Structure of the Social Work PracticumThe semester before a student is scheduled to enter SWK 455 and 456 and when enrolled in SWK 400, the application process begins for practicum. Details of the Practicum Program and the application process can be found in the Social Work Program Practicum Manual. When completed and accepted into Practicum, students complete a 24 hour orientation at the practicum agency. The orientation hours usually begin by mid-term week of the SWK 400 semester. The orientation is a requirement of SWK 400. Only social work majors excepted into the practicum are allowed to begin the orientation.
The practicum semester actually consists of 2 related courses that must be taken together, SWK 455 Social Work Practicum and SWK 456 Social Work Integrative Seminar. SWK 455 carries 10 hours credit and SWK 456 carries 2 hours credit and are considered a full time load.SWK 455 and SWK 456 are typically taken in the last semester of a social work major’s education, following the successful completion of all required courses and the 24 hour orientation. Only social work majors admitted to the program and who have met all prerequisites are eligible to take SWK 455 and SWK 456.
For SWK 455, each student is assigned to a social service agency/program and is directly supervised by an Agency Practicum Instructor, a qualified social worker employed by the agency. Students are in their practicum agency 4 1/2 days a week (a weekly total of 36 hours) for the full semester, usually 14 weeks for a minimum total of 504 hours.The Agency Practicum Instructor and the student in consultation with the Faculty Liaison develop the actual agency learning assignments. All agencies provided a core set of learning experiences (see practicum agency checklist). The Faculty Liaison is the faculty member assigned to a particular Social Work Practicum placement for the purpose of monitoring and facilitating the practicum experience. Students will be exposed to social work generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations.
SWK 456 is a two hour Integrative Seminar taken concurrently with SWK 455. This Integrative Seminar is intended to help students to incorporate previous classroom content with their "real life" experiences in the practicum, to learn about other fields of service from peers, and to have the opportunity to compare and contrast their practicum experiences.