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SOC-OFE Doctoral Students - Field Experience Manual: Affiliation Agreements

Affiliation Agreements

An affiliation agreement is a legal contract between Walden University and a field site. Accreditation standards and university policy require that an affiliation agreement be in place before you can be approved for field experience.

Coming to a mutual agreement about the terms of an affiliation agreement can take time, sometimes several weeks or months. In most cases, Walden can reach a mutual agreement with students’ field sites. There are times, however, when a field site and Walden are not able to enter into an agreement or cannot reach an understanding on the terms of the agreement because of a variety of factors that may be out of either organization’s control. When there is reason to believe that the affiliation agreement between Walden and a site will not be completed, Walden will make every effort to notify you in a timely fashion. If there is enough time, Walden will work with you as you try to find a new site, even if the Office of Applied Learning Agreements (OALA) is continuing to work with the first site. You are strongly encouraged to identify potential alternative field sites and site supervisors as backup options.

It is possible that the affiliation agreement with a proposed field site may not be completed and it may be too late for you to find a new site prior to the start of the current term. If this happens, you may not be able to enroll in the field experience during the desired term. You are allowed a limited exception to apply for the next term to prepare a new application. Walden is not able to predict or control the time it will take to reach agreement with your desired site. It is highly recommended that you consider identifying potential alternative backup field sites.

Field Site Administrator—Affiliation Agreement Contact

You will be required to enter the field site administrator contact information in your Meditrek® application. The contact information for the field site administrator is entered in the Affiliation Agreement section of the application. It is your responsibility to obtain the contact information for the appropriate individual at the field site with authority to sign a legal contract. Site supervisors may know whom to contact at field sites; otherwise, you should ask if the field site has an education or staff development manager or a risk manager. Authority to sign the affiliation agreement could possibly be handled by a director, CEO, superintendent, or other administrator; large organizations may have an on-site legal department and an attorney who signs affiliation agreements. The person who signs the agreement must be authorized to do so by the field site. The individual authorized to sign the agreement is usually not the site supervisor.

Note: It is very important to enter the correct contact information in Meditrek® for the field site administrator because inaccurate information will delay processing of the affiliation agreement.

Process for Affiliation Agreements

Upon submission of your field experience application, a field experience operations coordinator will review your application to determine if there is an active and valid affiliation agreement on file with the proposed field site. If there is no affiliation agreement on file, the operations coordinator will email the field site administrator with instructions on establishing an affiliation agreement with Walden University.

If a field site administrator does not receive the email about the affiliation agreement, the following actions are recommended:

  • Confirm the contact information is correct for the field site administrator in the application in Meditrek®. If the contact information is incorrect, email counselingfield@mail.waldenu.edu with the correct contact information, and the affiliation agreement information will be resent.
  • If the contact information is correct, encourage the field site administrator to check their spam or junk folder for the email.
  • If the field site administrator has not received the email, the agreement information can be re-sent by the operations coordinator, or the field site administrator may email counselingfield@mail.waldenu.edu to receive the affiliation agreement information. 

Options for Sites to Establish an Affiliation Agreement With Walden

  • The field site is willing to sign Walden University’s standard affiliation agreement as is—Directions regarding this are emailed directly to the field site administrator. The field site administrator signs the agreement and sends it to counselingfield@mail.waldenu.edu.
  • The field site would like to use Walden University’s standard affiliation agreement with changes—Directions regarding this are emailed directly to the field site administrator. The field site administrator should make redline changes to the template agreement and send it to counselingfield@mail.waldenu.edu. The contract administrator in the OALA will review the requested changes to either confirm the changes or to communicate with the field site to discuss further terms.
  • The field site would like to use its preferred template for an affiliation agreement—The field site administrator should email the preferred template to counselingfield@mail.waldenu.edu. The contract administrator in the OALA will review the template and communicate directly with the field site administrator to negotiate the terms. Negotiating affiliation agreements can take time and there is no guarantee that Walden and the site will reach agreement in time for the start of the term. Because an affiliation agreement is a legal contract negotiated between Walden and the field site, Walden cannot disclose the specifics of the negotiation process due to confidentiality requirements.

Note: New affiliation agreements must be submitted to OALA no less than 5 weeks prior to the start of the quarter; petitions requiring submission of an agreement beyond this point cannot be approved. If review of the agreement is required by OALA, the field experience may be delayed. The affiliation agreement must be complete and fully signed by 2 weeks prior to the start of field experience, or the field experience will be delayed.

Affiliation Agreement Status in Meditrek®

Students can monitor the progress of the affiliation agreement process on their application checklist in Meditrek®.

  • Information Submitted by Student: Application has been submitted by the student. The field site affiliation agreement information has not been reviewed by the field experience operations coordinator yet.
  • Initial Request Sent to Field Site: Walden University does not have an existing valid agreement for this field site. The operations coordinator has sent an email request to the field site administrator to initiate an agreement. Reminders are emailed to the field site administrator when in this status. Emails are sent using the contact information of the field site administrator you have listed on the application.
  • Awaiting Response from Field Site: The operations coordinator has received a communication from the field site organization but has not received an agreement template from the field site and/or is awaiting a follow-up response from the field site organization.
  • Submitted to Walden Field Experience: Information has been submitted regarding the field site and is being processed by the operations coordinator to move to the next stage.
  • In Legal Negotiation Between Walden and Field Site: Walden University’s OALA staff members are in negotiations with the field site to complete an affiliation agreement.
  • Completed and Approved: The affiliation agreement has been fully executed and approved.

In-Home Counseling Addendum

An addendum to the affiliation agreement is required for in-home counseling experiences. You will not be permitted to provide in-home counseling if this addendum is not in place (see Home-Based Counseling).