Virtual Field Practicum (VFP)

At the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, we understand the importance of field education as part of the online Master of Social Work curriculum. We are also always looking for ways to integrate the latest technological innovations into our online program. With these two goals in mind, we developed a revolutionary way to begin each MSW@USC student’s field education: the Virtual Field Practicum (VFP).

How it Works

VFP takes place in the MSW@USC’s intimate virtual classroom. A small-group class session, each VFP is supervised by a USC professor. You will work with a live actor who plays the role of a client in a clinical setting. The “client” is trained to portray someone in crisis, offering you the chance to consider strategies of practice in a safe, supervised setting and receive in-the-moment coaching and support from faculty and classmates.

The VFP does not replace your field internship requirement. Instead, you will spend 210 hours in the VFP setting before completing your field education requirement in a community-based setting.

Skills and Strategies

Through virtual and real-world field education, you will gain evidence-based training to master the following:

  • Clinical case-management skills
  • Client risk assessment
  • DSM-5 diagnosis
  • Interventions, including motivational interviewing, problem-solving therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Ethical decision-making skills
  • Professional code of ethics

Perhaps just as important as the skills you gain in the VFP is the confidence you will build, allowing you to begin your community-based field placement equipped with the tools you need to make an immediate impact.

Read More About Field Placement