MSW Scholar Life & Engagement

The MSW Program at CUNY York College offers a variety of opportunities for MSW scholars to participate in formulating and modifying policies affecting academic and student affairs and to organize events around their interests.

Inquiries and comments concerning information about Field Education should be directed to the Director of Field Education, Cathleen Lilavois, LMSW, at or (718) 262-5373.

Requirement for Graduation

Field placement/internship is a part of the training and graduation requirement. Scholars are expected to familiarize themselves with the Social Work policies, procedures, professional conduct; rules and regulations, and due process. The MSW Program at CUNY York College MSW Scholar Handbook  and Field Education handbooks are located at the administrative social work office (AC-3A10) and will are distributed to all incoming scholars during orientation. Scholars sign acknowledging receipt of the handbooks.

Objectives of Field Instruction

*Field Placement requirements vary for general and advance standing MSW scholars & term of field placements.

The objectives of field instruction the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). The objectives are to teach MSW scholars to:

  1. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Behavior.
  2. Engage Diversity and Difference in Practice.
  3. Advance Human Rights and Social Economic, and Environmental Justice.
  4. Engage in Practice-informed research and Research-informed Practice.
  5. Engage in policy Practice.
  6. Engage with individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
  7. Assess Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
  8. Create Interventions to implement with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations, and Communities.
  9. Evaluate practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, organizations, and Communities. 

Generalist year

A field placement is also required and sites are available in a number of practice areas, including: 

  • Child Welfare 
  • Community Practice
  • Counseling Center
  • Criminal Justice
  • Programs for the elderly
    • Senior Day Programs
    • Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC)
  • Men's Center
  • School Settings
  • Violence Prevention
  • Women Center
  • Youth Services

Advanced year

Specialized practice settings include:

  • Hospitals
  • Mental Health Agencies
    • Clinics
    • Community
    • Schools 

Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI)

Seminar in Field Education (SIFI) Certification is a mandatory course and provides support to first-time Field Instructors. SIFI is a mandatory course given, free of charge, offered by graduate schools of social work in the New York City area. Once completed at any of these schools, it need not be taken again.

The 12-session SIFI Orientation Course is aimed at helping field instructors acquire knowledge and skills to effectively meet the breadth of supervisory educational responsibilities and roles, the MSW Program at CUNY York College curriculum, as well as field work policies and practices are incorporated into the course. Each session will incorporate themes of cultural competence and diversity.

The course will be taught by members of the Department of Social Work who are SIFI Certified. The SIFI course is taken throughout the fall semester and may be offered as in-class or through on-line instruction and may be taken concurrently with first experience offering field instruction to York MSW Scholars. All field instructors are granted the use of the York College, CUNY library. Field Supervisors are also invited to various conferences during the academic year.

For MSW Program at CUNY York College Field Education Manual, contact Field Director at Cathleen Lilavois, LMSW or (718) 262-5373.