BSW Field Internships

BSW Field Internships     Field Experience Structure     Prerequisites for Field Experience     The Placement Process       Educational Objectives of Field Experience

BSW students participate in field internships the last semester of their undergraduate program. The purpose of the internship is to help students integrate classroom knowledge and skills in a community setting.

The field experience for BSW interns should include:

  • Psychosocial assessments, interviewing, problem-solving, and supportive counseling with individuals, families and/or groups as well as completing the associated paperwork
  • Indirect client work
  • Professional or educational meetings/workshops
  • Evaluation (i.e. data collection, outcomes development)
  • Case management (resource allocation and referral) - Advocacy and planned social change work

Supervision at the internship must be provided by a BSW with at least two years post-BSW work experience. This person is the Field Instructor and is an extension of our social work faculty, responsible for instructing and role modeling. The Field Instructor must meet with the student for a minimum of one hour per week. The Office of Field Education staff provides orientation for the Field Instructors, providing them with information necessary to facilitate a successful internship.

The student may be under the direct daily supervision of a person without a social work degree. This person is called the Task Supervisor. We would expect that the Task Supervisor hold a degree and several years experience in a human service position. Although the Field Instructor will take the lead role in coordinating the instruction of the student, the Task Supervisor will work closely with the student to achieve learning objectives.

The internship process is detailed and requires an application, an interview with the Assistant Director of Field Education, and an interview with the proposed Field Instructor as well as other agency personnel as required by the agency. Internship agencies may have additional requirements for interns, such as an application process, background check, etc.


Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about our field education program.

Dr. Fred Washington
Assistant Director of Field Education



(423) 439-6005

  Picture of Dr. Fred Washington