MSW Students

MSW Field Overview

Social work education is not merely classroom-based.

Through the field experience, or practicum, MSW students will demonstrate their aptitudes in bridging theory and practice. The foundation of their practice includes:

  • Ethical, competent professional practice
  • Problem solving within a systems framework and strength perspective
  • Use of advanced practice theories in Multi-Cultural Clinical Practice or Program Development, Policy, and Administration
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of program or practice activities
  • An understanding of, and respect for, diverse peoples and cultures
  • Responsibility and service to the local and global community in the interest of social justice
  • A commitment to oppose oppression

Field Education Format
Under the instruction and supervision of program-approved, professionally trained MSW-level field instructors, MSW students will spend 920 hours in two field practicum (500 hours in one practicum for advanced standing). The practicum takes place throughout the academic year and is concurrent with enrollment in integrative fieldwork seminars, as well as other MSW coursework. The fieldwork education of the MSW program is divided into two components: foundation (first year) and concentration (second year). The foundation field practicum, completed by those students admitted at the foundation level, requires 420 hours and puts emphasis in developing competence as a professional generalist social worker. The concentration field practicum, completed by all students, requires 500 hours and places emphasis on advanced practice skills and leadership qualities related to the chosen concentration.

Process for Field Practicum Selection
Field practicum selection for the fall of any academic year is done the previous spring during a required orientation. Based on your area of interest and your career goals, you will choose two or more field sites from a pre-approved list and will arrange interviews at each. Once interviews are finished, you will rank your choices of field sites, and the field sites will rank their choices of interns. The MSW field coordinator strives to match student preference with field site preferences. In rare instances, you may petition to complete a field practicum at an agency that is not on the approved site list or is at your place of employment. All field practicum must be supervised by professionals who are approved as Augsburg field instructors.

Foundation Year
The foundation practicum, or generalist practicum, puts emphasis on developing competence as a professional generalist social worker. It requires a minimum of 420 hours and is completed by students admitted at the foundation level. Students spend an average of 15 hours per week during the fall and winter terms in this practicum. The field experience is completed in conjunction with field seminar courses.

SWK 530 AND SWK 535 Field Seminar 1 & 2 — .5/trimester each
The integrative field seminars are courses are where field practice and classroom theory meet. The goal is to strengthen the connections between social work theory and practice. Students are expected to spend 420 hours in a field work practicum during enrollment in these two courses, and to be enrolled in the corresponding practice methods courses.

Concentration Year:  
The concentration practicum places emphasis on advanced practice skills and leadership qualities related to the chosen concentration. It requires a minimum of 500 hours and is completed by all students, including those admitted with advanced standing. Students spend an average of 18 hours per week during the fall and winter terms in this practicum. The field experience is completed in conjunction with a field seminar courses that corresponds to the student’s concentration (MCCP or PDPA).

MCCP Concentration Year
SWK 610, 611, & 612 Field Seminar 3, 4, & 5 (MCCP) –.5/trimester each
All students in field placements must participate in the appropriate concurrent field seminar. The seminar makes connections among course components and the expansion of classroom content particularly relating to dynamics of groups, community; human behavior, populations-at-risk; policy analysis and research. Students are expected to spend 500 hours in a field work practicum during enrollment in these three courses, and to be enrolled in the corresponding diversity and inequality courses.

PDPA Concentration Year
SWK 651 & 652 Field Seminar 3 & 4 (PDPA) –.5/trimester each
All students in field placements must participate in the appropriate concurrent field seminar, which serves as a means for making connections among course components and the expansion of classroom content. Students are expected to spend 500 hours in a field work practicum during enrollment in these two courses, and to be enrolled in the corresponding diversity and inequality courses.