Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Who are Social Workers?
A) Social workers are people who hold undergraduate and/or graduate degrees from an accredited social work program. Social Work at SIUC is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Social workers are trained in a variety of intervention techniques to work with individuals, families, small groups and communities. They develop programs to help solve social problems, such as drug and alcohol abuse, poverty, domestic violence, and discrimination, to name a few. Social workers help people to fight for social justice and to implement change. They make sure that people get the help they need.
Q) I am a student at SIUC but I want to change a major. How do I declare a social work major?
A) You will begin the process of changing your major with your academic advisor. You will be given a petition form and directions about completing the process. Then, you will make an appointment to see your social work academic advisor for an orientation to the major.
Q) When are social work majors advised?
A) Social work majors are advised each semester by a social work academic advisor. The Social Work advisor is located in Wham 122; the phone number is (618) 453-6340. To find out when Advisement appointments will begin, please go to: https://ehs.siu.edu/services/advisement/index.html. Seniors are given advisement appointments first, followed by juniors, then sophomores and freshmen. It is important to keep your appointment. If you miss or cancel your scheduled advisement appointment, you may have to wait longer than you would like to obtain another appointment when the advisor has an opening. There may be other times when you need advisement as well.
Q) What is the purpose of field education?
A) The field practicum is an integral part of the curriculum in social work education as students get the opportunity for practice experience in an agency in the community. The objective of the practicum is to produce a professionally reflective, self-evaluating, knowledgeable social worker. The undergraduate program utilizes a “block” placement format, meaning that the placement is completed in one semester after successfully completing course work with 2.50 (or greater) GPA in core Social Work classes.
Q) How many hours are required in the field?
A) The minimum number of hours required for a block placement is 420. The specific weekly work schedule is negotiated between the agency and the student.
Q) What are the field agency requirements?
A) Students may be placed only at agencies previously surveyed by the School’s Undergraduate Field Coordinator and approved by SIUC’s Board of Trustees. For the most part, these appear on the field agency list. Occasionally other agencies may be utilized with prior approval. Students are required to attend three (3) field placement meetings with the Undergraduate Field Coordinator the semester prior to their placement. Meeting dates will be posted in the Social Work Office.
Q) What is the field liaison's responsibilities?
A) The Field Coordinator conducts liaison visits with field agencies at least once during the semester. The liaison monitors student’s progress and field instruction practices while maintaining communication between the field site and SIUC Social Work.
Q) How is the field experience graded?
A) The field placement is graded on a pass/fail basis. Students whose performance and/or participation in field are unsatisfactory will not be allowed to pass field. The concurrent seminar is a graded class.
Q) Are there any special course requirements for social work majors?
A) In addition to social work major courses, social work students need to complete the following five courses:
Biology (at SIUC:PLB115 or ZOOL 115)
Psychology (at SIUC:PSYC 102)
Sociology (at SIUC : SOC 108)
American Government (at SIUC: POLS 114)
Economics (at SIUC:ECON 113)