Students are welcome to express their areas of interest on the field application. The Field Office is responsible for matching the student with a placement that meets the requirement of the BSW degree program. The Field Office will work to match students with a field agency that meets their interest area however; this cannot be guaranteed due to student fit, availability of field sites, availability of field instructor, etc.
Field Placement agencies determine how many students can be accommodated in a given year. Please keep in mind that many agencies can only accommodate one student per year. In addition, each agency also determines whether or not it will accept BSW students, MSW students or both. For a variety of reasons, too, an agency that has an affiliation agreement with the university may decide not that they cannot accept any students in a given year. An interview with an agency is not a guarantee of placement. The agency decides whether or not to accept the student, so prepare for your field placement interview.
Due to the factors above, students may not end up being placed in the agency or service area they hoped for. The student being open to a variety of placement options is helpful in the field placement process.
The field placement agency determines whether or not BSW students can be accommodated, not the field education office. Therefore, it is unlikely that this will change.
One factor that is often considered by both the field education office and the agency is whether the student would gain knowledge, values, and skills appropriate for generalist practice areas. For example, we would not place a BSW in a clinical setting that requires advanced practice skills.
There are many agencies that require advanced practice skills more appropriate to an MSW. These agencies have specifically indicated that they will only accept MSW students.
The field education office encourages student involvement in the field planning process. We consider such aspects as your practice area of interest, desired distance to your field placement, etc. We make efforts to ensure your satisfaction with your field placement. Many of our placements, though, are in surrounding counties, including Union, Iredell, Cabarrus, Gaston, Cleveland and more. Students are not guaranteed a field placement close to their home or to the university.
If there is an agency that is not listed, please ask about it. We can inquire as to whether or not the agency has a social worker who could provide supervision and whether or not the agency would like to partner with the College of Health and Human Services at UNC Charlotte by developing an Affiliation Agreement. This process takes time, though, so please inquire about this early on in the field planning process.
The university does not reimburse for mileage. Some agencies reimburse student’s for mileage accrued during placement hours, such as when completing home visits. Others do not reimburse. Many agencies are community based, meaning that the services are primarily delivered in the community. Please ask at your agency interview what the expectations are with respect to driving your vehicle. Please note that students are not permitted to drive clients.
The university does not reimburse for parking at an agency. Please ask this question at your interview, so that you understand the expectations with respect to parking fees.
Though students are not permitted to drive clients during their field placement, some agencies permit students to use agency vehicles for home visits or community appointments. In such cases, your driving record may be a factor as to whether or not you would be granted permission to drive an agency vehicle. Please ask about this at your interview.
There are a number of questions that you are encouraged to ask at your field placement interview. They include:
You will attend your Field Placement on Thursdays and Fridays during the fall semester and Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays during the spring semester. Your senior-level social work classes will intentionally be scheduled on non-field days. It is important for you to work with your advisor to make sure that you have a plan to complete your earlier required courses (i.e. – Foreign Language and Quantitative Analysis), prior to your senior year, so that your coursework does not conflict with field days.
The VA offers stipends and this is a very competitive process. Due dates for the following academic year are generally in October students should attend an information session on this placement option.
UNC Charlotte School of Social Work has an Employment Field Placement Policy and Procedure which may be accessed on the website. Placements must be approved by the Field Education Committee and must be in a different area at the agency than where you currently work, thus meeting your learning needs. In addition, a student must have been employed at the agency for a minimum of ninety (90) days to be eligible for an employment based field placement.
Students generally complete field requirements on the days noted, but if the agency can provide the learning opportunities at different times and there is clinical supervision available during the non traditional hours, the change may be discussed with the field office.
Students do not have to be in field education during school holidays, days the university is closed for “inclement weather” or school breaks with the following exceptions
Yes. Students should submit their MSW placement application and Resume as early as possible and contact the Director of Field Education to discuss agencies where the student may potentially be considered for placement.
UNC Charlotte has secured insurance and this is covered by your fees. It is important to note that the insurance only covers you in your SOWK Practicum coursework. If you decide to take an elective in the Counseling Department, students must secure their own malpractice insurance.
There are Manuals in the SSW office that describe agencies and learning opportunities for students. In addition, please contact the Director of Field Education to discuss your areas of interest and agencies you may have an interest in a placement.
Advanced Standing MSW students are placed in their field agency for two (2) days a week for sixteen (16) hours during the academic year. Placement days are Monday and Tuesday.
First year and second year full time MSW students are placed in their field agency for two (2) days a week for sixteen (16) hours during the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. Placement days are Monday and Tuesday.
Once Accepted in a Field Placement by the Agency, students must do the following:
Most importantly, the agency must be willing to provide positive learning opportunities for social work students. They must also have an MSW who is a graduate of a CSWE accredited institution and has had two (2) years practice experience. Each agency has a site visit from the field education office, must sign and affiliation agreement with UNC Charlotte and any new field instructor attend new field instructor orientation
It is strongly recommended to make this a priority when you are accepted for admission since we compete for placements with other universities and the earlier in the process you submit, the more choices the student may have for placements.
The North Carolina Child Welfare Education Collaborative (CWEC) includes specialized, in-depth training in child welfare knowledge, values, and best practices. The program was established in 1999 to improve public child welfare services in North Carolina and is administered by the Jordan Institute for Families at UNC Chapel Hill. CWEC ensures that graduates meet the state's pre-service training (PST) competency requirements. CWEC seeks to increase the number of professionally educated social workers in public child welfare in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Social Work began participating in the Collaborative in 2002.
More information about the NC Child Welfare Collaborative can be found here.
For additional information about participating in the NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte, please contact the site coordinator.
Dr. Ticola C. Ross
Advanced Standing Students will begin their field placement on the first day of the fall and spring semesters.
The UNC Charlotte Social Work Field Education Office seeks placements within a sixty (60) mile radius of the campus. Any agency placement further than that must be approved by the Field Education Committee in advance. Most agencies are located in Mecklenburg County, but there are opportunities offered in Cabarrus, Rowan, Gaston, Union, and Lincoln, Davidson, Stanly and Catawba counties. If an agency has the capacity to do virtual visits, then placements at sites that are further than sixty (60) miles may be considered.