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SSW Credit Hour Policy

Classes:

The School of Social Work definition of a credit hour formalizes compliance with federal expectations and assists with consistency through the School of Social Work. As such, the School of Social Work utilizes a ratio of one hour of classroom instruction to two hours of out-of-class activity. Specifically:

  • One credit is equal to approximately 45 hours of total work over the semester.
  • Three credits is equal to approximately 135 hours of total work over the semester.

Because of the critical nature of reflection, integration, understanding the use of self in practice, self-care, and praxis to social work education, it is expected that a portion of these total work hours will be devoted to activities that further these aims. These activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • The practice of critical self-care and building resilience.
  • Integration of the concepts and theories presented in class with direct practice experiences such as those in their field courses.
  • Engaging in activities that enhance self-reflection, self-awareness, and emotion regulation.

The total amount of in classroom and out of classroom work may differ in cases where direct, in-person instruction is not the primary mode of instruction, such as hybrid or online courses, independent studies, etc.

Credits will be awarded based on expected learning outcomes and documented learning objectives linked to accreditation standards within a specified academic period.

Field:

Field practicum is the signature pedagogy of social work education. The Council on Social Work Education Requires that MSW students complete 900 or more hours of field training as part of the MSW curriculum. Students complete both foundation and advanced field placement courses. Field activities are completed in a community based field site and students engage in a variety of direct social work practice learning activities related to their pathway of study. Students and field site instructors utilize an educational learning agreement to facilitate social work competency development during each field practicum course.

For the foundation field course, students complete 228 hours for 2 credits (114 hours per credit). The learning activities and experiences are presented at the exposure level. Students orient to the community setting, observe and participate with social workers in practice, begin to integrate concepts and theories from course material, consider use of self in practice, and receive regular field instruction. The time commitment per credit hour is higher during the foundation term. This is based on the necessary requirement that students spend significant time in this course involved in field site orientation, observation, and relationship building with their field site instructors. It is expected that students will develop emerging competency during the foundation field course.

In the advanced field courses, students complete 342 hours per term for 6 credits (57 hours per credit). During the advanced terms, it is expected that students will engage in direct social work practice delivery with clients and/or community agencies based projects. They engage in higher level integration, critical thinking and self-reflection, and participate in direct practice opportunities with increasing independence over the advanced field terms. It is expected that students will achieve competency with all practice behaviors by the completion of the final term advanced field course.

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