Field Education

Field Education is often identified by graduates of social work programs as the most important and memorable element of their educational experience. The Council on Social Work Education states that field education is the signature pedagogy in social work education.  Because of the importance of field learning, field practice is required as a key component of the curriculum. Field and Task Supervisors are valued for their teaching, supervision, and modeling of professionalism in social work to field education students.

Download the Field Education Manual >

Training for Field Supervisors >


Steps to securing a field placement:

1. Submit the Field Application and your resume to the Field Education office.


2. The Field Education office will review your application and contact you one quarter before you begin your field placement.

  • Schedule an informal interview with the Field Education Director or satellite office Field Coordinator to discuss your interests and agencies for possible field placement opportunities. 

3. Have a formal interview with potential field placement agency.

  • Prior to an interview, you will send a resume and cover letter to your placement contact provided to you by the Field Education Office.
  • Once you are accepted to the position, inform the Field Education office and to obtain final paperwork to finalize your field placement. 

Field Education in action

State Senate internship

Senior social work major interns for a Washington state senator

Banks in mock debate
Allison Banks speaks on the Washington state House floor during a mock floor debate.

This series highlights the internships of three Walla Walla University social work majors during the 2017-18 academic year. (Part one of three.)

What do you get when you cross social work and senate? Ask Allison Banks, a senior social work major who spent winter quarter in Olympia, Washington, interning for Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. Banks, who was senate parliamentarian last year for the Associated Students of Walla Walla University, is one of about 70 students from across the state that were admitted to the State of Washington Legislative Internship Program this year. The annual program allows ambitious college students to assist legislators and learn about lawmaking for the duration of the legislative session.

In a sea of political science majors, Banks was the only intern majoring in social work. “I viewed my major as a weakness going into this,” Banks said. “When you look around and you're the minority major, it's difficult not to think ‘This program was designed for a different group of students.’” Despite some initial doubts, Banks quickly learned that she was right where she belonged.

On her first day of work, Banks looked through the bills that Saldaña was sponsoring. The first bill she saw called for increased healthcare benefits for Washington residents from the Marshall Islands, the Federation of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Banks served as a student missionary in Palau three years ago, and two of her former students now live in Washington state, making this a very personal topic. “I had this moment where I just froze. … I thought, ‘There's no way that I'm coming into this new office and the first thing I read is about Palau,’” Banks recalled. “How is it possible that I got matched with the one senator who prime sponsored a healthcare bill to protect Palauans?”

Settling in and standing out
In the weeks that followed, Banks made Saldaña’s office her home. Most days involved answering emails and phone calls, but, she added, “the flow of that can vary widely.” A day at a senator’s office might start out slow, but if a bill drops and constituents have questions, the staff goes into overdrive to do research and give informed responses. “You'll come into work and you have no idea what you're going to be an expert on by the end of the day.”

Aside from the daily office work, Banks sometimes paged on the Senate floor, allowing her to witness lawmaking up close. She was impressed by the passion of the state senators and noted that they restored her hope in government.

Throughout the term, Banks and the other interns also attended seminars and participated in mock committee and floor-debate exercises. The committee and floor-debate simulations offered each intern the chance to role-play and walk through the full, bipartisan legislative process. Everything that legislators do for real, the interns did for fake, Banks noted. But fake as it may have been, the issues discussed were serious. The interns did their part to come to each meeting prepared—especially Banks, who was elected co-chair for the Democratic Party caucus. In that role, Banks worked for more than two weeks to keep up the morale of about 40 peers as they debated on the Washington state House floor.

During the caucus exercise, Banks used her social work knowledge to analyze bills in a way that other students couldn’t. One of the most dense bills that the caucus debated dealt with issues regarding juvenile justice. "Even having minimal experience discussing topics like recidivism and reentry … made me one of the most informed people in the room,” Banks said. “Social work provided additional context when dealing with these issues, and my unique perspective made me better equipped to lead in conversations and problem-solving.”

Prior to the internship, Banks planned to take some time off after graduation to prepare for law school. Now that she’s seen the link between social work and lawmaking up close, she wants to pursue a master's in social work first. Banks encourages other WWU students to take a risk and apply for the same internship next year. “It’s reaffirmed my passion and commitment to the social work field,” she said, “as well as motivated me further to go to law school with the goal of returning to policy reform.”

Looking at a career, Banks likes the prospect of bringing social work and law together in a policy counsel position, helping legislators make informed policy decisions related to the human services field. Nothing is set in stone though, and when it comes down to it, she just wants to be a part of the lawmaking process. “There’s so much to work on.”

Posted March 15, 2018

Banks with Sen. Saldana
Banks (left) on the Washington state Senate floor beside Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, who she interned for during the state's 2018 legislative session.

State Senate internship

Senior social work major interns for a Washington state senator

Banks in mock debate
Allison Banks speaks on the Washington state House floor during a mock floor debate.

This series highlights the internships of three Walla Walla University social work majors during the 2017-18 academic year. (Part one of three.)

What do you get when you cross social work and senate? Ask Allison Banks, a senior social work major who spent winter quarter in Olympia, Washington, interning for Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. Banks, who was senate parliamentarian last year for the Associated Students of Walla Walla University, is one of about 70 students from across the state that were admitted to the State of Washington Legislative Internship Program this year. The annual program allows ambitious college students to assist legislators and learn about lawmaking for the duration of the legislative session.

In a sea of political science majors, Banks was the only intern majoring in social work. “I viewed my major as a weakness going into this,” Banks said. “When you look around and you're the minority major, it's difficult not to think ‘This program was designed for a different group of students.’” Despite some initial doubts, Banks quickly learned that she was right where she belonged.

On her first day of work, Banks looked through the bills that Saldaña was sponsoring. The first bill she saw called for increased healthcare benefits for Washington residents from the Marshall Islands, the Federation of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Banks served as a student missionary in Palau three years ago, and two of her former students now live in Washington state, making this a very personal topic. “I had this moment where I just froze. … I thought, ‘There's no way that I'm coming into this new office and the first thing I read is about Palau,’” Banks recalled. “How is it possible that I got matched with the one senator who prime sponsored a healthcare bill to protect Palauans?”

Settling in and standing out
In the weeks that followed, Banks made Saldaña’s office her home. Most days involved answering emails and phone calls, but, she added, “the flow of that can vary widely.” A day at a senator’s office might start out slow, but if a bill drops and constituents have questions, the staff goes into overdrive to do research and give informed responses. “You'll come into work and you have no idea what you're going to be an expert on by the end of the day.”

Aside from the daily office work, Banks sometimes paged on the Senate floor, allowing her to witness lawmaking up close. She was impressed by the passion of the state senators and noted that they restored her hope in government.

Throughout the term, Banks and the other interns also attended seminars and participated in mock committee and floor-debate exercises. The committee and floor-debate simulations offered each intern the chance to role-play and walk through the full, bipartisan legislative process. Everything that legislators do for real, the interns did for fake, Banks noted. But fake as it may have been, the issues discussed were serious. The interns did their part to come to each meeting prepared—especially Banks, who was elected co-chair for the Democratic Party caucus. In that role, Banks worked for more than two weeks to keep up the morale of about 40 peers as they debated on the Washington state House floor.

During the caucus exercise, Banks used her social work knowledge to analyze bills in a way that other students couldn’t. One of the most dense bills that the caucus debated dealt with issues regarding juvenile justice. "Even having minimal experience discussing topics like recidivism and reentry … made me one of the most informed people in the room,” Banks said. “Social work provided additional context when dealing with these issues, and my unique perspective made me better equipped to lead in conversations and problem-solving.”

Prior to the internship, Banks planned to take some time off after graduation to prepare for law school. Now that she’s seen the link between social work and lawmaking up close, she wants to pursue a master's in social work first. Banks encourages other WWU students to take a risk and apply for the same internship next year. “It’s reaffirmed my passion and commitment to the social work field,” she said, “as well as motivated me further to go to law school with the goal of returning to policy reform.”

Looking at a career, Banks likes the prospect of bringing social work and law together in a policy counsel position, helping legislators make informed policy decisions related to the human services field. Nothing is set in stone though, and when it comes down to it, she just wants to be a part of the lawmaking process. “There’s so much to work on.”

Posted March 15, 2018

Banks with Sen. Saldana
Banks (left) on the Washington state Senate floor beside Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, who she interned for during the state's 2018 legislative session.

State Senate internship

Senior social work major interns for a Washington state senator

Banks in mock debate
Allison Banks speaks on the Washington state House floor during a mock floor debate.

This series highlights the internships of three Walla Walla University social work majors during the 2017-18 academic year. (Part one of three.)

What do you get when you cross social work and senate? Ask Allison Banks, a senior social work major who spent winter quarter in Olympia, Washington, interning for Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. Banks, who was senate parliamentarian last year for the Associated Students of Walla Walla University, is one of about 70 students from across the state that were admitted to the State of Washington Legislative Internship Program this year. The annual program allows ambitious college students to assist legislators and learn about lawmaking for the duration of the legislative session.

In a sea of political science majors, Banks was the only intern majoring in social work. “I viewed my major as a weakness going into this,” Banks said. “When you look around and you're the minority major, it's difficult not to think ‘This program was designed for a different group of students.’” Despite some initial doubts, Banks quickly learned that she was right where she belonged.

On her first day of work, Banks looked through the bills that Saldaña was sponsoring. The first bill she saw called for increased healthcare benefits for Washington residents from the Marshall Islands, the Federation of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. Banks served as a student missionary in Palau three years ago, and two of her former students now live in Washington state, making this a very personal topic. “I had this moment where I just froze. … I thought, ‘There's no way that I'm coming into this new office and the first thing I read is about Palau,’” Banks recalled. “How is it possible that I got matched with the one senator who prime sponsored a healthcare bill to protect Palauans?”

Settling in and standing out
In the weeks that followed, Banks made Saldaña’s office her home. Most days involved answering emails and phone calls, but, she added, “the flow of that can vary widely.” A day at a senator’s office might start out slow, but if a bill drops and constituents have questions, the staff goes into overdrive to do research and give informed responses. “You'll come into work and you have no idea what you're going to be an expert on by the end of the day.”

Aside from the daily office work, Banks sometimes paged on the Senate floor, allowing her to witness lawmaking up close. She was impressed by the passion of the state senators and noted that they restored her hope in government.

Throughout the term, Banks and the other interns also attended seminars and participated in mock committee and floor-debate exercises. The committee and floor-debate simulations offered each intern the chance to role-play and walk through the full, bipartisan legislative process. Everything that legislators do for real, the interns did for fake, Banks noted. But fake as it may have been, the issues discussed were serious. The interns did their part to come to each meeting prepared—especially Banks, who was elected co-chair for the Democratic Party caucus. In that role, Banks worked for more than two weeks to keep up the morale of about 40 peers as they debated on the Washington state House floor.

During the caucus exercise, Banks used her social work knowledge to analyze bills in a way that other students couldn’t. One of the most dense bills that the caucus debated dealt with issues regarding juvenile justice. "Even having minimal experience discussing topics like recidivism and reentry … made me one of the most informed people in the room,” Banks said. “Social work provided additional context when dealing with these issues, and my unique perspective made me better equipped to lead in conversations and problem-solving.”

Prior to the internship, Banks planned to take some time off after graduation to prepare for law school. Now that she’s seen the link between social work and lawmaking up close, she wants to pursue a master's in social work first. Banks encourages other WWU students to take a risk and apply for the same internship next year. “It’s reaffirmed my passion and commitment to the social work field,” she said, “as well as motivated me further to go to law school with the goal of returning to policy reform.”

Looking at a career, Banks likes the prospect of bringing social work and law together in a policy counsel position, helping legislators make informed policy decisions related to the human services field. Nothing is set in stone though, and when it comes down to it, she just wants to be a part of the lawmaking process. “There’s so much to work on.”

Posted March 15, 2018

Banks with Sen. Saldana
Banks (left) on the Washington state Senate floor beside Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, who she interned for during the state's 2018 legislative session.

BSW Students

  • Must complete 400 hours of field education.
  • Field education may be completed over a full academic year, in two quarters, or in one quarter through a block placement.
  • Complete 1 hour of supervision by a BSW or MSW post 2 years’ experience each week.

MSW Students

  • Advanced Standing students must complete a minimum of 600 hours and begin their field placements during fall term.
  • Regular Standing students must complete a minimum of 900 hours and begin their field placements during winter term of their first year.
  • Complete 1 hour of supervision by an MSW post 2 years’ experience each week.

Field education placement locations

The Field Education Office works hard to find you a placement in your community. Listed below are some places that students have been placed; however, placements fluctuate based on need. A placement in one of these agencies or organizations is not guaranteed. Always work with the Field Director to establish an approved field placement—your current place of employment could be a field placement option.

International placements are also an option. Students have been placed in locations like Ghana and Estonia and we work with Student Missions to approve international field placements.


Deisy Haid

Field Education Director
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Sociology

(509) 527-2472 

deisy.haid@wallawalla.edu

Seattle

  • Various social service agencies

Spokane

  • Various social service agencies

Tri Cities

  • Catholic Family and Child Services
  • Grace Clinic
  • Kadlec Regional Medical Center
  • Lourdes Health Network
  • The Chaplaincy (Corks Place)

Walla Walla

  • Catholic Community Services
  • Children's Administration (DCFS)
  • Children's Home Society/Juvenile Justice Center
  • Christian Aid Center
  • College Place Public Schools
  • Comprehensive Health
  • Comprehensive Healthcare
  • Fresenius Medical Care
  • Helpline
  • Impact Life Transitions
  • IMPACT!
  • Lincoln High School
  • Lourdes Counseling Center
  • Park Manor
  • Rogers Adventist School
  • Serenity Point Counseling
  • Service Alternatives
  • The Health Center
  • Walla Walla Community Hospice
  • Walla Walla Valley Academy
  • WWU Counseling and Testing Center
  • YWCA

Yakima

  • Various social service agencies

Heppner

Hermiston

La Grande

Mission

  • Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center

Pendleton

Portland

Garden Valley

  • Project Patch

Kayleith Pellandini

Billings Field Education Coordinator
Instructor of Social Work and Sociology

(509) 527-2779

kayleith.pellandini@wallawalla.edu

Billings

  • Alternatives
  • Aware
  • Bighorn Mental Health
  • Billings Clinic
  • Billings Counseling Connection
  • Catholic Social Services of MT
  • Center for Children and Families
  • Creative Counseling
  • Consumer Direct Network aka Full Circle
  • Family Support Network
  • Healing Waters Counseling, LLC
  • Mental Health Center
  • Passages
  • Pioneer Medical Center
  • Rimrock Foundation
  • Riverstone Health
  • South Central Treatment Associates
  • The Family Tree Center
  • Safe Harbor Therapeutic Services
  • Transformative Counseling, LLC
  • Walla Walla University Billings Mental Health Clinic
  • Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch
  • Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Community Service
  • Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch - Laurel

Bozeman

  • Access Counseling
  • Advanced Counseling of Bozeman
  • Western Montana Mental Health

Casper, WY

  • Central Wyoming Counseling Center
  • Crossroads Counseling, LLC
  • Mercer Family Resource Center

Cody, WY

  • Yellowstone Behavioral Health

Crow Agency

  • Indian Health Service

Livingston

  • Community Health Partners
  • L'esprit
  • Livingston Healthcare
  • Youth Dynamics

Rapid City, SD

  • Behavior Management Systems

Red Lodge

  • Altacare

Sheridan, WY

  • Sheridan VA Medical Center

Wolf Point

  • Red Bird Woman Center

David Wiltfong

Missoula Field Education Coordinator

(406) 549-1797 ext. 2294

david.wiltfong@wallawalla.edu

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