In both our BSW and MSW Programs, field practicum is a vibrant component of professional learning and will provide students with excellent experience through “the signature pedagogy of Social Work Education.” The WCU Social Work Department has 125 community partners, which are agencies providing many professional services to a wide range of clients. Students can develop and master skills in areas of case management, individual, family and group clinical practice, integrated health care, community advocacy and outreach, resource brokering, mediation and research. Community agencies, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, in-patient mental health units, homeless shelters, schools, small human service non-profits, area agencies on ageing, and health and human services with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian are an example of the types of settings where students will learn and practice. Our Director of Field Education and Field Team Faculty are committed, along with the professional Field Instructors at the agencies, to providing a positive, engaging and rigorous field experience for all our students. BSW seniors will complete 448 hours of internship during their last semester. MSW Foundation (Year 1) students will complete 336 hours of internship in the Spring semester, and MSW Concentration (Year 2 or Advanced Standing) students will complete 336 hours of internship during both their Fall and Spring semesters. Please see the BSW and MSW Field Manuals for further details (links above).
The Child Welfare Collaborative for BSW and MSW Students
Participation in the Child Welfare Collaborative Scholars Program is available at both the BSW and MSW levels. BSW students who apply and are accepted must take the Child Welfare elective (SOCW 426), complete an on-line Pre-Service Training, and complete a one semester internship at a County Department of Social Services with the Child Protective Services unit. MSW students who apply and are accepted must take the Child Welfare elective (SOCW 526), complete an on-line Pre-Service Training, and complete their two semester Concentration level internship at a County Department of Social Services with the Child Protective Services unit. Upon successful completion at either level, students will earn a Certificate which allows them a priority spot when applying for positions with any County DSS in North Carolina. In some years, a financial scholarship may be available to students if the State Legislature approves the funding for this.
The Substance Abuse Certificate Program for MSW Students
MSW students who apply and are accepted must complete the five elective classes focusing on SA and SA treatment, and complete their two semester Concentration level internship with an approved SA treatment agency under a CSI or CSS level supervisor. Students will work with the Director of Field Education to secure practicum placement at an agency that meets the needed criteria. Upon completion, students will receive a Certificate which confirms that they are well on their way to completing the steps to the LCAS certification in Substance Abuse Treatment. Some financial awards are often available through the Program during internship in the Concentration year.
The School Social Work Certificate Program for MSW Students
MSW students who apply for and are accepted must complete the on-line School Social Work elective (SOCW 528 ), two courses through the School of Education from the approved list, and their two semester Concentration level internship in an accredited school setting. Upon graduation, these students can apply for and receive North Carolina School Social Work Certification.