255 FL Developing a successful field program in an online

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Developing a Successful Field
Program in an Online
Environment: Lessons Learned
Dr. M. Sebrena Jackson, LCSW
Director of Field
Learning Objectives
• Objective 1: Participants will discover key
components of developing a successful online
field education program
• Objective 2: Participants will discuss the
challenges of field education in an online
environment
• Objective 3: Participants will review lessons
learned
Who We Are
• The Walden University mission
• Walden University provides a diverse community of career
professionals with the opportunity to transform
themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can effect
positive social change.
• My background
• What led me to Walden?
3
Our MSW Program
•
•
•
•
•
Launched September 2013
2 year program of study (for full-time students)
Standard MSW Curriculum
Case study (video and written)
Must attend two, 4-day in-person Residencies
– One residency before foundation placement &
second residency before concentration placement
4
Residency
• 4-day intensive training held at locations
throughout the country
• Taught by Walden Social Work faculty
• Provide professional/academic advising
• Opportunity to assess student’s readiness for
field
• Sessions on current topics in social work
5
Field Program Overview
• 4 Field Staff
– Field Director –remotely from GA
– 2 Field Education Coordinators, 1 administrative
assistant-in Minneapolis office
• Placed our first group of students March 2014
• Students placed in 43 states
• Currently 142 students in field
6
Field Program Overview
• Students complete 1000 hours of field
– 500 hours foundation
– 500 hours concentration
• Students are enrolled in a field seminar course
during field
– Students participate in a weekly synchronous call
during field
– Field Liaisons teach field course and conduct
virtual site visits
7
Online Field Education Program
Framework
• 5 Key Components
– (1) Staff
– (2) Processes
– (3) Policies
– (4) Systems
– (5) Partnerships
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Component 1: Staff
•
•
•
•
•
•
Credentials
Experience
Personality
Creativity
Flexibility
Teamwork
9
Component 2: Policies
• Identify key stakeholders
• Policies to guide practice with each stake
holder
• Students
• Agencies
• Field Team
10
Component 3: Processes
• The Field Education Office developed
processes and procedures to manage:
– Student applications
– Agency approvals
– Instructor approvals
– Student Placements at agencies
11
Component 4: Systems
• To meet the needs of students, agencies, and
instructors we developed:
– Communication strategies that are personal and
efficient.
– A centralized database to track student, agency, and
instructor information.
– A Field Education website for students and external
constituents.
– Templates and written explanations to keep our
message consistent.
– Criteria for agency and instructor approvals
12
Technological Tools to Enhance Strategies
• A few tools that enhance our service:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Roll email account
Video conference
Phone/Text
Real-Time orientation
MS products: Access, Outlook, Share Point, PP, etc.
Cloud product for documents
Website manager
Instant Messenger
13
Component 5: Partnerships
• MSW Field Office collaborated with a number
of offices & programs:
– Other Walden academic programs (counseling,
nursing, education)
– Central Office of Field Experience (COFE)
– Career Services
– Core Faculty
– Comportment
– Office of Institutional Research
Field Challenges
• Challenges look similar to on the ground
programs
– Working with students
• Diverse population
• Knowledge of profession
– Working with agencies nationally
– Staffing needs
– Comportment issues
• Getting students to apply to field
15
Lessons Learned
• Change! Change! Change! Continuously
– Everything (Processes, Policies, Procedures)
• Continue to keep students involved in the process
– Students have buy-in when they are involved in the
identification of agency sites
– Field office isn’t blamed when things don’t work out
• It can be done
– Field instructors are open to using technology
– Social workers in practice are embracing online
education
16
Questions?
©2013 Walden University, LLC
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References
Vernon, R., Vakalahi, H., Pierce, D., PittmanMunke, P., & Adkins, L. (2009). Distance
education programs in social work: Current
and emerging trends. Journal of Social Work
Education, Vol. 45 (2). Council on Social Work
Education.
18
Contact Information
Dr. Sebrena Jackson, LCSW
404-403-4291
[email protected]
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