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Section 3.01.00: The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and Field Education

All policies and procedures followed in the Office of Field Education are in accordance with the University of Michigan School of Social Work’s accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) ( )

According to CSWE, field education is the signature pedagogy for social work.

Signature pedagogies are elements of instruction and of socialization that teach future practitioners the fundamental dimensions of professional work in their discipline—to think, to perform, and to act ethically and with integrity. The intent of field education is to integrate the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting. It is a basic precept of social work education that the two interrelated components of curriculum—classroom and field—are of equal importance within the curriculum, and each contributes to the development of the requisite competencies of professional practice. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria by which students demonstrate the Social Work Competencies. Field education may integrate forms of technology as a component of the program.

The criteria for field education are as follows:

1. Field education is associated with an academic program at an accredited institution of higher learning.
2. Field education is structured around a classroom or academic experience, with articulated learning objectives/competencies.
3. The college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit.
4. The field education experience is supervised by social work program personnel; there is an agreement between the program and the field site as well as a learning contract between the student and the site.
5. The School of Social Work field education program is meant to be solely educational and provide training to prepare students for professional social work practice. It is not meant to supplant or replace existing employees of social work within the field site.
6. The field placement is meant to provide an educational and training opportunity to the student and is not meant to provide any immediate advantage to the employer or the field site.

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