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Master's Program Handbook

101 – Structure & Organization of the Program

101.1 – Definitions

a.

Block Plan
The academic program structure for master's students that consists of three successive 10-week summer sessions devoted exclusively to academic work, and two intervening fall/winter sessions that are reserved for field work. The field internship extends from the first week in September to the last week in April, with students spending 30 hours a week in their agencies. This totals approximately 960 hours per year of field work experience per year. The block plan for advanced standing students is detailed in 101.2B.

b.

Bracketed Course
A course that is part of the school's curriculum but which is not offered in a given year.

c.

Advanced Standing Master's students
Those students with a B.S.W. who have been accepted into our accelerated 18-month M.S.W. program. Henceforth they are referred to as advanced standing or AS students.

d.

Master's students
Those students enrolled in the 27-month program. Henceforth they are referred to as master's students.

e.

Academic and Field Work Performance Standing Committee Consultation
An informal problem-solving meeting designed to assist in the resolution of learning issues that have been identified by a student, supervisor or faculty member. This could include learning issues arising in the field internship, community practice project, research project or the classroom.

f.

Academic and Field Work Performance Standing Committee Review
A formal process through which significant issues pertaining to academic and field work performance and personal and professional conduct of master's students and advanced standing students shall come for hearing and disposition.

101.2 The Block Plan

101.2A The Block Plan for Master's Students

a.

The block plan refers to the structure of the program, which is based on an interrelated sequence of summer academic sessions and winter field internship. Successful completion of each session within the allotted time interval is a prerequisite to enrollment in a subsequent session.

b.

The sessions are defined as follows:

Session I is the first 10-week session held on the Smith College campus during the summer.

Session II is the first field internship period consisting of 30 hours-a-week in the field agency and approximately four hours-a-week which are devoted to the community practice project.

Session III is the second 10-week academic session held on the Smith College campus during the summer.

Session IV is the second field internship period, consisting of 30 hours-a-week in the field agency and an approximate additional four hours-a-week dedicated to the research project (thesis).

Session V is the final 10-week academic session held on the Smith College campus.

101.2B The Block Plan for Advanced Standing Students

a.

The block plan refers to the structure of the program, which is based on an interrelated sequence of summer academic sessions and winter field internship. Successful completion of each session within the allotted time interval is a prerequisite to enrollment in a subsequent session.

b.

The sessions are defined as follows:

Session I is the first 10-week session held on the Smith College campus during the summer.

Session II consists of a 15-month period of concurrent academic and field work structured as follows:

  • A clinical internship 24 hours-a-week from September through the following May during which time two academic courses will be taken concurrently;
  • A summer session from June to August during which three days-a-week are spent in class and two days a week (16 hours) are spent in the ongoing internship;
  • A final fall term from September to December consisting of 24 hours-per-week in the ongoing field internship with one academic course taken concurrently.
  • The research project (thesis) will be completed during Session II