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 - Selection Criteria

Field Placement Sites

Field practicum agencies, programs and/or service sites are visited by the Director of Field Education and selected for Foundation/1st or Concentration/2nd field students based on the site's ability to provide practice opportunities for developing and demonstrating competency behaviors. Typically, Foundation/1st field placements are in programs that provide such services as case management, intake, assessment, co-facilitation of groups, resource gathering and discharge planning. Concentration/2nd field placements are those that offer more advanced opportunities, such as carrying an independent caseload, facilitating groups, working with multiple stakeholders and complex case management. Some sites offer Concentration/2nd field opportunities for more systems-oriented, administrative placement activities, such as program evaluation, community and program planning, capacity-building, and system of care coordination.

A field practicum site is selected based on the site's ability to provide students with opportunities to:

  • Practice social work from a generalist perspective with individuals, families and communities, including groups and larger organizations for Foundation/1st field students, and advanced practice opportunities for Concentration/2nd field students
  • Engage in social work practice that is consistent with the values, ethics, principles and theories of social work and the mission of West Chester University Graduate Social Work Department
  • Learn through assignments and activities so that the student can achieve the competency behaviors identified for each semester of field practicum
  • Practice non-discrimination with regard to gender, sexual orientation, race, color, ethnicity, age, religion or disability in providing services
  • Provide orientation to the site services, procedures, human resources policies and guidelines, including safety policies and procedures
  • Provide a qualified Field Instructor who completes a Field Instructor application, has adequate time to supervise, meet with the faculty liaison and who has completed or agrees to complete the Seminar in Field Instruction series.

Field sites must also sign an Affiliation Agreement with West Chester University confirming all parties'.

Field Instructors

Field Instructors are selected by the Director of Field Education based on the following criteria:

  • A Master of Social Work degree from a program accredited by CSWE and preferably two year's post-MSW practice experience. If an exception is made and the Field Instructor has a degree in a different field/profession, the Graduate Social Work Program accepts responsibility for supplementing the student's experience with additional social work perspective.
  • Commitment to teaching the knowledge, skills and values of the social work profession
  • Knowledge and skills in models of practice introduced to students in the Foundation year and advanced theories taught in the Concentration year
  • Willingness to provide regular feedback to the student and Faculty Field Liaison regarding the student's progress towards demonstrating competency behaviors, in interactions with clients, on process recordings, and written case documentation
  • Willingness to provide a minimum of 60 minutes of regularly-scheduled, weekly, individual supervision
  • Willingness to offer administrative, educational and supportive supervision for the student's growth and professional development
  • Sensitivity to the learning needs of students from all population groups