The Practicum

The Practicum in Human Development, HDEV 475

Experiential learning can be a valuable learning experience and an exciting part of a student's academic career. A practicum, like an internship, is a learning experience that allows students to integrate academic learning in the University with “real world” activities within a given career path.

The objectives set by students will involve, in a broad sense, the application of academic theories and concepts to their work experience and a critical analysis of their findings. The students are thus required to design the practicum and define its objectives in conjunction with a field supervisor and to submit the resulting proposal to the practicum instructor for approval. The seminar will provide students with a syllabus describing the academic components of the practicum.

As the capstone course in the Human Development curriculum, HDEV 475 is designed to support student learning in a practicum setting. It is based on the belief the reflecting, discussing and questioning one’s work is an important component of professional development. The practicum in the community offers a hands-on opportunity to put into practice the theories and skills students have been learning about throughout their undergraduate career.

The practicum in the classroom offers the opportunity to talk and write about how practical experience both meshes and diverges from what’s purported in the literature. Students have the opportunity to learn through not only their own experience, but through the experiences of others who are interning in a wide array of organizations.

To qualify for the practicum (HDEV 475), all of the following criteria must be met:

  • the student must be matriculated in CCPA
  • prerequisites for the course (HDEV 200 and HDEV 300) have been satisfactorily completed
  • the practicum must be related to the student’s career goals
  • the student should have sufficient background to undertake the practicum and learn from the experience
  • the practicum must be unpaid; credit will not be granted for a paid work experience
  • the practicum must be performed in an established business, agency or other appropriate organization
  • the practicum site must not be owned in whole or in part by any of the student’s relatives

Students are required to complete 7-10 hours per week in an approved work site. Prerequisites for HDEV 475 are HDEV 200 and HDEV 300. Students must submit a signed cover sheet and proposal to the department office to register.

The practicum proposal

To apply for a practicum, the student must submit a completed HDEV 475 Cover Sheet (.pdf, 31 kb) and an acceptable proposal to the course instructor before registration for the course will be allowed. Preparation of the proposal requires thought and consideration, so planning should begin well before the registration period for the semester in which HDEV 475 will be taken. No proposals will be considered after the second class.

The typed proposal must include the following information:

  • the learning objectives for the practicum that are specific to the student’s educational goals statement and plan of study
  • the student’s academic/experiential preparation for undertaking the practicum
  • the activities that will be undertaken during this practicum and how they will be supervised, including a job description if available
  • any appropriate agency literature

A copy of the student’s cover sheet and proposal will be placed in the student’s academic file, and students must attend all class periods and complete all assigned academic components in addition to completing 120 hours at the practicum site. HDEV 475 is graded with the normal grading option (letter grades A-F). Pass/fail is not an option for HDEV 475 grading.

The practicum instructor

The practicum instructor is responsible for serving as the on-campus coordinator and instructor of the HDEV 475 class. As such, the instructor must approve the practicum proposal, maintain contact with the field supervisor to ensure the proposal is implemented properly and submit the final grade to the Registrar’s Office.

Field supervisor

The field supervisor is the person who will serve as the direct supervisor of the student during the practicum and is responsible for providing a mid-semester evaluation and a final evaluation on the student’s activities to the practicum instructor for use in grading the student.

Students are responsible for locating their practicum site. A directory of sites and contact persons is available in the Peer Advising Office, UDC-413. See also Where Do HD Students Find a Site? for additional suggestions.

Students should discuss the duties and responsibilities of the practicum with their site supervisor and outline the duties in writing. The written outline will become part of the practicum proposal. Students will next submit the written proposal to their HDEV 475 instructor.

For more information, see HDEV 475 Guidelines (.pdf, 36 kb), and HDEV 475 Practicum Evaluation Form (.pdf, 40.9 kb).

Last Updated: 7/24/14