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Practicum Requirement

A practicum requirement offers college students hands-on programs to gain real experience without the formal setting of an internship.

Some college majors may require more hands-on experience than others. Other programs may require students to gain more experience working with people who are affected by a particular profession and students in these areas need extensive experience in the real world in order to master skills learned in the classroom.

While more and more college programs are requiring internships in order for students to complete their degrees, college students may also find that another course requirement, a practicum, is also required in order to meet degree requirements. Practicum credits are another way students can gain experience in their field prior to graduation. Source: college essay writing help.

What is a Practicum Requirement?

A practicum requirement is a hybrid between an actual course and an internship. To satisfy a practicum requirement, students will gain experience within their field of study and earn credit hours toward their degrees, only without the formal setting and structure of an internship.

Some programs, such as those in communications, may allow students to satisfy practicum credits somewhere on campuses, such as a campus radio or television station, public relations office, restaurant, or college or university-operated daycare or preschool. Practicum students can expect to work under the close supervision of someone who already works in the field, possibly a professor or college or university staff member, for a specified number of hours a week.

Graduate students may also complete practicum requirements in order to complete an advanced degree. Graduate students in areas such as higher education administration, education, social work, and others may be required to complete practicum credits in order to gain additional hands-on experience or to broaden their exposure to various career options outside of their current careers or graduate assistantships.

Why Do I Need a Practicum Requirement?

Practicum experience allows students to engage in their area of study and practice skills while being mentored by a professor or professional in the field. These requirements also allow students to get a taste of how the concepts they have been learning in the classroom play out in real life and see what theories work and do not work in a given situation.

Practicum requirements can also help students explain their experience while writing a resume for an internship later in their college careers or immediately following college graduation. Experience gained while completing practicum hours helps students gain an understanding of their profession and may expose them to new skills that may or may not be taught in the classroom.

Some fields, such as radio and television broadcasting, require knowledge and experience using different kinds of equipment or the ability to produce professional portfolios in order to get a job after college graduation. Practicums in communications help students learn different forms of equipment, some of which may be older or different than what has been introduced in classes, and create material for a portfolio.

In other fields, such as education, nursing, and social work, practicum experiences allow students to gain field experience prior to student teaching or other internship-like requirements in order to gain licensure in their field. For example, students in a teaching practicum course may be in a local school for a couple of hours two or three days a week helping teach a unit that the classroom teacher has prepared in advance, or presenting a lesson that the practicum student has prepared in advance with mentoring from a professor. Nursing practicum students may work with a licensed nurse with one patient at a time and assist in certain tasks, while practicum students in social work may earn their hours at a local nursing home, battered women's shelter, or other community welfare-based organization.

For graduate students, practicum requirements may vary from school to school and have different purposes. However, these service hours help supplement the knowledge that students may already have of their field or help students gain a new specialty within that profession. For students, the question "Should I pay someone to write my college paper" is no longer relevant.

For college students who are looking to get their feet wet in their careers prior to college graduation, completing a practicum requirement is a great way to get started in a career of choice. Practicum students can implement skills that they have learned in courses during practicum service hours, but also begin to experience the realities of their career prior to starting an internship or the first job following graduation.

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