Senior Experiential Component

This requirement is an academic, generally credit-bearing experience completed during the senior year (can include the previous summer). It is designed to ensure that concentrators participate in an experience that applies basic family knowledge (theories, frameworks, concepts) to real families in a setting beyond the classroom. It must be approved by a faculty member in the Department of Social Work and Family Studies prior to enrollment and supervised by a faculty member who teaches courses for the concentration. Students present the experience and concomitant learning as a graded assignment for a public audience in the Senior Seminar in Family Studies (FS 391). Through the experience, students demonstrate attainment of intended learning outcomes for family studies.

Guidelines for the senior experiential component:

  1. Includes a minimum of 40 hours devoted to direct experience with families (more than one);
  2. Can be domestic or international;
  3. Can be taken either graded or Pass/No Pass (P/N);
  4. Can be submitted for distinction in a major, if it meets that department’s guidelines for distinction;
  5. Must be approved by faculty member in the Department of Social Work and Family Studies prior to enrollment;
  6. Must be beyond the classroom; and
  7. Taught or supervised by a St. Olaf faculty member.

The experience may be:

  1. A project in a senior year course, social work practicum, or nursing clinical; or
  2. A senior year independent study (294); or
  3. A senior year independent research project (396); or
  4. A senior year internship with families (quarter, half- or full-credit; 294).
  5. A summer experience prior to senior year that involves direct experience with more than one family.