The Practicum is a graduation requirement for all on-ground students in the Social Sciences Department.
The options in the different majors are as follows, click the link to see the full information and the necessary forms:
- Criminal Justice majors – CRMJ4801/02/03 Criminal Justice Practicum
- History majors – HIST4801/2/3 History Practicum
- Political Science majors – POLS4801/2/3 Political Science Practicum
- Psychology majors – PSYC4811/12/13 Psychology Practicum
- Social Sciences majors – SOSC4801/2/3 Social Science Practicum
- Sociology majors – SOCI4801/2/3 Sociology Practicum
The Practicum is to be completed in a student’s final year of study, and the prerequisites include completing Communication Skills I-V, 90 credits, and getting department head approval.
Students complete 120 hours of documented experience at a pre-approved (by faculty mentor and the department head) internship site. This may be a volunteer or paid position that is related to their field.
Participation in professional activities allows students to experience the work environment in their chosen field, make informed career choices, and enhance their employment credentials. These experiences reinforce the connection between professional and liberal learning through the application of classroom theories to actual occupational problems.
The course requires 120 hours on site, as well as the completion of the academic requirements established by the Social Sciences Department.
The Semester Prior to Registering
Explore your career goals. Your practicum site should be representative of the field or the population you may want to work with after you graduate. Identify the type of experience that you want to obtain. Begin researching local organizations that address the field or population you want to work with. Check out the internet. Talk to professors that specialize in that area or other students who are interested in the field you want to work in.
Visit the RMU Career Center. Meet with a career counselor and explore their resources and potential internship sites. Create/edit your resume. Update your resume and make sure it is proofread. Go to the RMU Career Center for resume help. Meet with your advisor. After you have done your homework and your resume is updated, contact your advisor to discuss your options.
For Psychology students, every spring the RMU Psychology Club holds a practicum workshop, where requirements for the practicum are discussed and a panel of current and former students share their practicum experiences -- this is very important to attend prior to registering.
Registering for Practicum
To register for the Practicum, students must first:
- Ask a full-time faculty member to serve as your faculty mentor.
- Confirm your site placement.
- To officially register for the course, students must complete the practicum application (see the links above for each major)
The application includes:
- An application form (needs to be signed by your faculty mentor)
- A updated copy of your resume (approved by your faculty mentor)
- A printed copy of your checksheet
- A brief site/job description
Completed application packets can be turned into the Department Chair. Once the paperwork is processed, the Practicum will show on your schedule.
Completing the Practicum
Once you are registered, contact your faculty mentor to discuss the next step and additional requirements for the class. Completing the Practicum involves keeping a journal with daily entries and weekly reflections, a timesheet signed by the supervisor, and writing a 12-page paper comparing and contrasting their experiences in the Practicum with the theories and information presented in the social sciences coursework which was completed at RMU. It should also explain why the site was selected for the practicum and give any recommendations for future social science students about the Practicum experience.
IMPORTANT: If an incident or accident occurs while on the job during your Practicum, you need to fill out this form within 48 hours.