Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus university that excels at educating with purpose. Through its exceptional employees, students, researchers, leaders, and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its rich student experience, academic excellence, and global impact. With a commitment to Indigenization and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, Laurier’s thriving community has a place for everyone.
Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.
The field component of Laurier’s Master of Social Work (MSW) graduate program constitutes approximately 50% of the educational programming at the Faculty of Social Work. Its curriculum follows standards set by the accreditation body, the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). Its purpose is to provide the student with the opportunity to practice and integrate advanced level social work values, knowledge and skills including the development of a professional “self” and professional identity as a social worker. Emphasis is placed on the experience of social work practice with disadvantaged and disenfranchised populations. The field placement is conceptualized as an educational experience where the students have an opportunity to integrate practice in the agency with the theory of the classroom. That is, it is a graded course with an agency based MSW instructor/s assigned to teach each student. The placement workload is controlled to facilitate this emphasis on learning.
Each academic term, MSW students begin their field placements at agency settings across Canada and in approved international settings. The field office supports the placements of 400+ students annually with placements starting each academic term.
Under the direction of the Manager, MSW Field Education, and within the mandate of the FSW, MSW field curriculum, University requirements, and CASWE standards, major functions of this position are the following: field advising, agency recruitment, supporting students in all stages of field planning, leadership, placement evaluation, conflict resolution, innovation in field education delivery, advancing the field education mandate, enhancing strategic partnerships with stakeholders, community engagement, and enhancing the student and alumni experience.
Creative and innovate planning is required to plan and respond to a fast-paced, constantly adapting and evolving environment.
This position works in team setting in the administration and development of the MSW field education program. In order to ensure its effective functioning and ongoing development, the position works collaboratively with field and program staff at the FSW to perform a variety of duties to ensure that field education services are carried out in a manner that will promote Laurier and enhance public relations.
The breadth and magnitude of the position requires the incumbent to use advanced social work knowledge and skill from several methodological perspectives, including clinical, community organization/development, program and policy development, and administration, to research, recruit and develop practicum placement opportunities for MSW students.
This position has a university-wide mandate and is based at the Kitchener Campus. The incumbent provides subject matter expertise to all campuses, requiring regular interpersonal interactions and collaboration with departments at the Waterloo Campus, the Brantford Campus, and external partners. Special attention is given to ensure equitable service delivery across all locations. Occasional travel may be required.
Oversee responsibilities outlined below in accordance with the governance, policy, and regulatory frameworks of the Faculty, Laurier, CASWE accreditation standards, and the Code of Ethics.
Field Advising & Student Success
Oversee field placement cohorts and courses as per faculty field advising requirements
Demonstrate a student-centered approach in facilitating students’ needs and interacts positively with students
Plan and coordinate the field preparation of assigned incoming and current students and oversee the individualized placement plan for MSW students and cohorts
Work closely with students and support students throughout field process
Act as the direct contact person from the Faculty of Social Work for assigned students to avoid a (possible) sense of isolation while on placement
Provide students with an individual resource person (if needed); and offer students a regular support group experience throughout the placement
Participate actively in the placement proposal process for all MSW students
Implement procedures and processes provided by field and program staff overseeing initiatives (e.g. recruitment and online pre-proposal planning leads)
Develop and present orientation and preparatory information for students to prepare them for workplace learning by way of events, group seminars, workshops, webinars, and individual interviews
Implement matching procedures and utilize technology used by field office to match MSW students with recruited agencies in a timely manner, while considering the students’ learning objectives, agency requirements, and accessible needs
Educate and prepare students from diverse backgrounds, both individually and collectively, regarding expectations, goals, assessment and protocols of the University and placement organizations to enhance field learning
Provide ethical and professional practice advice and guidance to assist students to be aware of, conceptualize and interpret their learning experience
Provide wrap-around supports to emphasize student success at various stages of their field planning and placements
Coordinate site visits with agencies and students, and review learning contracts to assess the quality of placement learning and address concerns when identified (with student, instructor, and appropriate faculty and agency personnel)
Review and approve student performance evaluation documents for assessment and respond to any identified learning problems
Outline and negotiate special accommodations for students with accessible needs in accordance with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities acts and FSW Policy/Practices
Develop strong, supportive relationships with students, walking alongside them throughout their Field Education experiences
Develop, review and approve plans on behalf of the faculty to ensure students with identified concerns are adequately prepared for field
Determine final grades for incomplete evaluations and field courses
Placement Recruitment & Community Partnerships
Research, evaluate, and recruit MSW field placements within Laurier, across Canada and in international settings
Initiate creative measures and utilize social media to recruit and sustain placement opportunities
Engage in implementing strategic efforts to advance and generate new field placements via alumni and student engagement
Collaborate with field team to support graduating students to return as alumni field instructors and maintain connections with graduates with a view of developing field instructors
Initiate, develop and sustain strategic partnerships with agencies for long-term student placements
Assist field instructors in maximizing student learning by ensuring all practice learning requirements are available
Assess diverse credentials based on advanced social work knowledge, accreditation guidelines, curriculum requirements and professional standards to determine the teaching capacity of field instructors
Coordinate community engagement efforts and secure diverse placements for each cohort
Collaborate with field recruitment and program leads to ensure recruitment gaps are addressed in a timely manner (e.g. recruiting appropriate number of clinical placements in K/W)
Ensure identified recruitment targets are met and an adequate number of quality placements are recruited in advance of placement terms
Provide equitable opportunities and diverse placements for students to support their learning goals
Provide direction to seasoned and emerging field instructors and social workers
Prepare agencies, organizations and Laurier departments for students from diverse backgrounds and with varying needs
Evaluate the learning experience in each agency for future students
Coordinate and facilitate field instructor training sessions for emerging and advanced field instructors
Provide field instruction and supervision to settings that do not have adequate supervision
Leadership & Placement Coordination
Take initiative to review, evaluate and assess gaps, and implement solutions that result in the enhancement and development of field processes, curriculum, and policies with the purpose of maintaining a competitive program, and promoting continuous improvement
Oversee and implement assigned field strategic initiatives (e.g. enhancing field systems, overseeing field professional development training, alumni engagement, student well-being initiatives)
Coordinate day-to-day field activities, field projects and events, short-term and long-term field planning
Coordinate multiple tasks and projects simultaneously with competing deadlines and ensure responsibilities are implemented according to projected plans
Coordinate the interactions and relationships of several diverse groups including faculty, students, agencies, field instructors, and FSW staff to ensure a successful field experience for students and agencies
Monitor placements to ensure it meets FSW expectations
Oversee, initiate, implement and monitor the process of facilitating resolution procedures and appeal processes for highly sensitive and confidential student and agency matters in a timely manner and in collaboration with the Manager, Associate Dean, Dean and appropriate internal and external stakeholders
Synthesize sensitive information from multiple sources, assess situation and needs, and respond appropriately
Adapt and respond to challenging circumstances with a solution-oriented approach
Address questions and concerns on behalf of the FSW while reflecting a consistent professional image of the Faculty of Social Work and University
Exercise a high level of creativity, independence, and judgment in delivering communications and activities with a strong customer service focus
Coordinate with Laurier student services (e.g. Accessible Learning Centre, and the Career Development Centre) and appropriate external services to provide competitive resources to maximize student learning
Work collaboratively in the overall planning of the MSW field education mandate
Collaborate with the BSW and Indigenous faculty and staff towards the advancement of social work field education at Laurier
Collaborate with programs and admissions in marketing the MSW program and assessing applications
Coordinate with Programs & Admissions staff to ensure accurate registration and administrative requirements for MSW field students are met
Coordinate and collaborate with appropriate internal and external staff (e.g. field and program staff, legal, SHERM, agency legal contacts) in planning and implementing pre-placement processes and events
Collaborate with field staff to draft reports for the faculty, and draft policies and procedures for adaptation by the FSW Divisional Council
Debrief and survey agencies, instructors and students to measure the effectiveness of the placement process and experience
Plan and deliver assigned events
Create and facilitate webinars and workshops, online, in-person, and occasionally during the evening
Utilize and maintain appropriate database and technologies to document field data, contacts, course documentations, and communications
Train students and stakeholders on the usage of field technologies
Ensure documentation is timely, accurate and stored appropriately
Represent the MSW field office on committees and working groups assigned by Manager
Develop and update field related content shared with students and instructors including field resources, print and web communications
Participate in the planning, delivery, and evaluation activities of the International Social Work Program including recruitment, orientation and application and assessment of applicants as needed
Minimum three years of related social work experience.
Minimum two years of administrative/coordination experience.
Experience with post-secondary field programs an asset.
Required Knowledge & Abilities
Practical knowledge of social work programs and practice in a variety of social service systems.
Demonstrated knowledge and appreciation of EDI approaches and sensitivity to issues of EDI
Demonstrated experience working effectively within a client/student-oriented model.
Required Interpersonal & Communication Skills
Superior leadership, conflict resolution, interpersonal, and communication skills.
Superior initiative, resourcefulness, judgment and demonstrated ability to solve problems.
Demonstrated ability to interact effectively and support BIPOC clients/students, and individuals from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.
Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality and deal with difficult situations with tact and diplomacy.
Excellent presentation skills required to facilitate online training for agencies, instructors and students from a diverse backgrounds.
Strong written and verbal communication skills required.
Required Administration Skills
Must have ability to complete tasks accurately with strong attention to detail and ability to review own work for errors and necessary revisions are essential.
Proven ability to multi-task and successfully manage multiple competing priorities in a busy environment with flexibility.
Exceptional project management, organization, prioritization, and time management skills.
Required Technology Skills
Strong ability to utilize and learn technology to facilitate ongoing field development and work remotely as needed.
Advanced computer skills, including: MS Office, email, webinars, databases, online portals, web-based tools (e.g. Lucidchart, Jamboard), MS Teams, Zoom, and MyLearningSpace required.
Advanced technological skills required to input and update information in the field placement portal, and online MSW field program.
Required Work Culture
Demonstrated ability to follow direction, be open to feedback and adapt to change.
Demonstrated ability in cross-campus collaboration and supporting students within a student-centered model.
Must present professional image of the Field Office and Faculty at all times.
Must be able to work independently effectively, take initiative, excel in a team setting and work collaboratively with various stakeholders including academic and administrative staff, alumni, students and external organizations.
Flexibility & Travel Requirements
Ability to work irregular hours throughout the academic year.
Valid Ontario driver’s license and access to a car is required to travel.
Ability to travel within a 150 km radius of Kitchener-Waterloo for the purposes of cross-campus collaborations and site visits.
Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with qualified candidates who have a combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier’s Employee Success Factors.
Equity, diversity and creating a culture of inclusion are part of Laurier’s core values and central to the Laurier Strategy. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any minority sexual and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Equity & Accessibility. We have strived to mke our application process accessible, however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources. Contact information can be found at careers.wlu.ca/content/How-to-Apply-/
Should you be interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit www.wlu.ca/careers for additional information and the online application system. All applications must be submitted online. Please note, a CV and letter of introduction will be required in electronic form.