SW420 Field Instruction I

for FA 2009

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


SW 420 Field Instruction I


FA 2009 HO


Bachman, Gary E.



Office Location


Office Hours

Tues. 8:30-10:00A & 1:30-3:00P,   Thursday 9A-12P & 1:30-2:30P Wednesday 9:00-12noon    (or by arrangement)

Daytime Phone

916 584-6504



Class Days


Class Time



Social Work Major, Concurrent Enrollment in SW421

Credit Hours



There is no text for this course.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
SW420 Field Instruction I: This course provides an educationally-oriented practice experience in an agency setting under the supervision of an approved agency-based field instructor. It provides an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge, skills, and ethical principles presented in classroom setting. Students must complete a minimum of 225 hours in the practicum setting. Prerequisites: SW310, Social Work Major, and permission of the instructor. Concurrent enrollment in SW421 required. 5 credits

Educational Philosophy:

Social work as a profession emerged in response to the many challenges, inequalities and threats to societies and the world’s most vulnerable populations. The demographic of those populations is constantly evolving, as is the nature of challenges that increasingly confront us all. 

It is vitally important that social work students be prepared to efficiently and critically consider their environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an appropriate response to the matters before them. This is as true in business, science, education and government service as it is in social work. 

It is the intent of the faculty in the Department of Social Work to facilitate learners in the acquisition of such knowledge as will serve them, their families, their communities, and the world, throughout their lives. Through the semester, world and local events will occur which may influence our academic, personal, or professional pursuits. In light of such circumstances, the instructor reserves the right to amend the schedule of study.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Function effectively within a generalist context as a beginning professional.
  2. Function effectively within the organizational context of the assigned field agency.
  3. Function effectively through the application of knowledge based practice skills.
  4. Function effectively within an ongoing process of interpersonal and supervisory evaluation.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate the ability to integrate classroom knowledge with field experience.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the place of social work values in direct practice.
  3. Effectively present practice situations and professional dilemmas encountered in field.
  4. Apply appropriate self-evaluation of practice behavior.
  5. Give and receive feedback constructively and develop insight into professional behavior.
  6. Demonstrate an ability to appropriately seek, accept, and apply supervision and guidance from peers.
Core Assessment:

Link to Class Rubric

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

This is a professional course. Students are expected to behave in a responsible & professional manner.

  • Personal perspectives will be valued. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable.
  • Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions that have an educational value.
  • If you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work. All members of a group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade.
  • Because of our sensitive subject matter, courtesy needs to be maintained in the classroom at all times. Students need to arrive on time. Students will not hold private conversations when another person is speaking. Students will speak one at a time.
  • If student’s behavior in the is disruptive, the instructor will allow the student an opportunity to correct the behavior without consequences. If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive, that student may be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Coursework: In the first two weeks of the semester, the student will complete a learning contract as described in the Field Handbook. A template for the contract is available on the course e-Companion web site.   Assessment by the Field Instructor will be an ongoing process through out the semester. Assessment will reflect the students’ acquisition of objectives identified in the learning contract as well as the instructors assessment of the students overall performance.   The Department of Social Work Field Director will visit the agency at least twice during the semester to meet jointly with the field instructor and student. A formal evaluation will be completed at mid-term and at the end of the semester. At the final site visit from the Field Director, the student will have completed and turn in a portfolio self-reflection paper. Details on this assignment are contained in the Field Handbook.   The Field Director will assign the final grade for the course based upon a joint meeting with the student and the field instructor. Student performance in both Field seminar and Field practicum will be assessed during the mid point of the semester. Student will be informed at this time if performance is meeting the standards of "passing" or if there is evidence that student's performance to this time is considered "not passing". The learning contract will be revised to include specific goals that must be achieved prior to the end of the semester evaluation to achieve a "passing" grade.

Students are expected to submit a weekly journal note regarding the field experience through the e-Companion site. Students are also expected to keep written track of the hours spent in their field agency assignments as well as a log of issues addressed in weekly supervision.

At the end of the semester, each student is also required to submit a written assessment of the field agency and instructor as well as of the field director’s role relative to the field experience. Information submitted in this assessment by the student will be used for ongoing program evaluation and development only and will not be considered in the determination of the assigned grade.

Assignments in field may be expected to have some measure of impact upon clients, the field supervisor and / or the agency. Any assignments must be completed in a timely manner. Failure to complete assignments in a timely manner may be expected to result in termination of the field experience and failure of this five hour course.
  Course Schedule:    15 weeks / 225 hours

( NOTE: The assignments listed here include those for SW421 field Seminar.)

Week 1     Review of text, course expectations, and assignments: “Learning Contracts,” “Practice Presentations,” and “Agency Presentations” will be discussed. 

8/28   Field Workshop @ Park University – McCoy Meeting House 8:30A- 1P

Week 2    Review of learning contracts. Read and be prepared to discuss in class, Copies of these assignments will be posted on the course “e-Companion.”   Workbook Ch.1 “The Purpose of Practicum”, Ch. 2 “School, Agency & Student Expectations,” Assignments: 3 “Planning to Learn,” & 4 “Getting Started” and the exercises on pgs. 4-9 & pg. 17. (These exercises will be useful in finalizing individualized learning contracts.)

Week 3     Learning Contracts are Due. Read / be prepared to discuss in class Workbook Ch. 4 & 8 and exercises on pgs. 36-38 & 84-90. (These exercises will become the basis for class presentations.)

Week 4    Agency Presentations. Read / be prepared to discuss in class, Workbook Ch. 5     “Using Supervision” & exercise on pg. 48-51.

Week 5     Agency Presentations

 Week 6     Read and be prepared to discuss in class, Workbook Ch.13 & 14

 “SW Ethics”& “Professional Ethics” exercises on pgs.165-169, & 177-180

Week 7*     Read and be prepared to discuss in class, Workbook Ch. 6

 “Personal Safety” and exercise on pg. 60-61.

(*Mid semester evaluations / agency visits will be scheduled between 10/01 & 10/09.)

Week 8*    Agency Presentations. Assignments: First Process Recording is due. Read & be prepared to discuss, Workbook Ch. 7 “Communications” & exercise on page 72-74.

 FALL RECESS  no seminar is scheduled

 Week 9     Practice Presentations           

Week 10    Practice Presentations. Read and be prepared to discuss in class, Workbook Ch.9 “The Community Context of Practice” and the exercise on pg. 98-105

Week 11   Practice Presentations. Read and be prepared to discuss in class,  workbook Ch. 10,    “The Social Problem Context of Practice.”                 

Week 12    Practice Presentations  

Week 13    Second Process Recording is due

Week 14*    Read and be prepared to discuss in class, Workbook Ch.17,      “Evaluation of Student Performance” and the exercise on pg. 222-22 “Program Objectives - Outcomes Assessment” due prior to final site visits.           

  *Mid Year evaluations / end of semester agency visits will be scheduled 11/23 -12/10.

Week 15*       Evaluations and plans for next semester will be discussed. Final evaluations and end of semester agency visits are completed.

Week 16*      Finals Week – There will be no final exam in this course.

     You must have completed all 225 hours in your field agency by Thursday 12/10.


Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Students are required to complete 225 hours at the field agency in the course of this 15 week semester.  The schedule should average 16 hours a week over the course of the semester.  Students do not need to be on site on declared holidays or during weather emergencies, but must complete the entire 225 hours before the end of the semester.   It is the students obligation to keep track of the hours worked.   In collaboration with the agency based field instructor a schedule will be established indicating the days and hours in which the student is expected to be present in the practice setting.  Although this is an educational experience, students are expected to abide by all appropriate agency rules and regulations including time in and time out.  The agency may or may not have a dress code, but Social Work Students will dress professionally and appropriate to the work site.  

In the event of an unforeseen emergency, it is the students responsibility to notify (or facilitate the notification of) the agency based field instructor and the Department of Social Work – Director of Field of the circumstance's. Immediately.

Chronic tardiness, absences, behavior in contrast to the NASW Code of Ethics, or violation of agency protocol may be expected to result in termination of the field experience and failure of this five hour course.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
 *Behaves in a manner consistent with the NASW Code of Ethics. CO1     *No later than the end of week three, submits a comprehensive learning contract using the assigned format. CO4     *Completes 225 hours at the field agency in the course of 14 to 16 weeks.  CO2   
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 *Is “on site” on time. CO2     *Completes documentation  detailing content of weekly supervision with field instructor.CO4     *Submits weekly “journal” entry through “eCompanion.”CO4     *Completes and submits two “process recordings.” CO4

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 *Participates in mid-term evaluation with field instructor and director of field. CO4     *Participates in end of semester evaluation with field instructor and director of field. CO4     *Maintains and turns in weekly log of hours spent in the field agency. CO4     *Completes and submits “evaluation of field setting” before final week.   
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 *Is able to clearly explain the field agencies purpose and function. CO2     *Recognizes appropriate and applicable policy regarding direct and indirect services. CO1, 2   
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 Practices in a manner that reflects “generalist” social work practice. CO1   
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Multicultural Interdisciplinary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
 Completes appropriate agency documentation without any spelling or grammatical errors. CO2     -Uses acronymns and abbreviations appropriately, relative to the agency policy. CO2     -Abides by all applicable agency policy. (such as HIPAA) CO2, 3   
 Contributes to the effectiveness and function of the field agency. CO1,2,3,   


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Last Updated:8/17/2009 1:19:00 PM