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Field Education

About Field Education

The purpose of field education is to provide students with the opportunity to practice and integrate social work values, knowledge and skills, including the development of a professional “self” and professional identity as a social worker.

Field education is conceptualized as an educational experience rather than a work term. That is, it is a graded course (pass/fail) with an agency-based Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) field instructor assigned to teach each student. A field advisor is also assigned to support each student and instructor. The field education workload is controlled to facilitate this emphasis on learning.

Fall Placement Dates and Times

  • September to December 
  • Four days/week (Tuesday–Friday)
  • 30 hours/week for a total of 360 hours in 12 weeks

Winter Placement Dates and Times

  • January  to April 
  • Four days/week (Tuesday–Friday)
  • 30 hours/week for a total of 360 hours in 12 weeks

Spring Placement Dates and Times

  • April to July
  • Four days/week (Tuesday–Friday)
  • 30 hours/week for a total of 360 hours in 12 weeks

General Field Education Structure

Students will complete two field placements during the program: SK399: Field 1 (360 hours in 12 weeks) and SK499: Field 2 (360 hours in 12 weeks) for a total of 720 hours of field work. Each of these experiences includes a practice seminar. Students must pass both the field education learning assessment and the field seminar participation assessment for both SK399 and SK499.

Field Work Exemptions

The Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) permits advanced standing students to challenge-for-credit up to half of the 720 hours of field work requirements. Normally, only students who have completed a year of paid, supervised work experience in a social agency and completed SK315: Practice with Individuals may petition for a SK399 credit. A student must also provide the following in the application:

  • A reference from a social agency supervisor of paid work.
  • Previous supervised field practicum evaluations or reviews. The field data should also include hours in the field, the supervisor’s qualifications and evaluative comments, and the student’s major tasks and learning accomplishments in the field.

The BSW program administrator and Field Education Office will review all suitable requests and determine an outcome.

Student Responsibilities

Laurier BSW students are adult learners and have roles and responsibilities in relation to their program and field placement. With respect to field placement, students are expected to:

  • Maintain a professional and respectful behaviour in accordance with the Social Work Code of Ethics, and Laurier's Student Code of Conduct.
  • Review communications sent by practicum office, instructors and advisors.
  • Attend field related seminars scheduled by field advisors or field office.
  • Understand the requirements and expectations of your agency.
  • Read the manual and student guidelines.
  • Submit all required forms in a timely manner.
  • Review the intern-in-difficulty procedures.