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 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

Students in the extended, full-time, and accelerated Master of Social Work (MSW) programs 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 2, 3, 5, and 6. For accelerated students, field education takes place in terms 1 – 4. Students’ first placement provides a foundation in general social work practices, while the second placement focuses on advanced clinical skills.

Students should expect to maintain the following schedule during each clinical placement:

  • Placement 1: Two 8-hour days each week for 28 weeks
  • Placement 2: Three 8-hour days each week for 28 weeks

Students in the advanced standing MSW program complete field education at one placement site, beginning in term 2 and continuing through the end of the program. Advanced standing students should expect to work three eight-hour days each week at their field placement site for the duration of the program.

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 1-855-523-7779.

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