Field Education

SocialWork@Simmons blends online learning with hands-on experience in the field, which allows students to apply classroom learning directly into their own practice.

Field education is an agency-based course (with no classroom component) where students apply their classroom knowledge of theoretical concepts, principles, values, and ethics in a supervised practice. In addition to supervised learning of clinical skills (with individuals, families, and groups), students will also become familiar with the many roles social workers play in agencies and in the community.

View the SocialWork@Simmons Field Education Manual.


SocialWork@Simmons has a dedicated placement team that works directly with students to find internships at sites that complement their overall career goals and interests. Simmons maintains a national network of clinical-site partnerships to ensure that students are able to complete clinical placements in or near their own communities — allowing students to complete the field requirement without relocating.



Clinical Hours and Schedule

Extended program and full-time students complete field education at two placement sites throughout their program. For extended program students, field education takes place in terms 4, 5, 7, and 8. Full-time students complete their field education in terms 1–4. Students’ first placement provides a foundation in general social work practices, while the second placement focuses on advanced clinical skills and specializations.

Students must complete a total of 1,050 clinical hours to graduate. Students should expect to maintain the following schedule during each clinical placement:

  • Placement 1: Two 8-hour days each week (total 450 hours)
  • Placement 2: Two 8-hour days and one 4-hour day each week (total 600 hours)

Field Instructors

In each field placement, students work with a qualified field instructor who provides one-on-one mentoring and instruction. Instructors share their knowledge and expertise — building on the student’s academic foundation — and guide them in the development of their clinical skills.

Under social-work supervision, students demonstrate their skills in a range of roles:

  • Direct clinical practice
  • Accessing, coordinating, and developing services
  • Formulating bio-psycho-social assessments and treatment plans
  • Assisting clients in making plans for intervention
  • Collaborating with staff and community providers
  • Case management and advocacy

During their field placements students receive additional support from a Field Liaison, who monitors their educational process, mentors students on practice and professional development, and works with agencies to ensure a quality practice experience.

To learn more about the SocialWork@Simmons field education curriculum, contact an Admissions Counselor at 1-855-523-SSSW (7779).

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