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Section 3.03.02: Field Instructor Criteria and Credentials

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) mandates that all field instructors must possess a CSWE-accredited master of social work degree, and have completed at least two or more years of post-degree experience. In addition, the School of Social Work and the State of Michigan mandates that all field instructors be licensed as a LMSW (licensed master social worker) in good standing in the State of Michigan. This applies to all practice method concentrations and pathways because the State of Michigan requires a license for micro and macro social work practice. Field instructors with a LLMSW license will be considered as long as they are post-MSW by 2 years and on track to complete the requirements for the full LMSW license. Qualified field instructors should possess a commitment to equity-based teaching practices, sound practice skills, ability to work with a secondary field instructor (if indicated), and an interest and competence in teaching.

When students are placed in other states, the field instructor must meet the CSWE standard and be licensed according to state requirements. When students are placed globally, they need to meet the CSWE requirement or the equivalencies established by the SSW Office of Global Activities which were created in concert with the Office of Field Education.

In cases where an MSW social worker is not available, the goal is to identify a human service professional that possesses the requisite skills and experiences and desires to function as the student's primary field instructor (task assignments, daily involvement, etc.) based on the student's practice method concentration and practice area. In settings where there is not a LMSW, the task supervisor, or primary non-LMSW field instructor, provides the day-to-day assignment of projects and oversight/direction for students in addition to mentoring and supporting the student throughout their placement.

In these situations, the field site will be required to have a secondary LMSW field instructor who provides an hour per week supervision for the student to discuss the field placement experience, the student's assignments, and how their experience working in the placement relates to social work. The duties of the secondary LMSW field instructor include providing the student with regular supervision, cosigning the student's Educational Agreement, participation in the evaluation process and being available to meet with the field faculty, primary field instructor, and student during site visits and/or during problem solving. In field sites with more than one student, the LMSW often meets with the students in a group. This arrangement does meet the School's credentialing requirements.

All professionals providing field education are required to abide by the NASW Code of Ethics.

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