The CSSW Field Education Department partners with many agencies, programs and other organizations with appropriate social work learning opportunities and a commitment to supporting field education, throughout the tristate (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) region, as well as in the cities where the online MSW is offered.
Student Internship Policies
To become a field practicum site for CSSW, an organization must:
- have an on-site, suitably qualified member of staff to provide the student(s) with supervision.
- offer reasonable assignments and opportunities for learning, as determined by a member of the Field Department’s staff.
- complete a Placement Request Form.
- arrange a site visit with one of our Directors—the one with the most appropriate field of practice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I’ve never been a field instructor. How do I know if I’m eligible?
The Field Education Department requires that new field instructors receive training in how to meet the educational responsibilities involved in supervising M.S. students. To be eligible for training, a new field instructor:
- must have been out of social work school for at least three years.
- must be a licensed social worker (LMSW or LCSW).
- must be enrolled in or have completed a Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) at an accredited school of social work.
How do we compensate students for the work they perform at our agency?
You are not obligated to provide compensation for students placed at your agency. Students are usually able to earn funds for their internships via Federal Work Study. The way it works is that the federal government funds 75 percent of the student’s compensation on the grounds that the students are providing a valuable service to the community, while the remaining 25 percent is covered by Columbia University. Your agency is not responsible for providing the funding.
What is Federal Work-Study, and are we required to apply for it on the student’s behalf?
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is funding provided by the Department of Education to assist students with financing their education. Eligible students are awarded FWS as part of their financial aid package and are then able to earn those funds via an eligible field placement. You are not required to apply for funding on a student’s behalf. Once a student is placed with your agency, you will receive an email link to DocuSign requesting that you complete the necessary documents. Once the internship starts, you will need to sign the student’s bi-weekly time sheets, verifying the hours they have completed at your workplace. The student will submit these bi-weekly time sheets to the University’s Federal Work Study payroll system to receive their FWS compensation.
My student says she needs to develop an Education Plan. What is that?
As field instructor, you must help your student prepare and write up an Education Plan during the first three weeks of Field for review and approval by the student’s advisor. Then you, the student and the advisor must sign the plan to signify mutual agreement on the soundness of the plan for the student’s education in the field. NOTE: As you work on the Education Plan with your student, you may find it helpful to consult with our Field Education Manual, which describes appropriate assignments for CSSW students according to year and method.
I have some issues about my student’s performance. What do I do?
If you need to talk about a student’s performance, please contact the student’s advisor. Advisors are the social work professionals whom CUSSW employs to serve as students’ educational support in both the classroom and the field. The advisor assesses the student’s performance in the field and also meets with the field instructor for input on how to evaluate the student at the end of the term. To get in touch with a student’s advisor, please contact the Advising Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need to complete an evaluation of the student’s work this semester. Where do I find the right form?
You may download the form from the following list:
- Foundation Year Field Evaluation Direct Practice (MS Word: 8 pages)
- Second-Year Field Evaluation Advanced Clinical Social Work Practice (MS Word: 13 pages)
- Second Year-Field Evaluation Advanced Generalist Practice and Programming (MS Word: 16 pages)
- Second-Year Field Evaluation Policy Practice (MS Word: 10 pages)
- Second-Year Field Evaluation Social Enterprise Administration (MS Word: 11 pages)