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Community Practice Experience

Coordinator of Community Practice:
Megan Harding
Email: mharding@smith.edu
 
During the first field internship (Session Two), all students engage in a ‘community practice experience’ to develop and strengthen knowledge and skills in organizational and community level social work practice. The CPE involve students in social work activity that goes beyond direct clinical work with individuals, families and small groups. Students are expected to allot an average of four hours a week to the CPE.
We have designed the community practice experience to:
 

  1. Facilitate awareness of social location and deepen the understanding of the role of “participant learner” in community engaged social change work.
  2. Encourage students to explore and engage in existing community-driven social change strategies currently underway in their field placement community.  
  3. Help students develop macro practice skills including: ongoing assessment of community assets and needs, the understanding of an organizational theory of change, and the planning and evaluation of community-level intervention.
  4.  Help students develop, strengthen, and refine their ability to collaborate with stakeholders in response to a community-based social problems with an anti-oppression lens.  
  5. To consider the interdependence of clinical practice and macro practice through exploring the  unique and community-informed relationship between one’s clinical internship and the  community practice experience.

Preparation for the CPE begins with first summer courses, particularly “191 Agency and Community Practice.” The assignments in the 191 course provide the student with a greater understanding of the placement community the student will be entering as well as a preliminary profile of an organization or coalition designed to address identified community priorities. Each student is assigned a CPE Advisor who will connect with the student during the first summer and provide support, guidance and oversight of the CPE. Students are required to submit a monthly reflection log to their CPE Advisor as well as three reflection and analytic papers throughout the placement year.

Although the CPE is completed during the field internship period, it is not part of the field internship. Please direct any questions about the project to the CPE coordinator.
 

Additional information: