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Section 3.10.00: Field Concerns, Performance Learning Plans and Problem Resolution

If either the field instructor or the student identifies problems in the field placement, the following steps should be followed with the goal of problem resolution. If the issues are not resolved, the field faculty member should be contacted and a performance learning plan, for student performance, or a plan of action, for student concerns with field instructor or field site, should be developed.

Field Instructor/Field Site Concerns about Student Behavior and Performance: Steps in the Process
– The field instructor should first talk directly with the student about concerns and problems concerning student behavior and/or performance. Such communication is a professional social work expectation. The field instructor may seek advice and guidance from the field faculty member before talking to the student.

– Once the field instructor has talked to the student, and if problems remain unresolved, the field instructor should request a meeting with the field faculty member to discuss a performance learning plan for the student. The field faculty may consult with the assistant dean
for field education as needed.

– The performance learning plan is a contract between the student, the field site, and the Office of Field Education. A performance review meeting will be held with the student, the field instructor, and the assigned field faculty member participating in order to develop the plan. The goal of the meeting is to identify the specific concerns/issues in behaviorally specific terms and to outline the tasks/actions that need to be accomplished in order for the student to be considered successful in placement.

– Failure to accomplish the identified action steps could result in termination of the field placement which would result in the student's receiving a grade of marginal or unsatisfactory for the field education course. Should the placement be terminated, consultation, due to failure to meet the performance learning plan, will be held with the
associate dean for educational programs and could include referral to the Academic Concerns Committee for dispensation.

Student Concerned with Field Instructor(s) or Field Site: Steps in the Process
– The student should first talk to the field instructor(s) about concerns and problems concerning the field instructor or the field site. Such communication is a professional social work expectation. The student may seek advice and guidance from their U-M SSW field faculty course instructor before talking to the field instructor(s).

– Once the student has talked to the field instructor(s), and if problems remain unresolved, the student may request a meeting with their U-M SSW field faculty course instructor and together, they will develop a plan of action. This typically will include a meeting with the field instructor. The field faculty may consult with the assistant dean for field education as needed. The goal is problem resolution, which may include the student's leaving the field placement.

Student Experiencing Concerns with the U-M SSW Field Faculty: Steps in the Process
– If a student is experiencing problems related to the assigned field faculty member, they should first discuss the issues with that person where and when possible. If this does not resolve the problem, the
assistant dean for field education should be consulted and attempts will be made to mediate the problem. If this does not resolve the problem, the student may consult with the associate dean for educational programs.

– If there is a dispute over a grade in field education, the normal university procedures will be followed.

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