Field Study

Field Study - A Community Perspective - VideoField 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.

Field Study in the News

Thank you to our students, community partners and faculty for engaging in our first all-day field study conference! 

Participants:

  • Connected with students, faculty, and other community partners through our quarterly Meet and Greet, interactive discussions, workshops, and panels
  • Learned about and shared best practices that maximize the field study partnership to positively impact our students and communities
  • Attended a keynote presentation by field study alumni, community partners, and Dean Valerie Jenness

Missed it?  Conference proceedings will be available on our website in the coming weeks. 

More info > >

Get an inside look at one of our field study community perspective on:

Cesar 911: Case File: Beau

The beloved dog of the Freedom Writers is making life very difficult; Cesar comes in to teach the students that Beau is not the boss

Showing on NetGeo, Friday, March 14, 2014.

Several UC Irvine students discuss volunteer opportunities.  Photo by Kimberly Van.

Service Fair Kicks Off MLKJ Symposium  - New University, 1/21/2014

To launch this year's six-week Martin Luther King Junior Symposium, the Cross Cultural Center teamed up with the Social Ecology Field Study Program to host the Public and Community Services Fair on Wednesday, January 15  read more > >

LASdD, Homeboy Industries and UCI engage to help youth and adult gange members get away from life of crime.

Hope for the 'Homeboys' - New University, 3/15/2013

As part of his field study internship at the Carson Sheriff’s Station, Yang acted as a liaison between the campus and the community gang prevention program run by Deputies Fred Noya and Juan Castellanos, helping to bring UCI students and faculty together to collaborate with law enforcements and community youths.  Read more > >

Links to more Field Study Information & Forms:

 

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