The Field Placement Process

On this page:

Overview of Placement Process

By following the steps listed below, you begin the process of securing your field placement for the upcoming academic year.

Application materials consist of the following:

  • Acknowledgement - HIPAA, Ethics, and Field Manual.
  • Application.
  • Cover letter/resume.
  • Agency Search and Agency Request Form (for Advanced Year students only). This is your choice of three agencies you would like to be placed with.

Online Student Field Placements

Employment-based field process (changes due to COVID19)

In the Summer of 2020, CSWE released new standards for employment-based field placements in response to COVID-19. These changes only apply to field placements in the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Council on Social Work Education has long permitted employment-based field placements where job duties are distinctly different from a student’s designated field activities, and the work supervisor is different than the field educator.  These rules are designed to protect the role of students as learners while engaged in field, with expectations different from those related to employment.  New guidelines (issued in June 2020) allow for students to petition the Field office for their work hours to count towards field hours.

Necessary Criteria In order to petition for work hours to be counted towards Field hours, students must:

  1. Demonstrate a link between employment activities and the nine social work competencies; 
  2. Have a licensed MSW to supervise them

*Please read the document below (Changes to EB Field regulations)

Petition for Work to Count towards field hours - DUE 7/20/20

Timeline Students have until July 20th, 2020 to file a Petition with the Field Office to count some of their work hours as field hours.  Consistent with other students in field, we expect employment-based students to count 15 hours/week of their work hours for field and generally follow the field calendar (found here).

Once field begins, students will be expected to create a learning contract that contains at least one project that spans two-semesters, that relates to the majority of the nine competencies, reflects attainment of social work values and ethics, and demonstrates substantial professional growth and development. Topic areas could include (for example) racial equity, anti-racism within social work practice, response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and/or trauma-informed practices within the agency.  Examples include fully researching a topic, providing an agency-training on that topic, and then evaluating the training results.

If you would like to apply for employment-based field placement or change your existing employment-based application as a result of the above changes, please complete this Petition to Utilize CSWE Changes in Employment-based Placement Policies.

Employment-based field process (Non-COVID19)

If you are currently employed at a human services agency and would like to complete an employment-based field placement, review the guidelines to make sure you are eligible.

Application Deadlines

Current students seeking placement outside of Erie and Niagara counties

  • Application and cover letter/resume: November 1 
  • After November 1: Field Placement Coordinator will be assigned
  • Agency request or site recommendation form: more deadlines will come from your coordinator

Current students seeking placement in Erie and Niagara counties

  • Application and cover letter/resume: November 1 
  • Agency request form (advanced year only): February 1

Incoming students

  • All materials: Two weeks after you confirm your acceptance and submit your tuition deposit.

After Your Application Materials Have Been Submitted

Student Actions Required for Placement

The field coordinators will match students with agencies. Student and agency will be notified of match via email. NOTE: Students may only interview with one agency at a time.

  1. Within 48 hours of notification, student is expected to contact the agency to set up an interview.
  2. Student will prepare for interview by reviewing Interview Guidelines and reviewing agency/program website to understand populations served, mission and other pertinent information. Student may utilize Career Services prior to interview to practice and seek interview pointers.
  3. Student will attend the interview and cover the points listed on the Interview Guidelines.
  4. Student will arrange life/work to include a consistent 15 hours per week of Field Education.
    • Full-time students – field hours will be during normal work hours
    • Part-time students – field hours can not be guaranteed for evening and weekend hours

Typical Timeline for Cohorts Sent for Interview

  • Traditional advanced year (full- and part-time) students: Begins after advanced year choices are due (late February-March).
  • Advanced standing full-time students: May.
  • Foundation part-time students: April into May.
  • Foundation full-time students: June.

Additional Information

  • Field agencies may choose to interview multiple students in consideration for an internship opening.
  • Field agencies retain the right to select or reject any student referred to them for a potential internship.
  • Interviewing and returning the Interview Outcome Form are required to finalize your field placement.
Attention: Advanced Year Students

Every effort will be made to allow Advanced Year students to schedule an interview at one of their preferred agencies; however, this may not be possible depending on the volume of requests for a particular agency. Once you submit your field application with your preferred agency selections, information on which agency you may schedule an interview with will be emailed to you. Students will only interview at a second agency if the first interview did not provide a placement match.

My Field Education Portal

This system has been specially designed to bring together information for field placement in a way that is convenient for MSW students.

Log in to My Field Education