Welcome to Field Education
Practicum instruction is an integral component of social work education. Practicum teaching is a partnership between the Social Work Program and social service organizations who work together to help students integrate theory and practice. It is conducted in the field by professional social work practitioners selected by community agencies and approved by the faculty of the Social Work Program and the School of Social Work. As part of the total MSW curriculum, the practicum provides students with an opportunity for the development and enhancement of social work knowledge and skills with individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities. Fieldwork also allows students to build an understanding and appreciation of the many ways a scientific and analytic approach to knowledge-building informs and is informed by professional practice.
For basic information about field placements, please read the MSW Practicum FAQs
STAR system access
STAR is UW's web-based system for coordinating field placements, learning contracts and evaluations. We offer a series of trainings to bring all students and field instructors up to speed. STAR system access is available if you have a UW NetID.
Please bookmark the URL for STAR login: http://star.ssw.washington.edu. You will use this site frequently.
Immunizations and Other Special Requirements for Field Placements
All students entering or continuing in a field placement must be in compliance with Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) requirements. Students out of compliance will not be allowed to enter a field placement. If you are in a field placement and fall out of compliance with HSIP requirements, you will be removed from the placement until you are again in compliance.
HSIP does not require annual flu vaccinations; however, if you are thinking of doing a field placement in a medical setting, or one that is medically-related, you MUST be able to document an up-to-date flu vaccination. For field placement purposes, it is suggested that students be annually vaccinated for the flu while as student in the Social Work Program.
Medical settings also require that students have some special training prior to beginning a placements. These include (but are not limited) to: Blood-Borne Pathogens, CPR, and HIPAA. You may also be required to show proof of health insurance coverage (which includes student health insurance available through the UWT). Any costs associated with these requirements are the responsibility of the student.
K-12 settings will require that students go through a fingerprinting background check in addition to the background check conducted by the Social Work Program when you were admitted. Any costs associated with these additional background checks are the responsibility of the student.