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Continuing Studies

MSW: In the Field

Field instruction is an integral part of social work education.

Internship Program

A Carthage education major works with students at the KTEC school in Kenosha, led by Carthage professor Prisca Moore.Field courses usually are taken concurrently with classes. Each year, the School of Social Work provides field instruction to graduate students in social work agencies throughout northern Illinois, and southeastern and northeastern Wisconsin. The agencies represent social work services in:

  • Family service
  • In/outpatient health care
  • In/outpatient mental health care
  • Schools
  • Corrections
  • Geriatrics
  • Child and adolescent residential treatment
  • Child welfare
  • A host of other areas in the social service arena.

Loyola is fortunate to be in communities with a large number of agencies that highly value our students and extend quality learning experiences to them.

Field instruction for the MSW program at Carthage consists of four semesters of practice education in a social work setting in conjunction with two semesters of an integrative practice seminar. This includes one semester in the first year with a focus on foundation generalist content and one semester the second year with a focus on a selected specialization.

First-year students: First-year students typically are placed in an agency for two days a week at the first level of study and are required to complete 500 hours.

Second-year students: Second-year students are placed in an agency for three days each week and must complete 720 hours. In the second year of the program, students choose a specialization; their internship experience should reflect this area. Some students complete block placements that require them to be at the agency for eight hours every day.

The Process

An adult student laughs during a class offered by the Office of Continuing Studies at Carthage.During an orientation session at the beginning of the academic year, students receive information about the internship process. Students complete an internship application and submit it to the internship coordinator.

First-year students: First-year students are assigned a field placement by the fieldwork staff on the basis of career interests, previous educational experiences, and learning needs identified in the application.

Second-year students: Second-year students work with staff to discuss field agencies related to one of the five specialty areas. Both the fieldwork staff and the agency must approve an internship. In agency interviews, you commonly compete against students from other colleges and universities.

Internships are an exciting challenge for our students. The fieldwork staff provides a field manual outlining the goals and expectations of the field courses, and they’re available to meet with you and answer any questions.