The objective of field education is to provide students with competence-building practice experiences that complement the content presented in the MSW classroom-based curriculum. Field education provides students with opportunities to build behavioral skills such as:
- Direct practice interventions with disenfranchised and un- or underserved individuals, families, and small groups;
- Awareness and integration of cultural context (i.e., diversity and difference) in client work;
- Application of a range of theoretical models and evidence-based interventions; and
- Engagement, assessment, diagnosis, planning and treatment.
On a macro level, field education exposes students to the inextricable link between social welfare, social work practice, and the broader social contexts of socioeconomics, population demographics, and political systems. Students learn how regional, national, and global factors affect direct social work practice; and how as social workers, they can inform policies that will positively impact clients and communities.
The regions of focus for CSUSM field internships encompass San Diego County, as well as Riverside and Orange Counties. Field training sites include schools, family service and child welfare agencies, in-patient and outpatient mental health clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities, medical units of hospitals, veteran’s and active duty military support programs, hospice and palliative care programs, and forensic settings.