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BSW Practicum Education Program

Welcome current and future BSW students. Starting your practicum is a rewarding experience. As a student in our Experiential Programs, you’ll work with seasoned social work professionals to develop a responsible, analytical approach to social work practice and discover areas you’re passionate about serving in to help others.

What’s Ahead

BSW Professional and BSW Honors Professional program students are required to have one practicum placement. Students must take the SW 444: Field Preparation Seminar the spring semester prior to their practicum and senior year. BSW seniors complete SW 490, a nine-credit hour course in practicum education and SW 443 or SW 445, a practicum education seminar during the fall semester. Seniors in the Professional and Honors Professional programs who take course SW 443 have the unique and innovative opportunity to complete their practicum placement in Washington, D.C. or internationally. Washington, D.C. practicum placements are competitive and not all students may receive placement. Students must have overall GPA of 2.25 and a GPA of 2.5 in social work courses to start their BSW practicum placement.

BSW Practicum Placements

BSW practicum placements are recommended by the practicum education coordinator based a student’s area of interest and learning needs. UA’s School of Social Work’s partners with a variety of social service agencies serving diverse populations to provide practicum education experiences for students.

Regardless of students’ practicum placement location, all students must interview with their recommended agency. Once matched with an agency, seniors begin their 15-week practicum and spend a minimum of 450 clock hours during the semester at an agency four days each week. Students are responsible for their own transportation to their assigned agency.

Working with Practicum Instructors and Faculty Liaisons

Every student in practicum has both a practicum instructor and a faculty liaison. Students are supervised by a practicum instructor — an individual with a master’s degree in social work, usually someone employed at the agency. The practicum instructor, in conjunction with faculty affiliated with the appropriate program (BSW or MSW), selects assignments that are related to the student’s individual learning needs and consistent with the content of the practicum instruction course.

A faculty liaison is responsible for monitoring a student’s educational progress and making assessments regarding the quality of the experience. The faculty liaison meets with the student and the field instructor at least twice during the practicum and is available to both the instructor and the student for discussions of the practicum experience and assistance with resolving any problems that may arise.

Applying for Practicum

All BSW students preparing to enter practicum are expected to submit an ABI/FBI background check prior to beginning their placement. BSW seniors should get their forms from the Office of Experiential Programs during the spring semester. Your background check can take time. In-state students should use our In-State Background Checklist to start the background check application. Out-of-state students should start a background check application here.

Students must apply for practicum via the School’s Social Work Information System (SWIS). SWIS is designed to provide you with a user-friendly tool to apply for practicum education. Please review our practicum application instructions carefully before logging into SWIS.