Practicums Put Learning Into Action
We learn every day through lectures and labs inside the bubble of academia. But for students who are eager to do hands-on work outside the classroom, Arcadia has the option for you: practicums.
For those unfamiliar with what a practicum entails, it depends on the class, but the overarching principle is the same: a course within a specialized field that allows students to participate in practical applications of previously learned concepts and skills. For example, there is a Publication Practicum (CM120) that is offered each year that allows students to be in full control of their own online publication. The magazine runs multiple themed issues per semester, and students enrolled in the course practice writing articles, obtaining non-copyrighted photo and video material, and publishing on a website. I have had the opportunity to take this class for a few semesters, and loved how I had the chance to actually be in a management position for an online publication. Without the course, I would not be as confident in my skills nor would I feel prepared for a real career in multimedia publishing, if that is what I was interested in pursuing.
Another option for Media and Communication students (other majors, don’t worry, there are options for you, too) is the Public Relations Practicum (also CM120). I am currently enrolled in the course, which I have been interested in for a while. If you’re interested in PR, business communications, or even marketing management, this class is an incredible opportunity. Students get to work with local organizations like Glenside Local each semester, and are assigned a new PR client for the duration of the course. This semester, we are working with Pals for Life, a volunteer-based therapy pet organization that does on-site visits to hospitals, libraries, and more. In this class, we have the chance to work in a PR setting for actual businesses, learn how to communicate effectively in a professional environment, and gain connections with local firms.
So what to do if you are interested in practicums for other majors? Arcadia has your back! Criminal Justice majors, or those in adjacent fields, can work on cold cases with the AISOCC in the Cold Case Practicum (CJ210). This course takes students through a cold case review, and then they use their skills as investigators to try to solve the case. This is another example of how Arcadia lets students use the concepts they have learned in classes and apply them to real scenarios.
If you’re an Education major, student teaching is considered a practicum. For graduate students in the School of Education, there are principal practicums, administrative practicums, and superintendent practicums for students interested in those positions. You get to work with professionals in your desired field and learn what it means to apply the skills you’ve been gaining in class.
Practicums are usually a 2-credit course at Arcadia, although it depends on which you choose. You can use the Arcadia self-service section search or course catalog to find a practicum within your major that suits your needs.