Community Placement & Practicum Education

A note regarding language: Our department has recently made the shift to embrace the language of "practicum" in place of "field education" or "internship". This language affirms that the student placement experience is an extension of the classroom and educational practice, and that the student is engaged in this space as a learner, under the guidance of a skilled practitioner and will be receiving course credit for their engagement. Since this is a new policy change, we are in our implementation year where we are gradually updating materials, as well as working with the university system to adjust formal language (such as course titles). You may find the terms "field", "internship", "practicum", and "community placement" used interchangeably while we are in this transition. 

 The Council on Social Work Education describes Community Placement & Practicum Education as the “signature pedagogy” in social work education. Social work students engage in scaffolded practice under the guidance of skilled practitioners in community settings, while also being immersed in their studies. Through required experiential coursework, BASW and MSW students have the opportunity to connect and apply theoretical concepts in the community with the benefit of reflective seminar curriculum led by knowledgeable faculty. Students are able to gain perspective and understanding of the challenges and strengths of organizations serving rural and Indigenous communities. Many students state that their Community Placement experience and their relationship with their community supervisor was a critical factor in their professional development.

To reflect our program emphasis of working with Indigenous and rural communities, we have cultivated strong on-going partnerships with county and tribal social services programs in far northern California as well as schools, non-profits and community advocacy organizations. 
For students considering our on-line programs, out of area students may need to move to the Superior Region of Northern California to complete their social work degree. Students in the online program must live in the state of California while they are in the social work program In addition to the coursework, a community placement is required to graduate. The Cal Poly Humboldt Department of Social Work has the most relationships for community placements in the Humboldt service area.
The Humboldt service area in the Superior Region of Northern California includes these counties: Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yuba.