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 social work practice.

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Field education provides a 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 develop competency and skills in a supportive learning environment while also gaining a deeper understanding of a variety of areas of social work practice. Year after year; Mandel School students also make significant contributions to field placement organizations; bringing enthusiasm, knowledge and ideas that contribute to shared learning experiences and enriched practice environments. Case Western Reserve University defines education as a “transforming” opportunity. Field placement experiences provide students with the contextual format for this transformation to be realized.

Mandel School field faculty advisors work closely with students throughout their time in field placement; while professional social workers in the placement setting serve as field instructors that 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 Agents across the country.

    Students have the opportunity to select placement settings that will provide learning opportunities within the specialization areas of Substance Use Disorders & Recovery, Children, Youth & Families, Child/Adolescent & 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

    Mandel School students in the on-ground format have the unique opportunity to select their own field placement settings. Students complete coursework and field education concurrently throughout the course of the MSW degree, including 400 hours in the generalist practicum and 500 hours in the specialized practicum. Advanced standing students will complete 500 field education hours. 

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