Field Practicum

The practicum in social work provides a safe opportunity for students to challenge themselves and deepen their commitment to social work attitudes and values. It allows them to apply classroom knowledge to real-world practice, develop professional skills, and advocate for social justice. It is a transformative experience that prepares students for their careers in social work.

What is a Practicum Placement?

The practicum placement is a required component and the “signature pedagogy” of Social Work Education. 

Integration of Classroom Knowledge and Practical Experience:

  • The practicum placement serves as a bridge between theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom and its practical application in a real-world setting.
  • Students have the opportunity to apply concepts and theories learned in class to actual situations within a community agency.
  • Concurrent Model:
    • The concurrent model at Campbell University means that students engage in both classroom learning and practicum placement simultaneously.
    • This approach allows for a dynamic learning experience, where students can immediately apply what they learn in class to their fieldwork.
  • Time Commitment:
    • Students are required to commit a minimum of 16 hours per week to their practicum placement for a total of 225 hours per semester. . This commitment is in addition to their coursework and any other personal commitments.
    • The 1.5 credit hour Practicum course is part of the overall academic requirements for the semester.

The practicum placement is a crucial element of Social Work Education at Campbell University, offering students valuable hands-on experience to enhance their academic learning. The concurrent model, which combines classroom learning with practical experience, provides a unique and immersive educational opportunity. However, the challenge for students lies in effectively managing the time commitment required for both practicum placement and other responsibilities. Emphasis is placed on the importance of planning ahead to help students navigate these challenges successfully.


  • Practicum Duration and Schedule:
    • BSW students engage in practicum for a total of 16 hours per week throughout the academic year, covering both the Fall and Spring semesters. Totaling 450 hours. 
    • Summer practicum placements are not currently offered, emphasizing a focus on the traditional academic year.
  • Practicum Placement Process:
    • The practicum placement process involves connecting each student with a prospective agency.
    • More detailed information about this process is available in the Field Handbook, providing students with comprehensive guidance.
  • Timing and Planning for Practicum:
    • BSW students initiate the planning for their practicum placement during their Junior year.
    • The actual participation in the practicum occurs during the Fall and Spring semesters of their Senior year.

This structured approach ensures that students have adequate time to plan, prepare, and secure suitable practicum placements, contributing to a well-rounded educational experience during their Senior year. The provided details offer a clear understanding of the expectations and timeline for students in the Social Work program at Campbell University.

Required practicum classes: SOWK 480 and SOWK 490 (fall only) & SOWK 481 and SOWK 491 (spring only), taken during senior year.


Potential practicum placements

The potential practicum tasks for BSW students at Campbell University are diverse and encompass various aspects of social work practice. Here is a summary of the tasks that students may engage in during their practicum placement:

  • Conducting Routine Intakes:
    • BSW students may be involved in the process of conducting routine intakes, gathering essential information from clients.
  • Advocating for Clients:
    • Advocacy for clients involves supporting and representing the best interests of individuals within the social work context.
  • Assisting on Grant Proposals:
    • Students may contribute to the development and preparation of grant proposals, gaining experience in securing funding for social programs.
  • Leading Special Projects:
    • Taking the lead on special projects allows students to apply their skills in planning, organization, and implementation in a real-world setting.
  • Providing Supportive Counseling:
    • BSW students may engage in providing supportive counseling to clients, offering emotional and psychological assistance.
  • Program Evaluation:
    • Evaluation of programs involves assessing the effectiveness and impact of social work initiatives and interventions.
  • Assisting with Policy Development and Analysis:
    • Involvement in policy development and analysis provides students with insights into the broader systemic aspects of social work.
  • Providing Psychoeducation to Clients and Employees:
    • Offering psychoeducation involves educating clients and possibly staff on mental health and well-being topics.
  • Case Management:
    • Engaging in case management allows students to work closely with individuals to coordinate and ensure the delivery of comprehensive services.
  • Delivering Anti-Racist and Culturally Sensitive Services:
    • BSW students may be actively involved in promoting anti-racist and culturally sensitive practices within the services they deliver.

It’s emphasized that the exact tasks will vary based on the specific practicum placement, reflecting the diversity of social work practice and the unique needs of different agencies or organizations. This variety ensures that students gain a well-rounded and practical understanding of the field during their practicum experience.


Note: The School of Social Work does not grant social work course credit for life experience or previous work experience.


Compliance Requirements

The mention of compliance requirements adds an important layer to the practicum placement process for social work students. Here’s a summary of this aspect:

  • Specific Compliance Requirements:
    • Placement agencies may have specific compliance requirements that students must fulfill before starting their practicum placement.
    • Examples of these requirements include background checks, drug screening, immunizations, CPR certification, fingerprinting, and possibly more.
  • Eligibility for Practicum Placement:
    • Meeting these compliance requirements is essential for students to be eligible to begin and complete their practicum placement at a particular agency.
    • Non-compliance with these requirements may result in the student being ineligible for placement at that specific site.
  • Mandatory COVID Vaccinations:
    • Notably, COVID vaccinations are mandatory for social work field practicum, with exceptions for students who have submitted and been granted a waiver.
    • This aligns with broader health and safety measures and reflects the evolving landscape of public health considerations.

This information underscores the importance of students being aware of and actively managing the compliance requirements associated with their practicum placement. It emphasizes the need for proactive communication and planning to ensure that all necessary steps are taken, contributing to a smooth and successful integration into the practicum experience.

Practicum Handbook

BSW and MSW students may view the 2023-2024 Practicum Education Handbook below to learn more about the placement process, policies, and more.

View Practicum Handbook

Practicum Placement Sites

The invitation to expand practicum partnerships with agencies and organizations, both locally and across North Carolina, is an excellent opportunity for collaboration and enriching the practicum experience for social work students at Campbell University.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • Open Invitation for Practicum Partnerships:
    • The university welcomes agencies and organizations in Lillington, NC, and throughout North Carolina to consider becoming practicum placement sites for social work students.
  • Practicum Placement Duration and Hours:
    • Practicum placements typically span the full academic year from August to April.
    • Students commit an average of 16 hours per week during their practicum placement. Total of 450 hours. 
  • Tasks and Responsibilities:
    • Students, under the supervision of practicum instructors and task supervisors, engage in a variety of tasks during their placement.
    • These tasks include, but are not limited to:
      • Advocating for clients and policy change
      • Conducting intakes and psychosocial assessments
      • Facilitating groups
      • Participating in case conferences and team meetings
      • Working on grant proposals
      • Community outreach
      • Developing needs assessments
      • Analyzing how policy impacts services
      • Completing special projects
  • Diverse Learning Opportunities:
    • The list of tasks highlights the diversity of learning opportunities that students can experience during their practicum, contributing to a well-rounded education.
  • Collaborative Approach:
    • The university encourages a collaborative approach, where agencies and organizations can play a vital role in shaping the learning experiences of social work students.

This information provides a clear overview of the practicum program, the expectations for placement agencies, and the valuable contributions that agencies can make to the education and professional development of social work students at Campbell University.


Field Advisory Committee

The Field Advisory Committee provides a collaborative approach to integrate field education and classroom instruction in the social work program. 


  • Create a feedback loop involving the School, community agencies, faculty members, and students to improve the integration of field education and classroom instruction.
  • Identify the learning needs of field instructors.
  • Recruit new field placements.
  • Provide input and support in developing field instructor training and resources.
  • Review trends in field education to keep practices up to date.

Committee Composition

  • Director of Field Education, committee chair
  • Social Work Program Director
  • Student representative 
  • Community members (5-6) from area agencies, active field instructors, or other stakeholders

Committee Member Responsibilities:

  • Meets twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring semesters.
  • Member attendance and active participation at each meeting.
  • Encourages communication if a member is unable to attend.
  • Expects members to weigh new ideas, opinions, and trends from the community, offering insights and recommendations to the Office of Field Instruction.
  • Sets a term limit of three (2) years for agency representatives, with an option for extension upon request to the committee chairperson.
  • Allows individuals who have served two terms in a row to rejoin as members after a one (1) year period.

Committee Members  

Chante’ Clark, MSW, LCSW -Matters of the Heart & MInd Counseling and Consulting, PLLC 

Kristine Johnson, MSW – Harnett County Department of Social Services

Christen Hayes, MSW – Harnett COunty Department of Social Services  

Ben Bursey, BSW, MA – Harnett County Schools

Elsa Clayton, BSW – Harnett County Schools

Anna Edwards – Campbell University social work student