Plan Now - The University of Texas at Arlington - UT Arlington

Plan Now Preparing for Your Field Education Experience Field presents a hurdle that other courses do not. Although you create a degree plan for all of your courses, your field placement demands a different time commitment. Purpose: Why Field? Remember: this is a practicum. You will be in a professional setting developing the essential skills of social workers. Depending on the type of placement you need (undergraduate, graduate, for example), you must be prepared to spend somewhere between 16 and 40 hours per week in your assigned agency or working with

your Field Instructor. Once you decide to enter the social work program, please begin to strategize how you will add the necessary field hours to your already-busy life. Typically, agencies do not offer internship hours exclusively in the evenings or on weekends. A few agencies offer flexible times, but ALL require some availability during the work week. We understand that accommodating your field experience requires commitment and sometimes sacrifice. However, field is the signature pedagogy of social work education (Council on Social Work Education) because it transforms you into a professional. It is essential to your education. It is the springboard for your career. It is the pathway to your life's work. Personal Assessment: Please complete the following

exercise to evaluate your current responsibilities. I am a: BSW Student: Your field placement will account for 18 credit hours. Academic Classificati on Foundation MSW student (you do not have a BSW degree): Your field placement will account for 8 credit hours. Advanced Standing MSW student (you have a BSW degree): Your field placement will account for 8 credit

hours. I plan to take field as a: Split Placement: (16 hours/week commitment for 2 consecutive semesters (Fall/Spring) Split vs. Block (22 hours/week commitment during Summer semester) Block Placement: (32 hours/week commitment for 1 semester (Fall/Spring) (44 hours/week commitment during the Summer semester) If I am in the BSW program, I

understand that I must have the block option approved by my academic advisor During my internship, I plan on also working: Work Full-time hrs/week ___ Part-time

hrs/week ___ I will not be working during my internship. I have family obligations. No Yes Family obligatio ns Total= 0

hours Partner weekly ____ # hrs Child(ren) hrs weekly ____ # Extended family weekly Family Special needs (i.e. disability, illness, aging)

____ # hrs ____# hrs weekly These obligations require a total of ________ hrs per week. I am planning on taking other classes while in field: No Yes Other Classes SOCW_____ time

3hrs + study I have social/volunteer obligations: Total= 0 hours No Yes Social/ Volunteer Social: (clubs, groups, etc.) Volunteer

weekly ____ # hrs weekly ____ # hrs I have health restrictions: No Yes Health Issues Ex: Cannot exceed ___ hours per week

Time for health care appointment s, etc. I am committed to a scheduled workout routine or other wellness/self-care activity: Wellness / Self-care No Yes Time to add it all up!!

Current Obligatio ns Add up all of the totals in the previous slides. This is your overall total hours already occupied in your life. TOTAL (A week = 24 X 7 = 168 hours) Whats left for your field experience? Great!! Can you meet the hours needed? Yes No Now what??

I will need to accrue all/some of my field hours at night or on weekends: Night & Weekend s No Yes Great! We are affiliated with over 400 agencies in the DFW area and beyond, most operating only during regular business hours. I understand that I CANNOT fulfill all of the required

field hours in the evenings and weekends. I understand that I must find at least one business day during regular business hours to be at my field placement. You may be thinking, This seems impossible- How will I balance it all?? Please take the time to go through each aspect presented and think about how you will balance your field placement with other life responsibilities. These are just suggestions and ideas to get you thinking how to creatively rearrange your time. Ack!!! How can I make my schedule work?? Rearrangi

ng your schedule Lets What are ways I can propose a more flexible work schedule? Rearrangi ng your schedule: Work Make up time during nights and weekends: No Hrs/Weekly Yes _______

Use vacation time: No Yes Ask boss for ideas: No Yes ____Total Hours Rearrangi ng your schedule: Family Obligatio ns Family: I need help! Can I ask a family member to

take on some of my tasks or pay someone to help? 0 hours gained No Yes Who? ______________ Task _____ hrs _____ Can I ask family members to be more independent in certain tasks (i.e. making dinner)? No Yes Who? ___________

Task ______ hrs _____ _______ Total Hours Gained Think- Will your class load be manageable in addition to your field placement? Rearrangi ng your schedule: Other Classes No or Im not sure Can you accept a different graduation date (an additional 4.5

months)? Yes No Which class(es) can I defer? 0 hours gaine d SOCW ______ + study time SOCW ______ + study time ____Total hours gained

Can I be more flexible here? Rearrangi ng your schedule: Social/ Voluntee r No 0 hours gained Yes Reduce hours of volunteer time

____# hours gained Schedule social life around field/school How? _____________ __________________ _____Total hours gain Rearrangi ng your schedule: Health Restricti ons

Can I change appointments without compromising my health? No Yes Use vacation time/sick time rather than field time? Other Workouts: Can I flex this time? Rearrangi ng your schedule: Wellness

/ Self-care No Yes AM _____ hours PM _____ hours Can I switch to a different type of exercise? (workout DVDs at home, etc.) No Yes What? ___________ Rearrangi ng your

schedule: Wellness / Self-care (cont) Can I incorporate exercise at work & field? No Yes Walk more Take stairs Other ______ OVERALL WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS & GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FIELD PLACEMENT

Things I can do to reduce my own stress during field: Maximizin g Your Education al Experienc e Keep a workable, realistic schedule. Understand that field is a limited period of time. This too shall pass. Insist that my family/friends provide the support they promised. Keep my health (emotional, mental, physical) my priority.

Stay up-to-date concerning my field obligations so that I can maintain a feeling of control. Use the field experience as the capstone of my career. Understand that I am building my professional reputation and resume. Keep my expectations of all that I can manage realistic. Work Family Now that youve taken a closer look at your obligations, what is your plan now?

Other classes Social/ Volunteer Health issues Wellness/ self-care I have now cleared my schedule to devote the necessary time and energy to be successful in my field practicum. I hereby verify that I have completed this exercise. Please note: You are NOT required to turn this into the Field Office, this exercise is simply for your benefit.

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