Headquartered at IUPUI
Locations on 8 IU Campuses

Field Facts

ALL Field Programs

Who is who in field?
Field Coordinator

The Field Coordinator provides administrative support for all aspects of field education within their specific campus and/or assigned curriculum. Field Coordinators have primary responsibility for recruiting and assessing field placement agencies and Field Instructors, engaging students in the field planning process and assigning students to specific field placements. Field Coordinators often act as consultants to Faculty Liaisons, Field Instructors, agency directors and students in resolving field practicum difficulties.

Faculty Field Liaison

The Faculty Field Liaison provides consultation to Field Instructors and students to ensure integration between classroom and field. The Faculty Liaison is in a strategic position to enhance communication regarding curriculum matters, field learning opportunities, new developments and demands of practice, and new projects undertaken by the School of Social Work.

Field Instructor

The agency-based Field Instructor provides field instruction and practice supervision to the practicum student at their placement site. The Field Instructor also evaluates the student performance and level of competency on practice behaviors.

An off-site Field Instructor provides educational supervision to the practicum student when there is not an agency-based Field Instructor available. This position carries the same responsibilities as an agency based Field Instructor.

Task Instructor

In some placement sites, the Field Instructor assigns or is assisted by other agency staff member/s in aspects of the supervision and/or training of the student in service delivery.

Learning Plan – What is it and how is it used?

The Learning Plan is the template used for students to document their learning process in field.  It is set up in relation to the Council on Social Work’s Competencies and Behaviors.  Students enter their planned agency activities which relate to how they will demonstrate competency at the midpoint and end of their practicum.  Students track their progress throughout their practicum by entering how they demonstrated that particular behavior at the completion of the activity.  This tool is linked to the midpoint and final evaluations of which the student completes a self-evaluation and the Field Instructor completes an evaluation of the student based on the outcomes of their learning activities.

The Learning Plan, Midpoint Evaluation and Final Evaluation, can be found within Sonia under the Forms tab. 

What is Sonia?

Sonia is the online field management software program that students, Field Instructors, Task Instructors, Faculty Field Liaisons, and Field Coordinators use to access placement information, required forms, reference documents, and to document their practicum activities.

Students and Liaisons access Sonia by using their IU username and passphrase.  Field Instructors and Task Instructors access Sonia by using their work email address and the password that they have created.

Sonia login

What is the process for being placed in an agency for my practicum?
  • The Field Coordinator secures sites and Field Instructors as potential placements.
  • In Sonia, each student uploads a copy of their resume and completes the following forms:
    • Field Practicum Application
    • Background History Addendum
    • Student Code of Conduct
    • Student Practicum Contract
  • The Field Coordinator matches each student with a setting. Then the Field Coordinator makes contact with the potential Field Instructor sending them the student’s resume for review.  The Field Coordinator informs the student of this potential match.  If the Field Instructor agrees to interview the student, the Field Instructor makes contact with the student. Once a match is confirmed, the student completes the Student and Agency Placement Agreement form in Sonia.  It is then routed to the Field Instructor for review and submission.  At this time, the placement is confirmed and can begin at the start of the semester.
Can I do my practicum in my place of employment?

Yes, a student can do their practicum at their place of employment if the following conditions are met:

  • Employed for a minimum of 4 months;
  • A placement opportunity that meets all field criteria is available;
  • The student’s practicum assignments are different than work assignments;
  • The student has a person different than their current supervisor as a field instructor;
  • In Sonia, the student submits a Field Practicum Application and a Petition for Employment-Based Practicum that outlines the proposed placement;
  • A field coordinator reviews and approves the petition.
Are there evening and weekend placement options available?

Generally, there are no evening/weekend placements. At best, there are a few late afternoon/evening placements.

Do I have to make up my hours if the agency or organization where I am doing my placement is closed?

Students are expected to observe the agency schedule for holidays.  When agencies are close on a scheduled field day, this time frame does NOT need to be made up on-site (with the exception of spring vacation in public school settings).  However, the expectation is for the time to be used for practicum support activities.  Holiday breaks need to be negotiated with the placement agency prior to the beginning of the practicum.

Why do I need 1 hour of supervision per week from my Field Instructor?

Practicum is a learning experience.  As is true with all learning experiences, feedback is needed as students learn how to perform the skills and function as a professional social worker.  To ensure that students are following good social work practice skills and ethics it is necessary to provide good social work supervision.  In addition, supervision ensures that the clients served by the student are receiving quality services.

BSW Program

481/482
Practicum 481 and 482 = two semesters; a total of 560 hours:

Concurrent:

  • 15 hours a week in the fall with a minimum of 240 hours completed.
  • 20 hours a week in the spring with a minimum of 230 hours completed.

Seminar included in 481 and 482.

Educational qualifications to be a Field Instructor:

BSW with a minimum of two years post BSW experience

or

MSW with a minimum of one-year post MSW experience.

MSW Program

Educational qualifications to be a Field Instructor

MSW with a minimum of two years post MSW experience.

555
Practicum I = one semester; a total of 320 hours: (Select one)
  1. 20 hours a week for 16 weeks
  2. 16 hours a week for 20 weeks.

Seminar included – 5 sessions.

651/652
Practicum II & III = 640 hours at one placement:

Concurrent: (Select one)

  1. 16 hours a week in the fall; 24 hours a week in the spring
  2. 20/20 both semesters.

Block: 40 hours a week for one semester (usually spring).

Extended: 16 hours a week for both semesters, plus 8 weeks.