Students are expected to apply knowledge, skills, values, and ethics learned in their academic courses to the practice experiences afforded them in the field agency. The student learning agreement and evaluation tool are used by students, Agency Field Instructors and the Faculty Field Liaison to evaluate student’s progress toward developing professional practice behaviors and competencies.
MSW Foundation: Foundation Practicum Seminar is closely linked to Foundation Field Work. The purpose of the Seminar course is to facilitate and encourage students’ development as advanced-level practitioners through the integration of social work theory, practice, and values and the development of social work competencies and practice behaviors. Assignments in Foundation Practicum Seminar are related to the field experience and the thinking, feeling, and doing of social work practice.
MSW Advanced: Advanced Field Practicum Seminar is closely linked to Advanced Field Practicum. The purpose of the Seminar course is to facilitate and encourage students’ development as advanced-level practitioners through the integration of social work theory, practice, and values and the development of social work competencies and practice behaviors. Assignments in Advanced Practicum Seminar are related to the field experience and the thinking, feeling, and doing of social work practice.
Senior Seminar is organized into two academic courses: SOCWRK 498 (Senior Seminar I), and SOCWRK 499 (Senior Seminar II) for 1 credit hour each. These classes are co-requisites with Field Work I-II, respectively.
MSW Foundation: Students in the first year of the 2-year MSW program are expected to complete 400 clock hours in field, approximately 16 hours per week over two semesters. Students in the Foundation program begin fieldwork after they have completed their initial five weeks of classroom learning. Students are expected to complete 160 field hours during fall semester (16 hours per week for 10 weeks) and 240 hours (16 hours per week for 15 weeks) during spring semester. Each Foundation Field Work course accounts for 2 credit hours.
Foundation Practicum Seminar is organized into two academic courses: SOCWRK 573 (Foundation Practicum Seminar I), taken in the fall semester of student’s foundation year, and SOCWRK 574 (Foundation Practicum Seminar II), taken during spring semester. These classes account for 1 credit hour each.
MSW Advanced: MSW Advanced students are expected to complete 600 field hours over the course of two semesters, approximately 20 hours per week. Advanced Social Work Practicum I and II are 6-credit courses.
Advanced Practicum Seminar is organized into two academic courses: SOCWRK 577 (Advanced Practicum Seminar I), taken in the fall semester of student’s advanced year, and SOCWRK 578 (Advanced Practicum Seminar II), taken during spring semester. These classes are co-requisites with Advanced Field Practicum I-II, respectively. These classes account for 1 credit hour each.
If the student is unable to complete hours because of personal matters, the Agency Field Instructor should be made aware of this situation right away to determine if hours can be made up during the semester. If the agency feels the student’s absence(s) interferes with the learning experience or case load, the Faculty Field Liaison should be notified immediately to further discuss the circumstances.
If students are unable to be at their field agency as scheduled for any reason, it is essential that the student discuss this with their Agency Field Instructor and Faculty Field Liaison. Hours missed must be made up to ensure students complete the total number of hours required each semester. Extensions may be considered in extenuating circumstances, but must be approved by Faculty Field Liaison and by the Director of Field Education.
As a general rule students are not expected to do field work during Boise State University holiday breaks or during the summer months. Boise State observes the following holidays:
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving week
- Winter break (mid-December through mid-January)
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. / Human Rights Day
- President’s Day
- Spring break
There are rare exceptions where a student may need to be in field during holiday breaks in order to catch up on hours or to provide the agency with minimal support to maintain continuity of care for clients to whom students are assigned. If a student or Agency Field Instructor believes it is important for a student to be in field during a holiday break, the student must speak with their Faculty Field Liaison for approval. It is the responsibility of the Faculty Field Liaison to be available to students who are approved to work on holidays or during Boise State University breaks.
If students do work over holiday breaks, extra hours should be prorated over the following semester and not “banked” in order to finish practicum early. Agencies depend on students to be there for the duration of the school year and leaving a field placement early due to having hours “banked” is discouraged.
IPT is used:
- To house forms used to track and monitor student learning and progress in their Field Practicum (Learning Agreements, Time Sheets, Evaluation Forms).
- To facilitate record sharing and communication between student, Agency Field Instructor, Faculty Field Liaison, and Field Program staff.
- To house contact and descriptive information on agencies in the area that provide fieldwork opportunities for students.
The Boise State School of Social Work provides Learning Agreement templates for each level of learning (BSW, MSW Foundation, and MSW Advanced). Learning agreements outline the specific knowledge, values, and skills students are expected to develop over the course of their Field Practicum. Students and Agency Field Instructors should discuss specific learning opportunities, tasks, and assignments available to the student in the agency and document these in the learning agreement by the end of the third week of the practicum. Learning agreements will be reviewed by Faculty Field Liaisons to ensure appropriateness, mutual understanding, and expected outcomes.
It is recommended that students and Agency Field Instructors regularly review the Learning Agreement as part of their weekly supervision meetings. Agency Field Instructors are encouraged to monitor student progress toward learning goals and to provide constructive feedback to support student learning and professional growth.
The tips below may also be helpful:
- Demonstrate professional behavior:
- Communicate respectfully via e-mail and/or phone. Return calls if messages are left for you and respond to e-mails you receive from agency personnel.
- Dress professionally for your interview.
- Take a resume with you to your interview. Resumes should include relevant professional and volunteer experience. You may also want to include information about relevant coursework you have completed to date, as well as professional references.
- Prepare questions: Take time to consider what you would like to ask agency personnel in order to get an understanding of what field work in their agency might be like.
- Practicum assignment including types of clients, activities, projects, services rendered and caseload size (if applicable);
- How tasks will be assigned, especially during the first few weeks of the placement;
- Teaching style of the Agency Field Instructor and learning style of the student;
- Approaches to supervision should be discussed:
- When will weekly conferences be scheduled?
- Will other agency staff be involved?
- Does the field instructor expect the student to take the initiative in seeking help?
- How will the instructor routinely monitor the student’s work?
- Issues of protocol, and norms present in the field agency regarding dress, student space, level of formality in communication, confidentiality, correspondence, and topics such as personal safety and health precautions, when applicable.
- What is the mission and purpose of your agency?
- Who are your most common clients and what are the problems/challenges they commonly face?
- How is social work viewed in your agency? Will I be able to see a variety of social workers in practice?
- What specific social work skills will I have the opportunity to develop in this setting?
- What learning opportunities / experiences will I be able to participate in at your agency?
- How does your agency support student learning and balance the needs of the student, Agency Field Instructor, and clients?
Share enough information about personalities and mutual expectations in order to be able to assess how both the student and the Agency Field Instructor may work together most effectively.
Experienced BSW and MSW social workers interested in serving as field instructors should contact:
Boise State University School of Social Work
Director of Field Education
1910 University Drive
Boise, Idaho 83725-1940
(208) 426-4291 Fax
Given the increase in outbreaks of old and new, more resistant strains of TB, all students should consider a medical check, especially those in institutional settings. The same may be true for Hepatitis B. Please consult with your Agency Field Instructor for information on any medical procedures that are required or recommended at your agency.
- The student will address the concerns with the Agency Field Instructor and see if the issues of concern can be worked out directly. Since the power differential between student and Agency Field Instructor can be somewhat intimidating, especially early in the practicum relationship, the student may wish to consult with her/his Faculty Field Liaison to “rehearse” how to approach the Agency Field Instructor for such a discussion.
- If the issue at hand cannot be resolved directly with the Agency Field Instructor, the student will contact their Faculty Field Liaison and consult with him/her regarding potential arrangement of a face-to-face meeting among all concerned. External programs may need to use teleconference or video technology as a more responsive way to meet with rural agencies that may otherwise require significant travel time. Such a meeting will serve to clarify problems, discuss potential solutions, and attempt to develop a plan that will allow the practicum to go forth.
- Should this final approach be unsuccessful, the student, Agency Field Instructor and/or Faculty Field Liaison shall inform the Director of Field Education and all parties shall meet to discuss options available to the student. For external programs a site coordinator will also be involved. If indicated, this meeting may be to arrange termination of the student placement with the agency. Termination of a field placement cannot occur unless the problem solving process has been fully utilized.
- If appropriate, the Office of Field will work with the Faculty Field Liaison and the student (or external site program coordinator) to identify other placement options. The Office of Field cannot guarantee that a second field option will be available.
Additionally, Boise State University School of Social Work purchases professional insurance to cover each student while enrolled as a student in practicum/internship. The insurance coverage is provided by American Casualty Company and the liability limits are $1,000,000 each claim and $5,000,000 aggregate. The cost of this insurance coverage is included in student’s field program fees.
The Disability Resource Center is responsible for ensuring that Boise State University maintains an educationally and physically open, accessible environment for students with disabilities. The Disability Resource Center helps Boise State achieve its goal of embracing diversity by providing access and facilitating independence.
Boise State Campus Assessment, Resource, and Education (CARE)
Living, learning, and working at Boise State University can be very stressful at times. All members of the university community, including students, faculty, and staff, will face challenges. As a result, some individuals may exhibit behavior that is concerning, disruptive, or threatening towards themselves or others. Boise State has established the CARE Team to provide assistance to the campus community in addressing these behaviors of concern.
The Career Center is committed to assisting Boise State University students and alumni as they make decisions about their futures through our career planning and development programs and employment services. Our purpose is to facilitate positive partnerships and engagement opportunities among students, alumni, and employers in our community and beyond. We assist students in:
- Planning and implementing career objectives
- Finding student employment and experiential education opportunities
- Meeting their post graduate career goals
Assessments and Screenings: This free screening for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, alcohol and eating disorders is made available to all Boise State students and employees and is taken anonymously. The screening is provided so that you may find out – in a few minutes – whether or not professional consultation would be helpful to you. We also provide ADHD screening and assessment for a fee, as well as assessment referrals when it isn’t clear what the best plan is for addressing a problem, or the treatment is not within the scope of our services. We can refer to either on-campus services or community resources.
For additional community resources see: http://healthservices.boisestate.edu/counseling/referral-consultation/
As a complement to other health services, health coaching is a personalized approach to behavior change. Through client-centered goal setting, individuals are empowered to improve their health and wellness. Our health coaches will guide, motivate, and provide resources while helping clients set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time specific) goals.
The Medical Massage Program offers therapeutic massage to patients referred by a Health Center medical provider. Medical massage is a viable and non-invasive treatment option for conditions that are scientifically known to benefit from massage techniques applied in a skilled, therapeutic fashion under the supervision of mid-level provider or physician. Massage appointments are billed directly to the student’s health insurance plan at the current rate of reimbursement. However, if the massage is not covered by their insurance, the student will be directly billed.
Case management provides early intervention and support to Boise State students experiencing difficulties or distress, such as juggling a demanding schedule. Depending on individual needs, the case manager can coordinate services on and off campus to help address struggles and reduce the negative impact on the student and the greater campus community. In addition to developing a coordinated needs assessment, the case manager assists with:
Full-time student membership costs are included in student fees paid to the university.
ASBSU Legal Services
The Associated Students of Boise State University (ASBSU) provides FREE ATTORNEY CONSULTATIONS with a local private lawyer for most legal problems you may have. This service is available to all eligible students of Boise State. Check the website for a list of topics discussed.