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Field Placement Essentials

The benefits of Field Placement are not inherent within the work itself, but rather in the integration of theory and practice as well as the overcoming of challenges.

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What Kind Of Support Do Students Need?

In the Beginning

  • Students need to know what is typical for a new worker.
  • How to be safe.
  • How the placement relates to their program of study.


  • The learning contract, learning goals, learning plan should be the focus of the placement
  • Keep students on track with sticking to the schedule 

Near the End

  • Help in ending placement on good, professional terms.

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  • Blackboard is a tool to help you receive student submissions, communicate with your group
  • Essential resources for students
  • Reminders to stay on track in completing hours

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Common Challenges

  • Request for a new placement
  • Poor performance
  • Behind in placement hours
  • Completed hours before the end of the course

Challenges Checklist

Step 1 – Considerations

  • Have they given the placement a chance?
  • Are they on track with their attendance?
  • Have they attempted to address/resolve the challenge?
  • Is this a paid placement i.e. is this about their learning or employment?

Step 2 – Offer a Direction

  • Review learning contract, goals, plan with the student to determine if goals are realistic or need to be adjusted.
  • If appropriate, guide the student in addressing challenges.
  • Arrange to email/phone supervisor AND student to learn more about the challenge. Include the student all the way through the process.

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Site Visits and Placement Assessments

  • If the student is at risk of being terminated or the concerns are serious, arrange to do a site visit to discuss with the student and agency supervisor together.
  • Before decisions and directions are offered, the SI/FA should complete a formal Placement Assessment (page 16, PPPG).
  • SI/FA are compensated for mileage and $100 for doing a site visit and Placement Assessment.
  • Email completed Assessment to your PC and Placement & Partnership Manager:

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SI/FA Considerations to Assess

  • Can program learning goals be met?
  • Is there a health and safety issue for the student or clients?
  • Is the student receiving direct feedback from the agency on how to improve?
  • Does the student require disability related accommodations?
  • Will the student require a project or extension to complete hours?

Trouble Shooting Placements

1. Changing Placements

  • If, through the Placement Assessment, the SI/FA finds that there are issues of safety or the learning needs of the program cannot be met, notify and consult with the Program Coordinator.
  • While next steps are being determined, students should continue attending placement and seminar class unless there is a risk to their health and safety.

2. Accommodating Disabilities

  • Remind students at the beginning of the semester that disability related accommodations are also available in placement.
  • Encourage students to connect you to their ALS consultant early on to best support.

Common Accommodations in the Field

  • Adjusted start/end hours of shifts
  • Frequent breaks
  • Sharing of work plan visually
  • Extended semester to complete hours
  • New placement
  • New duties

3. Behind in Hours

Check student time sheets regularly to ensure they are on track to complete placement before the end of the semester.

Ways to help

  • Student can create or take on a project for the agency to accrue more hours
  • SI/FA can create a project together with the student to make up lost time for a maximum of 40 hours.
  • Connect with ALS Consultant if applicable.
  • After consultation with Placement Supervisor, approve an extension for up to 2 weeks beyond the semester (page 19 PPPG).

4. Not Acceptable Circumstances

  • Conflict with personal work schedule
  • Vacation
  • Child care
  • Delay in confirming and starting placement after an approved placement change
  • Poor performance in placement
  • Quitting or termination from placement
  • If less than 75% of placement hours will have been completed by the end of the semester

5. Significant Extensions

School approval is required for any students continuing in placement for more than 2 weeks after the semester. Contact the Placement Manager.


  • Is the extension a recommendation from ALS?
  • Are there compassionate reasons?
  • Are you certain that this is not a fail?


Empower and Inspire by:

  • Focus students on learning goals
  • Assign final grades
  • Complete placement assessments and site visits
  • Maintain a Blackboard site
  • Mediate and resolve challenges
  • Support acommodations in the field
  • Nurture community partnerships
  • Keep students on track to complete hours
  • Ensure student safety