What makes the UNE School of Social Work different is our unique and comprehensive approach to field education. Our field network is the largest in Maine and our students benefit from an unparalleled range of hands-on clinical experiences.
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 social work interest you have, 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), prisons, and agencies dedicated to working with the homeless population or people with addiction and substance problems.
Gain professional, hands-on experience
As a social work student, your education—and your ability to do good, right away—is enhanced immeasurably by the immersive field placements our program provides. These placements allow you to integrate your theoretical, classroom knowledge with real-world professional practice. It’s part of our experiential approach to social work education: your curriculum will be rooted in hands-on practice, face-to-face communication and real-world engagement. The unique structure of our field education program ensures that you will have genuinely fulfilling, highly educational, individualized field experiences.
“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
Our campus-based MSW program offers a unique approach to field practicum planning and placement for students. Campus-based field faculty meet with students to assess each student’s strengths, experience and interests, in order to identify field placements that will provide the optimal field practicum experience for each student’s education.
Students in field practicum are supported via field instruction with an experienced MSW supervisor (at least one hour per week) as well as through weekly participation in an integrative seminar class. The seminar class gives students an opportunity to discuss field experiences, develop collegial relationships, enhance their professional social worker identities and to integrate classroom learning with their real-world field practicum experiences.
Six reasons why field education positions you for a rewarding career
Intensive experiences: You complete two field placements of 560 hours each, unless you are an Advanced Standing student, in which case you complete only one 560-hour field placement.
Personalized planning: Our full-time on-campus field faculty work with you to find the agency/organization that best meets your personal interests and educational goals.
Student choice: You interview with several agencies/organizations before making your decision. The School of Social Work has relationships with agencies in a wide range of practice contexts, including mental and physical health, poverty and homelessness, services for children and families, juvenile and criminal justice, treatment of addiction and trauma, community and political organizing, and arts-based justice work.
Flexibility: Your field placements can be completed over an entire academic year, or in more compact “blocks.”
Supervision: You receive at least one hour of field instruction per week from an M.S.W.-level field instructor.
Support: Our field advisors lead weekly field seminars, giving you the opportunity to discuss your experiences with other students.