The BYU School of Social Work strongly supports and promotes Field Education as its signature pedagogy. The School is renowned for its’ high quality, historically paid, clinically focused field internships. Students complete 1050 internship hours in School of Social Work approved agencies under the supervision of highly qualified, BYU approved licensed clinical social workers.
The Field Education component of the MSW curriculum is designed to link classroom theory and concepts with the practical world of day-to-day Social Work practice. Internships in two different field settings with differing field instructors provide students with a broad scope of practice/learning activities and arenas in which they can integrate and implement social work concepts and theories. Such allows students to more fully develop and demonstrate mastery of the CSWE core competencies, identify populations of specific interest, and build future networking and employment resources.
MSW students are placed in internship agencies by the School of Social Work Field Education team, taking into account mutual agency and student interest; prior student employment, volunteer, and life experience; individual student circumstances and strengths; and internship availability.
The Comprehensive Clinic at BYU allows first and second semester MSW students to gain exposure to the role of social work practitioner within a closely supervised Clinical Practicum (SocW 611) setting. Students conduct individual therapy sessions which are digitally recorded and reviewed weekly within a group supervision format. Clinical campus faculty supervise a group of approximately six students, and review these digitally recorded sessions during a weekly seminar. Beginning therapy skills, client engagement, assessment, system dynamics, therapeutic interventions, and evaluation of treatment are discussed, reviewed, and assessed.
Following their first year of classroom instruction and successful completion of the comprehensive clinic experience, students begin field instruction in community field settings. Students complete two field education internship experiences. The first of these internships (SocW 654R) is completed during the Spring/Summer semester and requires 450 hours of (30 hours/week) field agency practice experience. The second field internship (SocW 655R) is completed during the Fall and Winter semesters of the students’ second year in the MSW program. This internship requires 600 hours of field agency practice experience. Students are in this second field placement two and a half days a week for two semesters during which they are concurrently enrolled in advanced clinical specialization courses on campus.
Weekly Integrative Field Seminars (SocW 614R/615R) taught by campus clinical field education faculty are specifically designed to ensure that the theoretical and conceptual contributions of the classroom are integrated with student fieldwork experiences. While each CSWE competency is taught within the classroom curriculum, it is also reviewed within the Integrative Field Seminar where students’ internship-based implementations of the competencies are discussed and documented.