In their senior year, all social work students are required to complete a 400-hour practicum experience. Field practicum is an integral part of the social work curriculum. Most students consider their practicum fieldwork to be the most valuable and significant part of their social work education. Students are given the opportunity to learn to think systemically and to develop skills of a professional social worker. The entire curriculum contributes to preparation for social work practice, but it is during the practicum that students face the real challenges and are afforded opportunities of professional responsibility and ethical practice.
Practicum is a form of community service that occurs under the direct supervision of a social worker in a social service agency. Agencies are specifically chosen to provide students the opportunity to engage in direct social work practice experiences with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
It is important to note that practicum fieldwork is not meant to be on-the-job training or apprenticeship; rather it is an educational process of guided experiential learning designed for a student’s personal and professional growth as a social worker.
Out-of-State and International Student Information & Program Fee Policy
The mission of the University of Alaska Social Work Department includes an emphasis on the diversity and uniqueness of rural Alaska. Our specialized funding is targeted at educating social work students in Alaska. Due to the priorities in our mission and funding we are currently unable to financially support out-of-state or international practicum placements without additional funding.
Students living outside of Alaska, either in the United States or Internationally, will be assessed a practicum fee in their final year of our program. A fee of $2000.00 will be charged out of state practicum students to offset the cost of developing and monitoring placements out of Alaska. This fee will be assessed in two sections, $1000.00 in Fall semester through SWK 461 Practicum in Social Work I, and $1000.00 in Spring semester through SWK 464 Practicum in Social Work II.
All out of state and international students will be required to apply for admission into practicum. Application for admission is in December of the previous year. Admission into practicum does not guarantee that the Field Director will be able to secure a practicum out of state or internationally. We will attempt to identify appropriate placements for out of state and international students, but despite our best efforts, we may not be able to place students outside Alaska. All placements are made at the discretion of the Field Director. All potential placements must meet the department and accreditation criteria for placement and be approved by the Field Director.
For questions regarding Practicum please contact Christina Ireton @ 907-474-6513.