College of Letters & Sciences
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Social Work

Contact Information

Sarah Hessenauer
MSW Program Coordinator &  Professor
Phone: 262-472-1203
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201
Deanna Guthrie
BSW Program Coordinator & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-1881
Location: Laurentide Hall 5205
Susan Morris
Academic Department Associate 
Phone: 262-472-1137
Location: Laurentide Hall 5201

Field Students

BSW Field Students

Overview of Field Program & Format

BSW Students are required to complete 480 field experience hours at a social service agency under the supervision of a bachelors level (BSW) or masters level (MSW) practicing social worker. The practicing social worker, called the Field Instructor, provides the student with broad exposure to social work roles and responsibilities.

Students interested in enrolling in the field program must first successfully complete all required social work courses. There are three options for completing the field practicum. Social Work Field Experience (SOCWORK 493) may be completed over the course of one traditional semester, two traditional semesters, or during the summer session. The majority of social work students complete the field experience over the course of one semester. This format requires the student to work approximately 32 hours a week. Those students who complete their field experience over the course of two semesters will work approximately 16-20 hours per week.  Students who wish to complete their field experience over the summer, will work approximately 40 hours a week over the 12-week summer session.

* For changes related to COVID-19, please reach out to the Field Coordinator or your Faculty Field Liasion.

Field Manual

Students interested in enrolling in field practicum, are required to review the Department of Social Work Field Program Manual for Field Students, Faculty, and Instructors. This manual outlines the roles, responsibilities, expectations of students, Faculty Field Liaisons, Field Instructors and agency sites in the field practicum. 

  • Manual for Students, Field Coordinator, Faculty Field Liaisons, and Field Instructors [PDF] 

Field Application Process

Students are required to apply for field placement the semester prior to entering the field practicum. To apply for Field, please complete the online field application, and submit it by the due date indicated below.

If you wish to complete field in: Prior Semester in Which to Register Field Application Packet Due Date*
Summer Spring February 1
Fall Spring February 1
Spring Fall September 15
 * if date falls on weekend, packet is due the next business day

Field Overview Presentation

Applying for field also requires you attend the Field Orientation Presentation. This presentation is given in the Social Work Practice 3 (SOCWORK 473) course. The presentation will share information about the field application process and expectations of the student in the Social Work Experience course. The in-class presentation will also provide the student with opportunities to ask questions about the field practicum experience. Students who miss the in-class Field Orientation Presentation must meet with the Field Coordinator prior to being assigned a Faculty Field Liaison. 

List of Agency Placement Sites

Students are asked to identify three areas of interest and three agencies on the online field application. To learn more about possible placement sites, please access the link below:

Memos for Field Students

Several things happen after students submit the complete online field application. To learn more about the process, please see the Outline of Steps in the Field Placement Process below:

  • Steps in the Placement Process [PDF]
  • Employment Based Field Placement Contract [PDF] [Word]

Student Resources & Forms

There are several tools and resources that students may need while in the field :

  • Evaluation of Student Performance Tool [PDF] Field Instructors will use this form to evaluate field student performance at the midterm and in final weeks of the field placement.
  • Learning Agreement [PDF] [Word] This form is used to document the student's plan for learning, it requires students to document goals and objectives.
  • State of Wisconsin Caregiver Background Checks: Background Information Disclosure (BID) Form [PDF] and BID Instructions [PDF] Agencies that require students to complete a background check will use this form.
  • Use of Personal Automobile Statement [PDF] Students use this form to document the use of a personal automobile at the field agency.

MSW Field Students

Overview of Field Program & Format

Advanced Generalist Standing MSW Students

Advanced generalist standing students are required to complete 500 field experience hours at a social service agency under the supervision of a masters level (MSW) practicing social worker. The practicing social worker, called the Field Instructor, provides the student with exposure to advanced generalist social work practice.

The field practicum is completed over the course of one academic year. This format requires the student to work approximately 16 hours a week plus an additional 2-hour integrative seminar each week.

Non-advanced Standing MSW Students

Non-advanced standing students are required to complete a total of 980 field experience hours over two academic years. The first year of field experience is intended to provide students with broad exposure to social work roles and responsibilities. The final field placement, second year for non-advanced standing and first year for advanced standing, will be grounded in advanced generalist practice. All field experience will be completed at a social service agency under the supervision of a masters level (MSW) practicing social worker, called a Field Instructor.

Field Manual

Students interested in enrolling in field practicum, are required to review the Department of Social Work Masters in Social Work Field Program Manual for Field Students, Faculty, and Instructors. This manual outlines the roles, responsibilities, expectations of students, Faculty Field Liaisons, Field Instructors and agency sites in the field practicum. 

  • Manual for Students, Field Coordinator, Faculty Field Liaisons, and Field Instructors [PDF]

Field Application Process

Meet with Faculty Field Liaison

List of Agency Placement Sites, see above. 

Field Experience at Place of Employment

The UWW Department of Social Work recognizes that the personal economic situation of some students makes it necessary for them to explore field placement opportunities in their places of employment. It is recognized that professional activity and learning are not inconsistent, but there is a difference between the goals of educational development and those of employment. The focus of the field placement must be on the student’s learning.

Students interested in an employment-based placement must submit their request via the “Request for Field Placement in Place of Employment” form to the Field Coordinator (or designee).

Updated 6/11/2020