SOWK 289: Preprofessional Field Experiences
Pre- or Corequisites: SOWK 210
Credit Hours: (4)
Students are placed in a human service agency for 10 hours per week, or 150 hours total. They intern in an observational and assisting manner with practicing human service professionals. Students attend a one hour seminar each week to process the intern experience, learn about professional practice, create the portfolio required for an admissions interview, and prepare their applications to the major.
Detailed description of Content of Course
The pre-professional agency field experience is designed to help students gain awareness and to have a hands-on experience in working with client systems on a one-to-one, small group and/or community organizing basis. This placement provides students with exposure to social work as a profession: its values, policies and practices, methodology, and professional roles and responsibilities.
Detailed Description of Course
Students learn practice through volunteering with a community service agency eight to ten hours a week for a semester. The pre-professional agency field experience is a beginning socialization experience into the profession. This placement allows students to test out their interest in social work as a career choice.
Goals and objectives of the Course
The goal of the pre-professional agency field experience is for students to gain awareness and to have a hands-on experience in working with client systems on a one-to-one, small group, and/or community organizing basis. Through supervision, observation, formal and informal contacts with agency clients, students will be introduced to social work practice.
The objectives of this course are to help students:
1. To understand the nature of people in the context of their social environment;
2. To observe and gain some hands-on experience in job competencies related to brokering advocacy, counseling, outreach and clinical treatment roles;
3. To learn to work with client systems on a one-to-one basis, in small groups, and through community organizing;
4. To demonstrate ability to develop and sustain helping relationships;
5. To demonstrate acceptance in working with clients from diverse ethnic/racial, age, gender, geographic, and socio-economic groups;
6. To conceptualize through hands-on experience the helping process as a problem-solving effort involving an orderly, systematic means of effecting change;
7. To learn to communicate effectively with agency staff and clients;
8. To use differential skills, roles and methods in implementing change in the client system through observation and participation with agency staff;
9. To develop a professional self-concept and explore future job possibilities:
10. To gain skill in goal development, time management and task completion by developing good work habits.
Having successfully completed the course, a student can be expected:
1. To demonstrate ability to observe problem situations and report behavior in specific, non-labeling terms;
2. To express oneself clearly through written and verbal communication with professional staff, volunteers, clients, community leaders and groups;
3. To learn to work with client systems on a one-to-one basis, in small groups and through community organizing;
4. To test out social work as a career choice;
5. To organize and manage time and be accountable for work tasks;
6. To learn to communicate effectively with agency staff and clients;
7. To learn about social welfare policies which effect the delivery of services;
8. To understand acceptance in working with clients from diverse ethnic/racial, religious, age, gender, geographic and socio-economic groups;
9. To gain exposure to the use of research skills in the agency setting;
10. To learn about future job possibilities.
Course Grading Policy:
Evaluation will be on a pass/fail basis for this course. Successful performance as reflected in the student’s agency field experience evaluation and the University Field Liaison’s evaluation will form the basis for the grade. Incomplete can be awarded if students have not completed the minimum hours required.
Each student is expected to work in the agency 10 hours a week as contracted for with the community agency, completing a minimum of 120 hours. Students must notify the agency in advance if they are unable to attend for any reason.
Students must also attend the weekly integrating seminars and successfully complete a learning contact. There should be no more than three absences from seminars.
Other Course Information
Review and Approval
Revised April 23, 2013
February 2005 Updated Steven Culver