MSW Practicum ProgramThe purpose of the practicum is to provide students with the opportunity to practice and integrate advanced level social work values, knowledge and skills, including the development of a professional “self” and professional identity as a social worker.
The practicum is conceptualized as an educational experience rather than a work term. That is, it is a graded course (pass/fail) with an agency-based MSW Practicum Instructor assigned to teach each student. A Field Advisor is also assigned to support each student and Instructor. The practicum workload is controlled to facilitate this emphasis on learning.
Where Do Students Complete Their Practicum?
MSW practicum teaching centres consist of social agencies and organizations approved by the Practicum Office. These centres are mostly located in towns/cities within a 125-kilometre range of Kitchener-Waterloo. Most agencies require students to have access to a car. Subsequently, it is the students’ responsibility to demonstrate flexibility regarding the geographical area in which they are assigned a placement.
How are Students Assigned a Placement Opportunity?
Students are matched to a placement for an interview based on their MSW stream, and the requirements of the MSW program. The interest of students in particular agencies is also taken into consideration when matching students with an agency for an interview; however, this is not guaranteed as placements are competitive and limited. The Practicum Office also considers new placement opportunities that are proposed by students within the appropriate time frame.