Field Education FAQs for Site Supervisors
General Resources for Site Partners
What days are students expected to be in the field?
Students are required to meet the minimum number of contact hours for their academic field program, which in turn will vary among field programs and may also be regulated by licensing bodies, depending on the student's major. For some programs, students' schedules are predetermined, while for other programs, students have the flexibility to negotiate a weekly schedule that is mutually accommodating as well as feasible for them and their site supervisor.
How are hours tracked during the semester?
Students are responsible for tracking their field hours on a weekly basis, and for regularly reviewing the logged-in hours with their site supervisor and faculty field liaison (or course instructor, i.e., for first year students). Typically, field hours must be approved in writing by the site supervisor in order for the student to receive course credit.
What happens in the field seminar class?
Seminar classes are intended to help students reflect on and process their field experiences as emerging professionals. These classes often require students to complete assignments in the field, which in turn serves to deepen the link between theory and practice, as well as enhance the student's domain specific knowledge.
How can I learn about other classes my student is enrolled in?
At the onset of the semester, the student and site supervisor should discuss any relevant courses and assignments that may apply to the field component. The faculty field liaison can help to facilitate this process during the initial three-way meeting. Likewise, for first year students, the Field Education staff and/or Human Growth and Development faculty will help to clarify relevant expectations and assignments for the sites.
What if I have some concerns (e.g., tardiness) about my student? When is it appropriate to share my concerns with the College?
Open, honest communication from the onset increases the likelihood that the concern will be addressed in a timely manner and also prevents it from elevating over time. We therefore encourage a process in which the student has an opportunity to hear, reflect on, and correct the behavior. Furthermore, we request that you inform the faculty field liaison and, as needed, the Office of Field Education, about your concern. As a result, we can align our efforts to ensure a successful resolution.
What type of support and training is available to me?
Wheelock offers adult and professional programs for you and your colleagues. To review the menu of options for each semester, please visit the Take a Course website (click here). If you have a valid course voucher, it may be applied on this website. In addition, the Office of Field Education periodically sends information about professional development offerings here on campus, many of which are free to the participant.
How do I get my student started?
Generally, an in depth orientation is the best starting point. Provide a tour and introduce the student to your colleagues. Explain how the organization is structured (i.e., the various roles, responsibilities). Provide information about the site's policies, procedures, and safety protocol, as well as delineate your expectations and the ways in which the student may become actively involved from the beginning.
What should be happening in supervision? What are the requirements?
Yes. Use the general response provided by Social Work. Then narrow the focus. For example, in licensure specific programs (e.g., education), the Wheelock faculty field liaison will help clarify expectations, requirements, activities and learning outcomes/goals.
What support services are available for Wheelock students on campus?
Refer to the Finding the Right Support web page for the key resources for Wheelock students on campus.
What if I cannot get in touch with my student's faculty field liaison?
The Office of Field Education staff is always available to put you in touch with the faculty field liaison.
What if my student is sick or has a personal emergency and cannot attend? Does s/he need to make up the hours?
To receive credit, students must attend all scheduled days, as well as complete all required field hours, as determined by their academic program. In addition, students must adhere to the designated timeframe - i.e., the beginning and ending of each scheduled day - as decided by their respective academic program, and when appropriate, in collaboration with the site supervisor. Students may be excused only for illness or extenuating family circumstances. It is required that students notify the site supervisor immediately of any absence. Faculty supervisors will specify in their course syllabus if/when to be notified. All absences must be made up. Unexcused absences or lack of compliance with these policies may result in removal from the field site and/or a failing grade.
What if the site is closed due to weather?
The following policy applies for inclement weather:
- If both the College and field site are closed, or if the field site closes but the College remains open, the student must make up the hours.
- If the College is closed but the field site remains open, students are encouraged to attend but should use their discretion as to whether they can travel safely to and from the field site. If students do not attend, then they must make up the hours.
- In cases of extreme or prolonged winter weather conditions that result in an unusual number of snow days, students are still required to fulfill the minimum number of contact hours on site as set by their academic program.
Note: Wheelock announces its closings via Rave Alert. In addition, students are expected to learn about the field site's policy and practice on how closings will be announced.
What if my student is injured while on site?
If a student is injured while at the field site, s/he should contact their site supervisor right away and follow the injury report system that is in effect at the site. In addition, the site supervisor should immediately contact the Office of Field Education to inform them of the incident and should also submit a completed accident or incident report within 24 hours to the OFE. The report should include the following information:
- name of student, agency, and site supervisor;
- names and titles of people who witnessed the incident;
- names and titles of parties involved in the incident including: police, emergency medical personnel or any other outside parties;
- description of injuries that occurred due to the incident;
- agency response and/or action;
- description of follow-up procedures taken to date and those planned for the future; and
- signatures of the site supervisor and the student.
In addition, students should report the injury to the Wheelock College Health Center, located at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates (617-421-1196).
The Office of Field Education will share the accident/injury report with related administrators at the College, which may include but not be limited to the student's Faculty Advisor, Program Chair, Academic Dean, and the College's Dean of Students.
What if there is a crisis or safety issue at the site?
In the case of an emergency that poses an imminent threat to the student's safety or well-being, the student should immediately contact Wheelock's Department of Public Safety at 617- 879-2151. Public Safety will notify the relevant field education office, which in turn will (a) notify the academic department and, if needed, the academic dean, and (b) work with Public Safety to address the issue. In addition, if faculty and/or staff have been contacted by the student, then they should inform Public Safety immediately to ensure timely and appropriate response to the crisis or emergency. Furthermore, if at any time one feels at risk of immediate physical harm, 911 should be called before calling Public Safety.
In the event of a crisis that does not impose an immediate threat to the student's safety or well-being (such as the death of a staff member), the following protocol will apply:
- The site supervisor or designee will notify the faculty field liaison, who in turn will inform the field education office about the incident
- The field education office will notify the academic department, and in collaboration will (a) respond to the site supervisor or designee; (b) reach out to the student who is placed at the site
- The faculty field liaison will then follow up with the student and site supervisor