Social Work 489

SOWK 489: Field Instruction Placement (12).

Prerequisites: Student has maintained a 2.5 overall GPA, a 2.7 GPA in all SOWK courses, has completed all required social work courses, all other required courses, and approval of BSW Coordinator.

Credit Hours: (12) One semester: 38 hours per week

Student must provide transportation to and from field sites. Provides block field placement involving one semester of practice social work in human service agency or institution with trained supervision. Grade of “P” or “F” is given; “P” is interpreted as “C” or better.

Note(s): Taken concurrently with the internship and through a series of assignments, the student tests the content of social work practice with experiences in field agencies.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

SOWK 489 is the professional internship. Students work 35 hours a week for 14 weeks in a community agency under the supervision of a social work professional. In addition to the 35 hours, students will meet one afternoon a week for their field seminar (SOWK 490). Students will also attend an all day training prior to beginning their internship.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

SOWK 489 affords students an opportunity to integrate classroom concepts and theories into practice. Students learn about people, social problems, service delivery systems, about helping and about self as a helper.


Goals and objectives of the Course

The objectives of this course are to provide students with the opportunities to:

1. Review appropriate theoretical frameworks about people and the environmental influences upon them in order to understand client systems (individuals, families, groups, and communities) and their problem situations.
2. Comprehend the basic principles of the helping process and client self-determination through interaction with client systems.
3. Apply knowledge and understanding of the policy, function, philosophy, and method of operation of the agency or institution in which the student is placed.
4. Comprehend knowledge on social welfare programs, policies, and community resources through use of referrals and interactions with client systems.
5. Demonstrate in interaction with clients that judgments and perceptions are based on objective fact.
6. Demonstrate with clients and in recording, the ability to perceive, sense, and observe the perceptions and feelings of others.
7. Demonstrate receptive listening and ability to effectively communicate ideas in writing (recording, correspondence, etc.) and verbally (supervision, participation in agency staff meetings and conferences, etc.).
8. Demonstrate verbal or written knowledge of own needs, strengths, and weaknesses in work and capability of questioning and taking self‑corrective action in own performance.

Competency Expectations:

A student who successfully completes this course will:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in the differential using of professional roles, models and methods in working with client systems.
2. Accept and use appropriately a problem‑solving process in responding to the needs of client systems.
3. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in using a single system research design in working with a case situation.
4. Demonstrate ability to collaborate and share social work knowledge and skill with other members of a professional team as work groups in implementing plans of action.
5. Have realistic expectations of self and others in task performance.
6. Can accept multicultural diversity and problem‑solve with micro and macro client systems using the strengths and resources of the ethnic/racial, socioeconomic, religious group.
7. Can use written and verbal communication effectively in responding to the service delivery needs.
8. Can use agency staff supervision as a means for professional growth and development.


Assessment Measures

Grading Policy:

The grade is Pass/Fail. The grade is based on the successful completion of the
learning contract. The Agency Field Instructor and the University Faculty
Liaison evaluate student progress at midterm and at the end of the semester.

Attendance Policy:

Each student is expected to be in the agency to be in the agency every day.
Students must notify the Field Instructors in advance, if possible, if they are
unable to be in the agency for any reason.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Revised, April 23, 2013

March 2005 Updated Steven Culver