A practicum is a supervised fieldwork experience in which Student Affairs and/or other professionals guide, instruct, and supervise the student's introduction to a particular functional area or project. It offers the opportunity to gain additional insights of a particular office or program by focusing on specific issues, problems, concerns and demands of that particular unit.
The Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education (SAAHE) Program requires two practica of 150 clock hours each for a total of six credit hours (three hours each semester). The first practicum (Practicum I) is typically completed in the summer semester of the students' first year. The second practicum is typically completed in the fall semester of the second year.
Students are encouraged to complete their practica in two different areas in which they want or need additional knowledge and experience. Students are further encouraged to complete practica at different locations. SAAHE students have regularly been awarded ACUHO-I, NODA, and NACA internships in locations all across the country. We have also had students complete their practica internationally in locations such as China and Ireland. Academic credit is granted on a grade basis.
An important part of the practicum experience is the Practicum Seminar facilitated by the Faculty Practicum Coordinator. The purpose of the seminar is to offer students an opportunity to discuss and share learning insights related to their job assignment. In addition, the seminar can be used as a workshop setting to provide students the opportunity to develop other professional skills.