One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville
Female social work students discuss around a table

Total Immersion Experience

Course Syllabus »


The T.I.E. is a pre-professional experience available for all students who are interested in Social Work. The student will participate in a Social Service Agency, shadowing a professional licensed social worker for one full week (5 full and consecutive days) in order to better understand:

  1. Social Work as a vocation and his/her feelings toward a Social Work career.
  2. The vulnerable populations social workers serve.
  3. The professional helping relationship.
  4. The agency setting.


The student will contact a social service agency well in advance of the desired date to arrange for the T.I.E., which is to be completed during the summer.


After completing the T.I.E., the student will write two reports on the experience, and the cooperating social worker will confirm and evaluate the student’s participation. Both reports and the evaluation are required; no credit will be given until both reports are filed with the social work program. In addition, please turn in the Cooperating Social Worker’s Information Form.


Beyond observing normal agency activities, the student will benefit from attending staff meetings and from interviewing various agency personnel. Furthermore the student could engage in the following activities:

  1. Observing an intake.
  2. Discussing the assessment process.
  3. Observing of ongoing process with clients.
  4. Reviewing problem solving strategies and treatment plans (contracting).
  5. Reviewing case files.
  6. Becoming familiar with agency goals and objectives.
  7. Observing of termination process.
  8. Gaining as much client interaction as possible.
  9. Practicing communication skills.
  10. Becoming familiar with paper work.
  11. Participating in supervisory sessions—getting performance feedback.
  12. Interviewing clients.
  13. Watching training videos.
  14. Reviewing organizational charts.

The student may lend real assistance to the social worker. However, the student should “shadow” the social worker at all times and not be left alone to tend to clerical tasks.


You will be a social worker’s shadow in a Social Service Agency for five full, consecutive days. (No exceptions made.)

  1. You must register for the T.I.E. for Summer IV, but you may schedule your week of shadowing for any time during the summer.

  2. Select a Social Service Agency in your home area and contact a social worker well in advance of the date of the T.I.E. Tell the social worker about the T.I.E., show or send him/her the attached forms, and request permission to participate. Your choice must be approved by the Program Director in advance.

  3. Participate in a whole-hearted manner! You are representing the Lord and Cedarville University.

  4. Ask the social worker to return the confirmation/evaluation form as soon as possible. You will not receive credit for your experience if your reports and confirmation form are not on file.

  5. Writing your Reports. Detailed instructions for the reports are in the course syllabus.