Field Instructor Resources | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Field Instructors

Field Instructor Resources

Field instructors play a vital role in the education of our students. Through supervision and mentorship, field instructors help students bridge theory into practice. This approach is vital to the development of social work and public health practitioners.

In collaboration with over 300 field sites around the world, our students bring discipline-specific expertise in translating knowledge to practice, managing complex systems and data, and converting ideas to action. Practicum students contribute these skills and knowledge toward organization mission, vision, and goals.

Depending on the focus of their studies (which we call a concentration or specialization), students also develop specialized skills in areas like research, policy or system dynamics. You can recruit students that match the needs of your organization and the position you have in mind. To host a practicum student, your organization will need to formally affiliate with the Brown School as a practicum site. Then you — or someone at your organization — will take the steps to become affiliated as a field instructor.

Keep in mind that there are different requirements for field instructors, depending on the kind of practicum student you’d like to work with.

Eligibility Requirements for Field Instructors

Type of Practicum

Education Required

Number of Years in the Field

MSW Foundation Practicum: Provides generalist skills for a student in their first year of the MSW program

Master of Social Work degree

2 years post-MSW;
1 year at the current position

MSW Concentration Practicum: Provides skills tied to the specific field of practice an MSW student is focusing on

Master of Social Work or a related master’s degree

2 years post master’s degree;
1 year at the current position

MPH Practicum

Master’s degree or higher, and currently directly working in public health or connected to your organization’s public health mission

2 years post master’s degree;
1 year at the current position



The information below will give you an overview of the affiliation process, but please contact ofe@wustl.edu with questions. We’d love to discuss how the Brown School can partner with you to educate the next generation of social work and public health professionals.

Field Instructor Benefits

To recognize the important service field instructors do for our students and for our profession, we offer a variety of benefits for Brown School field instructors.

Professional Development Discount
Brown School field instructors receive a significant discount on most Professional Development workshops hosted at the Brown School.

Brown School Library Privileges
Field instructors receive free borrowing privileges at the Brown School Library, access to resources for evidence-based practice, and librarian assistance. View our Library Guide for field instructors. To receive a library card valid for the academic year, contact ofe@wustl.edu.

Annual Field Instructor Appreciation Day
We gather each spring to celebrate and acknowledge your many contributions. Invitations will be sent via email. This event includes workshops and connections for field instructors.

Affiliate as a Field Instructor

Field instructors serve as key partners in education social work and public health practitioners. To become an affiliated field instructor, please complete one of the following applications.

Unsure whether to apply as an MSW field instructor or MPH field instructor? Consult the Eligibility Requirements for Field Instructors chart above, or email ofe@wustl.edu with questions.

Once the application is completed, the Office of Field Education will review it, and if it is approved you will be invited to a field instructor training. MSW field instructors complete a field instruction certificate. MPH field instructors receive training as they are affiliated.

Affiliate an Organization as an MSW Practicum Site

Students complete practicum at affiliated practicum sites with affiliated field instructors. To affiliate your site, please complete the MSW Organizational Affiliation Application form. Once this form is received, the field site coordinator will contact you with next steps.

Affiliate an Organization as an MPH Practicum Site

Students complete practicum at affiliated practicum sites with affiliated field instructors. To affiliate your site, please complete the MPH Affiliation Application form. (If you’ve recently completed this form in order to affiliate as a field instructor, there’s no need to submit it twice.) Once this form is received, the field site coordinator will contact you with next steps.

Recruit a Practicum Student

Students search for practicum opportunities in Symplicity, the Brown School’s Field Education and Career Services database. As a field instructor you’ll have access to a Symplicity account, which will allow you to post positions and connect with the Brown School.

To post a practicum position in Symplicity, log in to your account. If you do not have a Symplicity account, please contact ofe@wustl.edu for more information.

Once you’ve logged in, Symplicity’s “Home” tab is where you’ll find announcements and shortcuts.

The “Positions” tab is where you’ll post practicum opportunities for students to view. Click the “New Posting” button to post a new position. This same process can also be used for jobs, internships and other positions. So, to ensure your posting is listed as a practicum position, be sure to select “Practicum.” Enter your position information, and click the “Submit” button when done.

If you have difficulty logging in or making changes to your account, or have questions related to employment opportunity postings, please contact Tina Kennett, tkennett@wustl.edu. For questions about practicum position postings, please contact ofe@wustl.edu.

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