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Field Experience: School of Social Work: FAQs and Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

We recognize you may have many questions about the Field Experience application and process. We're here to help! Common question are below:

What is the difference between Field and Skills Lab or Residency?

  • Field is a long-term internship with a local social service agency. It will span between 2-4 quarters of your MSW program collectively.
  • Skills Lab is a six-week course geared to give you real-world experience and an opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty members and classmates. (Advanced Standing students complete one)
    • Required for all students enrolled after March 2017.
  • Residency is a hands-on educational experience in which students travel to Walden-held conferences to meet professors and peers. Residencies usually last 4 days and students are required to attend two during their MSW program. (Advanced Standing students complete one)

What are the requirements for the MSW Field Experience agency and MSW supervisor (Field Instructor)?

  • Appropriate Field Experience agencies for social work students are those that serve social work populations and meet the standards of the social work curriculum. Field Experience placements must have an agency staff member who supervises the student in the Field. This individual is known as the Field Instructor and is employed by the agency. In addition, it is preferred that she or he holds an MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited social work program and has a minimum of two years of post-MSW experience. We can approve licensed Field Instructors who have a masters in a social work related field.The Field Instructor will evaluate the performance of the student through field evaluations and site visits. 

 What is the difference between Foundation and Concentration?

  • Foundation placement is focused on generalist social work practice and is required for all full-time and part-time students. To learn more about Foundation placement and specific tasks, view the task grid.
  • Concentration placement is an advanced placement where you learn clinical skills and is generally completed at the end of your program. To learn more about Concentration placement and specific tasks, view the task grid.
  • Both Field Experiences require 500* hours.

Are the requirements for BSW the same as MSW?

  • No the requirements are NOT the same
  • BSW Field requires 400 hours or 200 hours for 2 consecutive quarters (terms)
  • BSW Field Instructor must have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree plus 2 years post graduate experience


*Foundation Field Experience is 400 hours for Summer 2020-Winter 2020.

Contact Us

Contact the MSW Field Experience Office



This is the quickest way to contact our office; responses come within 1-2 business days.


LiveChat support is available Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CST.

  1. Log in to your myWalden student portal from  
  2. Click on “HELP” tab in the right-hand corner of the top tool bar.
  3. Click on “LIVE CHAT SUPPORT” link. 
  4. Click on the “FIELD EXPERIENCE” box to chat with the Field Experience Office. 


Field Education Operations Coordinators

Patrick Maloney, MA

Liz Hasty, MA. Ed.

Senior Field Education Coordinator

Megan Arneson, MSW, LGSW




Field Education Coordinators

Caitlin Dinneen, MSW, MPA

Allie Goodmanson, MSW, LGSW

Kara Lipps, MSW, LISW

Caitlin Callahan, MSW, LGSW

Nou Yang, MSW

Ja Lee, MSW

Ashley Hipp MSW, LGSW

Marissa Jensen, MSW, LGSW



Director of Field

Dr. Donna McElveen, LISW



Meet the BSW Field Team

Dr. Dionne Spooner

  BSW Field Director

     Responsible for the overall functioning of the BSW Field Office.