Student FAQ

Last updated  12/22/23


Can I complete fieldwork hours at 2 different sites during the same quarter? 

Starting Spring 2024, students are not allowed to complete fieldwork with 2 different sites during the same quarter. Students will be limited to one placement per quarter. However, students are welcome to volunteer at additional placements listed in our catalog on their own time, without earning field study credit. All experience is great experience. 

Can I change the units I am enrolled in after I start my placement?

Yes, students can change their enrolled units after the start of the placement period. But please make note of the following guidelines and procedures: 

  • Through WEEK 2: students can submit the change to their enrolled units through their StudentAccess account without approval from the Field Study Team. 
  • Through WEEK 6: student can request a change to their enrolled units through an Enrollment Exception, but must provide the Field Study team with following items before the request can be considered:
    • an email confirmation (copy of an email, or a forwarded email) from BOTH: 
      • Site Supervisor: confirming that they can accommodate and approve of the increase/decrease in hours
      • Faculty instructor: acknowledging that a change in units will affect the student's course writing requirement. 
  • After WEEK 6: students can request a change to their enrolled units through an Enrollment Exception, but only those with documented extenuating circumstances will be approved. 
    • At this point, a change in enrolled units is NOT guaranteed.
    • Students will also need to provide the Field Study Team with the two email confirmations listed in the section above. 

If my placement requires that I complete more than 8 hours per week, would I be required to enroll in more than 4 units of SOCECOL 195/195W?

No, but you can. Students have the option of earning additional units for fieldwork hours completed beyond the minimum 80 required hours (1 unit for every 20 additional hours up to 8 units). 

  • You can choose to enroll in additional units to get credit for the additional hours you will be completing 
    • If you choose to increase your enrolled units, you will be responsible for completing the additional hours AND you will be asked to add +625 words (per every additional unit over 4) to your final paper 
  • You can also choose NOT to make any changes to your enrolled units and complete additional fieldwork hours on a volunteer basis 

How many fieldwork hours and units are required to fulfill the Social Ecology Field Study graduation requirement?

  •  As of Fall 2021, students must successfully pass 4 units of Social Ecology 195 or 195W, which requires a minimum of 80 fieldwork hours. 

If I want to complete both Field Study and Upper Division Writing, what class do I enroll in?

  • By enrolling in at least 4 units and completing SOCECOL 195W with a 'C-' or better, you will satisfy BOTH the field study and upper-division writing requirements. 
    • NOTE: If you receive at least a 'D-' but less than a 'C-', you will ONLY satisfy the field study requirement; you will have to retake a different upper-division writing course to satisfy the upper-division writing requirement
  • SOCECOL 106W also fulfills both the field study and the upper division writing requirements but is not offered every quarter. Please see our "Field Study Options" tab for more details. 

How should I keep track of my hours?

  • The best way to keep track of your hours is to follow the procedures established by your field study site and to maintain a log for your own records to ensure no discrepancies. Google sheets or an excel document can be a great way to do so. Check in with your supervisor regularly regarding hours and progress.

What if my placement requires that I complete training before the start of the quarter or if they ask me to start before the start of the placement period? 

  • This is a common situation. We allow students to complete one standard week's-worth of hours prior to the start of the placement period to account for these kinds of requests by field study sites. 
    • Here's the breakdown by units and hours that clarifies what a standard week's-worth of hours means:
      • Enrolled in 4 units: can complete up to 8 hours before the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 5 units: can complete up to 10 hours before the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 6 units: can complete up to 12 hours before the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 7 units: can complete up to 14 hours before the start of the placement period. 
      • Enrolled in 8 units: can complete up to 16 hours before the start of the placement period. 

Can my job or volunteering count for field study?

I've applied to tons of sites and haven't heard back or gotten an offer yet, what do I do?

  • Have you followed up? How many times? Is there an alternate email you already contacted? Have you called to ask if they received your materials? 
  • Keep applying to other sites! If you don't hear back keep going. 
  • If you have applied to numerous sites, and been thorough in following up by trying to contact them several times through different methods, reach out to the field study office for assistance. Field Study staff wants to be aware of sites that are not being responsive to students and will offer additional support if possible when a student has done everything they were supposed to within their control. Such as following the Steps to Success in a timely manner and not waiting until the last minute.  
  • Go to the Division of Career Pathways office or website to make sure you are putting your best foot forward with your resume, cover letter, interview skills, etc. 

I've heard that the placement site has to evaluate my work. Is this true -- and if so, how does my supervisor get an evaluation form?

  • The fieldwork evaluation is needed to verify that you did complete the fieldwork hours and to provide feedback to you and to your faculty sponsor about your field work
  • Social Ecology emails the link to the evaluation form to the supervisor you listed on your course enrollment form by the end of the first week of the quarter and a reminder at the end of the quarter
  • Your supervisor should complete your evaluation during the last week of your field study ‐ and return it to the Social Ecology Student Services Office
  • We recommend you schedule time with your supervisor during your last week to review and discuss the evaluation and make sure the evaluation is completely filled out
  • If your site supervisor does not complete and submits your evaluation on time, you may receive a grade of ʺIncompleteʺ in your field study. This doesnʹt mean that you wonʹt pass your field study, but we would have to receive the evaluation form verifying your hours and satisfactory work in order for you to pass.

What should I do if I'm having trouble at my field site? Can I change sites if I don't like my current placement?

  • We will make every effort to resolve problems with your current site. ʺChanging sitesʺ is not generally approved but is occasionally necessary when problems cannot be resolved. Please let the Field Study Program know if there is an issue at your placement site ‐‐ even if you plan to finish your field study, this info is helpful for when we review placement sites for future quarters
  • Generally, the first step toward resolving difficulties at your field placement site is to speak directly to your supervisor. If the problem is more serious, or if you are not comfortable speaking directly to your supervisor, please contact the field study team or set up and notify your faculty supervisor.

I am concerned about expenses related to field study.

  • If there have been significant changes to expenses/income as reported on your FAFSA or adjusted by Financial Aid, consider seeing a financial aid counselor to make appropriate adjustments during field study.
  • Split field study into 2 quarters. 2 units in SocEcol 195 and 40 hours x 2 quarters = 4 units 80 hours
  • Seek on-campus opportunities
  • Speak to the field study team

What do I do if I want to continue my field study for a second quarter?

  • Submit a new ʺField Study Course Enrollment Formʺ for the other quarter you want to continue your field study during

I have no job experience and am worried I won't get a placement

  • Many sites do not require previous experience and understand that often students experiences are limited due to their academic work and appreciate their passion and willingness to learn
  • Visit the Division of Career Pathways so they can help you showcase any relevant experiences such as volunteer work, leadership experiences, or otherwise on your resume
  • If you are having trouble finding a placement come to speak with the field study team