Loyola's MSW Program at Carthage maintains an affiliation with many agencies, organizations, and human service programs within Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and other areas around the state of Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Students have the opportunity to work with clients representing a wide range of socioeconomic, racial and cultural backgrounds.
Field courses are usually taken concurrently with classes. The field course requirement comprises four sequential courses divided into two levels. Students typically are placed in an agency for two days each week at the first level of study (taking 500-level courses), and for three days each week at the second level (taking 600-level courses). In some instances, block placements and other variations may be arranged by the director of field instruction. Concurrent placements begin in the semester of admission to SSW. Students in placement from the fall semester in September until the end of the spring semester in May are given two weeks of vacation over the Christmas break and one week of vacation for the Spring break. Students will negotiate the exact dates that they plan to be away with their field instructors.
Students should be aware that 500-level coursework must be completed prior to application for second-level field placement. However, if there is a potential conflict in this area, the Academic Advisor Coordinator in conjunction with the Fieldwork Coordinator has discretion regarding any possible exception.
A block placement requires the completion of a minimum of 60 working days for a first-level placement and a minimum of 90 working days for a second-level placement.
Credit will not be granted for less than the required hours as stated in the fieldwork manual of the School of Social Work (SSW). In most cases, given the clinical responsibilities of interns, the amount of time in placement will exceed the minimum hours.
Applying for a placement is a competitive process. Once a student's application is received by the internship coordinator, the placement process begins. Similar to a job interview, all students must interview for internship placements. The students' application are reviewed by the internship coordinator and the student is contacted and a referral is made to an agency or agencies for a phone screening and interview. Students are often asked to submit their resumes for screening by agencies as well before interviewing. Students are not guaranteed specific placements since the internship placement process is competitive. Students often compete with fellow students as well as students from other schools.
All fieldwork placements and sites must be approved by the internship coordinator. All potential agencies must be screened by the internship coordinator even if students initiate contact with a potential agency. If students are interested in specific agencies, they should communicate this to the internship coordinator.
The student's availability for the interviewing process can impact and often delay the placement process. It is imperative that students contact the field agency within 1-2 days after receiving the referral so that an interview can be arranged. First impressions are very important when a student interacts with the field agency. Students are also responsible for communicating with the internship coordinators regarding the status of the placement process, indicating if they are being offered or refusing a placement. Communication will keep the internship coordinator informed of whether additional referrals are necessary.
Within the first month of placement, the student should meet with their field supervisor to complete a student Student Learning Agreement. It is the student's responsibility to provide the supervisor with these forms.
The placement of first-level students in field agencies is determined by the assessment of learning needs identified through information contained in the student's fieldwork application. Students at the second level of study are actively involved in the planning of their field placements.
Student field placements must be jointly approved by SSW and the field agency. It may not be possible to process field course applications that are received after the date announced each year.
Students are expected to arrange their schedules in order to accommodate field course requirements. SSW does not reimburse students for transportation costs to/from the field agencies.
Students in field courses and all other courses must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics.