Field Education

Can I use my job as my field placement site?

While you are not allowed to use your current position to complete your field placement requirement, your agency may serve as your second-year placement site as long as it meets our placement criteria. To check this, please go to the Field Education Manual. If your agency is approved as your field placement site, you will be required to move under a different supervisor and complete different tasks as outlined by your education coordinator and our Field Education Department. During your second year, a representative from the Field Department will visit your T6011 class to discuss the placement process in detail. You will be required to submit specific paperwork and meet one-on-one with field representatives to discuss your placement needs for your final year of study.

If my job initially agrees to be my field placement site but then later backs out, will the school help me find a field placement?

Most definitely! If you initially made arrangements with the Field Education Department to have your agency serve as your second-year placement site, but this is no longer feasible, the department can step in and find you a suitable second-year placement.

What happens if I leave the agency/organization at which I was employed when I started the program?

Leaving the agency or organization at which you were employed at the time of acceptance may have an impact on your Reduced Residency status. As soon as this change of employment occurs, immediately notify the Office of Student Services (sw-studentservices@columbia.edu) to discuss how it could affect your overall program plan.

What is my field instructor’s role?

Your field instructor is the agency employee responsible for overseeing your training at your field placement. He or she is there to support your learning in the field, to answer questions you may have about interactions with clients and agency employees, and to help you develop direct practice skills. At the end of the term, your field instructor evaluates your work at the agency for your advisor as well as recommending whether you should receive a pass or fail grade. NOTE: Your advisor is the final arbiter of the grade you receive for field education. Under some circumstances, he or she may choose to override the recommendation of the agency field instructor.

What if I need assistance with field-related matters at any point?

For help with field-related matters, please contact the Field Education Department at:
E-mail: swfield_education@columbia.edu
Telephone: 212-851-2307
See also: Field Education staff list.