The BSW Internship
The final semester in the BSW experience is the Internship, SW 495: Social Work Internship (9 hours) and its companion seminar SW 496: Internship Seminar (3 hours). The Internship carries a Z or pass-fail grade; the seminar carries a letter grade. After collaboration among students, agency staff, and faculty, assignment of the grade is the responsibility of Field Education Director and/or the Field Liaison.
Internship is for social work majors only
Internship settings, throughout Mississippi and Shelby County in Tennessee, are chosen based upon the setting’s compatibility with the mission, goals, and objectives of the Department of Social Work. The setting must provide an educationally directed field experience, directed by qualified field instructors who will facilitate the student’s learning according to the student-university-agency learning contract.
Key points to remember about the Internship:
- All other degree requirements, including GPA of 2.0 must be met prior to beginning Internship.
- The Field Education Director will arrange for the placement; students DO NOT initiate their own placements.
- Internship is a thirteen-week, 40 hour per week experience, excluding the hours spent in the Internship Seminar, for a total of 480 hours.
- Internships may be completed in any approved setting in Mississippi or in Shelby County in Tennessee, with consideration for the professional interests and geographic needs of the student.
- Oxford has VERY FEW placement opportunities. Priority for Oxford area is given to physically challenged students, non-traditional students with children, and other local residents.
- Having a lease in Oxford is not reason to merit a placement in Oxford.
- Malpractice insurance and automobile liability insurance are required (if auto is to be used in Internship). Malpractice insurance is available through National Association of Social Workers, but students must become members of the organization to be eligible to acquire the malpractice insurance. Acquiring insurance is explained, in SW 450 Fields of Social Work, prior to the Internship.
The process of arranging for the Internship is as follows
- Apply for NASW membership no later than second semester of the junior year. (Applications are available in the Department of Social Work in Longstreet 211).
- First semester of the senior year, complete application for degree.
- Semester prior to Internship while enrolled in SW 450 Fields of Social Work, file request for field of practice and preferred geographic location, submit application for malpractice insurance and pay a $50.00 Internship Lab fee (effective spring 2010).
- Students enrolled in the SW 450 Fields of Social Work course will receive a pass/fail grade of “Z”/”F”.
- Toward end of semester prior to Internship, the Field Education Director will arrange for a pre-placement visit with the agency.
- Students are required to arrange an interview with the Field Instructor of the Internship assigned by the Field Education Director. This must be completed prior to the semester the students plan to enter Internship.
- Students will make all arrangements about relocation, living, paying of tuition, etc.
Process and Procedures for students during Internship – The Internship usually proceeds as follows:
- Pre-placement visit by the Field Education Director and signing of contract
- Agency orientation during the first two weeks (varies from agency to agency)
- Agency staff will model agency activity and procedures
- Student will gradually enter into agency activity
- Regular conferences with agency field instructor (1 hour per week required)
- Two evaluation conferences with field liaison
- Student will submit weekly written reports to field liaison
- Complete all written assignments as described in Internship Manual
- Periodic (40 hours) integrative seminars on campus
- Final evaluation of students and grading