Practicum Placement Resources - Social Work

Northcentral University (NCU) is a leader in online and distance-based education. The MSW program is focused on developing the knowledge values, and skills, as well as the personal and professional growth that are required for effective, ethical practice in the field of social work. The program is designed to provide an integrated learning experience for students seeking specific training in graduate social work, exposing students to the generalist model of social work practice.

 Students in this program will critically analyze a broad range of theories and practical knowledge in social work, utilize research, and apply professional standards of conduct. Degree requirements include involvement in practicum and supervision. This training prepares students for work in a variety of settings including mental health centers, public service agencies, military service centers, corrections, health services, children's services, and many other options. Graduates of the MSW program will be well prepared to work in leadership roles, administrative roles, clinical roles, and also begin the process of seeking licensure post-graduation in their home state, country, or area.

Program Application Process

During the application process, MSW applicants are asked to research potential placement sites and supervisors in their local area. During the interview with the MSW faculty (an integral part of the application process), faculty will review applicants’ placement plans including the possible sites they have identified. Applicants that live in more remote areas or have fewer options are strongly encouraged to spend more time and effort contacting potential placement sites to determine if they will be able to secure a practicum position.

Throughout the application process, applicants are encouraged to contact the Field Education Director to request additional support and help in determining the best possible sites and process for securing a placement.

Practicum Preparation Process

The Practicum Preparation Process (PPP) at Northcentral University involves processes that include: 1) practicum Readiness, and 2) Site and Supervisor Vetting and Contracting (SASVAC). Both of these processes are designed to ensure that the sites, supervisors, and field experiences are the best fit for NCU students. While students are ultimately responsible for finding field placement sites and supervisors, the NCU MSW faculty bring to bear considerable experience, comprehensive support, and tremendous resources in facilitating the identification, vetting of, and contracting with agencies and supervisors.

Additional Resources for Students

The MSW program is constantly improving its ability to provide students with the foremost field experience. Students have access to Tip Sheets and videos on how to be successful in finding and contracting with sites or supervisors. There is an MSW Field Practicum Manual that students utilize and share with their supervisors. We are also building a comprehensive database with sites and supervisors who have either worked with NCU students previously or have expressed an interest in doing so.

MSW Program Handbook
MSW Field Practicum Manual

Sites and Supervisors Interested in Collaborating with NCU

As noted above NCU has created and maintains a comprehensive database of potential field placements sites. If you are an MSW at a social service agency and are interested in working with NCU to provide supervision to currently enrolled MSW students, complete our MSW Field Supervisor Information Form.

If you work at, own, or manage a social service field placement site that accepts MSW students completing their Master’s degree and are interested in becoming an approved practicum site for our students, please complete the Agency Information Form.