Welcome to the Department of Field Education
If you are considering Social Work or are newly admitted to the School please explore this site and read through the introduction to understand the commitment and journey you are about to embark on in your professional development. If you are a current student, please read the field manual and download the calendar. If you are a community partner these pages can offer insight into what it entails to host an MSW student in their practicum assignment.
What Is Field Education?
Field Education (or Experiential Learning) is often referred to as the “heart of social work education.” The field practicum affords students the opportunity to practice from the theoretical perspective (method) they have chosen. Experiential knowledge gained from providing services in an agency setting where students engage with clients and community is the essence of social work training. Students learn while they serve living communities and practice within dynamic, professional organizations while they consistently connect these experiences back to their classroom education. Silberman alumni often remember and draw from their agency experiences, their clients, their practicum instructors and their advisers well into their careers.
Students on the Fulltime and Advanced Standing pathway will complete 21 hours of practical learning each week in a social service agency. These intense agency based experiences occur on three full (7 hours) days during the workweek (Monday thru Friday). The other two weekdays are typically dedicated to in class courses and the related course work. One Year Residency (OYR) students complete their field practicum hours in their second (Residency) year at their agency of employment.
To ensure parity for all students in their experiential learning, Field Education (Department for Experiential Learning) is responsible for all aspects of the practicum assignment. The Department works to ensure that all agency partners, and all students completing the practicum, consistently and collaboratively achieve the School’s educational objectives through direct practice. The School also works to ensure that students’ experiential learning meets the standards of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
To this end, the Department staff develop and maintain relationships with agencies and sites that will deliver the highest quality of practical training. In addition to vetting agencies, the Department staff provide practicum support to students throughout their tenure at the School. The team works closely with students, School-based faculty advisors, agency-based practicum instructors and educational coordinators. These collaborations ensure fit, success, and safety while monitoring and evaluating the performance of students in their learning and certifying practicum instructors through the SIFI program. Therefore at no time can students reach out to agencies directly to arrange their practicum assignment. We welcome you and look forward to joining you on this journey.
Field Education Department Staff
Interim Director of Field Education
Assistant Director Field Education (OYR)