Practicum instruction is an integral component of social work education. Practicum teaching is a partnership between the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice 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 School of Social Work and Criminal Justice and the School of Social Work. For basic information about field placements, please read the MSW Practicum FAQs.
Field Education Expectations
Fair Labor Standards: Regulations and Criteria
Council on Social Work Education: Policy and Standards for Field Education
Field education, as articulated in the CSWE Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, is clearly within the guidelines of the Department of Labor regulations for an educational internship and does not require payment. Social work field education meets the following stipulations:
- Field education is associated with an academic program at an accredited institution of higher learning.
- Field education is structured around a classroom or academic experience, with articulated learning objectives/competencies.
- The college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit.
- The field education experience is supervised by School of Social Work and Criminal Justice personnel; there is an agreement between the program and the field site and a learning contract between the student and the site.
- The Social Work Field Education program is meant to be solely educational and provide training to prepare the professional social worker. It is not meant to supplant or replace existing employees of social work within the field education program site.
- The field placement is meant to provide an educational and training opportunity to the social worker, and is not meant to provide any immediate advantage to the employer or the field site.
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.
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 UW Tacoma). 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 School of Social Work and Criminal Justice when you were admitted. Any costs associated with these additional background checks are the responsibility of the student.
MSW Foundation Practicum (T SOCW 524)
- MSW Practicum Manual (19-20)
- MSW Practicum Manual (18-19)
- T SOCW 524 Syllabus
- Important Practicum Dates (19-20)
- Important Practicum Dates (18-19)
- Agency-of-Employment Field Placements