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Field Education: Calgary

Submitted by 21232f297a57a5a... on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 10:58am

Greetings from the Office of Field Education!

Field education (i.e. practicum) is the signature pedagogy for social work. This means that field education is the key method of instruction and learning through which our profession socializes its students to become practitioners. Because it is such a critical part of becoming a social worker, the practicum is often considered the 'heart' of social work education.

Practicum offers students practical and supervised opportunities to develop and apply their social work knowledge and skills. The practicum promotes integration of the theory and skills students are learning in the classroom with their professional practice and social work identity. In practicum, all students are supervised by an experienced, agency-based social worker who functions as the Field Instructor. In addition to ongoing guidance and feedback, the field instructor provides the student a minimum of one hour of supervision for every 15 placement hours. Students are also linked with a university-based faculty member who acts as the Faculty Liaison. The faculty liaison, who is the teacher-of-record for the practicum course, facilitates the integrative seminar that accompanies the practicum placement, makes regular visits (on-site or via distance) to placement agencies and participates in evaluations of the student's achievement.

The Field Education Manual outlines the faculty's policies and procedures related to field education. Students are encouraged to become familiar with the Manual, which can be found on this site.

In addition to the faculty liaisons, who work closely with students and field instructors, the faculty and staff at the Office of Field Education are committed to providing quality support to further enrich the field education experience of students and field instructors. We are available for consultation to students, field instructors, partner agency representatives, and faculty liaisons.

We wish you a successful and rewarding field education experience!

Jessica Ayala, Director of Field Education
Carrie Blaug, Calgary Coordinator

Practicum Database

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Field Instructor

What is a Field Instructor?

Field Instructors are agency-based social workers who supervise and instruct students in their field placement or practicum. All BSW and MSW students at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, complete at least one practicum. The goal of practicum is to provide opportunities for students to develop as professional social workers within supervised practice contexts. A primary focus of the practicum is to enhance students' abilities to integrate or make linkages between theory (e.g., classroom learning) and social work practice.

Please consider becoming a field instructor for a BSW or MSW student completing practicum if you:

  • hold a BSW(RSW) or MSW(RSW),
  • have 2 or more years of social work experience, and
  • have a commitment to excellence in social work education,

The role of a field instructor includes:

  1. administering the tasks associated with the field placement;
  2. to teach students to integrate social work knowledge, skills, and values into social work practice;
  3. to ensure the quality of student service to agency client systems; and
  4. to evaluate students' performance and progress.

Field instructors are supported by Faculty Liaisons, who make regular visits to placements to meet with field instructors and students, and are available to provide information, guidance and consultation to field instructors. Faculty liaisons also facilitate integrative seminars for students in order to facilitate and promote the linkages between theory and practice. Field instructors are supported by the Office of Field Education through the provision of training and professional development opportunities, as well as consultation with the Administrator, Coordinator and Director of Field Education, as needed.

Become a Field Instructor

How do I Become a Field Instructor or Get More Information?

If you are interested in becoming a field instructor or would like more information, please contact Carrie Blaug, Calgary Field Coordinator, at or 403-220-6157.

Benefits for Field Instructors

The Faculty of Social Work is committed to providing training and professional development opportunities to field instructors. The Faculty recognizes and appreciates field instructors' contributions by providing:

  • ACSW continuing competency credits - Field instructors receive up to 20 Category A credits for supervising a practicum student. Additional competency credits may be gained through attending workshops or participating on field education committees.
  • Opportunities to attend training workshops spon­sored by the Faculty at no cost or discounted cost.

What Practicum Placements are Field Instructors Needed For?

We are currently searching for field instructors to provide practicum placements for our social work students in Calgary in the following practica:

BSW students - Practicum I (SOWK 410)

Students are normally eligible for their first practicum after completing 3rd year courses and attaining 4th year status in the Faculty of Social Work. This practicum provides an introduction to professional social work practice in a specific setting. Students with an accredited Social Work Diploma are exempt from this practicum. Practicum I consists of 300 hours over 13 weeks, three days per week (normally Tuesday - Thursday), September to December. Field Instructors must possess a BSW or MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum of two hours per week of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student.

BSW students - Practicum II (SOWK 412)

This practicum is required of all BSW students and is normally completed in the final phase of the BSW program. Practicum II consists of 400 hours over 13 weeks, four days per week (normally Monday - Thursday), generally January to April, but sometimes September to December. Field Instructors must possess a BSW or MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum of two hours per week of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student.

MSW students - Foundational Field Practicum (SOWK 633)

These students are completing the first year of the two-year MSW program. These students have some social service experience and an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than social work. The Foundational Practicum consists of 426 hours over 16 weeksStudents are normally in placement three days per week (Monday - Wednesday) for 13 weeks (January to April) and four days per week (Monday - Thursday) for 3 additional weeks (April to May). Field Instructors must possess an MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum of one hour of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student for every 15 hours of placement.

MSW students - Advanced Practicum (SOWK 696)

All MSW students must complete this practicum in their area of specialization (e.g., clinical, leadership). For course-based and thesis based students, the Advanced Practicum consists of a minimum of 525 hours. The Advanced Practicum consists of three days per week (normally Monday - Wednesday), eight hours per day, September to April. Field Instructors must possess an MSW and be registered with ACSW. A minimum one hour of educational supervision is provided by the field instructor to the student for every 15 hours of placement.

Calgary program students are expected to attend practicum in Calgary. However, please note that the Faculty of Social Work also delivers BSW and MSW programs in other Alberta regions (e.g., Edmonton, Lethbridge) and through our Distance programs and therefore there are also opportunities available to offer practicum placements in areas outside of Calgary for those programs. Please contact us for more information.

Field Contacts

Carrie Blaug

Calgary Coordinator, Office of Field Education
Office: PF 3263
Phone: (403) 220-6157
Fax: (403) 282-7269

Angela Judge-Stasiak

Coordinator (Distance), Office of Field Education
Office: PF 3265
Phone: (403) 220-7105
Fax: (403) 282-7269

Jessica Ayala

Director, Office of Field Education 
Office: PF 3262
Phone: (403) 220-6676
Fax: (403) 282-7269 

Myra Baynton, PhD

Field Education Coordinator, Distance MSW Program


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