To protect students, agencies, and clients, all on-site field placements were suspended indefinitely in favor of remote service.

In a spirit of collaboration, we wanted to take this opportunity to describe in detail the steps that have been taken so far and to develop and implement a new protocol for the continuity of field education through remote service.

As we move forward together, we will include all faculty on field bulletins and welcome each of you to reach out to share questions or thoughts with our Program regarding our evolving response to the national crisis.

During this transition, we will post all relevant field information in this section of the Field Education’s home page. Please check this section periodically for updates.

Additionally, remote learning activities and resources have been compiled in a UA Box folder. Access to this folder will require DUO authentication through MyBama. The field staff will continue to update this folder.

Emergency Response Timeline:

These decisions were made following guidance from public health authorities and in consultation with University administration, and key elements are bolded:

3/11 + 3/12:

  • The DC Fly-In is canceled, and a virtual alternative is created.
  • The Field Program advises students to begin exploring how their service on-site with agencies can be completed virtually.
  • The Remote Competency Development Tool, its guide, and a basic list of supplemental activities are shared to support students in completing this planning. This tool guides students in determining how they can transition their learning competencies into virtual service. Students are also encouraged to share any resources that they create, find, or adapt (with their agency’s permission).
  • Students who feel unsafe continuing on-site for any reason are advised that they will be supported should they determine that they must terminate their on-site service.
  • Agency partners are advised of these developments and invited to share thoughts, questions, and concerns with the Field Office and invited to contribute to the development and expansion of virtual programming.   
  • Virtual “office-hours” for students, liaisons, and field instructors via Zoom with field coordinators are hosted.

3/13:

  • In anticipation of disruption to field placements, five field policy changes are made on an emergency basis:
    • Service commitments are reduced to the minimum allowed by CSWE, 450 hours.
    • Students completing variable Spring placements are allowed to complete up to 440 of those hours prior to the end of the Spring term, with the remaining 10 to be completed during the Summer.
    • The cap of 20 hours placed on professional development and training is removed.
    • Students are allowed to complete hours outside of regular business hours (i.e. on nights and during weekends) without completing an alternative hours waiver.
  • Faculty liaisons are consulted during a regularly scheduled virtual meeting and apprised fully of all recent developments.

3/16 – 3/20:

  • Following new guidance from public health authorities and in sustained consultation with University administration, all physical placements are suspended indefinitely, effective 3/17, to slow the spread of the virus.  The Field Program invites all parties involved to share questions and concerns actively by phone and email.
  • Virtual town halls are planned and carried out on 3/18 and 3/20 to discuss this determination. Over 300 students, liaisons, and field instructors attend across three sessions, and recordings are shared with all parties and upcoming sessions are advertised.
  • A second faculty liaison meeting is held to discuss the implementation of virtual strategies.
  • Supplemental virtual resources are consolidated and expanded to include more recommended articles, films, podcasts, books, and social media activities.