A.   Life Experience/Work Experience

     Policy: No Field Practicum academic credit is given for life experience or previous work

     Procedure: None.

B.   Employed Social Worker Field Practicum Option

     Policy: Students may have a practicum placement at the agency that employs them. The
     Field Practicum Learning Agreement defines the practicum experience. This practicum
     experience must provide the student with new educational experiences knowledge, skills and
     values. The expectation is that the role of supervisor/administrator is clearly identified from
     that of field instructor.

     Procedure: The student discusses an employed social worker field practicum option with the
     Field Practicum Coordinator. This learning is to be clearly reflected in a detailed educational
     plan involving the integration of content specific, goal oriented and clearly measurable
     objectives pertaining to the student’s chosen field of practice. The time spent in preparation,
     performance of activities, supervision and evaluation is counted toward the required hours
     for the field practicum.

C.   Student Statement of Understanding

     Policy: Students are expected to read and understand designated components of the MSW
     Field Practicum Manual.

     Procedure: Students are to sign the Statement of Understanding agreement prior to
     beginning field practicum and to submit the form (see Appendix E) to the Field Practicum

D.   Attendance in Field Practicum

     Policy: Students are expected to be in attendance in the agency on days designated for the
     field and to observe agency hours and schedules. Absences other than illness or family
     emergencies are to be prearranged.

     Procedure: Students must promptly report absences to the field instructor and the time must
     be made up to meet the required number of clock hours in field practicum. Extended
     absences must be discussed by the field instructor with the student’s faculty field liaison.
E.   Clock Hours in Field Practicum

     Policy: The quarterly Learning Agreement must be completed with the field instructor by
     the first three weeks in the placement in order for the clock hours for those three weeks to be
     counted. Unsupervised clock hours are not counted for field practicum.

     Procedure: Student and field instructor draft and revise the Learning Agreement during the
     first three weeks each quarter. The student records the clock hours on time sheets to be
     submitted with the evaluation packet at the end of the quarter.

     Policy: Routine home-to-practicum-site commuting time is not counted for field practicum
     clock hours.

     Procedure: None.

F.   Grade Assignment

     Policy: The awarding of a grade is recommended by the field instructor and assigned by the
     faculty field liaison at the end of each quarter, but must be approved and submitted
     by the Field Practicum Coordinator.

     Procedure: The field instructor writes a written evaluation based upon the content of the
     Learning Agreement with input either orally or in writing from task supervisor(s). During
     the end-of-quarter liaison visit, the student, field instructor, faculty field liaison, and task
     supervisor(s), if requested, meet to review the evaluation and grade. All participants sign
     the evaluation sheet. The liaison’s signature indicates that the grade was assigned. The
     faculty field liaison transmits the evaluation packet complete with time sheets to the Field
     Practicum Coordinator who approves and submits the grade to the Academic Records office.

     Policy: Students must earn a grade no lower than B in their last three credits of Field

     Procedure: If the student has received a grade lower than B h/she must repeat those clock
     hours for a new acceptable grade. An IP grade is assigned in the meantime.

G.   In-Progress Grade

     Policy: Student may not have an IP on record more than two consecutive quarters.

     Procedure: In-Progress (IP) grades are awarded when the student has not completed the
     required clock hours for the number of credits they have registered for that particular
     quarter. Students must complete the first IP grade prior to registering for field practicum
     before they are eligible to register for the third quarter of field practicum.
H.   Sharing Sensitive Student Information

     Policy: Students are expected to share all personal information having direct impact on field
     placement, i.e., affecting clients, field instructors, agency or the learning process, with the
     Field Practicum Coordinator and faculty field liaison. Students who choose not to share
     relevant personal information with field faculty may be dismissed from the social work

     Procedure: Students are to share oral/written personal information with the Field Practicum
     Coordinator prior to agency field placement. At the time of an agency interview, the student
     shares the information with the potential field instructor. When the faculty field liaison is
     assigned, the student shares relevant personal information with them.
     Examples of relevant student information to be shared:

     1. If student wants to be placed in a sexual assault program and has or a member of the
        family has been sexually assaulted / abused the information should be shared.

     2. If student or a family member has been hospitalized for a psychiatric illness and student
        wants to be placed in a psychiatric hospital, the information should be shared.

     3. If student has a personal problem, psycho-social distress, legal problems, substance
        abuse, or mental health difficulties that interfere with their professional judgment and
        performance (NASW Code of Ethics Appendix R section 4.05) in their field placement
        responsibilities, student should share what will be done to carry out the tasks in the
        placement and what accommodations the agency will need to make, i.e., if student has
        chronic fatigue syndrome and needs to spend shorter periods of time in the agency or
        spread the placement out over a longer time period.

     4. If a background check will reveal a felony or other conviction student will need to share
        this information.

I.   Authorized Field Placements

     Policy: Students must have authorized field placements.

     Procedure: Students discuss all practicum options with the Field Practicum Coordinator
     prior to interviewing at agencies to ensure the approval of the agency for a practicum site.
     Student and field instructor sign a Field Practicum Confirmation form which is submitted to
     the Field Practicum Coordinator prior to beginning a field practicum. Students who begin
     field practicum without knowledge and authorization may not count those clock hours until
     the authorization process is completed. The student may be requested to leave the agency if
     it is not approved by the Field Practicum Coordinator or Field Practicum Coordinating
J.   Student Request to Change a Field Placement

     Policy: Any student enrolled in the M.S.W. program may seek a change in his/her field
     practicum when problems unrelated to the student's performance make the continuation in
     the field practicum an issue. It is the function of the student's faculty field liaison to
     determine the source of the need for reassignment.

     Procedure: The following steps are followed for student request in agency reassignment:

     1. Faculty field liaison and student discuss the problem. The student may request
        another faculty member present at the meeting if the matter is delicate.

     2. Faculty field liaison, student, and field instructor discuss problem and explore alternative
        solutions. At this point, it is the faculty field liaison's responsibility to inform the Field
        Practicum Coordinator of the difficulties. If a solution is not found within the agency, a
        decision to terminate the placement is then made by the field instructor and faculty field
        liaison in consultation with the Field Practicum Coordinator.

     3. The student is expected to complete the termination process in the initial placement
        which includes administrative requirements of the agency as well as termination contacts
        with assigned clients. The original field instructor is also expected to submit a summary
        of the student's field experience to date, which is shared with the student and becomes
        part of the school record. The student may submit a response to the field instructor's

        In rare situations, an agency may unilaterally request that a student be terminated from
        the placement. If this is due to concern about the student's suitability for that particular
        setting, then the faculty field liaison must be involved in order to review the situation, to
        provide the student with due process and to develop further plans. If the request is due to
        some severe or drastic failure on the part of the student, then it will be necessary to
        proceed with formal administrative measures.

     4. Student and Field Practicum Coordinator determine whether or not reassignment is
        advisable and if so, they explore options of other placements and a decision to replace the
        student is made.

     5. The faculty field liaison function will continue to rest with the student's current faculty
        field liaison until such time that reassignment in a new field agency is completed. At such
        time, the faculty field liaison associated with this new agency will assume the liaison
        responsibility for the student.

     Procedure for replacements: Replacement is initiated by the Field Practicum Coordinator
     who selects and facilitates the most suitable agency. An interview with the new field
     instructor and agency is required, and information about the previous situation be shared and
     discussed, if appropriate. It may be necessary for the student to put in additional or extended
     time in the new placement to make up for earlier time and teaching missed. These
     arrangements are negotiated by the student, the faculty field liaison and the new field
     Examples of non-performance problems are:

     1. Inadequate agency resources to support field placement.

        For example, lack of student office space, lack of clients for student cases, insufficient
        supervisory time, loss of field instructor due to illness, change of jobs, and others.

     2. Learning experiences in agency are too narrow.

        For example, with direct service students, lack of opportunities to work with individuals,
        families, and groups or to assume multiple intervention roles: counselor, broker,

     3. Misplacement error based on paper credentials of students and field placement.

        For example, agency learning experiences are too advanced for the student or the
        converse. It is more of a problem of an unanticipated mismatch than a difficulty in
        student performance.

     4. Agency reorganization.

        For example, during the academic year the agency substantially changes its
        administrative structure which creates a chaotic situation for the student and adversely
        affects available learning opportunities.

     5. Personality or ideological clash between field instructor and student.

K.   Agency Termination of Student

     Policy: The field placement agency may terminate a student deemed unsuitable for the client
     population, work arena, or due to personal behaviors detrimental to the agency, or agency

     Procedure: The field instructor discusses the termination with the student and contacts the
     faculty field liaison for a meeting. The student is given an opportunity to represent
     him/herself. If there is no possible resolve, then the field instructor writes an evaluation
     with recommended grade and reason for termination providing a copy to the student and
     faculty field liaison. The liaison contacts the Field Practicum Coordinator to recommend
     whether or not the student should be placed elsewhere at this time. If the student is to be
     placed in another setting, regular procedures are followed. If the recommendation is not to
     place the student in another agency, the student may appeal the decision (see appeals policy
     and procedure). Upon the filing of an appeal, the written evaluations from field instructor
     and faculty field liaison and student appeal are taken to the Field Practicum Coordinating
     Committee for final decision
L.   Violation of Ethics

     Policy: Students must comply with the professional standards as outlined in the NASW
     Code of Ethics (see Appendix R) while in the field practicum.

     Procedure: When the practicum student has violated a professional ethical standard or
     engaged in behavior that is detrimental to the welfare of the student’s client(s), colleagues,
     the student will be subject to dismissal from the MSW Program. Student may appeal the
     dismissal by writing a formal request to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee. This
     Committee will review the request and make a recommendation to the graduate faculty who
     will make the final decision.

M.   School Discontinuance

     Policy: Students will be subject to discontinuance from the MSW Program if they: (a) are
     unable to secure a satisfactory field placement for reasons relating to their inappropriate
     behavior or their lack of readiness for placement, (b) are in violation of the NASW Code of

     Procedure: The student will be subject to review by the Field Practicum Coordinating
     Committee. Student may appeal discontinuance by writing a formal request to the Field
     Practicum Coordinating Committee. This Committee will review the request and make a
     recommendation to the graduate faculty; final action is taken by the Graduate Council.

N.   Student Field Practicum Appeals

     Policy: Students have the right to appeal in writing any action taken regarding them in their
     field practicum.

     Procedure: All student field practicum appeals requests are given in writing to the Field
     Practicum Coordinator who takes the appeal request to the Field Practicum Coordinating

     When there is a discrepancy between faculty field liaison and student perception of
     appropriate quarter grade the following two-step process is used for the student's protection:
     the student (1) appeals the grade in writing to the Field Practicum Coordinator, and (2) the
     Field Practicum Coordinator takes the appeal to the Field Practicum Coordinating
     Committee which determines the final grade based on all the evidence by the field
     instructor, faculty field liaison, and student.

O.   Agency / Field Instructor Review

     Policy: Field practicum agencies are subject to review for contracted student learning
     experiences and supervision.

     Procedure: Three evaluation methods are used for agency review: (1) faculty field liaison
     recommendation, (2) student evaluation of practicum, (3) agency contract with the Walla
     Walla College School of Social Work. Field Practicum Coordinator takes the agency / field
     instructor under review to the Field Practicum Coordinating Committee for further
     discussion. If the Committee recommends to terminate the agency or field instructor for a
     practicum site, the Coordinator contacts the field instructor / agency representative to
     discuss the issues of concern followed by a letter explaining which standards were not met at
     this time. The agency may respond in writing. At a time when the School is satisfied that
     the standards will be met, the agency will be notified that students may once again be placed

P.   Non-Agency Based Field Instructors

     Policy: Walla Walla College School of Social Work may approve non-agency based field
     instructors to supervise students in the absence of an approved social worker at the
     practicum agency. The educational and supervisory expectations for the contract field
     instructor are the same as for agency-based field instructors. The agency director or
     designee is expected to have the knowledge of and approve that a contract field instructor
     supervises a student at their agency.

     Procedure: The potential off-site field instructor completes a contract (Appendix N) and
     submits it with their resume to the Field Practicum Coordinator. At the end of each quarter
     the off-site field instructor completes the Reimbursement form (Appendix O) and sends it to
     the Field Practicum Coordinator for processing the request through the College.

Q.   Free Tuition for Field Instructors

     Policy: Free tuition is provided for full-time, agency based and contract field instructors
     supervising Walla Walla College social work field practicum students (Appendix Q).

     Procedure: The procedures below are to be followed for receiving tuition free credits:

     1. Field instructor contacts the MSW Program Assistant to request the course enrollment

     2. Field instructor completes free tuition request/enrollment form

     3. School of Social Work keeps original free tuition enrollment form and gives the
        instructor a copy to take with them to register. If they are seeking a graduate degree they
        need to register at the Office of the Graduate Dean; all others need to register in the
        Academic Records Office.

     4. The Academic Records Office and Office of the Graduate Dean will add new people to
        the database and sign an ID number.
     5. A copy of the free tuition enrollment form is sent to the Human Resources Office after
        the beginning of each quarter. The names will be added to the list sent to the Accounting
        Office where the 1099 form will be prepared.

R.   Malpractice Insurance / Professional Liability Coverage

     Policy: All Walla Walla College social work students whose field practicum is necessary in
     order to meet degree requirements are covered by liability insurance carried by the College.
     The School of Social Work faculty and contracted field placement instructors are included in
     this coverage.

     Procedure: A certificate of insurance will be provided to the participating organization upon
     request through the Walla Walla College School of Social Work to Risk and Safety
     Management. The minimum processing time is 14 days.

     Health Insurance:

     All Walla Walla College students are covered with the student accident insurance. If the
     student does not have their own medical insurance, Risk and Safety Management suggests
     that they consider purchasing the optional accident and medical insurance offered through
     the Walla Walla College Campus Health Services.

S.   Students with Disabilities

     Policy: Students with disabilities may receive services from the Walla Walla College
     Disability Support Services. (Appendix S).

     Procedure: The following process is established for students requesting reasonable
     accommodation in field practicum settings:

     1. Student must declare a disability and request for reasonable accommodation from the
        Disability Support Services Coordinator,

     2. Student is to provide documentation from a physician regarding their disability,

     3. Student and Disability Support Services Coordinator determine the accommodation
        needs of the student,

     4. A confidential letter is sent to the Field Practicum Coordinator and hand- carried by the
        student to the field instructor explaining the accommodation needs.

     5. School has the right to set behavioral standards for class and field.

     6. Behavioral standards may be based on the NASW Code of Ethics.

     7. If behavior contradicts ethical standards, the student may be terminated
T.   Sexual Harassment Policy

     Policy: Sexual harassment of students is not tolerated by the School of Social Work or Walla
     Walla College (Appendix U).

     Procedure: The Walla Walla College sexual harassment procedures are used by the School
     of Social Work (Appendix U).

U.   Grievance

     Policy: Students have the right to lodge a formal grievance with Walla Walla College after
     all School of Social Work efforts to resolve the issues have been exhausted (Appendix V).

     Procedure: The Walla Walla College grievance process is used by the School of Social
     Work (Appendix V).

V.   Background Checks

     Policy: Walla Walla College does not mandate background checks for social work students;
     however, individual checks may be required by some agencies.

     Procedure: Students are to inquire from the agency at the time of their practicum interview
     for information regarding background checks prior to the time they begin their practicum.
     Conducting these checks is the responsibility of the student and agency.

W.   Safety

     Policy: Student physical and psychological safety is paramount for optimal educational
     functioning at the agency.

     Procedure: Students and agencies must together consider creating a safe field practicum
     environment. These issues are to be addressed in the agency orientation as well as in
     supervision. It is important to discuss guidelines for prevention, risk taking, and
     crisis/safety plans.

     Examples of safety issues are:

     1. Transporting clients alone, especially children
2. Working alone at agency after dark
3. Making home visits alone, especially in dangerous neighborhoods.

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