SOWK 330 CHALLENGE POLICY AND PROCEDURES
Some students enter the Bachelor of Social Work program with considerable professional work experience and are eligible to have their prior learning through work experience assessed for course credit. The following policy and procedures outline the criteria and process by which such requests will be received.
The University of the Fraser Valley respects the learning that students bring to our institution. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that gives adult learners the opportunity to receive credit for what they already know and can do.
The School of Social Work and Human Services in the Faculty of Professional Studies supports PLAR for our students. We recognize that work experience allows people to learn and acquire knowledge, skills and abilities.
Field placements are an integral component of the Bachelor of Social Work Program. Our students are required to complete two field placements throughout their BSW program. They complete one field placement in each of their third and fourth years of the BSW program. These field placements are designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate the theory and knowledge they learn through core courses with practice opportunities. Students are placed in social service agencies and are supervised by field instructors who have a social work background. Throughout the field placement, students are given educational opportunities, guidance and feedback on their ability to integrate social work theory with practice.
The School of Social Work and Human Services recognizes that some students bring with them rich experience from their work in the social service area. We encourage students who meet the policy criteria to apply for Challenge of SOWK 330, the third year field placement.
Bachelor of Social Work students can only challenge SOWK 330, the third year field placement; the fourth year field placement is not open to be challenged.
Three years of full time paid social work experience is considered the minimum necessary to apply for challenge of the third year field placement.
Students must have completed all pre-requisites and have met a 2.5 GPA requirement (SOWK 300, SOWK 311) prior to completing their SOWK 330 Challenge.
Students must have completed or be enrolled in co-requisites (SOWK 312, SOWK 320) prior to completing their SOWK 330 Challenge.
SOWK 330: Course Description:
This course is a 3-day per week, one semester, supervised practicum designed to provide students with an opportunity to integrate social work theory and practice, in relation to their professional development as a Social Worker. Students will complete a total of 315 practicum hours.
Students will also have an opportunity to link the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the BSW curriculum with practice experiences in the field placement setting. Participation in a bi-weekly seminar class is required, where students will critically reflect on experiences in their field placement and will be encouraged to integrate generalist knowledge and skills into their developing practice framework.
Note: A criminal records review is required before placement. The existence of certain kinds of criminal records will preclude placement.
Field Placement Objectives:
Upon successful completion of the field education practicum, students will be able to:
- Identify with Social work as a regulated profession
- Critically assess social work practice experiences through reflection, peer review, constructive feedback, and consultation
- Examine, through critical reflection and discussion, the various applications of theory to practice and the suitability of various practice methods
- Identify, apply, and reflect on their social work knowledge, values, and skills in developing their social work practice
- Understand and articulate the various contexts of social work practice e.g. community ,organizational, social, political and ideological
- Develop and practice effective assessment, planning, intervention, termination and evaluation skills
- Develop an understanding of social justice as it relates to social work practice
- Develop an understanding of the relationship between social policy and social work practice, and the impact of social change
- Develop an awareness of and demonstrate respect for human diversity in all its forms
- Develop and practice effective communication skills (verbal, non-verbal, written)
- Develop knowledge of and demonstrate effective use of self
- Work collaboratively as part of an inter-disciplinary team
- Actively participate in class discussions and supervision as an adult learning opportunity
- Understand and apply the Social Work Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
- Demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively and collectively with other students and agency staff in furthering learning and professional development
- Continue the process of integrating social work theory into practice
Determining Whether You are Eligible to request to Challenge SOWK 330:
Students wishing to challenge SOWK 330 will have met the criteria set out in the policy and must be prepared to demonstrate how their work experience has met all the learning objectives of the field placement, promoted their achievement of the social work program’s goals, and made them reflective practitioners capable of integrating theory and practice.
Only work experience that is clearly of a social work nature will be considered, as per Accreditation standards set out by the Canadian Association of Social Work Education (CASWE). This is not to say that other experience is not valid; rather, we are looking here for a social work experience. The student will preferably have been supervised by someone with a minimum qualification of a BSW or by a supervisor who is eligible for registration as a Registered Professional under the Health Professions Act).
Students may contact the Field Education Coordinator to seek clarification regarding eligibility for SOWK 330 Challenge.
Timelines for Request to Challenge SOWK 330
SOWK 330 Challenge application must be made online to the Field Education Coordinator by October 1st in order for the challenge to be completed in the winter term from January to April.
Letter of Request
If criteria set forth in the policy have been met, the student writes a formal letter to the BSW Field Education Committee outlining the following details:
- Work Experience
a. Where and when the work experience was achieved- i.e., dates of employment and status (full or part time). You must account for three years (5460 hours) of paid work experience:
b. Roles, responsibilities, and duties you have in your paid employment- what are you responsible for? ( include a copy of the job description);
a. How did you seek supervision?
b. How often was supervision provided and by whom?
c. What were the supervisor's professional qualifications?
a. How did you reflect on ethical and other dilemmas in your day to day practice?
a. an up-to-date copy of your resume.
In this letter, students should be prepared to make a case on how their work experience was the equivalent in learning that a field placement would provide. The letter should cover all of the previously mentioned points.
The letter should be submitted via email to Lucki Kang, Field Education Coordinator, School of Social Work & Human Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
Responsibilities of the Field Education Program
The Field Education Coordinator will review the request to ensure all criteria set forth in the policy have been met. Members of the Field Education Committee will review all requests that have met the stated criteria.
The Field Committee will decide the following:
- There appears to be a solid basis for approving a SOWK 330 Challenge. If so, the Field Education Committee will send the student a formal letter and will inform the student of the next phase of the Challenge process.
- Further information or clarification is needed. The Field Education Committee will contact the student via student email and or telephone to seek further clarification required.
- The experience does not meet the criteria set forth in the policy to constitute a valid challenge. The Field Education Coordinator will contact the student in writing.
For further information and instruction, please contact:
Lucki Kang, MSW, RSW
BSW Field Education Coordinator
School of Social Work & Human Services
University College of the Fraser Valley
33844 King Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 7M8
Phone: (604) 864-4640
Fax: (604) 855-7558
Effective Date of Amendments to Policy: June 20, 2011
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