Field instructors are the professionals who provide supervision and instruction to our BSW and MSW practicum students. Field instructors play a pivotal role in the education and development of our students by bridging the gap between theory and practice.
Please review the following:
The School of Social Work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is a founding member of a multi-university field education project called the St. Louis Social Work Field Education Collaborative that includes four St. Louis area Universities:
The Collaborative has evolved to include a joint field instructor orientation and certificate program, continuing education events, a collaborative website and database, and selected common forms. Since many social workers in our area serve as field instructors for students from more than one of the social work programs, this collaboration has benefits to field instructors and students.
For information on hosting practicum students as an agency or as a field instructor, click on the Field Instructor Qualifications section below.
Prospective Field Instructor Information
Field Instructor Qualifications
The qualifications for instructors supervising students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis include:
Previous field instruction or supervisory experience is preferred.
In some cases, students are approved to receive task supervision from a person with a degree in a field related to social work such as counseling. This would occur in situations, for example, where the student may be assigned part-time to two programs, sites, or units within the agency, with the student’s MSW/BSW instructor assigned to only one of them. The student may be assigned a task supervisor within the other site or unit who is available to provide hands-on supervision and respond to questions from the student. In such cases, the student still meets weekly with their MSW/BSW supervisor and that supervisor is ultimately responsible for that student’s placement.
Responsibility of Field Instructors
The agency field instructor plays a vital role in the education of social work students. It is important that those who take on this role have a good grasp of practice theory, significant experience in the field of social work, a good measure of patience, a desire to teach, and a sense of humor.
Field instructor responsibilities include:
Applicaton Process for both the Agency and the Field Instructor
A Practicum Agency Affiliation Agreement form is required by the University to establish an affiliation with agencies to serve as a practicum site for UMSL Social Work students.The completed form may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org as an email attachment on or before the student's practicum start date. The agreement remains in effect for as long as the agency is willing to participate as a practicum site.
In addition, both field instructors and agencies hosting students must complete applications to ensure compliance with School of Social Work criteria.
First Time Applications
Note: Please allow enough time to complete the account set-up and application in one sitting. It usually takes about 20 minutes. Once begun, the account application must be submitted within 24 hours.
1. Open the Application page.
2. Select "Create an account," then fill out and submit the form. An account validation email will be sent to your email address.
3. Retrieve the validation email from your inbox (check spam folders, too).
4. Login with the email ID and password you just created.
5. Complete the Field Instructor and/or Agency Application and submit.
Agency and Field Instructor applications must be renewed every three years. The application process is similar to that of a new application, but a new account only needs to be created if the email address being used for the application has changed. If that is the case, follow the instructions above. If not, simply log in with your email address and follow the instructions to renew the associated applications.
If you have any questions or have difficulty with the application process, please contact the Field Education Office at (314) 516-7665.
Becoming a Certified Field Instructor
In addition to completing the application (outlined above), new field instructors must complete the following Sessions of the St Louis Field Education Collaborative Certification Program prior to or concurrently with instruction of the first student:
Field Instructors are asked to complete the four subsequent 3-hour training sessions over a two-year period. Topics of these remaining sessions include:
See the Collaborative website for more information on these certification sessions.
Field Instructor Resources
Field Instructors are required to complete a midterm and final evaluation of practicum students at their agencies. Please find below instructions for the completion of these evaluations and the corresponding evaluation forms.
|Mid-term Field Instructor Evaluation
|Mid-semester Practicum Eval
|BSW 4800 - First-semester practicum
|4800 Final Eval
|BSW 4850 - Second-semester practicum
|4850 Final Eval
|MSW 5800 - Foundation Field Evaluation
|5800 final Eval
|MSW Family Practice Field Evaluation
|Family Practice Final Eval
|MSW Leadership & Social Change Field Eval
|Leadership and Social Change Final Eval
Director of Field Education
Associate Director of Field Education