SWK 396: Pre-Field Seminar
Spring 2016
Section 002, Monday 8:00 - 8:50am (Room MC 1031)
Angie Vandenberg, MSW, LCSW
[email protected] (preferred communication)
McNeill Hall 3054
Mondays 9am-11am, Tuesdays 2pm-3pm, or by appointment
Course Catalogue Description
Prerequisites: SWK 235, SWK 240, SWK 320; co-requisites: SWK 321, SWK 341.
Explore professional expectations of field education, including ethical standards of
the NASW Code of Ethics. Preparation of a resume, identification of the student’s
learning style, and exploration of diverse agencies and fields of practice to secure a
field placement of interest.
Course Description
The pre-field seminar is a weekly one-hour seminar that is designed to prepare you
for entering BSW social work field education. This seminar will assist in identifying
the client populations and placement opportunities that are of interest to you,
provide you with opportunities to meet numerous field instructors from a variety of
fields of practice, and prepare you for interviewing for your field placement
selection. In addition there will be a review of some of the potential employment
options for beginning BSW social workers. The seminar is also designed to help
acquaint you with field faculty so that you will feel comfortable asking questions or
discussing concerns that you might have in beginning social work field practice. The
seminar is grounded in experiential learning, marking the beginning of the
educational journey of field education, which is often referenced as the “capstone” of
social work education.
Course Objectives
Upon completion of this social work pre-field seminar, the student will have
knowledge, skills, and values which will prepare the student for field practice. The
student should be able to:
1. Identify fields of social work practice suitable for BSW generalist social work
practice. BSW Program Goals 1, 4, & 6. CSWE Core Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.3,
2.1.3, 2.1.4, & 2.1.5. Pre-field Assignments: attendance at field fairs, agency
assessments, & critique 2 articles regarding specific fields of practice.
2. Articulate the essential elements and prepare a professional resume suitable
for field interviews and employment. BSW Program Goals 4 & 11. CSWE Core
Competencies 2.1.1 & 2.1.3. Pre-field Assignments: resume, BSW Field
Application, & personal interview.
3. Articulate the critical elements for professional field interviews. BSW
Program Goals 1, 2, 4 & 11. CSWE Core Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2,.2.1.3, 2.1.4,
2.1.9 & 2.1.10. Pre-field Assignments: reading reflections, class participation, &
final exam.
4. Recognize different learning and conflict styles and their relevance for
successful social work practice. BSW Program Goals 3 & 4. CSWE Core
Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.7, & 2.1.10. Pre-field Assignments:
learning style inventory, conflict style inventory, class participation, reading
reflections & final reflection paper.
5. Assess agency settings and practice focus for suitability for field placement to
meet student’s learning needs. BSW Program Goals 1, 2, 5 & 6. CSWE Core
Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.6, 2.1.7, 2.1.8, 2.1.9 & 2.1.10. Prefield Assignments: learning style inventory, conflict style inventory, personal
interview, agency assessment, reading reflections, class participation & final
reflection paper.
6. Develop an appreciation for the importance of self-awareness for beginning
professional social work practice. BSW Program Goals 1 & 2. CSWE Core
Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.7 & 2.1.10. Pre-field Assignments:
learning style inventory, conflict style inventory, BSW Field Application,
personal interview & class participation.
7. Articulate areas of personal concern that could impact one’s ability to
successfully engage in field practice. BSW Program Goals 1, 2, & 5. CSWE Core
Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.7 & 2.1.9. Pre-field Assignments:
personal interview, BSW Field Application & final reflection paper.
8. Develop an appreciation for flexibility and guidance/supervision when
engaging in placement selection and field practice. BSW Program Goals 1 & 10.
CSWE Core Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.7, & 2.1.10. Pre-field
Assignments: agency assessment, field fairs, class participation & final reflection
9. Create a climate of respect that fosters discussion of learning needs and
expectations among peers and colleagues. BSW Program Goals 3, 4, 5, 9 & 10.
CSWE Core Competencies 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4 & 2.1.10. Pre-field
Assignments: field fairs, reading reflections & class participation.
10. Engage in respectful discussion of different perceptions of practice, within
the classroom. BSW Program Goals 1, 3, 9 & 10. CSWE Core Competencies 2.1.1,
2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, & 2.1.9. Pre-field Assignments: conflict style inventory &
class participation.
Course Materials
Required Texts
Vandenberg, A. (2015-2016). UNCW social work field education manual.
Wilmington, NC: Unpublished Manuscript. (please note that the version on the
UNCW School of Social Work Web Page does not include the appendices)
Grobman, L. (2002). The field placement survival guide. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat
NASW Code of ethics. (2008). Washington, DC: NASW Press (available on the NASW
web site:
*Other reading assignments will be posted on Blackboard.
Philosophy of Teaching and Learning / Method of Instruction:
I believe in having an open and engaged classroom where students learn not only
through lectures, but class discussion, role plays, and guest speakers. It is important
to me that students feel what they are learning in the classroom can be put into
Methods to Successfully Course Objectives/ Learning Outcomes:
The primary learning format is the engagement in interactive learning, which
includes discussion of the assigned readings and classroom activities. Seminar
sessions are based on the expectation that all readings assigned for that seminar
topic have been completed prior to seminar. In addition, each student is encouraged
to share personal experiences and/or perceptions that will enhance seminar
discussion. The seminar is built upon a philosophy of shared leadership, which
requires students contribute to the discussion and the foster inclusion of seminar
participants. Therefore, students are expected to attend seminar to facilitate
learning and the acquisition of skills in professional communication. Finally, all
assignments are due on the designated due date (see schedule of assignments);
inability to meet a designated due date requires negotiation with the instructor
prior to the due date.
Course Policies
Academic Integrity
All members of UNCW's community are expected to follow the academic Honor
Code. Please read the UNCW Honor Code carefully (as covered in the UNCW Student
Handbook). Academic dishonesty in any form will NOT be tolerated. Please be
especially familiar with UNCW's position on plagiarism as outlined in the UNCW
Student Handbook. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty in which one takes
someone else's ideas and represents them as his/her own. Some examples of
plagiarism include:
· You write about someone else's work in your paper and do not give credit for
it; authors must be referenced.
You give a presentation and use someone else's ideas and do not state the
source of these ideas.
You use facts from your text or another reference material and do not
reference the material.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Students who have a disability and need accommodations should notify the
instructor by the end of the second week of this semester. In order to obtain such
accommodations, the student must officially register with the Office of Disabilities
Services located in DePaulo Hall (962-3746) and the instructor with a letter of
accommodation which specifies the student’s learning needs. Accommodations will
be made based on the recommendations of Disabilities Services, and collaboration
with the student, to determine how best to accommodate the student’s learning
Learning Assistance
Any student wishing to have accommodations to enhance learning is encouraged to
work through the University Office of Disability Services. Please contact that office
to gain access to special resources and services. In addition, the Learning Center is
available to assist all students with writing skills, including APA formatting. In
addition, the Randall Library has numerous resources, including a librarian
designated to work with the School of Social Work, John Osinski. Please contact him
with questions and concerns about accessing library resources.
Violence and Harassment
UNCW practices a zero tolerance policy for any kind of violent or harassing
behavior. If you are experiencing an emergency of this type contact the police at
911 or UNCW CARE at 910-962-2273. Resources for individuals concerned with
violent or harassing situation can be located at
The UNCW Statement on Diversity in the University Community
As an institution of higher learning, the University of North Carolina Wilmington
represents a rich diversity of human beings among its faculty, staff, and students
and is committed to maintaining a campus environment that values that diversity.
Accordingly, the university supports policies, curricula, and co-curricular activities
that encourage understanding of and appreciation for all members of its community
and will not tolerate any harassment or disrespect for persons because of race,
gender, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, sexual
orientation, political affiliation, marital status, or relationship to other university
constituents. Diversity Resources .
Campus Respect Compact
UNCW is committed to a civil community, characterized by mutual respect.
Individuals wanting more information about the Respect Compact can contact the
Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.
Students are expected to attend each scheduled class meeting and to be prepared.
Attendance includes not only being present, but being on time and staying for the
duration of the course. Attendance will be taken each class session. Students may
miss up to two class sessions without penalty. If the student misses three or
more times, their final grade will be deducted by five points per absence.
Ethics and Confidentiality The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide
to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. You are expected to be
familiar with its contents. The Code can be found online at: The importance of
confidentiality cannot be overstated. In written assignments, as well as oral
discussions and presentations, guidelines regarding confidentiality (as expressed in
the NASW Code of Ethics) are to be strictly observed.
Religious Observance Policy
North Carolina General Statute 116-11(3a) and UNC policy authorizes a minimum of
two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by the
faith of a student. Students must submit a request for an excused absence, within
SeaNet, seven days prior to the religious observance. The student shall be given the
opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence
for a religious observance
UNCW Student Gender-Based/Sexual Misconduct Policy
UNCW takes all forms of interpersonal violence very seriously. When students
disclose (verbally or in writing) to faculty or staff about sexual misconduct,
domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking against themselves or another
student, this information must be reported to the administration in order to
ensure that student’s rights are protected, appropriate resources are offered, and
the need for further investigation is explored to maintain campus safety. This means
that if you tell the instructor about this kind of misconduct, the disclosure cannot
remain confidential and the instructor must share that information. This is required
by federal law and UNCW policy.
The following three confidential resources do not need to report interpersonal
violence: UNCW CARE, the Student Health Center, and the Counseling Center. If you
want to speak to someone in confidence, these resources are available, including
CARE’s 24-hour crisis line (910-512-4821). For more information, please visit or
Use of Personal Electronics
The use of electronic equipment is permitted in class when used in a respectful
manner (i.e.: to take notes, assist with looking up course material). However, should
use of such equipment be perceived as disrespectful, disruptive, or interfering in the
learning for other students, as well as the instructor, students will be asked to
discontinue use.
Completion of Course Assignments
All assignments, whether graded or not, must be completed to receive credit for this
professional seminar. Each student will be expected to complete the following
assignments with due dates indicated in the schedule of assignments.
Due Dates
All papers/assignments must be turned in on the scheduled due date at the
beginning of class. If you turn in your assignment late, your grade will be deducted
10 points for each day it is late. If an extenuating circumstance occurs, please let the
instructor know prior to class.
Course Assignments
Each student is expected to attend seminar and engage in respectful discussion.
Students are also expected to engage in self-reflection to identify their personal
learning styles as well as personal experiences that may influence personal
perspectives in working with different at-risk client populations. In addition, each
student is expected to interview community social workers and service providers to
identify potential placements with supervisory styles, that are compatible with the
student’s learning needs, as well as client populations that are of interest.
A final letter grade based on 100% of completed course assignments and exams will
be given at the completion of the course. No +/-grades are given in the course.
Grades are based on a 10-point scale,
with no exceptions:
**A final grade that is less than a C requires a student to repeat the course before
going into field.
% Of Seminar Grade
Professional Resume
59 and
Record your grade below
Application to Field
Personal Interview
Attendance at Field
Graded Opportunities
Agency Interviews &
Assessment (2)
25 %
Class led
25 %
Final Reflection Paper
25 %
Pre-Field Readiness
100 %
Descriptions of Course Assignments
Professional Resume (Not graded, but must complete to receive course credit)
Each student is required to create a one-page resume in order to learn to
professionally present her/his educational and work experience. Students are
encouraged to consult with a counselor at the Career Center before turning in their
resumes. This assignment is not graded, but is required for successful completion of
the course, as the resume will be shared with prospective field instructors to secure
a field placement. Note that professional resumes require resume paper, which can
be purchased at any local office supply store.
Application to Field (Not graded, but must complete to receive course credit)
Each student will complete an application for admission to field education. This
application explores learning interests as well as special learning needs, including
identification of developmental experiences that might impact one’s ability to
engage in practice with specific client populations. An application form will be
provided with seminar discussion to enhance successful completion of the form. The
completed field application should be submitted on the due date identified in the
schedule of assignments, but must be submitted no later than the date of the
personal interview with the faculty liaison. (See BSW Social Work Field Education
Manual for full description of the field admission criteria.)
Personal Interview (Not graded, but must complete to receive course credit)
Each student is required to participate in a personal interview with her/his prefield instructor to review the field application and assist the student in selecting
field options that will best meet student learning interests and needs. The student
should dress professionally for this meeting and treat it as practice interview. A
sign-up sheet will be provided in class to schedule individual appointment times.
Field Fair: To afford opportunity to meet potential field instructors, a field fair will
be held. Attendance is mandatory. If you have a class or are scheduled to work at
this time, please speak with your professor or employer about being excused for
that day; it is encouraged you do this in a timely fashion. Students find this field fair
to be beneficial in expanding placement interests, dispelling misconceptions about
particular agencies or populations served, as well as identifying field instructors
who stimulate student learning interests.
Agency Interviews and Assessments (2)
25 %
Each student is required to visit potential agencies to interview for a field placement
and learn about the agency. Students will be encouraged to shadow a social worker,
if possible, in addition to the interview. Through these experiences, students will
aim to gain insight into the supervisory style and expectations as well as the
agency’s mission, services, client population, and work climate. This information
will assist in careful selection of a field education match. To assist in the evaluation
and review process, a designated form will be completed for each agency visit.
Students are expected to take an approved copy of the professional resume to the
agency visit for review by the respective field instructors.
Class led discussion/participation
25 %
Each student will be responsible for the assigned course readings found in your
syllabus. Assigned readings will come from the required text, BSW Field Manual, or
are available on electronic reserve through the UNCW Library. Students are asked to
facilitate discussion of the assigned reading(s) once during the semester. Students
will have the opportunity to sign up for their reading on the first day of class. In
addition, facilitators of the class discussion are asked to submit on a word document
their “talking points” for class discussion. Each student will turn in 3 pertinent
issues/points that you identified in the reading (ideas you found interesting,
concepts that challenge your thinking, recommendations that you support, ideas
that you want to dispute, etc.) as well as 3 questions that you would like to bring up
in the seminar to facilitate discussion. Student must turn in their discussion
summary the day of their facilitation.
Final Reflection Paper 25 %
Each student is required to write a short paper (3-4 pages) that reflects on her/his
readiness for the field placement experience. The following headings/sections
should be included:
1. Strengths. In this section, students are asked to identify strengths they will
bring to the field placement experience. Elaboration of how these strengths
will be useful in practice should be explored.
2. Biases and Assumptions. In this section, students are asked to identify the
biases they bring with them to the field placement experience. Articulation of
these things, from a non-judgmental place, will be helpful in acknowledging
and working to grow in these areas.
3. Ethics and Values. In his section, students are asked to identify the particular
social work values as well as ethical principles and standards that seem most
compatible with one’s personal style or beliefs while also identifying those
that might be most challenging in practice.
4. Limitations, Challenges, and Concerns. In this section, students are asked to
identify any particular their limitations, challenges they expect, and concerns
they may have about the field placement experience.
The paper is not graded on student readiness; rather it will be graded on the
student’s ability to engage in candid reflection and the ability to write in an
articulate, organized, professional manner, including ways the personal learning
style preference and conflict style will hinder or enhance placement is essential for
this assignment. APA format is required (including 1-inch margins, times-newroman font, and a title page); recall APA formatting necessitates an introduction and
a conclusion. A rubric, accounting for both completeness and quality, will be
provided prior to the due date.
Field Readiness Exam 25 %
There will be a field readiness exam given to determine your knowledge and
readiness for placement. This exam will test your knowledge of course material.
Material will be taken from the text, reading assignments posted on Blackboard, and
materials presented by the instructor in lecture.
Course Timeline
Overview of seminar
· get acquainted
· scale readiness for field
· course expectations
Field Placement: Roles & Responsibilities
· identify the field education team
· CSWE standards
· service learning vs. field education vs. apprenticeship
· collaboration in the learning process
· scale readiness for field placement
Vandenberg, A. (2015-2016) BSW Field Education Manual
Field Education Overview, 5-7
Field Roles and Responsibilities, 8-15
Application to the Field, 19-23
Grobman, L. Survival guide
Preface, 19
Chapter 9, The Learning Agreement: A Roadmap
Field Fair, 9:30am-11:30am, McNeill Multipurpose Room 1051
**Guest Speaker from Career Center: Sarah Crockett
Preparing for field interviews and Resumes
· telephone and etiquette
· professional attire
· selecting agencies for field interview
· representing UNCW and the social work profession
· specific agency requirements (criminal background check, etc.)
Vandenberg, A. (2015-2016) Process for selecting field
placements. BSW Field Education Manual,16-18
Grobman, L. Survival guide.
Chapter 8, 10 Tips for a successful field placement
No Class – Meet for Pre-field interviews
Learning Style Inventory
identify your preferred learning style
identify strengths and limitations of each style
Reading: Cournoyer, B. & Stanley, M. (2002) The social work
portfolio. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 14-26.
Conflict Style
identify your preferred conflict management style
review strengths and limitations of each style
Kruk, E. (1998) Meditation and conflict resolution in social work and
the human services: Issues, debates, and trends. Meditation and conflict resolution
in social work and the human services. Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers, 1-17.
Characteristics for a good field placement match
student self-awareness of learning
employment at placement setting
population served vs. field instructor's style of supervision
Grobman, L. Survival guide
Chapter 1, The road to practicum: I want a great one
Chapter 2, Choosing a field placement-Wisely!
Chapter 3, A paid practicum
Chapter 4, Can I do my practicum where I work?
Spring Break – No Class
Making the most of your placement
· field education requirements
· flexibility
· professional supervision
· mid-term and end-of-semester evaluations
· liability insurance
Readings: Vandenberg, A.(2015-2016) Field education requirements.
BSW Field Education Manual, 24-29
Rothman, J. (2000) Professional demeanor and comportment.
Stepping out into field. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 16-23.
Rothman, J. (2000) Responsibilities. Stepping out into the field.
Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 24-32.
Grobman, L. Survival guide
Chapter 21: Preparing for supervision
Guest Speaker: Lauren Williams, Pheonix Employment Ministry
Topic: “Professionalism at your Internship”
Flexibility and unplanned change
change in field placements
termination from placement
change in field seminar
loss of field instructor
Readings: Vandenberg, A.(2015-2016) Field education
concerns/issues. BSW Field Education Manual, 30-32
Grobman, L. Survival guide:
Chapter 18: When the change agent experiences unplanned change
Chapter 20: My practicum – why do I hate it so?
Self-care and safety
Vicarious trauma
Preventing burn-out
Readings: Grobman, L. Survival guide
Chapter 7: Listen up!
Chapter 17: Vicarious trauma in field placements
Chapter 15: Concerns in the field
Chapter 16: Be careful, it's a jungle out there.
Horejsi, C. & Garthwait, C. (1999) Personal safety. The social work practicum.
Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 38-63.
Values & ethics
NASW Code of Ethics
Ethical dilemmas
Readings: Grobman, L. Survival guide.
Chapter 30: Facing ethical dilemmas in the field
Chapter 31: Ethics: Issues for interns
Chapter 32: Promoting social justice within the practicum
Pre-Field Readiness Exam
Summer contact information
Liability insurance
Scaling placement readiness