Practicum is undoubtedly a keystone in graduate social work education. It is in practicum education where theory, practice concepts and skills, values, and social policy and research information are applied and internalized. Practicum education provides the guided practice needed to prepare MSW students to become advanced social work professionals.
The MSW Program offers 5 different program models, placing students in agencies in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County, throughout California and the United States. A selected group of highly qualified practicum faculty supervise students in those agencies. The Directors of Practicum Education, are responsible to the students and agencies for successful coordination of the practicum.
The CSUN Practicum Education Program is consistent with the CSWE goals and objectives, which:
- Provides for the required number of hours for the master's programs.
- Admits only those students who have met the program's specified criteria for practicum education.
- Specifies policies, criteria, and procedures for selecting agencies and practicum instructors; placing and monitoring students; maintaining practicum liaison contacts with agencies; and evaluating student learning and agency effectiveness in providing practicum instruction.
- Specifies that practicum instructors for MSW students hold a CSWE-accredited MSW degree, and that the program assumes responsibility for reinforcing a social work perspective.
- Provides orientation, practicum instruction training, and ongoing dialog with agencies and practicum instructors.
- Develops policies regarding practicum placements in an agency in which the student is also employed. Student assignments and practicum education supervision differ from those associated with the student employment.