All Field Scholar

Enhancing Partnerships with Field Instructors: Identifying Effective Retention Strategies

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Abstract

Fostering long-term partnerships with field instructors is a priority for all social work field education programs. Therefore, schools of social work implement numerous strategies to enhance field instructor loyalty. This article presents results from a university survey of social work field instructors intended to identify instructors’ most-valued incentives and the most influential factors and strategies that promote field instructor retention.

Keywords: field education program, field instructor retention, incentives
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Field Practicum Supervisor Perspectives About Social Work Licensing: An Exploratory Study

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Abstract

This exploratory study examined field practicum supervisors’ perceptions about social work licensing. Researchers utilized a convenience sample of field practicum supervisors (N = 158) at CSWE-accredited schools in one southeastern state. An online survey was administered to collect primary data related to variables of interest. This included general knowledge about licensing, value, and impact on the profession. After a brief background discussion, this paper elucidates findings from the study; discusses implications for social work education, in general and field education specifically; and identifies appropriate areas for future research.

Keywords: Social Work Licensing; Professional Regulation; Social Work Education
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The Value of Adjuncts: A Study of the Intrinsic Factors Impacting Field Seminar Instruction

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Abstract

A phenomenological research study was conducted to explore the intrinsic factors that influenced the job satisfaction of twelve adjuncts teaching field education seminar courses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants to explore their lived experiences. The study’s results indicate three emergent themes which influenced the adjuncts’ job satisfaction: 1. Professional Development, 2. Enhance the Social Work Profession, and 3. Work with Emerging Social Workers. In this article, the rich and thick descriptions of the results, implications for social work education, and recommendations for field education directors are presented.

Keywords: adjuncts, field education, job satisfaction

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A Preliminary Evaluation of a Method for Teaching Documentation to Prospective Child Welfare Interns

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Abstract

Documentation of social work services is an important aspect of most field experiences. Specifically, in a child welfare setting, documentation forms the basis for life-changing court decisions. Both case-based learning and problem-based learning are well-established methods for teaching social work students about documentation. This article describes a method combining case-based learning and problem-based learning for teaching child welfare documentation to undergraduate social work students using movie characters as “clients.” A preliminary assessment of student perceptions and attitudes relative to their experience with that teaching method is presented, together with recommendations for future investigation into the extent and effectiveness of child welfare documentation training at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Keywords: documentation, case-based learning, problem-based learning, child welfare
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Preparing BSW Students for Practicum: Reducing Anxiety Through Bridge to Practicum Course

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Abstract

A challenge for BSW programs is designing curriculum that both addresses students’ anxiety prior to their field placements and prepares students to enter the field with the necessary values, skills, and knowledge. While the literature is rich in discussions of anxiety among graduate students, there is limited research on BSW students. Hence, this study examined the effectiveness of utilizing a Bridge to Practicum course in reducing anxiety of students entering the practicum. The study further identifies topic areas that help increase preparedness for practicum. Results indicated that core social work courses had prepared students to handle the rigor of the field placement. Although students may begin with preconceived notions (about the practicum site, their field instructor, and the work they are expected to perform), a major issue with anxiety was the fear of the unknown.

Keywords: preparedness, anxiety, bridge to practicum, BSW
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Student Self Report of Core Field Instructor Behaviors that Facilitate Their Learning

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe student self-report of core field instructor behaviors related to their learning. In response to an anonymous survey, 168 students reported behaviors that facilitated their learning and that interfered with their learning. Using grounded theory, these behaviors were categorized into two overarching themes as developmental support or task support— and varied by age, prior work experience, and placement level. The findings can be used to evaluate field instructor performance, intervene when student learning needs are not adequately met, and train existing instructors to provide targeted instructional support.

Keywords: field instructor, supervision, practicum
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Distance Field Education: A Model for Development, Delivery, and Evaluation

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Abstract

This article provides a model for the development, delivery, and evaluation of distance field education programs. Distance field education poses benefits and challenges due to the contextual realities of students, agencies, communities, and university social work programs. The framework identifies systematic guidelines for graduating competent professionals utilizing seven components for effective implementation and administration. Model components are centered on: field policy and standards; partnerships with human service agencies; distance field supervisor orientation and ongoing training; hybrid method integrative seminar; documentation of learning contract, time and agency supervision; utilization-focused evaluation; and systematic program reflection.
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Tolerance of Heterosexism and LGBTQ-Affirmative Practice in Generalist Field Education

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Abstract

Field education has an important role in professional education for social workers and provides an opportunity for students to engage diversity in practice, including sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. However, organizational settings differ in the extent to which they tolerate heterosexism and intend to engage in LGBTQ-affirmative practice. This paper reports on a pilot study (N = 19) of students’ experiences with heterosexism and gay-affirmative practice intentions in their field education settings. There was a relationship between heterosexism tolerance and generalist field placement students’ LGBTQ-affirmative practice intentions. Results also suggested that these social work students are sensitive to LGBTQ issues and have a willingness to engage in LGBTQ-affirmative practice. Implications for classroom and field education are explored.

Keywords: heterosexism; affirmative practice; field education; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities
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