Field education or Practicum is the cornerstone of social work education and allows social work students to put classroom learning into practice. The University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work (OUAHZSSW) works with well over 300 affiliated agencies and facilities across Oklahoma to offer social work students direct learning experiences with individuals, families, groups, and communities. Sites provide students with the structure, supervision and resources for appropriate learning. Field instructors, who are employees of the site, provide on-site social work field education and supervision. Regular and adjunct faculty assigned to the Practicum Program serve as liaison faculty and work with sites and instructors to insure high quality experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students.
In all accredited programs in social work, field education is a major part of the curriculum. At the University of Oklahoma, students in social work earn more of their credit hours in field education than in any other curricular area. Five different practicum courses are offered. Undergraduate seniors enroll in SWK 4315 followed by SWK 4325. Foundation year MSW students enroll in SWK 5413 followed by SWK 5423. Concentration year MSW students complete their studies with SWK 5820.
Practicum courses from other departments or programs outside the OUSSW may not be applied to a social work degree unless the coursework has been earned at another CSWE accredited program in social work. Prior employment or life experience may not be credited toward practicum requirements.
The Council on Social Work Education sets standards for social work education. Expectations of field education in social work are outlined in the statement below from the Education Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education:
Field education is an integral component of social work education anchored in the mission, goals, and educational level of the program. It occurs in settings that reinforce students’ identification with the purposes, values, and ethics of the profession; fosters the integration of empirical and practice-based knowledge; and promotes the development of professional competence. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, and evaluated on the basis of criteria by which students demonstrate the achievement of program objectives.
Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work, 700 Elm Avenue, Norman OK 73019 (405)325-2821