Field Education experiences at UTC provide opportunities where students begin to apply knowledge and skills. These field experiences begin in the first SOCW course, Introduction to the Social Work Experience, where students complete a 30 hour volunteer experience in an agency as part of the course requirements. In the SOCW 4080 (Social Work Ability II Seminar) junior BSW students complete a 40 hour pre-field observation experience in an agency/organization where they are considering for the senior year field education experience.
These field experiences are built into the curriculum so students have the opportunity to experience various types of social service agency settings, interact with a variety of client populations, and try out new skills PRIOR to the capstone Field Education I and II in the senior year. The Council on Social Work Education Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS 2008) defines Field Education in the Educational Policy 2.3 Signature Pedagogy: Field Education
"Signature pedagogy represents the central form of instruction and learning in which a profession socializes its students to perform the role of practitioner. Professionals have pedagogical norms with which they connect and integrate theory and practice.4 In social work, the signature pedagogy is field education. The intent of field education is to connect the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting. It is a basic precept of social work education that the two interrelated components of curriculum—classroom and field—are of equal importance within the curriculum, and each contributes to the development of the requisite competencies of professional practice. Field education is systematically designed, supervised, coordinated, and evaluated based on criteria by which students demonstrate the achievement of program competencies."