Reflective College Student

Field Work Term Assessment

Field Work Term (FWT) provides students a platform for integrating classroom study with work in the world.

Capacity Development

Throughout Field Work Term, students develop capacities central to the Bennington curriculum: the abilities to effectively inquire, research, create, engage and communicate. In addition to developing these core capacities, students also develop work-readiness competencies. Together these serve as a foundation for student reflection and learning through field work.

Field Work Term Assessment 

A student’s final Field Work Term assessment is based on: adherence to due dates, supervisor evaluation(s), meeting the required number of work hours, updating your resume and Handshake profile to reflect your recent FWT experience, completing quality reflective assignments, and compliance with the Field Work Term student-employer agreement.

Adherence to Due Dates

FWT is an opportunity for students to experience the world of work and to be assessed on their performance based on how the professional world operates. For this reason, FWT due dates for site applications and profile setup on Handshake, registration, reflective assignment submission, supervisor evaluations, and timesheets are firm, and students will be held accountable to these dates. If due dates are missed, a final FWT assessment may be adversely affected.

As Handshake is the College's resource to connect students to prospective employers, it is essential that students learn to present their professional and life experience in a compelling way. With this in mind, all students are required to set up a profile on Handshake and to upload their professional resume for review and feedback by the FWT registration due date.

Employer Evaluations

Written evaluations of student performance are required from all FWT supervisors for primary jobs. These evaluations become part of a student’s permanent academic record and are considered in a student’s final FWT assessment by the College. Late or poor evaluations may adversely affect a student’s FWT assessment.

Required Hours

Students are required to complete 200 hours of work. Students can work all of the 200 hours at up to two primary sites, or have the option to use 60 hours towards a supplemental position at a secondary site.

Reflective Assignments

Reflective assignments are due on the last day of FWT for all students.

Update Resume and Handshake Profile (ALL students completing an FWT)

  • Update your resume to reflect your recent FWT experience and then upload your resume into Handshake. Use the auto-import feature to pull the new content into your profile.
  • Please use this resume guide for guidance on how to format your resume. First-Year students’ resumes will be screened as part of your assessment. If a resume needs revising, a student may be asked to attend a resume workshop or individual advising session.
  • If you completed multiple courses as a pto, choose one or more that you feel best showcases your professional skills to include on your resume. Check out our resume guide for guidance on proper placement.

Reflective Response Essay (All - with exception of Fellowship students)

Thoughtfully respond to the questions below, showing your ability to refine and condense your thoughts to present key ideas clearly and succinctly. Your responses to this reflective essay will be uploaded to your academic record and your advisor and Plan committee may review and discuss with you as related to your professional and academic learning goals. 

Strengths: In a minimum of three sentences, what did the FWT experience teach you about yourself and your strengths in the working world?

Skills: Providing two or more examples, in what areas did you experience the greatest growth in your personal and professional development?  

Interests: In one paragraph, how did the FWT experience help align with or re-shape your personal and professional goals?

Academic Connections: In a minimum of two paragraphs, reflect on how the FWT experience has connected to the goals set in your academic Plan/informed your areas of study, and how it has contributed to/advanced the development of your Plan. 

Professional Training option only - (in place of an employer/supervisor eval) List all the courses/training you completed. Next to each course, list if it was a self-paced course or live. 

FWT Fellowship students: In lieu of the reflective assignments listed above, Fellowship participants are required to share their experience via a presentation at the FWT Fellowship Spotlight event. Please follow these details and guidelines for presentations.

Student Conduct

Behavior in violation of the FWT Student Employer Agreement may adversely affect a student’s final FWT assessment, depending on the circumstances. In rare cases, behavior may also result in disciplinary action if in conflict with the policies outlined in the Bennington College Handbook.

Assessment Details 

Based on the evaluation criteria outlined above, a student will receive an assessment of “Pass,” “Marginal Pass,” “Fail,” or “Incomplete” for FWT.

A FWT final assessment, FWT job title, and the name of the site will appear on a student’s academic transcript. All supervisor evaluations will become part of the student’s permanent academic file. Supervisor evaluations do not accompany a transcript unless specified when requesting a transcript from the Dean’s Office. If a student does not annually receive a “Pass” or “Marginal Pass” for FWT, they are required to make up the requirement, usually during the summer. FWT makeups must be successfully completed before approval for graduation can be given.

  • Pass – Denotes that a student has satisfactorily met all FWT assessment criteria.
  • Marginal Pass – Acknowledges that a student has met the FWT requirements for the year, but has not satisfactorily met all FWT assessment criteria.
  • Fail – Signifies that a student has unsatisfactorily met a critical portion of the assessment criteria. A FWT Fail assessment remains part of a student’s academic file and official transcript. Failure to successfully complete an FWT can adversely influence a student’s academic status. The Associate Dean of the College will determine the impact of a failed assessment on a student’s academic standing. Students who are issued a Fail assessment are given two weeks within which they may contact the FWT Office if they wish to contest their assessment.
  • Incomplete – Students with medical, personal, or family-related issues may be granted an incomplete, allowing them to fulfill the FWT requirement over the summer without academic penalty. Students who complete at least half of their required hours may be eligible for a half incomplete. The FWT director determines this assessment on a case-by-case basis. Students who wish to be considered for an incomplete or half incomplete should contact the FWT director as early as possible. A half incomplete refers to hours completed only. Students granted a half incomplete at the discretion of the FWT director are required to provide a reflective project and employer evaluation for hours completed in the winter and summer.

The following are examples of the conditions under which a student may be eligible for an incomplete if they remain in immediate, regular contact with the FWT Office:

  • Medical Emergency: Students requesting a medical incomplete will be asked to submit paperwork—including a doctor’s note of necessity—for a medical withdrawal and may be asked to provide clearance information for spring reentry. Only urgent medical issues are considered.
  • Personal/Family Issues: Such issues might include a terminally ill family member or a recent death in the family.
  • Employer/Housing Issues: Though it is extremely rare, students are occasionally granted an incomplete due to unforeseen employer/housing circumstances. In such cases, a student must pursue a backup job search approved by the FWT Office.
  • Workplace concern issues: Such issues might include alleged harassment or discrimination, feeling of unsafety, or being unable to complete an FWT due to inappropriate or inadequate supervision.