Participation in field seminar is an integral part of field education. All students are required to enroll in and attend the integrative field seminar class while in their practicum. The small groups are made up of other students in field placements and the field faculty liaison. During the seminar meetings students share knowledge and experiences about social service agencies, discuss issues and topics related to social work, and complete assignments that bring the connections between theory and practice to life.
Students take an active role in shaping the seminar, and full participation in this class is necessary for the benefit of all group members. Many social work agencies make use of a team model of interaction to support workers as a consultative and educational tool. Professional standards of respect and appropriate interaction are expected of all seminar members. Providing attentive support and feedback to others are also standards of professional behavior and desirable for an effective and enriching seminar.
The field faculty liaison offers support and consultation to student learning. The liaison facilitates a meeting with the student and the student’s field instructor (and task supervisor, if applicable) at the agency setting, typically at the beginning and end of the practicum.
Through field seminar, students have opportunities to:
- Acquire general knowledge of agencies in which other group members are placed;
- Discuss application of content from social work classes to field experience;
- Understand the roles and responsibilities of field seminar group members;
- Evaluate their experiences from a social work perspective;
- Apply social work understanding and conceptualization to their experiences;
- Enhance skill in using the discussion method;
- Share feelings on personal adjustment to a professional role;
- Share self-awareness in relation to human diversity; and
- Share self-awareness in relation to the social work profession.