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What is Field Experience?
Field experience is a graduation requirement for all human service majors and lies at the heart of our curriculum. It provides the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve gained in the classroom, build your professional network, and gain experience to include on your resume.
Students complete a minimum of 21 credit hours of field experience coursework. This includes:
Careful reading and understanding of the HSP Field Manual is the most important preparation you can do for the field experience.
The information provided here on the website does not include all the details you need to know for the field experience. Please download and read the field manual if you have further questions: Student Field Manual 2021 and Supervisor Field Manual 2021.
Contact our field coordinator, Angela Furney ([email protected]) for more information and to discuss your plans for your field experience! It is never too early to sit down with her for advice.
In order to secure a seat in a practicum or internship class, you must first meet with the field coordinator to discuss your possible placement site, to get department advising and to create a plan to graduate. The class sections and appointments with the field coordinator are a first-come, first-serve basis. While we do our best to accommodate student needs, we cannot guarantee that you will get a seat in the semester you desire. We encourage you to start the process early. Please contact the Human Services and Counseling office to set up an appointment with the field coordinator. The deadlines for meeting with the field coordinator are as follows:
|Field Due Dates (Practicum and Internship Deadlines)|
|Spring 2020||Summer 2020||Fall 2020|
|Placement Information DUE||December 6th||April 24th||July 31st|
|Start Hours at Placement Site||January 13th||May 18th||August 10th|
|End Hours at Placement Site||May 8th||July 31st||December 4th|
|Practicum Portfolio Deadline||October 1st||February 1st||May 1st|
Each of you has a unique story, which draws you to the field of Human Services, and there are situations where that history may include arrests, convictions or jail/prison time. We strongly encourage you to consider running a Criminal History Check on yourself prior to the field courses (https://www.cbirecordscheck.com/Index.aspx?CLS=N). It is very important, as you formulate your place in this field, that you are aware that many felonies or combinations of misdemeanors may make you unable to find employment.
Our high risk youth concentration is generally the most restrictive for individuals with criminal histories and most employers and field placements will require a background check. As such, please discuss your criminal history with the field coordinator and the Director of the Center for High Risk Youth (Dr. Annie Butler) to determine if your history may make you unlikely to find a career in the field. The earlier you have this conversation, the more likely it is that you will be able to make informed decisions about your course selections and career path.
Policies Related to Field Registration:
The following policies and procedures were adopted by MSU Department of Human Services and Counseling to support student success in the field placement experience:
Additionally, you may be placed on a temporary or permanent hold from field courses if your history includes one or more of the following:
If any of these issues impact you, you must disclose this information to the field coordinator during your advising appointment. The field coordinator will work with you to determine a strategy to complete your MSU Denver degree.
To request an exception to these policies, explain the situation to the field coordinator in writing, providing a rationale for why you believe you are ready to do a field placement. You may include supporting documentation from a probation/parole officer, counselor, or other appropriate professional. The field coordinator, in conjunction with field faculty, will determine your readiness to participate in field placement. You may be asked to meet with the field coordinator and a field faculty member before a decision is made.
Prerequisites for Practicum:
* In place of HSP 2020 and HSP 2030, nonprofit students take:
Prerequisites for Internship:
Please see the field coordinator or the department chair if your catalog year is prior to 2010. We also strongly suggest that you’ve had HSP 3490 Multicultural Issues in Human Services and at least two classes from your concentration area.
Students with at least two years of full-time human services experience in an area related to their concentration in the major may develop a portfolio showing evidence of prior learning in place of one Practicum course. All students must take Professional Internship (you cannot use a portfolio in place of internship). You must ask a faculty advisor to work with you before you begin the process and you must schedule a meeting with the field coordinator to apply for the portfolio options. The department policies for portfolio include the following:
HSP Practicum Portfolio Policies:
Additional Portfolio Policies
To find out more about the general portfolio process, seek advising in the department from the field coordinator and contact:
Center for Individualized Learning
Administration Building, 3rd Floor
It is your responsibility to secure a field placement site; however, the Pre-Field Seminar is designed to assist you with this process. It is essential to begin looking for a site several weeks in advance of your Practicum or Internship class. A good place to start this process is on the TIP database (https://www.myinterfase.com/metrostatecollege-internship/student/). You will automatically be registered for the TIP database in your Pre-Field Seminar class.
Feel free to schedule a meeting with the field coordinator if you are struggling to find a placement after you’ve applied and interviewed through the TIP process. You must have a placement site by the date provided by the field coordinator (generally two weeks prior to the start of classes). The field coordinator approves placement sites and you must have an approved placement site by the first week of class. If you do not have a site by the first week of class, the field coordinator has the right to administratively drop you from the class.
The field supervisor must have a master’s degree in Human Services, Social Work, Counseling, Behavioral or Social Sciences or a related field. An exception to this requirement may be made if the supervisor has the appropriate professional experience and expertise to create a positive learning environment for the student. Students must ask the field coordinator for an exception to the master’s degree requirement and may need you to forward them your current resume.
In addition, the supervisor must have the time and make the commitment to complete all the necessary paperwork and provide training, weekly supervision, support for developing a learning contract, and evaluation for the student.
Students who are seeking hours towards the Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) Level I must be supervised by an individual with a CAC III or Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC) in order for those hours to count toward certification.
Students who are seeking state approval to work with domestic violence offenders must be supervised by a state approved Domestic Violence Clinical Supervisor.
The field supervisor must also:
•Fill out all paperwork required by department in a timely fashion;
•Facilitate student participation in appropriate learning activities;
•Answer questions and provide guidance to support student success;
•Participate in one or two site visits with the student and seminar instructor;
•Contact the seminar instructor with any questions or concerns during the placement;
•Report any problems or concerns to the field coordinator and seminar instructor immediately.
If an agency agrees to serve as a placement site, the field supervisor needs to be aware of the responsibilities involved in offering an effective learning environment for the student. The following is a list of responsibilities that the field supervisor, in conjunction with agency staff, must be willing to provide for the student:
•An orientation to the agency;
•Appropriate training and access to information about policies and procedures;
•Access to other written materials to support student learning and effectiveness;
•A collaborative process with the student to develop the learning contract;
•One hour of weekly supervision either in a one-on-one or group setting;
•Ongoing feedback and a final evaluation;
•Adequate work space and supplies.
What sort of work will I be asked to do while I’m working at my agency?
Students must be aware of liability risks and safety procedures. There are a variety of appropriate learning activities that students can participate in while at an agency.
Students ARE ENCOURAGED TO:
Is there anything I CANNOT do while I’m working at my placement?
The following activities may NOT be performed by a student (an exception can be made for students who are paid employees of an agency and are performing the activity as part of the normal work expectation for that position and who have received training that supports safety for the student, staff, and clients):
If you are not paid by the agency where you are doing your field placement, you are covered by MSU Denver for on-the-job injuries. You must inform the field coordinator, your seminar instructor, and MSU Denver’s Office of Human Resources within 24 hours of the injury and you must use an approved medical provider for any services or you will not be covered. Your seminar instructor will have you sign a form acknowledging receipt of information about this policy. For more information about the policy and for a list of approved providers, go to the HR website.