A student’s practicum placement or internship, is a unit earning course series, usually over four semesters. Official MOA or contract approved practicum agencies are located throughout the country and represent a wide range of social work services and practice.
Practicum agencies are approved sites based on the quality of the professional practice, commitment to addressing social problems and an interest in participating in the professional education of MSW students. The practicum agency is responsible for providing the learning opportunities representative of social work practice within the student’s region and/or community.
Students must adhere to the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work educational objectives and the NASW Code of Ethics, and achieve the CSWE EPAS and nine core competencies.
The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work welcomes agencies interested in partnering with USC as practicum placement sites. To qualify as a practicum placement site, an agency must meet the following criteria:
- Provide a sufficient number and variety of assignments to develop student knowledge and practice skill.
- Provide an opportunity to work with individuals, families, groups, communities or organizations unless otherwise indicated by specific department of study.
- Provide ample time for weekly practicum instruction to permit both individual and group conferences with students.
- Provide adequate office space, office supplies, telephone availability and clerical support.
- Provide opportunities for in-service training and access to agency consultants.
- Have an interest in participating in students' research.
- Have an interest in aligning the agency’s practice framework to theories taught in the classroom.
- Commit to collaborating with practicum faculty in supporting student learning and growth.
New agency sites must complete the New Agency Information Form and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which must be approved by the USC Office of the General Counsel . The new agency form must be completed in its entirety and submitted for processing prior to starting. An agency representative must meet with an Office of Practicum Education representative to evaluate the appropriateness of the site and for final approval. This process typically takes three to six months for completion.