Students pursuing their undergraduate social work degree (BASW) complete three components of Field Experience during their course of study.
Beginning Volunteer Experience: Students complete 60 hours of volunteer activities within an organization or tribal program that provides assistance to individuals. Students do this while enrolled in the SW 255 seminar. SW 255 is a prerequisite course for acceptance into the BASW Program. The BASW Program Director may consider a request for waiver of SW 255, on a case by case basis. Circumstances could include transfer students who would not have access to a comparable course in their community and/or have significant past employment experience in the field of social work practice.
Social Agency Experience: Students complete 60 hours of volunteer activities while also building understanding of agency structure and policies. Students do this while enrolled in the SW 355 seminar. This course must be completed before students can advance to their Senior Year Internship experience and may not be waived. Students must be accepted into the BASW Program in order to enroll in this course, it is part of the Junior Year course sequence.
Senior Year Internship: Students complete 400 practicum hours over Fall and Spring semester of their senior year at an approved field placement site. Students must complete all 300 level coursework before moving into their field practicum. Prior to placement, students complete SW 356 during the spring of their Junior year. SW 356 provides support and structure for students to identify their own professional goals, explore potential sites and participate in interviews. All field practicum placements are confirmed by the Director of Field Education.
Practicum occurs from late August to early May of the senior year and students must be co-enrolled in SW 455 & SW 456 both semesters. Personal liability coverage for the purpose of practicum activities is purchased by the university via special fees that are linked to these courses. Students may not begin field activities until the fall semester has begun. During seminar students engage in discussions, write reflective journals and develop individualized learning agreements which integrate their personal learning goals with the competencies established by the Council on Social Work Education. Seminar faculty provide direct support to students and field instructors/supervisors as needed including conducting site visits and guidance around student evaluations.
Out of Area Placements: For students seeking to attend our online BASW Program, please review the information on our Online Field Experience page. Please note if you are located in the service area of another California State University that has a Social Work program we cannot guarantee that we will be able to secure a field placement for you. Local universities have priority for placements in their region and we work in partnership with them around placement opportunities. Students who are currently employed in the social work field may be an exception to this limitation. For more information please speak with Yvonne Doble, Director of Field Education.
On-campus students considering Senior Year Internship placements outside of Humboldt County must complete a brief application during the Fall of their Junior year for consideration and in order to be enrolled in the appropriate SW 356 Course. Application includes current GPA, past experience with online coursework and whether there is support from student advisor. Again there is no guarantee that we will be able to secure an out of area field practicum placement.
For more information on out of area placement guidelines, please review our Field Requirements.