Faqs

  1. How many hours are involved in the Practicum experience?
  2. What is the process of Practicum Placement?
  3. What is an Employment-based Practicum Placement (EBPP) and how can I secure an EBPP
  4. Can previous or current work experience be counted as practicum?
  5. What are stipend opportunities?
  6. May a student complete a practicum out-of-state?
  7. Do all practicum sites have a dress code?
  8. Must a student purchase Malpractice Liability Insurance?
  9. Does my supervisor have to have an MSW?
  10. May I count school and national holidays toward practicum hours?
  11. If my agency is closed for a reason other than a national holiday, such as due to weather or spring break, may I count that time toward my total accumulation of practicum hours?
  12. What hours can I count toward my total accumulation of practicum hours?
  13. May I finish my hours earlier than the official last day of placement?
  14. Will I have to purchase a parking pass?
  15. What is the difference between "Field Education Coordinator", "Faculty Liaison", "Field Instructor", "Preceptor"??  What is my "site"??  What's the difference between "Concurrent", "Extended" and "Block"??

1. How many hours are involved in the Practicum experience?

MSW program
The 2-year MSW program requires a total of 1010 clock hours in practicum placement. Students earn 460 hours in their first year of graduate school and the remaining 550 in their second year. Students who enter the MSW program in Advanced Standing have fulfilled the first year practicum requirement as a part of their BSW program and complete 550 hours in practicum in their concentration year.

BSW program
Students in the BSW program earn 10 of their 46 social work credits in two practicum courses, SWK 4315 and 4325 taken during their final undergraduate year. A total of 600 clock hours must be spent in undergraduate practicum placement. Generally, students spend 20-24 hours each week at their site and earn 300 hours each semester. Undergraduate students completing a practicum must be concurrently enrolled in required classroom courses.
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2. What is the process of Practicum Placement and how does a student learn about potential placement sites?
Practicum placement is different at each campus. Your campus' Field Education Coordinator will provide all placement information during your planning orientation.
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3. What is an Employment-based Practicum Placement (EBPP) and how can I secure an EBPP?
An EBPP allows the student to use his or her place of employment as the site in which the requirements of field practicum are fulfilled. Students may apply for an EBPP if the following criteria are met:

  • The student is working in a social service agency that is able to provide the educational opportunities needed for the student to gain appropriate and necessary knowledge and skills.
  • The educational opportunities may be clearly distinguished from the student’s employment duties. For example if the student’s employment duties include providing case management to children and families, the proposed practicum involves leading groups for adults with mental illness.
  • The site is supportive of their employee’s role as a student and will provide required supervision for the student’s educational plan. Examples of support include providing the student with release time for course and field instruction, reassignment of the student to a different position within the agency in order to provide further educational opportunities, assuring that the student’s responsibilities in a prior position are covered by other staff, and allowing adequate time for the practicum instructor to provide required supervision, and permitting time for such activities as shadowing, conference attendance, and visits to community agencies.
  • A qualified field instructor is available to supervise the student and this instructor is NOT the student’s employment supervisor.
    and WHAT is NOT?
  • An EBPP is NOT a way for students to get educational credit for the work they do in their places of employment or a vehicle for employers to get more hours of work out of an employee or provide time off for other staff.
  • An Employment-based Practicum is NOT an opportunity to leave an established placement already assigned by the Practicum Program (eg. a work opportunity presents itself part way through the academic year).

Six RULES to REMEMBER re: EBP Placements

  1. Employment-based Practicum placements are open only to foundation year students who have completed the first year of part-time coursework and to concentration year graduate students in their final year of study. EBPP's are not an option for undergraduates in practicum.
  2. All Employment-based Practicum Placements must be approved by the Field Education Coordinator. The Practicum Program cannot pre-authorize Employment-based Practicum placements nor grant retroactive approvals.
  3. There is no guarantee that requests for Employment-based Practicum placement will be approved.
  4. The University of Oklahoma School of Social Work Practicum Program is under no obligation to find paid practicum placements or assure that students are able to be paid for a practicum placement.
  5. Prior employment and life experience may not be credited toward practicum requirements.
  6. The agency, not the School or the Practicum Program, determines the compensation the student receives while in an Employment-based Practicum placement.
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4.  Can previous or current work experience be counted as practicum?
No previous work experience or current work experience may be counted toward practicum hours unless it is in an approved EBPP.
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5. What are stipend opportunities?
There are a limited number of stipends for students in practicum placements and most are awarded through a competitive process. Some stipends are awarded by practicum sites while others are awarded by outside entities. Students should weigh their need for a stipend when considering placement sites.
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6. May a student complete a practicum out-of-state?
Each out-of-state placement opportunity is fully evaluated by your campus’ Field Education Coordinator.
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7. Do all practicum sites have a dress code?
Some sites have dress codes and others do not and those that do have considerable variation in their requirements. You will need to ask this question at the sites at which you interview.
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8. Must a student purchase Malpractice Liability Insurance?
Each student placed in a field practicum must be covered by a minimum of $1,000,000/$1,000,000 in malpractice liability insurance and must provide proof of such insurance coverage to the Practicum Coordinator and the practicum site prior to the beginning of the practicum. Students must purchase their own insurance, and liability insurance at reasonable student rates is available from the Student Professional Liability Insurance Program as well as from other sources. Students interested in purchasing insurance through the Student Professional Liability Insurance Program must first be members of the National Association of Social Workers. For more information, visit www.socialworkers.org and www.americanprofessional.com
Students completing a paid practicum may be covered by their employer’s insurance policy. If so, they must provide written verification of ALL STUDENT ACTIVITY coverage to the Field Practicum Coordinator prior to beginning placement.
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9. Does my supervisor have to have an MSW?
All MSW students must be assigned to a Field Instructor who has an MSW. BSW students may be assigned to a Field Instructor with either an MSW or BSW. Each student must meet with his or her Field Instructor for at least one hour of supervision weekly.
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10. May I count school and national holidays toward practicum hours?
If a site is closed for a holiday but the University is not and it is a day that the student would normally be in placement, the student may count that time toward total practicum hours. Had the site been open, the student would have been there. Examples of such holidays are Veterans’ Day and Presidents’ Day.
Students are not expected to be in practicum placements on days that the University is closed. Examples of such holidays are Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. No time may be earned for practicum on such holidays unless the student is actually at the placement on the day and fulfills responsibilities of the practicum placement.
Students who celebrate religious holidays not observed by the site may be granted leave time by the Practicum Instructor, but time granted for such observances may have to be made up. Such plans for leave time should be negotiated with the Field Instructor and addressed in the Teaching-Learning Agreement.
Students may not count time at their agency for University or national holidays when the University is not in session. An example of such a holiday is Christmas.
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11. If my agency is closed for a reason other than a national holiday, such as due to weather or spring break, may I count that time toward my total accumulation of practicum hours?
You may count the hours toward practicum ONLY if the agency is closed for a national holiday, such as Veterans’ Day or Presidents’ Day. If you are placed at a school and it will be closed for spring break or if the agency closes for snow or ice, you will need to develop a plan with your field instructor for making up those hours.
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12. What hours can I count toward my total accumulation of practicum hours?
View "Practicum Hours - The Rules" here.
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13. May I finish my hours earlier than the official last day of placement?
Students are expected to be in practicum from the beginning until the end of the term. Any deviation from the practicum calendar must be authorized by the faculty liaison assigned and must have the agreement of the field instructor. Students who need to make significant modifications to the practicum schedule must complete and submit a request for a modified practicum. Such requests must be approved by the Field Education Coordinator.
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14. Will I have to purchase a parking pass?
You may be required to purchase a parking pass in order to have parking at your practicum site. This will depend on your agency. There is not funding available through the School to cover this expense.
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15.What is the difference between "Field Education Coordinator", "Faculty Liaison", "Field Instructor", "Preceptor"?? What is my "site"?? What's the difference between "Concurrent", "Extended" and "Block"??
Find our "Glossary of Field Practicum Terminology" here.
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