Field Study

The UC Irvine School of Social Ecology strives to develop future leaders equipped with solid communication, critical thinking, analytical, technological, and interpersonal skills through experiential field study opportunities.  These opportunities prepare students to tackle the pressing issues confronting business and community leaders locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.   Since 1970, Field Study has been a requirement for students seeking a baccalaureate degree from Social Ecology and is an element of the school’s commitment to training future leaders.   

Field Study is designed to provide students with the opportunity to

  • examine social problems,
  • evaluate the merit of ideas presented in the classroom,
  • learn and practice methods of naturalistic field research, data collection, theory testing, or program evaluation, and social intervention,
  • develop interpersonal and professional skills and technical competencies,
  • participate in the ongoing activities of an organization.

Through field study upper-division students and faculty engage with our community to study issues, build capacity and impact social change.  Community partners gain valuable insight and fresh perspectives through engaging with the students they place in their organization, while building organizational capacity at the same time.  They impact the students’ learning by sharing their organization’s mission, history and objectives.  Many field study students continue to volunteer with the organization after their field study is completed.   

To fulfill the field study requirement, students complete 100 hours of required field work with an approved community partner while concurrently engaged in a small group seminar facilitated by ladder-rank faculty.  Optionally, students may complete up to 600 hours to fulfill elective credits.  The co-curricular approach is based on evidence that learning is maximized when it is active, when students are engaged, and when theories and research are informed by their application to “real world” problems. Having students reflect on how to apply what they learn in the classroom to addressing societal challenges facilitates personal and professional growth, and deepens understanding of linkages between theory and practice, producing more informed and engaged business and civic leaders.  

Annually, more than 40 faculty offer the field study course to more than 900 students.  Students complete the seminar and field work through placements at one of 225+ approved community partners (42% non-profit, 41% public sector, 17% private sector).     In order to ensure a quality experience for our students, community partners and faculty, the School has established a field study advisory board.  Students, community partners, alumni, faculty and school administration are represented on the board and provide valuable insight, ideas and advice from their perspective.

 

Upcoming Deadlines

DatesNotes
May 8, 2015Summer Session I 2015.  Thinking about field study during the Summer.  Click here for more information!
May 22, 2015Summer Session I - Waitlist/Space Available Request - Students submitting forms after the May 8th deadline MUST inform their agency that they will be admitted to to field study only if space is available.  Students can expect notification on or before May 29th.
May 29, 2015Summer Session II 2015.  Thinking about field study during the Summer.  Click here for more information!
June 12, 2015Summer Session II - Waitlist/Space Available Request - Students submitting forms after the May 29th deadline MUST inform their agency that they will be admitted to to field study only if space is available.  Students can expect notification on or before June 19th.
August 14, 2015Fall 2015 - Students meeting the deadline and prequisites, will be able to enroll in SocEcol 195 during their enrollment windows.
August 28, 2015Fall - Waitlist/Space Available Request - Students submitting forms after the August 14th deadline MUST inform their agency that they will be admitted to to field study only if space is available.  Students can expect notification on or before September 4.

 

Links to more Field Study Information & Forms:

Field Study News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Friend '95

Jennifer Friend '95 Gives Back to the UCI Community  - UCI Alumni News,  Dec 2014

UCI social science alumna, Jennifer Friend '95, is ending homelessness, one child at a time. As CEO of the non-profit organization, Project Hope Alliance, she seeks to end the cycle of homelessness by moving families out of motels and shelters into affordable homes, and by providing children a proper education for brighter futures.  read more > >

CINDY YAMANAKA, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Learning to end homelessness

Orange County Register - Mar. 2, 2015

Drawing those connections is where UC Irvine’s side of the partnership comes into play. Dr. Elizabeth Kaufman, a professor of psychology and social behavior at UC Irvine, helped Project Hope Alliance tailor the questions at the launch of the study so the information would be easier to measure as the assessments progress.

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