Field Directors

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  • 1.  Block Placements

    Posted Jun 03, 2024 12:51

    Hello all,

    Wondering who uses block placements for MSW and/or BSW programs and why it works (or didn't work) for your program.  Rowan has a brand new program and are considering this option, especially for our dual programs, over the summer.  Does your program allow for both generalist and specialization year?  Do you allow for BSW/Advanced Standing?  I would love some feedback!  Thanks so much for your time!   

    Staci Fattore, LCSW
    Field Education Director
    Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

  • 2.  RE: Block Placements

    Posted 25 days ago
    Edited by Lindsey Trout 25 days ago

    Hi Staci! We function as a block placement program. One of the consistent point of feedback that we receive is that our students are well prepared and fully focused during their internship, as they've completed all of their coursework and can be on site nearly full time. Our advanced standing students are those who enter into the MSW program with a BSW, and therefore complete one semester of internship for the specialized (MSW) level learning. This allows for a swift timeline of completing our program. Our traditional students (those without a BSW) will complete a two semester internship where they do both the generalist and specialized learning. With the amount of time they are able to be onsite, they can truly see many aspects of practice from beginning to end. The downside at the moment is that we only have two times in a year where we start internships, May or August. We are looking at a potential January start as well, but then need to consider the other impacts on course completion, field faculty liaisons, seminar course, etc. I'm happy to chat further if you want to reach out directly or continue the conversation here!

    Lindsey Trout
    MSW Field Director
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • 3.  RE: Block Placements

    Posted 13 days ago

    Hi Staci, we used to do a block placement for our BSW students, having them complete their internships during their final semester. We are moving away from that model this year. The downsides we saw with that model were that it takes some time to get acclimated and get projects going, some of our students and sites felt that by the time the student was fully oriented the placement was a third over, we also found that specifically for our BSW students who were applying to grad school, often their applications were due before they had any field experience. This may be alleviated if it weren't the final semester but this was our scenario. Some of our agencies found that it was a challenge to have 32+ hours a week worth of work for the students to do, especially at the beginning, and finally, this was challenign for students who also needed to work outside of the placement. I think there are scenarios where this model works well, and certainly many of our students did like it and it helped them prepare to graduate and enter the workforce fulltime if that was their plan, but those were the cons that led us to make a change this year.

    Lindsey Rinehart
    Field Education Director
    West Virginia University
    Morgantown WV