field Liaison to discuss the learning contract draft. Final: The student will make revisions according to input received at the conference, secure the appropriate signatures on the form prior to submission, and resubmit his/her Learning Contract in finalized form.

Mid-Semester Evaluation and Meeting

The student will schedule and participate in a telephone or web conference with the Faculty Field Liaison, Agency Task Supervisor, and Field Instructor to discuss his/her progress at the field placement site. The student will prepare for the meeting by reviewing the Learning Contract and will come prepared to share responses to each item on the Mid-Semester Evaluation form. The student will provide all parties with a copy of the Learning Contract for review and will participate in discussion with the Field Instructor, Agency Task Supervisor, and Faculty Field Liaison in order to address tasks, responsibilities, supervision, and development of competencies in all areas included in the Learning Contract. Another purpose is to provide an opportunity to secure feedback regarding student performance and possibly re-contract with the agency to complete tasks needed to address each area of competency. A corrective action plan will be discussed as needed for any areas of concern identified.

Final Field Evaluation of Learning and Performance in the Field

The field evaluation is a highly valuable exercise in each student’s education. It provides critical feedback to individual students to assist in their development as professionals. It also provides helpful information for the Social Work Department as we serve students individually and as we seek to continually improve our program content and methods to equip our students to become excellent compassionate social workers.

1. Student Self-Evaluation: The student will complete a self-evaluation of his/her performance practicing behaviors associated with the social work core competencies. As an opportunity for self-reflection and self-correction, the student will complete this evaluation, identifying both strengths and areas for future development. A completed evaluation is one that has a rating for each practice behavior and includes justification of student ratings. To receive full credit this should demonstrate thoughtful consideration and differentiation between strengths and concerns.

2. Field Instructor Evaluation of Student The Agency Task Supervisor and Field Instructor will collaborate and complete a final field evaluation to assess the student’s demonstration of the practice behaviors associated with the core competencies identified by the Council on Social Work Education as essential to generalist social work practice, to determine whether the student has met learning contract goals and to provide a suggested grade for the field experience part of the course. Once complete, the Agency Task Supervisor and Field Instructor will meet with the student in person (or by WebEx) to provide feedback on his/her rating of student performance and discuss student progress, highlighting both strengths and areas for improvement as well as recommendations for further development. The Faculty Field Liaison will review the evaluation, participate in the meeting as needed, and will assign a grade based on the evaluation.

Measures Competencies #1-9 (knowledge, values, skills, cognitive & effective processes.

3. Student Feedback on Field Experience and Agency: The student will complete an evaluation of his/her placement, the seminar course, and the field experience as a whole. Completing this evaluation will assist the department in assessing the quality of the field experience provided.

Professional Behavior and Adherence to Field Manual Policies/Procedures

As emerging professionals, students are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. All communication with faculty, university staff, and agency staff should be conducted in an ethical manner, demonstrating professional demeanor in behavior and appearance, as well as oral, written, and electronic communication. Additionally, they will use reflection and self-regulation to manage personal values and maintain professionalism in all agency and university matters.

Students must adhere to the policies and procedures described in the Field Manual throughout the duration of the course. This includes, but is not limited to, adhering to the Codes of Ethics and other policies detailed in the manual related to how students should conduct themselves, student roles and responsibilities, agency placement and interviewing procedures, and procedures for handling field-related challenges. The student must participate in all conference calls and in-person meetings with the field instructor and Department field staff, and conduct themselves in a professional manner.

DOCUMENTATION AND REFLECTION – APPROX 25% OF COURSE GRADE

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Syllabus and Course Schedule Quiz

This quiz will cover the content of the Course Syllabus and Course Schedule. The quiz will be open-notes, contain multiple-choice questions, and have a 15-minute time limit.

Time Sheet & Supervisory Agenda

The student will document field hours completed each week of field experience using a time sheet and secure the appropriate signatures on the form prior to submission. Time sheets that are turned in later than the due date will be subject to a late penalty. Time sheets must be turned in to receive credit for the course and ensure completion of field hours.

The student will also complete the Supervisory Agenda form each week to document the weekly supervision session with his or her Field Instructor. The student will also secure the appropriate signatures on the form prior to submission. Agendas that are turned in later than the due date will be subject to a late penalty. Agendas must be turned in to confirm completion of the required weekly supervision, and receive credit for the course. If students meet with a separate Agency Task Supervisor, they are highly encouraged to develop a written agenda for those supervisions as well, as this facilitates best practice in supervision. However, submission on Blackboard is not required.

Weekly Journals

Weekly journal summaries offers the student the opportunity to reflect on the field activities they participated in, their experience and learning, and how they observed or applied the core competencies. The summaries also offer the student the opportunity to engage in a process of self-assessment and self-correction, and support the integration of theory and practice, as students are encouraged to reference previous learning, courses, and texts in specified prompts. The student should use the journal template provided on Blackboard. To receive full credit, a complete response must be made for each prompt. Each journal submission must be submitted on Blackboard. During the first week of the seminar, the instructor will identify the specific submission date and time. Journals that are turned in later than the due date will be subject to a late penalty. Journals must be submitted to confirm completion of field hours and receive credit for the course.

Measures Competencies #1–9 (knowledge, values, skills, cognitive & effective processes).