Field Practicum

PHOTO: Social Work Practicum Students

Field education is considered the social work’s “signature pedagogy”.  It is the place where all the experiences from the classroom are integrated into the “real world” of practice.  Because social work education at the BSW level is considered generalist, students will be placed in an agency where there are experiences to practice with individuals, families, groups and communities.  During your senior year, you will be placed in an agency four days a week for one semester. Supervision is provided by a specially selected agency staff member and a faculty field instructor. Students work with the Director of Field Instruction to identify a setting specifically matched to their learning goals, future career plans and geographic availability. The Field Practicum is an essential component of BSW education and students are expected to demonstrate the competencies they have been learning about through their BSW coursework. 

Field Practicum opportunities are available in rural and urban areas throughout Virginia and in the Washington Metropolitan area. Practicum settings include juvenile and adult corrections, family and children's services, social services, mental health services, hospitals, schools, nursing homes and spouse abuse services. You complete 472 hours of directed field practice during your studies as a social work major at JMU. Successful completion of the practicum means you are prepared for introductory practice as a social worker as well as to go on to graduate school in social work (MSW programs) or other related professions.