Field Education, a core component of the MSW curriculum, allows students to apply theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to an agency setting. Students gain practice experience with individuals, families, and communities through supervised field placements in a wide variety of settings such as hospitals, schools, substance abuse treatment programs, child welfare agencies, advocacy and policy organizations, and agencies that serve older adults, veterans and military families.
The unique Field Education experience through WCU’s MSW Program provides:
- A personalized placement process in which our directors of field education collaborate with students to identify field sites
- Two, nine-month placements that promote growth in students' competence and independence over time
- A platform from which to measure student's learning and application of social work skills
- Integrated Practice classes that enhance students’ experiential learning
In accordance with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), all students must complete at least 952 hours of field experience to graduate. Hours are completed through two separate field experiences, the first totaling 448 hours and the second totaling 504 hours. West Chester University's MSW Department partners with hundreds of agencies in the region, allowing us to meet students' diverse interests within the social work profession.
All field placements are arranged by the department's directors of field education, rather than by students. It is recommended that individuals apply early to receive the broadest availability of placement opportunities.
As prescribed by the CSWE, academic credit cannot be given for life or work experience, or for internships outside of an accredited graduate social work program.