Here are the answers to some of our most common questions related to the requirements of becoming a field practicum site and/or a field instructor.

What are the requirements of becoming a field practicum site and/or field instructor?

An appropriate internship site will have philosophies that are congruent with the values and ethics of the profession and the mission of the School of Social Work and will recognize the importance of field education as a learning experience.  An internship site must assign a qualified field instructor who possesses at least a BSW degree from an accreditated program (or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field) and at least two years post-BSW practice experience for BSW students, and an MSW degree from an accreditated program  (or a Master’s Degree in a related field) and at least two years post-MSW practice experience.  If no qualified BSW or MSW supervisor is available, the site must agree to work with the Field Education office to arrange appropriate BSW or MSW consultation for the student.  School social work sites must provide a licensed School Social Worker to provide supervision to the student.

What is required of a field instructor?

  • Have a commitment to teaching and the exposure of educational learning experiences of the student
  • Complete a learning plan with the student that outlines appropriate tasks and activities for the student while in placement
  • Provide an orientation of the agency, school, etc. for the student
  • Provide a minimum of one hour of supervision each week
  • Complete the provided student evaluation tool with the student at the designated time during the internship
    (This evaluation tool is online and should be completed in a timely manner)
  • Meet with a field education liaison and the student to discuss the student’s progress and performance
  • New field instructors must complete the online Field Instructor Training
    (Field instructors are awarded 3 CEUs for completing this training)

How are students assigned to field practice sites?

Each student meets individually with a field education liaison.  The field liaison works with the student to identify his or her individual needs and interests, as well as desired geographic location.  Students are asked to research potential field practice sites and discuss this information with their field liaison.  The field liaison then contacts the agreed upon agencies and shares information regarding the student.  A decision regarding placement is not finalized until an interview at the field practice site has occurred and a student has accepted an offer from the field practice site.

What are the benefits to being a field instructor?

  • An opportunity to be engaged in the development of future social workers and give back to the profession
  • A tuition waiver is offered for the University of Illinois – one waiver is provided for each semester a field instructor provides supervision for the student; the tuition waivers must be used within one year of issuance
  • Eligible for an Allied Organization Staff Card which allows a field instructor to purchase membership to the recreation center at the same cost as UIUC employees
  • Use of the University of Illinois Graduate Library on campus
    (Online access is not available)
  • Participation in Field Education Day each fall which allows potential field instructors a time to meet students who will be entering the field

Is a field instructor provided any support by the School of Social Work Field Education Office while working with the student?

Each student is assigned a field liaison that monitors his or her progress throughout the placement.  This field liaison will make 1-2 site visits throughout the placement, review the student evaluations, as well as be available to address any questions or concerns that the student or the field instructor may have.  When necessary, field liaisons will make additional visits to the placement site.