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Field Education in the School of Social Work at Dominican University is an essential and integral part of the learning experience in Social Work. In fact, the Council on Social Work Education considers field education 'the signature pedagogy' of Social Work Education. It is the process by which students begin to integrate academic knowledge, social work values, and the skills needed for foundation and concentration in globally focused, family-centered social work practice or military social work practice. It is where students demonstrate their growing competencies as social workers. The learning objectives of the foundation and concentration year practicum reflect the overall goals and objectives of Dominican University's MSW Program. Through placements in multiple social service agencies with experienced Agency Field Instructors, students will develop and demonstrate their emerging competencies as Social Workers.

The School of Social Work's Field Department is committed to professionalism and integrity. We meet with all students in the program prior to them starting the field process for a "Field Readiness Interview." During this meeting, we work with students intensively on their resume and cover letter while also conducting a mock interview to not only prepare them to seek placement, but also to better understand their passion to help others and pursue a career in Social Work.

Dominican MSW students have the option to participate in domestic and international field placements. We have a unique program compared to other social work schools. We do not set up placements for students, but rather have students participate in the full process of outreach, setting up interviews and confirming placement. We believe that the experience of seeking placements will be greatly beneficial once they graduate and enter the competitive job market.

The School of Social Work is affiliated with over 350 agencies in Cook, Lake and other surrounding counties that offer a variety of social services experience including youth programs, child welfare, mental health, schools, homelessness, domestic violence, military and gerontology just to name a few. Dominican University's School of Social Work makes every effort to place students in quality agencies, which will provide a meaningful experience to enhance the student's skill sets and knowledge of Social Work. We seek out exceptional practitioners that provide guidance, support and modeling to enhance students' experience and to foster their growth in becoming competent professionals.

Field Education Manual (pdf)