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BSW Program Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a category below to view some commonly asked questions. You may then click on a question to see the answer. Clicking a second time on a question or category will hide the revealed text.
How large are classes in the program?
How many students are currently in the Program?
The Bachelor of Social Work program has approximately 30-35 students each year.
Does the University offer childcare assistance to students?
Yes. To read more about the Madison Campus Office of Child Care & Family Resources, please go to their website: www.occfr.wisc.edu, where you will also find information on a childcare financial assistance program.
How do I apply to this program?
For instructions on how to apply, what is required in the application, and links to the application, review the Application Instructions:Application Deadlines page for program application deadlines and the deadline to apply to the Title IV-E Public Child Welfare Training Program.
Financial Aid & Tuition
Will I incur any special fees when I register for the program?
Yes. Students in our professional programs are charged a lab fee of $110.00 per semester enrolled in field. This fee is used to provide students with supplemental experiences and information designed to shape “the professional character and competence” of students and to help promote a culture “congruent with the values of the profession and the mission, goals and context of the program.” (2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards, Implicit Curriculum, Council on Social Work Education)
How do I obtain a field unit and a field placement?
You will submit an electronic Field Unit Preference Form on which you will designate your interests in particular field units and provide other information in a narrative. The Director of Field Education will use this information to determine your field unit assignments. You will receive information regarding which field unit you have been placed in and the field faculty assigned to that unit.
Subsequent to receiving the field unit assignment, the Field Faculty for that unit will contact you with information about the field unit, as well as how their specific field placements will be made. Field Faculty do not begin the placement process at the same time; rather, each has their own agencies or programs with which they have a relationship and specific field placement slots. Each of the field placements, in conjunction with the integrative seminar, provides generalist practice opportunities for the development, integration, and application of the key competencies that are met through measurable practice behaviors. Although the competencies are the same for the generalist and advanced practice years, the advanced practice behaviors are specific to the Advanced Generalist Concentration (see Section I). Your Field Faculty and Agency Supervisor will work with you to identify, to the degree possible, individualized assignments, activities and other methods that measure practice behavior progress and, therein, achievement of the competencies. Students include the assignments, activities and methods in the learning plan. Additional guidelines for field placements for each year are also found in Section I.
How many credits is the field placement and integrative seminar?
BSW students register for four credits for SW 400 in the fall semester and SW 401 in the spring semester.
How much time do I spend at my field placement?
BSW Students must acquire a minimum of 256 hours per semester (512 hours total for both semesters), which includes their field placement and integrative seminar. This requirement averages out to about 14 hours per week (for 16 weeks) in the field placement, and 2 hours per week in the field unit integrative seminar.
All students remain in the same field placement for 2 semesters.
Is a caregiver/criminal background check required for field placement?
Yes. The State of Wisconsin requires a caregiver/criminal background check for those working with vulnerable populations. The Field Office will provide you with information on how to complete the requirements of the required background check. Background checks conducted by current or prior employers through other vendors are not valid.
Are employment-based field placements available?
The field course is an educational experience and requires a learning experience and a level of autonomy beyond existing job descriptions and/or goals of an individual agency. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to complete a field placement in an agency where a student is employed. To ensure that field placements in employment settings achieve high educational standards, considerable pre-planning is involved and prior approval for the field placement must be obtained from the Director of Field Education (Full-Time MSW Program, BSW Program) or Field Education Coordinator (Part-Time MSW Program).
See the “Field Placement in Employment Settings Policy” in Section III of your program's Field Handbook for more information on the process.
Are block field placements available?
Since our curriculum design calls for concurrent fieldwork, field seminar participation, and course work, block placements (a full-time semester in field) are generally not a field option. Block placements may be considered based on a unique educational opportunity and compelling student need. Significant advanced planning with the Director of Field Education (Full-Time MSW Program, BSW Program) or Field Education Coordinator (Part-Time MSW Program) and Field Faculty is necessary.
Are field placements available during the summer?
The School does not have field placements during the summer.
Is it possible to have a field placement in another state or country?
The School will consider a field placement in another state when it is a unique educational opportunity and a compelling student need. Organizing such a placement takes a great deal of planning and requires the approval of the Director of Field Education.
Do I need a vehicle for a field placement?
Having access to a vehicle is a requirement for many field placements; however, placements that do not require a vehicle are available.
Is the field course graded or pass/fail?
Students receive grades in the field course. The grade reflects performance in both the field placement and in the field unit integrative seminar. Grades are assigned by the field faculty member after consultation with the agency supervisor. Since the field course reflects the student’s ability to apply knowledge and skills to actual client situations, as well as enhance professional development, the field course grade is of special significance (See Section III: Significance of the Field Course Grade-Graduate Student Policy).
What should I know about the field placement?
BSW students complete a year-long social work internship as part of the program. Visit our Field Education for BSW Students website for information about Field Units and Field Education.