CE Master’s Practicum Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register for the CE Master’s Practicum Option (LIS 60670)?
- Students cannot register themselves for the CE Master’s Practicum Option (LIS 60670). Instead, you must:
- Have successfully completed 24 credit hours, including all core courses for your catalog year. For catalog year 2013 and after, the core courses are LIS 60000, LIS 60001, LIS 60002, LIS 60003, LIS 60600 and LIS 60610. For catalog years 2007 through 2012, the core courses are LIS 60001, LIS 60002, LIS 60003, LIS 60600 and LIS 60610. Note: Prior completion of courses related to the student’s area of specialization may also be required.
- Decide whom you would like to be you faculty practicum advisor. Many students choose their SLIS faculty advisor but you may ask any faculty member to be your faculty practicum advisor. Contact your potential faculty practicum advisor.
- Once you have a faculty practicum advisor, he or she will help guide you through the registration process.
- First, you must find a practicum site. Your faculty practicum advisor can help you, or you can begin your search by reviewing the Practicum Sites List.
- Between you and your faculty practicum advisor, you must decide who will make initial contact with the site. Students usually make the initial contact, but the faculty practicum advisor can certainly help make the arrangements.
Note: While students should feel free to make initial contact with a particular site (interview and discuss the objectives for their practicum and the intended schedule of hours), they should not make a commitment until the site is approved by their faculty practicum advisor.
- Make contact with the potential practicum site administration via email or phone to explain practicum requirements, potential schedule, and interest area. Determine who will be your on-site practicum supervisor. This can be any librarian with an M.L.I.S. degree or a related, subject specialist graduate degree. Agree upon a list of objectives or outcomes you hope to achieve by completing the practicum as well as how many hours you will work at the site and what your responsibilities will be.
Note: You can work at a site that requires more practicum hours than those required for practicum credit (150), but you will be responsible for fulfilling the extra site-specific hours and requirements while meeting all other practicum requirements specified in the CE Practicum Handbook.
- Fill out the CE Practicum Request Form with your faculty practicum advisor. Registration for the CE Master’s Practicum Option will be completed by the SLIS Office after the faculty practicum advisor has signed and submitted this form and the CE request is approved.
It’s easy to start looking for a practicum site via the Practicum Sites List. Sometimes practicum sites are advertised on the student listserv, with appropriate contact information included for further inquiry. Your faculty practicum advisor is also a great resource for ideas regarding practicum sites.
How do I make initial contact with a practicum site?
Note: Just remember that an important purpose of the practicum is gaining experience in a different type of setting than you’ve previously had experience in. For this reason, as well as others, SLIS suggests students conduct their practicum in an information agency or library where they are NOT currently employed.
Initial contact with a practicum site is usually made via phone or email. Usually students make initial contact, but you should discuss this issue with your faculty practicum advisor. Just remember to always maintain a professional demeanor. Write any emails up to business letter standards, indicate that you are eager to learn and work at this particular practicum site, and avoid sarcasm or exclamatory statements.
What’s an electronic portfolio and how do I make one?
It is required that you submit an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) at the completion of the practicum. An electronic portfolio is a collection of electronic evidence documenting what you’ve done in your practicum, how you’ve met your objectives for the practicum, and what you’ve learned. Generally this portfolio includes inputted text, electronic files, images, and potentially multimedia.
The required components of your practicum electronic portfolio include site information, practicum objectives, your daily work log and your assessment of your learning experience (see: CE Practicum Handbook).
Electronic portfolio resources are available, and your faculty practicum advisor should also be able to help you with the portfolio requirements.
How will my CE Master’s Practicum be graded?
Credit for the CE Master’s Practicum Option (LIS 60670) is awarded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading basis. If both the student and the faculty practicum advisor agree that additional time beyond the semester of enrollment is required for successful completion of the practicum, a grade of In-Progress (IP) may be awarded. A final grade will only be recorded when the e-portfolio is submitted and the evaluation form has been returned by the on-site practicum supervisor.
Practicum: A graduate course in a specialized field of study (in this case, library and information science) designed to provide students with a supervised opportunity to apply theory, technical and practical knowledge in the professional field. It provides students the opportunity to gain professional experience.
Faculty practicum advisor: The SLIS faculty member you choose to be your advisor for the CE Master’s Practicum Option.
On-site practicum supervisor: The librarian with an M.L.I.S. degree or a related, subject specialist graduate degree, working at your practicum site, who has agreed to supervise your practicum experience.
Remuneration: Any sort of compensation in return for services rendered. Note: There can be no remuneration for the practicum experience for either the student or for the on-site practicum supervisor.
Practicum objectives: Outcomes you hope to achieve by completing the practicum, such as experience using the cataloging system or in collection management. (Usually there are mainly learning objectives.)
Daily work log: A daily listing of major activities, meetings, assignments, etc., with comments on skills practice and knowledge acquired. These entries serve as a basis for evaluating the completion of the learning objectives at the end of the practicum. Generally these are organized by major time blocks (do not enter minute-by-minute breakdowns) with examples of work activities. Include a copy of the schedule of days and times worked, as you established at the beginning of the practicum.