MSW Field Education

Connecting Theory to Practice

Anastasia Campos received the Intern of the Year from the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.

Field education is an integral part of the curriculum and represents a significant portion of each student's educational experience. The Field Education Office oversees the placement process for students, maintains the external relationships with agencies and coordinates training and support for field instructors.  Field education gives students insight into the wide range of social work settings where graduates find employment.

By working in the field with our qualified UConn Field Instructors, students have the opportunity to integrate theory with practice, acquire and practice new skills and learn to navigate the changing world of service delivery. Students in the Master of Social Work program complete two internships. Advanced Standing students complete one internship.

The Foundation (first year) internship provides a generalist perspective of social work practice through a wide range of field assignments. The Advanced (second year) internship focuses primarily on the student’s concentration - Individuals, Groups, and Family Practice; Community Organizing; and Policy Practice.

MSW Field Education:

  • Offers a wide range of placement opportunities throughout CT
  • Weekly supervision from an MSW field instructor based at the agency
  • Students spend 15 to 20 hours a week at their field placement; at least 8 hours must be during the day.
  • While in field, students are also enrolled in classes
  • Students may request approval to use their place of employment as a field site
  • Two field placements – begins in the fall semester and spans the academic year
  • Advanced Standing students complete one field placement that spans the academic year focused on their advanced concentration
    UConn supports placements based on the areas of concentration within the school; Community Organizing, Individuals, Groups and Families and Policy PracticeFor more information on the concentration-based curriculum, please visit the MSW Program page.

    For Students- Internship Requirements

    Field is an integral part of the Social Work program.  It is an expectation that students understand field expectations and process so that we can ensure that we meet the educational needs of each student while also supporting agencies in fully meeting the needs of their clients and the community.  A full list of student responsibilities in internship education can be found in the MSW Field Education Manual 2019-20 (NU 8-12-19)

    Internship Requirements for all Students

    As a student in the UConn School of Social Work (SSW) program (“Program”), you must complete all required internship experiences. If you are unable to complete all required internship experiences you will not graduate from the Program.

    All external internship experiences must be completed at a Program approved facility. The Program will assist you in finding such internship placements. Each facility has its own requirements that must be met before accepting a student for an internship placement.  You are responsible for meeting the facility’s requirements. The Program is not responsible for securing internship placements for students who are unable to meet an internship facility’s placement requirements.

    Common internship facility requirements may include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. Successfully completing a background screening. Background screenings may include checking state and federal criminal records and sex offender registries. If your background screening shows that you have a criminal record or are listed as a sex offender, you may not be able to secure an internship placement.
    2. Successfully passing drug screenings. Drug screenings may occur at one or more times during the program. If you test positive for drug use, you may not be able to secure an internship placement or may be removed from an internship placement. This includes, but is not limited to, prescribed medical marijuana or opiates.
    3. Demonstrating that you are current with immunizations (i.e., tuberculosis, measles, varicella & influenza). A record of previous immunizations is not sufficient to fulfill these requirements. If you are unable to demonstrate, through written documentation, that you are current with your immunizations, you may not be able to secure an internship placement. It has been UConn’s experience that internship facilities will not accept a religious exemption form in lieu of proof of immunization and will deny internship placements to any student who fails to provide such proof. Evidence of immunity and costs associated with testing are your responsibility. Titers may be done through either your family doctor or the University’s student health service.

    If you are not able to meet these requirements, you will most likely not be able to complete the program’s internship experience requirements. The financial costs of meeting these requirements are your responsibility. If you have any questions regarding background checks or drug screenings you can contact the UConn’s Clinical Case Manager at clinicalcasemanager@uconn.edu. For all other inquires please contact Cheryl Jackson-Morris, UConn SSW Associate Director of Field Education, at cheryl.jackson-morris@uconn.edu.

    UConn Requirements for Background Checks:

    Before entering the first year of field all students are required to complete a background check.  Additional information and the process can be found here:

    Background Check and Immunization Information for Complio

    MSW Background Check

     

     

    For Students- Placement Process and Forms

    Placement Progress:

    Once a student is fully matriculated into the School of Social Work, students will be given options to join field.  There several different ways that students can complete field hours.

    Field Education Forms 2019-2020:

    Field Form_Incoming Students
    Field Form - Students Entering 1st Yr Field 
    Field Form - Advanced Standing Students
    Field Form - Students Entering 2nd Yr Field 
    Field Form - Students Entering 1st Yr Field 

     

    Common Questions on the Placement Process:

    Below are some common questions and scenarios that come up during the field placement process.

    Student has an interest in working with a new agency/program that UConn has not worked with in the past.

    If a student has an interest in working with a specific agency or program that should be indicated on the field education placement form.  All agencies must meet specific qualifications to become a registered field site for the University.  These will be handled on a case by case basis.

    The Agency does not have an MSW to serve as the field supervisor.

    Due to accrediting standards, there must be an MSW to serve as the MSW field supervisor.  Should a student be interested in a specific site, it should be indicated on the field education form and the field coordinator will follow up appropriately.

    How far will my placement be?

    The field education coordinators use the home address as an indicator of distance.  Based on the experience of the student, student interest and geographic location most sites are between 20-45 minutes distance.  Please note, that if a student is looking for a specific placement type, there may be limited available options and the field coordinator will discuss with you further.

    Additional Information to support your academics and campus life can be found at: MSW Student Page

     

    For Students- Stipend Internships

    In the past several years, the School of Social Work has been awarded federally funded training grants on workforce development that include specialized coursework, field training seminars, and competitive student stipends. These interprofessional grants address access to behavioral health care for underserved populations. Some information on different programs is below and if you are interested in learning more or exploring options for stipended placements please indicate on the field placement form.

    Integrating Care Across the Lifespan (ICAL) & Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

    Currently, the School has a three year grant (2018-2021) from the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide training in integrated healthcare to 20 advanced year MSW students annually.  The Integrating Care Across the Lifespan (ICAL) program, under the direction of Dr. Catherine Medina and Dr. Edna Comer, will increase integrated behavioral health practices for underserved populations throughout CT by expanding the number of prepared social work professionals entering the behavioral health field.

    MSW students will receive training to enhance their knowledge and capacity to provide services in an integrated care setting. Integrated care is an emerging model of healthcare that emphasizes the seamless combination of primary health care, mental health and substance abuse services. This model underscores the importance of working inter-professionally and coordinating treatment for all aspects of a patient’s health, as there are substantial links between physical and mental well-being. This interprofessional collaboration looks at quality patient-centered care throughout the life span.

    The ICAL program will award students a $10,000 stipend. Information about the application process will be sent by e-mail to all first year students during the fall semester.  The internship is available to students with a concentration of Individual, Group and Family Practice (IGFP) that have completed their first year placement.

    There are several placements that are open to IGFP students- contact Marilyn Cardone for additional information.

     

    Additional Placements with Stipends:

    There are several partners that provide small stipends to students.  If you are interested in exploring these opportunities please indicate on your field placement form.

    For Agencies & Field Instructors

    The Field Education Department welcomes the opportunity to meet and discuss field education and supporting the work of area agencies and field instructors.

    All Agencies looking to have field education students at their agency must have a signed Affiliation agreement and an agency application in place with the school.

    CT Based Agency Application

    Out of State Agency Application

    Agency application and vita

    Placement Process:

    The placement process begins in January and continues throughout the summer.  Should your agency have any changes or additions during this time please let us know so that we have the correct information.  All updates can be emailed to Field Education at SSW Field Education 

    Seminar In Field Instruction:
    New Field Instructors are required to take the seminar in field instruction during the fall semester of the first year in which they have a student.  A schedule and registration is sent with the student confirmation.

     

     

     

    For Adjunct Faculty Advisors

    Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on Adjuncts.

    Contact Us

    General Inquires:
    sswfielded@uconn.edu
    Main Phone:  (959) 200-3636

    Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW
    Associate Professor and
    Director of Field Education

    Nancy Urcinas
    Administrative Services Specialist

    Cheryl Jackson-Morris,  MSW
    Associate Director of Field Education
    & BSW Field Coordinator

    Marilyn Cardone, LCSW
    (she/her/hers)
    Assistant Director of Field Education

    Gina DeVivo Brassaw, MSW
    (she/her/hers)
    Field Education Coordinator for Macro Placements