What makes the UNE School of Social Work different is our comprehensive approach to field education. Our practicum site network is the largest in Maine, so students benefit from an unparalleled range of individualized social work field experiences.
Individualized field placement planning
Campus-based field faculty meet with students to assess each student’s strengths, experience and interests. Students and field faculty identify field sites that will provide opportunities to optimize the field practicum experience.
UNE students have opportunities to work with individuals, families and groups of all ages. Students who are passionate about working with a particular population, e.g., older adults, veterans, homeless individuals, trauma survivors, LGBTQQ individuals, refugees, prison inmates, and immigrants, will be able to choose from agencies that work with members of that population. Students’ field practicums actualize our mission of social inclusion.
Work with children and families
Students who are interested in working in educational settings can choose from a number of exciting placements, including Lyman Moore Middle School and the Reiche School, while those with a passion for helping kids and families can find fulfillment at agencies such as SMART Child and Family Services and Woodford Family Services.
Work in a health care setting
Our wide-ranging network offers placements for virtually any type of health care setting, including hospitals (e.g., Maine Medical Center) and mental health centers (e.g., Maine Behavioral Health and Opportunity Alliance), domestic violence and sexual assault centers, agencies that work with adults with intellectual disabilities, hospice agencies (e.g., Southern Maine Hospice), and agencies dedicated to working with the homeless population or people struggling with substance use disorder issues.
Work in community advocacy programs
Students who are interested in advocating for social justice and social inclusion will find multiple opportunities at the community and state levels. Our students have been able to develop their community social work skills via placements at agencies including the Maine People’s Alliance, New Mainers Program, Maine Women’s Lobby, Boys to Men, Maine Inside Out, Equality Maine and Maine Disabilities Council.
“This is real life. This is real time, and it’s happening to real people. You have to have that connection. I cannot say more about how valuable it is for M.S.W. students to be able to do a field placement. If your placement is the right placement, you will appreciate more what you learn in practice and what you learn in books. You can put this together and serve the community better.”
– Deqa Dhalac, M.S.W. '17, on her field placement at Lyman Moore Middle School
What makes UNE's Field Education program unique?
Field Placements: Students complete two field practicum experiences. Each practicum is 560 hours completed over two consecutive semesters. Advanced Standing students complete one 560-hour field placement.
Student choice: Students interview with at least two agencies/organizations before making a decision about their field practicum site. The School of Social Work has relationships with agencies in a wide range of practice contexts, including mental and physical health, poverty, homelessness, services for children and families, juvenile and criminal justice, substance use disorders, community organizing and public policy.
Supervision: Students receive at least one hour of field instruction per week from an experienced M.S.W. field instructor.
Support: Field faculty facilitate weekly seminars that provide students with the opportunity to integrate classroom and field practicum learning. Each semester the seminar instructor facilitates a field visit with the student, M.S.W. field instructor and onsite supervisor (if applicable). The goal of the field visit is to discuss the student's activities at the field site and review progress toward meeting the student’s learning goals.