The Catholic University of America

Applying for Field at NCSSS as a Foundation Year Student

1) Read about our field program by beginning at: http://ncsss.cua.edu/field/reqs.cfm. This will familiarize you with our field internship program and requirements for each of the two internships you will complete during your graduate studies at NCSSS.

2) Having read about our field program and field placement process, learn about our field agencies using our Field Education Search Engine, and then complete the field application.

3) Utilizing our web-based Field Education Search Engine, you can read about our field agencies. IMPORTANT: We restrict search engine access to our students only because of its confidential information. Therefore, please do not share log-on information with others.

4) Update your resume, making sure to list your enrollment here at CUA NCSSS. In listing schools, employment and volunteer work, the most current is always listed first. At the graduate level, it is unnecessary to list high school information. Please try to limit your resume to 1 - 2 pages.

5) The field application asks whether you are interested in federal work-study (FWS). We have participated in a federal work-study program, which has enabled some students showing financial need to earn (taxable) income for the field internship (in 2011-2012 this is $5,000 for full-time (12+credits/semester) students only, based on need). Specific FWS questions should be directed to Ms. Aileen Worrell, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.

6) The field application asks whether you are seeking a flex-time placement and offers you the opportunity to discuss this in detail. We are asking this primarily of our part-time students. Flex-time placements are those placements that combine some evening or weekend hours with at least 8 daytime hours per week.

7) To begin the actual placement process:

  • Complete the field application, write your brief statement, and update your resume. 
  • Save a copy of the above so that you have a set for your records.
  • Email your completed field application, statement and resume as Microsoft Word documents to Ms. Nenita Sola.

Interviewing Hints and Further Information

  • Prepare for the interview as you would for a job interview. Read what is available on the search engine, following the link to the agency website, when one is listed. We have paper files for most of our agencies, but as we provide more and more information on-line, these files have become less useful. Still, if you are on campus, feel free to stop by and review files for agencies you are interested in.
  • Dress appropriately for the interview, i.e. no jeans, shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops. Allow enough time for the interview (especially if you are taking time off from work). Prepare questions so that you leave the interview with a good sense of (1) what the agency does; (2) who the clients are; (3) what the surrounding community is like, and how the agency is involved with that community; (4) what tasks/activities you would be involved with in your internship.
  • You may meet your potential field instructor, or you may interview with the Internship Coordinator, who will assign a field instructor at a later date. Ask for clarification if you’re not sure whether the person interviewing you will be the field instructor.
  • You may be offered an internship slot at the interview, or you may be told that decisions will be made at a later date. If you leave the interview with any concerns or uneasiness about the agency, internship duties, the client population, etc., please call the Director of Field Education right away. We ask that you promptly advise us of the outcome of the meeting, i.e., let us know that you were offered a slot, or that you will be contacted in a week or a month, etc., by emailing Ms. Sola.
  • Once you have accepted an internship offer, please return the Confirmation of Internship form that will be attached to your referral letter.
  • Please note that students are referred to one agency at a time, and a student may interview at a maximum of 3 agencies during the course of the foundation year placement process.
  • Unless an alternate schedule is planned, our 1st year MSW students are at their placements during regular working hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays, working 16 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters. Please note that students are allowed a 2-week break from the field internship during CUA’s longer winter break.
  • Students may complete field hours over 2 - 3 days per week during the foundation year, interning a minimum of 4 days on each field day.
  • If you would like to be placed at your employment site, please contact us to discuss your options.
  • If you would like us to set up a new agency as a field site, please contact us to discuss the process for doing this.

If you have any questions regarding the placement process, please call the Office of Field Education at 202-319-5457.

 

 

An outline of the interview process follows:

  •  Based on the information you provide, you will be referred to an available agency.
  • The first page of your field application, your brief statement, your resume and our referral letter will be emailed to that agency’s Internship Coordinator.
  • A referral letter will then be emailed to you. Your referral letter will ask you to call the Internship Coordinator at that agency to set up your field placement interview. Please call promptly.
  • You may meet your potential field instructor, or you may interview with the Internship Coordinator, who will assign a field instructor at a later date.
  • You may be offered an internship slot at the interview, or you may be told that decisions will be made at a later date. If you leave the interview with any concerns or uneasiness about the agency, internship duties, the client population, etc., please contact the Director of Field Education right away.
  • We ask that you promptly advise us of the outcome of the meeting, i.e., let us know that you were offered a slot, or that you will be contacted in a week or a month, etc., by emailing (either thursby@cua.edu or sola@cua.edu).
  • Please note that students are referred to one agency at a time, and a student may interview at a maximum of 3 agencies during the course of the foundation year placement process.