March 15 Mandel School Communication - New Updates - Field Education Students

Dear Mandel School Students,

We recognize that this has been a stressful and challenging week for many of you and that you have many valid questions about how to safely and successfully move forward in field education given the growing concerns related to COVID-19. We have appreciated the professionalism demonstrated by our students throughout the past week.

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 18, 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. We recognize that for many students this may not be possible, in light of agency closures and restrictions on student placement activities. 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 all students are still required to complete field education activities remotely -- field education responsibilities are not being terminated. We recognize that at this point in the semester, many students will require more than the currently approved cap of 60 remote field hours to meet field 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. We ask for your patience during this quickly evolving time and will communicate updates to the policy to you as soon as possible.

Students must develop a plan for the completion of remote activities, which is to be submitted to and approved by both the field instructor and field advisor. Each student utilizing the remote activities field education option should include: the selected activities the student will pursue along with the specific date, times and location for each activity. No more than three (3) field hours will be approved for any one activity. Additional remote activities may be suggested by the student and/or field instructor, but must be approved in advance by the Mandel School field advisor.

A variety of different activities across several competency areas should be included in each student’s request to complete field hours remotely. The student should keep a log of all completed activities so that the field instructor can comment on these activities in the evaluation section of the Learning Agreement. Students will not receive credit for any field activities that are not pre-approved. In addition to completing the required monthly field education timesheet in the Intern Placement Tracking (IPT) system, each student must submit written verification of completed remote activities using the Field Education Remote Activities Documentation Form to receive credit for field hours. Your Mandel School field advisor may send you additional follow-up instructions specific to requesting or documenting remote field hours.

All students are expected to continue to complete field education assignments and activities in the Canvas and/or Atrio course rooms as scheduled. Course activities and assignments may be updated or amended by your field faculty advisor in the coming weeks as appropriate in order to facilitate the best possible learning experiences for all students.

We ask that you work with your field instructor this week to develop a plan for remote supervision meetings. We recommend using Zoom video conferencing technology for weekly supervision meetings while following the HIPAA and confidentiality policies of your placement agency.

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. Please be sure to connect with your field faculty advisor as soon as possible to discuss your individual plans for field education for the remainder of the semester. We are here to support each of you and are committed to working with you to develop a plan to continue successfully in field education.

The information in this email has also been sent to all current field instructors. We will continue to provide updates to students and 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, Ph.D., LISW
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