Field Resources for Students
COVID-19 and Field Education
Students entering field education are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Many of our agency partners are requiring vaccination in addition to strict PPE protocols. Placement options may be limited if the student chooses not to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Please discuss this with your field director for further details on placement options that do not require vaccination. Note that agencies reserve the right to change their policies surrounding COVID-19 vaccination/PPE at any time, without warning.
UNTIL MAY 2022, field education hours are reduced. BA students and 1st year MSW students are required to obtain 340 hours over the duration of their internship. Second year and Advanced Standing MSW students are required to obtain 500 hours over the duration of their internship. All students are eligible to receive up to 50 hours for "volunteering" outside of their internship per semester.
AFTER MAY 2022, field education hours will be as follows: BA students and 1st year MSW students are required to obtain 400 hours over the duration of their internship. Second year and Advanced Standing MSW students are required to obtain 500 hours over the duration of their internship. All students are eligible to receive up to 25 hours for "volunteering" outside of their internship per semester.
Your Field Directors
- Ms. Danielle Seemann (email@example.com) is the BA Field Director. She places all of the undergraduate social work students for their internships.
- Ms. Cherry Malone (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the MSW Field Director. She places all of the first-year MSW students for their internships. Ms. Malone also is in charge of all of the clinical affiliation agreements for our agency partners.
- Ms. Maggie Landry (email@example.com) is the Assistant MSW Field Director. She places all of the second-year and Advanced Standing MSW students for their internships.
Field Handbooks and References
Note that full-time MSW students are ON GROUND, DAYTIME classes. All students, regardless of program track must be available for weekday, daytime field placement internships.
NASW Membership: All students enrolled in field education must obtain a membership with NASW. At this link, students can join, re-join, or renew their NASW memberships. Student memberships are $60 per year. If you are an MSW student who had a policy as a BSW student, you will need to call the 800-number at the bottom of the linked page and explain you are still a student, so they can edit your account and give you the correct membership rate.
Student Liability Insurance: All students enrolled in field education must obtain a liability insurance policy through NASW. At this link, please select the "Apply Online" button under "Students" (use this for renewals, too). Students are required to have the $1,000,000/$5,000,000 policy. The student policies are $15 per year.
Guide to Adults and Families Advanced Practice Behaviors Learning Plan
Guide to Children, Youth, and Families Advanced Practice Behaviors Learning Plan
Intern Placement Tracking (IPT) is the online database that hosts all forms relating to internship. Students will receive their login information from their respective field director. Login information will not change as the student progresses in the program, and will remain the same if the student was a BA student and entered the MSW program. If you forget your login information, please email your field director and ask them to reset your password. You will receive an automated email from IPT with your field director's name on it with your default username and default password.
Access IPT for all your field needs at the link below. Be sure to set the Organization ID as "memphis". This is case sensitive.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m confused on the terms “field education”, “field placement”, and “field internship”. Which is which?
In the field of social work, these terms are all interchangeable. Any combination of the above terms are used to describe the same thing: the field education portion of the social work program the student is enrolled in.
I’m confused on the terms “field director”, “field coordinator”, “field instructor”, “task instructor”, “faculty liaison”, and “field liaison”.
- The School of Social Work has three Field Directors (also called Field Coordinators—those terms are interchangeable). Ms. Kenya Anderson is the BA Field Director, and coordinates internships for all undergraduate social work students. Ms. Cherry Malone is the MSW Field Director and coordinates the 1st year MSW internships. Ms. Maggie Landry is the Assistant MSW Field Director and coordinates the 2nd year/Advanced Standing MSW internships.
- Field Liaison and Faculty Liaison are interchangeable terms. They describe the faculty member assigned to complete the semester liaison visits for each student placed in field. This is the person the student should reach out to if there are problems in field that have not been able to be resolved by talking with the field instructor.
- A Field Instructor is a person vetted by the School of Social Work to provide 1:1 educational supervision; review and approve student learning plans, time logs, evaluations, and other forms; provide clear instructions and constructive feedback to the students on an ongoing basis; act as a resource for students completing agency-based class assignments; inform the Field Liaison promptly of any concern/problem with the student’s performance; create learning opportunities for each identified social work competency in relation to the curriculum; and other duties as needed for the student to complete their internship experience.
- A Task Instructor is a person designated by the Field Instructor to assist with the instruction of the student. Task Instructors typically assist Field Instructors with day-to-day operations that include but are not limited to: assigning daily projects or tasks, assisting with agency orientation procedures, and/or assisting with client interactions. The Task Instructor typically works under the immediate supervision of the Field Instructor. Task Instructors may or may not be social workers. Task Instructors provide ongoing feedback on the student’s performance to the Field Instructor. Task Instructors do not sign off on student time logs, evaluations, or other forms. Not all agencies use Task Instructors.
I live outside of the Memphis, TN metro area. What are my placement options?
Students who are considered UM Global (online-only) students and/or students not located in or around the Memphis, TN or Jackson, TN area have separate procedures for being assigned to their internships. Please contact your respective field director to discuss these procedures if you are an online-only student. The earlier you contact us upon application and acceptance to the program, the better your placement options are. There are legal processes involved in getting placements outside of the Memphis metro area that cannot be delayed.
Why do I need to complete a field education placement?
Social work practice requires integration of knowledge, values, ethics, and skills. The field education experience enables students to apply knowledge from the classroom to real-life practice settings. This enables students to integrate theory and practice and develop into competent, ethical social work practitioners. In addition, the completion of field education is a requirement of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the accrediting body for our undergraduate and master’s programs.
I already work in a social service setting. Can I use my employment for my internship?
Yes, however there are strict procedures and protocols for this. Certain requirements must be met in order to meet accreditation standards. The employing agency must meet the School’s requirements for field placement sites. Students must complete the Request to Use Employment as Field form and submit it to their respective Field Director for review. Note that submission of the completed Request form does not guarantee approval from your Field Director. The final decision on placement lies with the Field Director. Please contact your respective Field Director if you’re interested in using your employment as your internship experience and review your respective program’s Field Handbook for more details.
What is the process for being assigned to a field placement internship?
Students are NOT allowed to initiate contact with any agency partner unless it is for permission to use employment as field. Typically field directors begin the assignment process in the semester before you are scheduled to start your internship. In the MSW program, we start sending students for interview during the spring semester for fall internship start. The earlier you contact us upon application and acceptance to the program, the better your placement options are.
The Field Director for each program is responsible for facilitating the placement process for each student in that program. Each student will meet with their Field Director to identify potential placements and arrange for placement interviews. Depending on the specific program and level of placement, this process may involve submission of planning forms, resumes, meetings with the Field Director, attendance at the annual Field Agency Fair, and/or completion of one or more placement interviews. The final decision on placement lies with the Field Director.
Students who are considered UM Global (online-only) students and/or students not located in or around the Memphis, TN or Jackson, TN area have separate procedures for being assigned to their internships. Please contact your respective field director to discuss these procedures if you are an online-only student.
What types of settings are available for field placements?
The School of Social Work has a wide variety of public and private, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations serving diverse . Although not every student interest can be addressed in every location, we offer multiple placements in a wide variety of categories. We have placement settings that run across all system levels: micro, mezzo, and macro.
The categories of field agencies we work with are as follows: Adoption; Advocacy/Support Services; Aging/Gerontological Social Work; Alcohol, Drug, or Substance Abuse; Case Management; Child Welfare; Military and Veterans; Community Planning/Outreach; Corrections/Criminal Justice; Crisis Stabilization; Displaced Persons/Homelessness; Family Services; Health/Medical; Human Trafficking; Integrated Health; Immigrant/Refugee Work; Intellectual Disability; Mental Health or Community Mental Health; Legal Services; LGBTQI+; Occupational/Industrial Social Work; Rehabilitation; Palliative and Hospice; Political Social Work; Public Welfare; School Social Work; Social Policy; Social Work Administration; Social Work Research.
Students wanting to receive School Social Work Licensure and/or a Graduate Certificate may be required to have their field internship experience in a specific setting. Please see the website for more details.
Are there any placements available during evenings and weekends?
Most of our agency placements are available only during regular weekday business hours. Even though we have partnerships with agencies that serve clients 24/7, the social work staff typically works during normal daytime business hours.
Are there any virtual placement options?
Most of our agency placements are traditional on-ground agencies. We have a small handful of agencies that offer virtual options, but they are extremely competitive. Students are responsible for providing their own computer equipment (can include laptop/computer, webcam, microphone) and reliable high-speed internet for virtual placements.
Are there any paid placement options?
Most of our agency placements do not have funding to provide students with a stipend. We have a few agencies that are able to provide stipends to interns, but they are extremely competitive and often have interest/application deadlines one or two semesters ahead of the start of the actual internship. However, if an organization has funding for student salaries or stipends, the student may accept this as long as the student’s role as learner remains primary. The student may not accept a regular staff position in the organization and count this as field (as this would need to follow the Employment as Field protocols).
Will I need a car for placement?
Students are responsible for their own transportation to their field placements. Lack of access to a personal vehicle severely limits the number of placement options available to a student. Please let your field director know if you have transportation issues that may hinder your ability to commute to and from your internship placement.
What if I don’t like where I’m placed? Can I quit and go somewhere else?
Students are not allowed to quit or resign from their placements. Students are expected to approach their field placements with openness, flexibility, and a commitment to engage in the learning experience provided. All internships are not created equally. Experiences will vary from student to student, even if they are placed at the same agency. If the student has concerns about the quality of the learning experience, they should discuss those concerns with their agency field instructor. If concerns persist, the student can contact their assigned field liaison for assistance. If the student’s concerns cannot be addressed by this process, the student may submit a request to their Field Director to terminate the placement and be reassigned to another placement. The decision about whether to reassign the student is made by the Field Director.
What do I need to do before I start at my internship placement?
Many of our field agencies have specific requirements for students to complete background checks, drug screens, physical exams and/or screenings, submit driving records, and/or submit vaccination records. These requirements vary from agency to agency. Students are required to fulfill the specific requirements of the agency to which they have been assigned. Most of the time, the student is financially responsible for these requirements.
The University of Memphis can provide your background check needs if your internship agency cannot provide them. Please follow all of the steps included on the TEP website.
Can I split my placement between two agencies?
Students completing internships will only be assigned to one agency at a time. BA students and Advanced Standing MSW students will only have one field internship placement, and therefore will only be placed with one agency. Regular full-time and extended-study MSW students will have two field placement internships (one in their foundation year, one in their concentration year), and therefore will be placed with two separate agencies.
If I really like my internship placement, can I stay there for my second internship?
Unfortunately, no. The School of Social Work requires separate internship experiences for students. If a student is coming from the BA program into the Advanced Standing or regular MSW program, they must complete their internship(s) at a different organization than what they completed in their undergraduate program. It is also a good idea to have varied experiences for your internship placement depending on your program level/year to help with career choices after you graduate.