With a practicum, NYC’s great libraries, archives, museums, information design firms, and more are your workshops for learning and professional experience.
As a School of Information student, you’ll be studying in one of the world’s cultural and information capitals. In the INFO 698 Practicum/Seminar course, we enable you to take full advantage of New York's dazzling array of opportunities to gain professional experience while still in graduate school.
Practicum is a three-credit course which features hands-on experiential learning and applying knowledge and skills through:
120 hours of on-site work experience supervised by an information professional in a work environment that reflects your area of interest.
four seminar sessions with the course instructor.
a practicum project and journal drawn from on-site experience and research.
a project presentation at the final seminar session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I am interested in taking INFO 698 Practicum/Seminar. What are the special features of this course?
A. The practicum is a three-credit course for which the main learning component is a supervised professional work experience and project. The student works in a setting that reflects their interests as an information professional. The course requires a total of 135 credit hours consisting of about 100 credit hours working on-site, four seminar sessions, and one major assignment in the form of a culminating practicum project related to the student's work experience that incorporates observation, critical thinking, evaluation, and research.
Q. What makes a practicum different from regular work experience?
A. The practicum is defined as a learning experience incorporating mentoring and professional supervision in which work is viewed from critical and evaluative perspectives, in contrast to the notion of routine or regular work.
Q. What are the special benefits of doing a practicum?
A. In doing a practicum, you will be able to:
Apply what you have learned in the classroom to a real work environment.
Understand and demonstrate the relationship between theory and practice.
Gain experience that acts a bridge to professional work and employment opportunities after graduation.
Facilitate networking and build professional relationships.
Receive mentoring by the practicum supervisor.
Enhance and improve your skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Tell potential employers that you have professional work experience.
Q. Is a practicum right for me?
A. Students who begin their program without having work experience in the information professions or who want to gain more in depth experience in a specific area related to their career goals should carefully consider this option. Students will also find that the practicum offers good networking opportunities that often lead to employment.
Q. When can I do a practicum?
A. Students should complete a minimum of one semester in their program before registering for a practicum. In addition, students will need to have taken at least one course related to their area of practicum work. For example, INFO 653 Knowledge Organization serves as a prerequisite to a cataloging practicum; INFO 625 Management of Archives & Special Collections serves as a prerequisite to an archives practicum.
Q. How do I plan for the practicum?
A. You should start planning no later than the beginning of the semester preceding the one in which you would like to do the practicum. Consider the type of information environment that would best serve your education and career goals.
Q. How can I find a practicum placement?
A. Once you have identified the type of setting in which you would like to work, make a list of places in order of priority. It is recommended that you keep an eye out for internship postings on the School of Information email listserv as well. Next, fill out a practicum application and submit it to the School of Information office. The School of Information office can help you determine whether or not a particular placement will suite the requirements of the course. You will need to contact the potential internship institution directly. You will need to interview with the site supervisor. Approval of the practicum site location and the work assignment is made by the site supervisor.
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