Practicum Education

Practicum Education

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Two key components of social work education are practicum placement and education. Students learn theory in the classroom, but it is during their practicum that they will put their theoretical understanding, social work ideals, and ethical standards into hands-on applied social work practice. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has named the learning experience students acquire from practicum learning as the “signature pedagogy” for social work education.

Practicum experience enables students to grow professionally and personally. Students will engage or come into direct contact with a wide range of groups, professionals, and people across diverse cultures, beliefs, and personalities with whom they may eventually work with later in their careers. During this interaction, social work students get the opportunity to learn new concepts or reflect on their own beliefs, biases, and attitudes toward other people while working within real agency settings.

Through the support of our local, statewide, national, and international community partners, our students will:

  • develop professional identity
  • apply ethic principles of the profession
  • apply critical thinking to guide professional practice
  • engage difference and diversity practice
  • advance human rights and social and economic justice
  • apply classroom knowledge to practice
  • engage in research-informed practice and practice informed research
  • engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being
  • demonstrate engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation skills

The Kent School of Social Work and Family Science looks forward to this journey for students where practice meets real world experience!

Kent School of Social Work & Family Science Practicum Education program brochure

The Importance of Practicum Education

University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work and Family Science students gain meaningful work experience through field placements at social service agencies. This video highlights two local agencies that our students have worked in as practicum students: Catholic Charities of Louisville, and Volunteers of America Mid-States. Both agencies were recognized and honored as 2022 Champions for Change for their work in the community and in field education with Kent students.