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Section 4.02.03: Functions of a Field Instructor

The functions of a field instructor are multifaceted. The list below provides an outline of some of the most common functions:
o Conducts a structured and well-planned orientation to the field placement's programs, policies, resources, and sociopolitical context for the student.
o Develops the Educational Agreement with the student, which outlines learning objectives, means for their attainment, and criteria for assessment of goal achievement.
o Is accessible to the student and field faculty member for consultation, participates in conferences with the field faculty member and student on a routine basis and/or whenever problems arise, and keeps the field faculty member routinely informed regarding the student's progress and/or problems. 
o Holds regularly scheduled supervision conferences (a minimum of one hour per week per student in addition to preparation time), with the student utilizing a Supervision Agenda.
o Provides the student continuing and clear feedback throughout the field placement. If a problem with a student develops, gives the student the opportunity to overcome the problem behaviorally, keeping in mind the distinction between educational supervision and employee related performance supervision.
o Monitors the student's hours.
o Helps the student assess and reassess educational needs, i.e., what they know, what their learning needs are, and what their learning style is. Ensures that the student is not under or over utilized.
o Teaches the student the skills and appropriate professional behaviors needed to accomplish tasks in the field placement.
o Encourages and supports the student's integration of the values and ethics of the social work profession utilizing the NASW Code of Ethics as a guide.
o Helps the student integrate theoretical knowledge and knowledge from previous experiences with present practice.
o Is available and participates in site visits with the field faculty member and student.
o Participates in a formal evaluation process with the student and the field faculty member at the end of every term.
o Provides the student with a verbal midterm evaluation utilizing the student's Educational Agreement instrument.
o Field Instructors are strongly urged to document concerns, issues, or problems regarding student performance; to communicate concerns to the student and field faculty as they develop; and to suggest recommendations for improvement.
o Provides feedback to the field faculty member and/or the assistant dean for field education regarding recommendations for improving the overall field education program, classroom preparation for field, curriculum, etc.

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