March 15 Mandel School Communication - New Update to Field Education Partners

Dear Field Education Partner,

Last week, the Mandel School developed and communicated plans to address temporary disruptions in students’ field placement activities due to local, state or national emergencies or events. Given the rapidly evolving concerns within the State of Ohio around COVID-19, the Mandel School has made the decision to not require students to physically attend field placement, beginning Wed., March 17, 2020. This policy will remain in effect through the conclusion of the Spring 2020 field period, which ends on April 27, 2020. The Mandel School will develop plans for the Summer 2020 field period as we continue to work in partnership with the university to monitor local and national updates and safety recommendations related to COVID-19.

We recognize that Mandel School students in our Online and Intensive Weekend program formats are in placements throughout the country and completing field requirements within a variety of agency settings. Students in all program formats may continue to physically attend field placement while exercising the appropriate health and safety precautions, if the student, field instructor, and placement agency are in agreement with this attendance plan. We recognize that the best judges of the local conditions are the people in that locale. We rely on the judgment of the agency directors to maintain the health and safety of all members of their agency, including our students. All students must communicate their plan for field education with their Mandel School field faculty advisor this week.

We ask that if possible, students attend field placement as planned on Mon., March 16, or Tues., March 17, to complete the necessary steps to professionally conclude any in-person field responsibilities and to develop a plan for the completion of remote field education activities in partnership with the field instructor. Mandel School field faculty advisors will continue to attend field conferences as planned, although all field conferences will be conducted remotely for the remainder of the semester.

Please be advised that field education is not being terminated. All students are still required to complete field education activities remotely. Your support as field instructors will continue to be extremely vital to our students this semester. Students are able to select from the remote activities listed on the attached document. We recognize that at this point in the semester, many students may require more than the currently approved cap of 60 field hours to meet their course requirements. The Mandel School Field Education Department will be working to amend the policy in the upcoming weeks in order to ensure that all students have the ability to successfully meet field education requirements for the current field period. Additional activities may be suggested by the student and/or field instructor, but must be approved in advance by the Mandel School field faculty advisor.

We ask that you work with your student this week to develop a plan for remote field instruction meetings. All students have access to Zoom video conferencing technology and the use of this web-based platform is recommended for supervision while following the HIPAA and confidentiality policies of your organization. If you do not feel that you have the capability to continue to provide field instruction to your student, please contact your student’s Mandel School field faculty advisor as soon as possible to discuss your concerns. We recognize that this is a busy and challenging time for organizations across the country and genuinely appreciate your continued commitment as field instructors for our students.

Case Western Reserve University continues to monitor COVID-19 developments within our region and nationwide, and places the highest priority on the health and well-being of our students and the campus community. If you have questions regarding this policy or the suggested learning activities for students, please contact your student’s Mandel School field faculty advisor directly. All students are also receiving an email communicating this information and the expectations for moving forward. We will continue to provide updates to our field education community in the coming weeks or as new information is available.


Amy Korsch-Williams, MSSA, CNM, LISW-S
Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs-Field Education

Sharon Milligan, MSW, MPH, PhD
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Services
Chair of MSSA degree program

Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean of Applied Social Sciences