10 Steps to Securing a Field Placement

The Step by Step Planning Process:

  1. Do your research. Each student will meet individually with the Assistant Coordinator of Field Education to discuss his or her field placement interests. Before this meeting, research a minimum of 8 agencies of interest. There is a Field Placement Agency binder in the Department of Social Work that provides information about field placement agencies and a list of our Affiliated Field Placement Agencies is posted on this website.
  2. Meet with the Assistant Coordinator of Field Education for your Pre-Placement Field Planning Interview during the fall semester. Available appointment times are posted outside the Assistant Field Coordinator's office door. If you do not find a time that works with your schedule, email the Assistant Field Coordinator or call 704-687-7930.
  3. Attend the fall Field Fair – Details will be sent through the BSW Listserv as the date draws near.
  4. Submit your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices of Field Placement Agencies following the Field Fair.
  5. Submit 1 copy of your Field Placement Application and 1 copy of your Resume to the Assistant Coordinator of Field Education by the deadline noted. Students interested in placements with Mecklenburg County DSS, must also submit 3 letters of reference. Please type your application and review it for errors prior to submission. Please gear your supplemental questions to your practice area of interest. In other words, please do not write about how much you would enjoy working with children if you are applying for a field placement at nursing home.
  6. Schedule your Interview with a Field Placement Agency. The Assistant Coordinator of Field Education will notify you when your Field Placement Application is sent to an agency. You will then call the agency to arrange an interview.
  7. Prepare for your Interview. It is highly recommended that you complete a mock interview at the UNC-Charlotte Career Center, prior to interviewing with your agency of interest. Please dress professionally for your field placement interview (i.e. – no jeans). Be prepared to answer such questions as: Why are you interested in this internship? What do you hope to learn in your field placement? What have you learned thus far through your social work courses? Describe your writing skills. Be prepared to ask questions. A list of suggested questions can be found under the FAQ section of this website.
  8. Interview & Follow Up. After your interview, send a personal thank you note to each person you met with for your interview. If you are accepted, ask the agency to complete the Field Placement Agreement form, which you also sign. Return this form as soon as possible to the Assistant Coordinator of Field Education to solidify your placement. If the agency decided not to accept you, notify the Assistant Coordinator of Field Education as soon as possible, so that another option can be pursued.
  9. Complete your Clinical Requirements. Each agency has clinical requirements that are set forth in the Affiliation Agreement it has with the university.  After you have submitted your Field Placement Agreement form and completed your clinical requirements, a preceptor letter is drafted and sent to your agency. For some agencies, this letter needs to be signed by the field agency and returned to the university. This takes time. If you do not complete your clinical requirements, your preceptor letter cannot be written. You will not be permitted to begin your field placement until your preceptor letter has been sent and, if required, returned to the university. It is critical that you complete all requirements on time. You will be provided with a form that outlines these requirements. Clinical requirements should be provided to the Advising Office on the 1st floor of the CHHS building (CHHS 103).
  10. Contact your Field Instructor during the Summer & Complete any On-Site Agency Requirements. Contact your Field Instructor periodically during the summer to make sure that no problems have arisen with respect to your placement. Make plans for your first day. Attend your agency’s orientation and/or meet with Human Resources, if required by your agency.