Field Instruction Overview

Field instructor and student at united way

The Council on social Work Education requires a minimum 400 clock hours of field instruction for a BSW degree
  • NMU requires 8 credit hours of field instruction: SW 480 (4 credits) and SW 481 (4 credits). Usually this translates into about 15 hours per week for 30 weeks during the senior year for a total of 450 hours. A minimum of 400 hours is required for a passing grade.
  • A Field Instructors should have either an MSW Degree or a BSW degree with experience. Exceptions can be made with additional supervision provided by NMU faculty.
  • Only students who have been admitted to the advanced BSW curriculum and who have a GPA of at least 2.5 are eligible for placement.
  • The NMU Field Coordinator arranges prospective placements between the student and agency. Field agencies interview each prospective student (typically in April) before the placement is approved for the following Fall.
  • Each student prepares a learning agreement with assistance from the field instructor; this learning agreement operationalizes how the student will address CSWE competencies during field placement. The learning agreement is reviewed and revised each term.
  • Field students are concurrently enrolled in a seminar while in placement.
  • An NMU faculty member is the instructor of record and serves as the NMU liaison with the agency field instructor.
  • Students provide a weekly log of activities to their Field Instructor and the Field Placement Coordinator to document hours.
  • The field instructor completes a rating form each semester as part of the student evaluation process assessing competency development
  • Students also complete a self-assessment each term of their competency development.
  • Field placement is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. The NMU faculty liaison is responsible for assigning the semester grade.


Social Work Field Instructors Resource Site

The social work program maintains a special web page on just for current and prospective field instructors.  It’s a convenient site for accessing all field instruction related materials such as student evaluation forms, student learning agreement materials and aids for planning and supervising a field placement.  You can also complete a field instructor training program.  Field instructors can receive CEUs toward Michigan social work licensure both for completing aon on-line training program and for supervising a student.  Contact the Social Work Program Director, Dr. Tim Hilton for details.


BSW Field Instruction Information

This  is a special site on devoted to students who are making  application for a field placement.  Students will be added as participants on this site when they are enrolled in SW 370 and SW 372.

Detailed information on field instruction is available at our FIELD INSTRUCTION MANUAL.

For more information, please contact:

Tim Hilton, Social Work Program Director
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855