Online MSW Field Placement Services
Comprehensive Support for Experiential Learning
Your field placement experience will be one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of earning your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Cleveland State University’s (CSU’s) online MSW students receive the same services and support as our on-campus students. The experience will be guided and directed by CSU faculty in collaboration with your on-site field supervisor at the agency where you complete the hours. Support to find field placement sites that align with your career goals is integrated into the program cost.
Your CSU field placement coordinator will:
- Collaborate with you to secure quality placement sites that reflect your educational goals, desired practice specialty and scheduling requests.
- Ensure that all field experiences meet CSWE accreditation standards and that the agencies and field instructors are approved prior to the start of your fieldwork.
- Prepare you for fieldwork by providing a realistic idea of the work you will be doing and ensuring that you are ready to work independently in a fast-paced environment.
CSU field placement coordinators act as facilitators and are the primary point of contact for you in the placement cycle. They are responsible for all field placement matters, including:
- Document/clearance requirements
- Student relocation compliance
- Site assessments and communications
- Tech support
- Scheduling and logging of placement hours
Field placement is the required experiential learning component of Cleveland State University’s online MSW program. Whether you follow the traditional or advanced standing track, you will apply what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations to prepare you for your future in social work.
Your dedicated CSU field placement team collaborates with you to secure quality experiential learning sites that reflect your educational goals and desired practice specialty. They ensure all experiences meet CSWE accreditation standards and that the agencies and field instructors are approved before you start your fieldwork.
Concurrent coursework and field experiences connect theory with practice. Field placement provides hundreds of hours of real-world, hands-on social work experience. Your field placement coordinator helps identify quality placement sites within your local community so you can focus on your coursework and build your skills.
No. Support to find field placement sites in your community that align with your career goals is integrated into the program cost.
Your field placement coordinator and faculty will guide you through the entire process. They will give you a realistic idea of the field experience to ensure you are ready to work independently in a fast-paced environment.
No, although students are strongly encouraged to list agency referrals on the field intake form for the field placement coordinator to arrange. The University is required to review and approve the agency before the start of any field work.
Completing the field placement intake form initiates the field placement search process. Upon completion of the form, you will be required to complete all field clearance requirements (by the University and agency) prior to the start of your first field experience. Most agencies have additional requirements for the University and/or interviews that students must complete prior to starting field hours. As active participants in the placement process and to help focus the placement team’s search, students are encouraged to provide any local sites where they would prefer to complete their field hours.
Typically, students complete their field hours at:
- Community centers/organizations
- Human service agencies
- Counseling and therapy centers
- Addiction and mental health treatment facilities
- Adoption agencies
- Senior care facilities, such as nursing homes
- Correctional facilities
You will receive a notification from your dedicated field placement coordinator prior to each field experience start date.
No. Due to the educational nature of the fieldwork, sites do not pay students. You are responsible for your transportation and travel expenses.
If you currently work in a social service setting and have a licensed social worker who supervises you, then yes. As of 2022, the Council on Social Work Accreditation now supports the use of employment hours as fieldwork hours, though there are field placement learning contracts and related follow-up required to make sure that CSWE education competencies are incorporated and part of the employment.