School of Social Work

No. 28 M.S.W. Program in the U.S.

The VCU School of Social Work’s online and on-campus programs are growing, and we want to expand our network of community partners to help teach and guide the next generation of social work change agents.  The school’s Office of Field Education is holding two information sessions so that agencies and organizations that don’t currently have interns can learn more about the process.

*4-5 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. Register
*Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, June 25. Register

Many VCU social work alumni are already active as field instructors, coordinators or supervisors for their agencies, or are serving as adjuncts or field liaisons through the school. We encourage any alumni not currently engaged with field to learn more through our FAQ below and by registering for one of the sessions. We’ve also included testimonials from students on the impact of their field experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will students be in placement this fall?
We are committed to having students engage in agency-based field placements for the Fall and Spring semesters.  We will encourage students to engage with your agency in the same manner that employees do: telework, physically in the office, and/or a mixture of both.  We want to encourage flexibility so that students can gain meaningful learning experiences and contribute to your agency while also maintaining the health and safety protocols that are required by your agency.

What levels of student placements are you seeking?
We always welcome partnerships for students in all levels of our program.  We would love to partner with you for our current B.S.W. and M.S.W. generalist students or our M.S.W. clinical or macro specialization students. 

Where do students need field placements?
We have a growing online program as well as a campus based program.  We have students all over the Commonwealth of Virginia who need placement opportunities.  

What credentials do I need to be a field instructor?

  • B.S.W. student supervision – B.S.W. degree and at least 2 years post-B.S.W. experience
  • M.S.W. generalist and macro specialization supervision – M.S.W. degree and at least 2 years post-M.S.W. experience
  • M.S.W. clinical specialization supervision –  M.S.W. degree and at least 3 years post-M.S.W. clinical experience or LCSW

What training do I need?
All field instructors are asked to complete our online training for field instructors prior to the student beginning placement.

Who do I contact to express interest if I can’t make it or am already a partner and want to have students?
Metro Richmond: Outside of Metro Richmond:

Student Testimonials on Field Impact

Comments about their field instructors:

  • Nora, you truly deserve a gold medal for being an all-around amazing field instructor. I learned so much from this experience, and one of the most valuable parts was learning from your example about what it means to be a clinical social worker.”
  • Rosemary is always running from A to B to C with 18 notebooks and 400 pages of looseleaf paper, and somehow, she holds it all together with poise and optimism. I am grateful to know her.”
  • Lorraine cares deeply for her clients, team and profession – an invaluable lesson that I could not have learned through a textbook.”
  • Odale gave me the experience I needed through encouragement and challenge. When I wasn’t sure of my abilities, he reassured me that I was capable, and with his supervision I know I am a much better social worker.”
  • “I am appreciative of the way that Coty, my field instructor, took the time to engage me as a person who was and is still in the learning process. I hope to one day pass on what I have learned.”
  • Shawntee does not dismiss the importance of offering validation, affirmation and encouragement to her students. I just so happened to be one of those lucky students who landed at her office door.”
  • Sarah has been the most amazing field supervisor. She is an inspiration to me and I truly believe I am a better social worker because of her mentorship and support.” 
  • Amy provided me with numerous opportunities to learn and grow my social work skills. I appreciated how she also presented herself as a learner so I didn’t feel like I was in it alone.”
  • Ellen’s mentorship, training, and supervision has allowed me to feel confident and ready to go into the field and provide extraordinary clinical service to those I will be serving.”
  • Nadia, thank you for being transparent and encouraging me when I shared doubtful moments. Thank you for pushing me to see other perspectives and focusing on my goals. You are genuine and have a heart of gold.”
  • Colleen truly embodies so many of the main principles of the profession. I will be taking lessons I learned in that semester of field with me for years to come.” 
  • Caytie has been a huge force in my social work education. I have been able to grow so much as a practitioner as a result of her listening, feedback and guidance.”
  • “Her trust and belief in me have meant more to me than I can express. All the good that I am able to accomplish in my future endeavors will be in part owed to Mrs. Cassada and her mentorship.”
  • “I can’t be more grateful to have had Lashawnda as my field instructor. She has helped me understand the importance of social work, and why social workers are needed (especially Black social workers).” 
  • Vera is an inspiration. She taught me how to be tenacious and not take no for an answer. She showed me that if I cannot get someone to help a client, then I must keep pushing and advocating for that client until someone will help them.”

Comments about their agencies:

  • “Beyond the marker-stained tables and craft glitter are people who look to create a happier, more authentic world for children and adolescents who often feel unwelcome in the various environments where they hope to thrive. I am immensely happy that I was placed here (Richmond Autism Integration Network).”
  • Jefferson Area CHIP is so important, because it does the important work that so often goes unnoticed, with a population that so often goes unsupported. I am grateful to have gotten to see the work here.” 
  • “The discussion held during our supervision meetings helps me reflect on each week and correlate it to my social work studies. I appreciate your flexibility and willingness to take me in as an intern at Catholic Charities.”
  • Health Brigade is the gold standard of trauma-informed care and a safe space for vulnerable populations and individuals. It was an honor to work alongside so many talented, thoughtful and social-justice minded individuals.”
Categories Alumni, Community, Education

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