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College of Human Environmental Sciences

About Field Experience

Many of our students say field experience is one of the most significant and memorable aspects of their professional program.

All accredited social work education programs offer field instruction as a requirement for professional training. Field instruction at the MU School of Social Work is a key component of the undergraduate and graduate programs. It involves actual work experience in the field, as well as instruction.

The experience gives students actual problem-solving experiences and a real-world look at social work, and students can shape their practicum experience to further their career goals. These experiences have helped students validate the decision to make social work their profession of choice.

BSW Students Katie Bartek and Felicia Moore with Field Instructor Aneisa Sherril-Mattox

BSW students Katie Bartek (left) and Felicia Moore (center) with Welcome Home Field Instructor Aneisa Sherrill-Mattox.

Students might gain experiences such as:

  • Working with incarcerated fathers and their children to promote communication and family fun.
  • Creating a mentor program for a local youth homeless shelter.
  • Writing grants to support educational programs for the local Latino population.
  • Facilitating therapy groups for women in addiction treatment.
  • Serving as a legislative aide to address issues relating to health care transformation.
  • Helping families coordinate care for their elderly members

We offer placement opportunities at more than 300 locations, and we use a database program so our students can explore potential placement sites. However, students are not limited to sites in the database alone; they can bring other opportunities to the Director of Field for consideration.

We also work closely with state government agencies to offer field experiences directly related to social welfare needs and resources in the state of Missouri.

Most field placements are in the state; however, national and international placements can be arranged.

Kelsey and Karita working at desk

Kelsey Lamme, BSW student, with field instructor Karita McDowell at the Youth Empowerment Zone.

Contact the Director of Field Education

Suzanne Cary

Suzanne Cary, MSW
Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Field Education

727 Clark Hall
School of Social Work
University of Missouri
Phone: (573) 882-7671
Fax: [573] 882-8926
E-mail: carys@missouri.edu