MSW: Master of Social Work

West Chester University

West Chester Campus

Reynolds Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2664

PASSHE Center City

701 Market Street, Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 267-386-3015

Field Education - Field Practicum Performance and Evaluation



Student performance in field practicum is evaluated through a variety of measures designed to be supportive and collaborative. Both the Field Instructor and the Faculty Field Liaison contribute to the student’s evaluation process.

The Field Iinstructor uses the following for evaluation purposes:

  • Student’s self-reflection in Learning Agreement
  • Direct observation of student
  • Reports of direct observation of student from other team members
  • Weekly supervision and ongoing consultation
  • Process recordings (only required in the first field practicum)
  • Practice vignettes and self-reflections in the Learning Agreement and the Final Evaluation
  • Collaborative assessment of mid-semester and end-of-semester performance


The Faculty Field Liaison uses the following for evaluation purposes:
  • Student’s self-reflection in Learning Agreement
  • Field discussions in practice class or field seminars
  • Process recordings (only required in the first field practicum)
  • Direct observation during field visit
  • Ongoing consultation with student and Field Instructor
  • Practice vignettes and self-reflections in the Learning Agreement and the Final Evaluation
  • Ratings and comments from the Field Instructor on mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluations


The Faculty Field Liaison has sole responsibility for grading student performance in field practicum. While s/he may rely on insight from the Field Instructor, the grade is ultimately the decision of the Faculty Field Liaison in accordance with the course syllabus.


Readiness for Field Practicum

Most students are prepared to enter field practicum. Some students' personal issues and behaviors, such as extreme anxiety and inability to pay attention to others, may demonstrate a lack of readiness for field. In these cases the Director of Field Education and the student’s faculty advisor may recommend that the student consider part-time status, volunteer, or seek outside counseling to focus on self-care.

In some cases, a student’s readiness for field is not apparent until the student is in a field practicum. In some of these cases, the student is unable to meet the expectations of the practicum and is dismissed. In other instances the student realizes that s/he is not ready for a certain field practicum.


Dismissal from Field Practicum

When a student is dismissed from a field practicum or asks to be replaced, the student is required to respond to a set of reflection questions before the Director of Field Education will meet with the student to consider a change in placement.

If the director decides a different placement is appropriate, the student may be placed in a second practicum. If the student is not able to meet expectations at the second site, the student most likely will be advised to take a leave of absence, engage in remedial work to better prepare for field, or consider another field of study.


Termination from the Program for Violations in Field Practicum

The University's Academic Integrity Policy states, “Under some circumstances, if a student is found to have violated that professional code, that violation may be considered a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy.” Therefore, any student who is dismissed from a field placement for violation of the NASW Code of Ethics may be found in violation of university policy and terminated from the program.


Addressing Problem Situations

Students who have concerns about field such as practicum assignment, conditions of placement, quality or frequency of supervision, educational needs, evaluation, grading, social work values and ethics, or any other related issue should:

  • First try to resolve the issues directly in meetings with their Field Instructor.
  • If resolution with the Field Instructor is not possible, notify the Faculty Field Liaison. The Faculty Field Liaison will mediate differences among students, Field Instructors and other practicum site staff

If the problem is still not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, the Field Instructor and/or the Faculty Field Liaison, the student may request a meeting with the Director of Field Education. The director may serve as a mediator between the liaison, student and Field Instructor or site representative as requested. When the grievance involves an educational issue, the Director of Field Education may refer the matter to the Program Director for discussion and a decision.

If the issue is still not solved to the student's satisfaction, a final appeal may be directed to the Program Director. If the issue is in regard to an assigned grade, the student must follow the appeal procedure as stated in the West Chester University Graduate Catalog.