Field Education

Field education is an integral component of our degree curriculum at the Mandel School. Students in the Cleveland area and across the country collaborate with a wide range of community-based organizations and practice settings to complete field education requirements while simultaneously completing degree coursework.

At the Mandel School, we refer to field education as the “bridge” between classroom and practice—the context in which students actively apply classroom knowledge and theory to direct practice, policy and community mobilization.

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While field education is typically an unpaid experience, at the Mandel School, we are committed to providing you the resources to be a part of our top-ranked program. For nearly 20 years, our program has been one of the only MSW programs in the United States to grant field awards to all full-time on-campus students in the weekly format. The 2022-2023 field award will total $6,000. Students will receive $3,000 in fall 2022 and $3,000 in spring 2023. In addition, unlike many of our peer institutions, all on-campus weekly MSW students engage in a mutual selection placement process while selecting and interviewing for their field placements among our 1,000 available placement settings.

Field education provides an applied forum for students to integrate the knowledge, skills and values that comprise the core of the social work profession. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has designated field education as the signature pedagogy of social work education—the context in which students learn the essential elements of professional social work practice. The field placement setting provides students with opportunities to develop competency and skills in a supportive learning environment while also gaining a deeper understanding of a variety of areas of social work practice. Each year, Mandel School students make significant contributions to field placement organizations, bringing enthusiasm and fresh and new perspectives and classroom knowledge that helps to enrich agency settings and improve service deliveries. 

Mandel School field faculty advisors work closely with students throughout their time in field placement; professional social workers in the placement setting serve as field instructors who supervise each student’s day-to-day experiences.

    What makes us different?

    The Mandel School’s innovative field education department has affiliations with more than 1,000 field placement organizations located across Northeast Ohio and throughout the United States. Our vast network of partnerships provides outstanding opportunities for students to develop critical practice skills under the guidance of social work leaders and change leaders  across the country.

    Students have the opportunity to select placement settings that will provide learning opportunities within the specialization areas of Substance Use Disorders and Recovery; Children, Youth and Families; Child/Adolescent and Adult Mental Health; Aging; School Social Work; Health; and Community Practice for Social Change.

    Additional program highlights include:

    • A small field education award for on-campus students to help defray field placement expenses—a Mandel School exclusive
    • A mutual selection process for field placements
    • Opportunities to learn in multiple evidence-based environments
    • Specialized training programs

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