Socw 6500 | SOCW 6500 – Social Work Field Education I | Walden University


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Week 1: The Role of the Intern

Important Note: Please use the media player below to hear an audio course introduction that will give you more background information about the course topic. Also provided is a transcript for you to download and print out.

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013). The role of the intern [Audio file]. Retrieved from

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 1 minute.

Accessible player –Downloads–Download AudioDownload Transcript

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze field education experience
  • Identify role of the intern in field education experience
  • Identify agency learning agreement
  • Identify personal professional goals and objectives in relation to field education experience
  • Identify personal professional goals and objectives in relation to agency learning agreement

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Chapter 1, “The Purpose and Expectations for Practicum” (pp. 1–11)

Gelman, C. R., Fernandez, P., Hausman, N., Miller, S., & Weiner, M. (2007). Challenging endings: First year MSW interns’ experiences with forced termination and discussion points for supervisory guidance. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35(2), 79–90.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Miller, S. E., Tice, C. J., & Harnek Hall, D. M. (2008). The generalist model: Where do the micro and macro converge? Advances in Social Work, 9(2), 79–90. Retrieved from

Wayne, J., Bogo, M., & Raskin, M. (2010). Field education as the signature pedagogy of social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 46(3), 327–339.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Required Media

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013). The role of the intern [Audio file]. Retrieved from

Note:  This audio introduction is located in the “Introduction and Objectives” section. The approximate length of this media piece is 1 minute.

Optional Resources

Click the following link to access the MSW home page, which provides resources for your social work program.

MSW home page

Assignment 1: Week 1 Blog

You will have 11 blog assignments. You will first post your responses to blog prompts on social work field education experiences and then respond to three other colleagues regarding their blog posts each week. The topics covered in each week’s resources will inform the topics of the blog posts.

Refer to the topics covered in this week’s resources and incorporate them into your blog.

By Day 3

Post a blog post that includes:

  • A description of your understanding of field education experiences
  • An explanation of your role as an intern in your field education experience, including your agency learning agreement
By Day 4

Respond to the blog post of three colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Make a suggestion to your colleague’s post.

You will be assigned to author regular blog entries as well as make comments on your colleagues’ blog postings.

Be sure to support your blog posts with specific references to this week’s resources and provide full APA citations for your references. For more information about posting your blog assignment, click on the Field Education Blogs link on the course navigation menu.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 1 Assignment 1 Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 4

To participate in this Blog:
Week 1 Assignment 1

Assignment 2: Self-Assessment

The ability to demonstrate social work practice skills is a key component of any social work field education experience. As you demonstrate social work practice skills in your field education experience, you will develop your professional identity as a future social worker.

For this Assignment, reflect on your personal and professional goals or objectives that you hope to achieve by participating in this course.

The Assignment (1–2 pages):

  • Identify and describe your personal professional goals and objectives within the parameters of the field education experience.
  • Explain how your personal professional goals and objectives that you identified might be reflected in your agency learning agreement.



Week 1 Blog, Emily Worley New

Posted by  Emily Worley  at Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:04:10 AM

My current expectations and ideas of field experience is to become familiar with the operations of the agency I am working with, and to gain knowledge and improve on my skill set by working closely with a licensed clinical social worker. I am currently doing my internship with adolescents who are in need of an assessment and then are provided with group therapy and individual sessions pending the results of their assessment. This experience will be much different than what I am use to, therefore I am excited about the opportunity that awaits me.

As an intern for this foundation year I believe that the majority of my role will be observing and learning the agencies policies and procedures. As I advance in the term, I will have more time helping to provide services to the clients. According to Garthwait (2017), you and your university will see your primary role as that of a learner and your secondary role as a service provider and opposite of that for the agency. This contradiction is why a learning agreements are important for social work student. A learning agreement provides a road map of expectations and learning goals for the student, university and agency to follow. A learning agreement also provides a tool to measure your progress throughout the internship. 


Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Second response


Week 1 Blog Monica Brandon New

Posted by  Monica Brandon  at Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:56:12 AM

Field experience is when a student applies what they have been learning in the classroom setting to real life cases. The student is able to do this with appropriate supervision by a field supervisor. The student is able to learn more about their strengths and weakness, so they are able to know what they need to work on. This is also when students learn how to use evidence based practice with factual clients/cases. According to Garthwait (2017) “the practicum is when students make considerable progress in developing self-awareness and come to a better understanding of their individual strengths and limitations” (p.2).

I also understand during the field experience I will be have two different roles as discussed in our text; the role of a leaner and a service provider. Even though I will be learning making sure the client needs are being met is very important. I will seek supervision and assistance from my field supervisor when I am unsure of what to do. The learner agreement will help outline the expectations of what I need to be learning and working on during my field experience.


Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Response 3


Week 1 Blog Carrie Ashley” New

Posted by  Carrie Ashley  at Wednesday, August 28, 2019 6:33:15 PM

The agency I chose for my field education experience offers a full range of psychiatric and chemical dependency services, offering intensive treatment of dual diagnosis issues. The agency is a 144-bed behavioral health hospital which provides the comprehensive approach that is highly individualized, designed to guide patients and their families through the process of intervention, assessment, and treatment.

For this discussion, we were asked to analyze the purpose of “practicum. The text outlines that “The practicum is expected to reflect a broad range of experiences in order to prepare for generalist practice” (Garthwait, 2017, p. 14). Therefore, field experience to me is the hands-on training portion of my MSW program. It provides me the opportunity to test the waters, to make mistakes in a supportive learning environment and find my niche with the diverse array of social work career options.

 My field education experience provides me with real-life experience and exposure it also enables me to gain first-hand exposure of working in a different environment which will allow me the opportunity to increase my knowledge of social work practice. As mentioned in the text, in chapter 1; Purpose and Expectations for  Practicum allows an individual to “make considerable progress in developing self-awareness and come to a better understanding of their individual strengths and limitations as well as the influence of their personal values, attitudes, and life experiences on their practice” (Garthwait, 2017, p. 3). This is what my practicum allows me to do.


Garthwait, C. L., (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

  • Chapter 1, “The Purpose and Expectations for Practicum” (pp. 1-11)



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