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COVID-19 Practicum FAQ

What is the practicum calendar?
  • August 24 Classes begin
  • August 24-29 Practicum begins for all students
  • September 25 Learning Contract due to Liaison (Complete in Sonia)
  • November 24 Last day of classes and last day of practicum for Fall semester
  • November 24 Mid-year evaluation/Time sheets due to Liaison (Complete in Sonia)
  • November 25-29 Thanksgiving Break
  • January 4 – 9 Practicum begins for all students
  • January 27 Learning Contract Revision due to Liaison (Complete in Sonia)
  • February 1 First day of classes
  • March 23 Practicum Presentation due
  • April 23 Practicum Ends for spring semester
  • April 23 End of the year evaluation/Time sheet due to Liaison (Complete in Sonia)
Does Spring semester practicum start before the beginning of the Spring classes?
Yes, practicum starts before Spring classes begin. Students return to practicum during the week of January 4.
I feel overwhelmed by COVID-19 and my practicum. Who can I talk to?
If you would like to process your practicum experience, you may want to start with your Field Instructor. You can also contact your KU Field Liaison and/or the Director of Field Education, Kelly Jones. Kelly has virtual office hours on Fridays from 12:00-1:00pm Join URL: https://kansas.zoom.us/j/97698606852 Password: 214999. You can also schedule a meeting with Kelly by contacting kellyjones@ku.edu. (She LOVES meeting with students.)
What COVID-19 guidelines and practices do I have to follow?
  • Do NOT attend practicum if you suspect or know that you have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • PRIOR to attending practicum- self-assess for common COVID-19 symptoms.
  • A mask (cloth is acceptable) is required once you arrive on a KU campus and at your practicum site. (Request additional PPE Guidelines from your Field Instructor.)
  • Embrace the Space: Maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet. Do not walk shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone and do not congregate in hallways and breakrooms.
  • Students/faculty/liaisons will adhere to the physical distancing plans developed for each specific unit/location within the practicum site.
Contact the Field Education Office
  • Questions, comments, or concerns about practicum safety can be directed to Kelly Jones, Director of Field Education at kellyjones@ku.edu or 785-864-2663.
What are the COVID Symptom Screening Guidelines for practicum students?

Each day, PRIOR to attending practicum, self-assess for common COVID-19 symptoms and adherence to Protect KU and practicum site guidelines.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, STAY HOME and contact your primary care physician, local health department, or Watkins Health Services (on Lawrence campus, 785-864-9583).

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
If you answer yes to any symptom question or are not compliant with guidelines (i.e. have traveled or had contact with a person who may have COVID-19) do NOT proceed to practicum. If the symptoms arise while at practicum:
  1. Follow practicum site specific protocol for safely exiting practicum;
  2. Contact your field instructor;
  3. Contact your health provider or local health department;
  4. Quarantine until otherwise instructed by a medical professional.

In the case that you are precluded from attending practicum, contact your Field Instructor and/or Preceptor.

Do I have to report travel to my practicum site?
Yes. The KU School of Social Welfare follows the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) guidelines for travel. PRIOR to attending practicum, students should report all travel to the Field Office (kellyjones@ku.edu) and their Field Instructor.
What are the practicum hour requirements?
Practicum hour requirements are:
  • BSW and MSW Foundation year students complete 480 hours of practicum.
  • MSW Concentration year students complete 720 hours of practicum.
  • All students must be in practicum for a minimum of 16 hours per week.
  • To finish practicum on time, BSW and MSW Foundation students attend practicum 16 hours per week and MSW Concentration year students attend practicum 24 hours per week.
Does my learning contract have to include remote learning tasks?
Yes. All students are required to include some remote learning opportunities in their learning contract. For suggestions, reference the Remote Learning Idea Menu on the practicum blackboard page.
My practicum is in-person and I prefer a hybrid or remote practicum. Can I switch practicums?
Students are not required to attend a practicum where they feel unsafe, but you are required to act professionally. Follow the absence reporting protocol for your practicum site. Communicate your concerns to your Field Instructor.

Then, contact your Field Liaison and/or Kelly Jones, Director of Field Education, at kellyjones@ku.edu or 785-864-2663. A Field Office staff member will provide a practicum consultation and review options that are specific to your circumstances. Options may include: recommendations for adjustments to your current practicum; potentially identifying a new practicum; or potentially taking an incomplete and delaying your practicum course’s end date.

Due to the limited numbers of open practicums during the academic year, the Field Office cannot guarantee a replacement practicum. Students must terminate their current practicum before interviewing at another practicum.

If I switch practicums do I have to write a new learning contract?
Yes.
If I switch practicums can I count hours I have already accumulated in my last practicum?
Yes. If the hours have been approved by your Field Instructor or the Director of Field Education, the hours count toward your total practicum hour requirement.
Can I count practicum hours from home?
Yes. From-home or remote practicum hours can be counted toward your total field hours with the approval of your Field Instructor or the Director of Field Education.
How many remote practicum hours can I count?
There is not a limit on remote practicum hours.
My Field Instructor (or Preceptor) is sick and can’t do weekly field instruction. What should I do?
During your Field Instructor or Preceptor’s absence, work with practicum site staff to identify your temporary agency point person. You do not need to make up missed weekly supervision. However, you do need to ensure that your work is being supervised and that you have an agency staff member to consult with on practicum site policies, practices, and procedures. If you need to process a practicum experience beyond what your temporary point person is able to offer, contact your Field Liaison.
My practicum site announced that due an uptick in COVID-19 cases, they are ending practicums. What should I do?
Contact your Field Liaison or fieldeducation@ku.edu. The Field Office will help find a new practicum and review your program planning options. While you are looking for a new practicum, a practicum coordinator will assist you in identifying temporary practicum experiences that will allow you to continue to accumulate practicum hours.
I work at a social service agency, can I switch to an employment based practicum (EBP)?
Yes. If your practicum disrupts due to COVID-19, the Field Office will work to approve an EBP.
I was exposed to someone who may have COVID-19 and have to quarantine for 14 days. How do I keep accumulating practicum hours?

From home, contact your Field Instructor and let them know that you are in quarantine. Work with your Field Instructor to follow the practicum site’s absence procedures. You are encouraged to fill out the KU Voluntary Self Identification Form.

During quarantine, if you have not used your leave days, you may apply them to your Sonia timesheet. In the timesheet’s Comments column, write “Leave” and enter the total number of hours you want to apply.

  • BSW and MSW First Year Students may apply 16 hours of leave per semester.
  • MSW Concentration Year Students may apply 24 hours of leave per semester.

Work with you Field Instructor to identify from-home practicum tasks. For ideas, review Remote Learning Ideas Menu on the practicum blackboard page. Continue to meet virtually for weekly supervision.

If you are a BSW or MSW First Year Student and are absent for more than 32 hours (or 4 days) or if you are a MSW Concentration Student and absent for more than 48 hours (or 6 days), contact your Field Liaison to review your practicum completion plan.

I have COVID-19 symptoms so I am unable to participate in practicum. I’m worried I’ll miss too many days and won’t pass my practicum course. What can I do?

Take the time to care for yourself. After you recover, the Field Office will help develop a practicum completion plan.

As soon as symptoms emerge, do not attend in-person practicum. Work with your Field Instructor to follow the practicum site’s absence procedures.

During your recovery, if you have not used your leave days, you may apply them to your Sonia timesheet. In the timesheet’s Comments column, write Leave and enter the total number of hours you want to apply.

  • BSW and MSW First Year Students may apply 16 hours of leave per semester.
  • MSW Concentration Year Students may apply 24 hours of leave per semester.

If you are a BSW or MSW First Year Student and are absent for more than 32 hours (or 4 days) or if you are a MSW Concentration Student and absent for more than 48 hours (or 6 days), contact your Field Liaison to review your practicum completion plan.

If you are feeling well enough to participate in practicum, but have not recovered enough to be cleared for return to practicum, you may identify from-home (Field Instructor approved) practicum tasks. For ideas, review the Remote Learning Ideas Menu on the practicum blackboard page. If you are engaged in practicum activities, meet virtually for weekly supervision.

After graduation, I will pursue a clinical license (LSCSW). My practicum is remote. Do phone and virtual meetings count toward the 350 hours of direct client contact?
For the purpose of being compliant with Kansas licensure statutes and regulations, a LSCSW candidate must accumulate 350 practicum hours that are face-to-face in-person or by electronic means. “By electronic means” includes virtual meeting platforms like Zoom. It does not include phone contact.

Almost no other state requires a specific number of face-to-face hours during a clinical practicum. Nebraska, being an exception, requires 150 hours of direct client contact in a practicum prior to obtaining a clinical license.

There is not a face-to-face direct client contact requirement for a LMSW. For the purpose of passing practicum, both phone and virtual meetings count toward your 50% direct client contact practicum course-requirement.

http://kslegislature.org/li_2016/b2015_16/statute/065_000_0000_chapter/065_063_0000_article/065_063_0006_section/065_063_0006_k/

I have met the hour requirement, may I end practicum early?
Students may end practicum up to one month early with their Field Instructor’s permission.
Where can I read KU’s COVID-19 information?

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