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Look into Laurier

Join us at Laurier

Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Gain Valuable Experience

The purpose of field education is to provide you 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 field education placements are conceptualized as an educational course rather than a work term. That is, courses are graded (pass/fail) by an agency-based qualified field instructor assigned to teach each student, and a field advisor assigned to support each student and instructor. The workload of field education is controlled to facilitate an emphasis on learning.

Where do Students Complete their Field Placements?

Master of Social Work (MSW) placement agencies or teaching centres consist of social agencies/organizations selected and approved by our Field Education office. These centres are mostly located in towns/cities within a 150-kilometre range of Kitchener-Waterloo. Commuting to placement is expected and, as a result, flexibility regarding the geographical location of a placement is required. Many agencies require that you have access to a car while on placement.

How are Students Assigned to a Placement?

You are assigned to a placement for an interview based on the requirements of your MSW program and of the agency. Your interests in particular types of work or agencies are also taken into consideration when matching you with an agency for an interview; however, this is not guaranteed because placements are competitive. The Field Education office also considers new placement opportunities that you propose within the appropriate time frame.

When do Field Education Courses Take Place?

The timelines for field education courses are structured and sequenced to reflect course requirements and program progression. The following timelines also ensure that you attend the required seminars and workshops that are part of the field education course, and that you complete your program requirements in a timely manner.

Field Education Course Timelines

Days Months Time in Placement
Foundational Field Education: Three days a week and four days a week Monday to Wednesday and Monday to Thursday January to March and April to May 462 hours of placement
Advanced Field Education: Three days a week Monday to Wednesday September to April 546 hours of placement
Advanced International Field Education: Five days a week Monday to Friday September to December 546 hours of placement
Part-Time Foundational Field Education: Two days a week Negotiated September to July 462 hours of placement
Part-Time Advanced Field Education: Two days a week Negotiated September to June 546 hours of placement

Part-Time Programs

Employed part-time students must make arrangements with their employers for time off to attend placements during the agency’s and instructor’s business hours on required weekdays. Placements are not offered during evenings and weekends. A minimum of 14 hours (seven to eight hours a day) over a two-day period is required.

Who Evaluates the Field Education Courses?

Professional and qualified instructors teach you in the field. Field education instructors typically hold an MSW degree and are recognized as “our faculty in the field.” Instructors have a minimum of two-years post-master’s experience as well as formal training.

What are the Costs Associated with Placements?

Field education courses are covered under student fees. There are no extra charges through the university. However, while on placement, you are usually expected to pay for expenses such as police checks, mileage and parking. Students and instructors are not paid. Placement agencies may cover your mileage costs while on agency business; however, this varies with agencies.

Humankind has not woven the web of life.

We are but one thread within it.

Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

All things are bound together.

All things connect.

— Chief Seattle, 1854


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