An important course that prepares students to go into the practicum is FRHD*2400, Introduction to Human Services, offered in the Winter of the second year of study. It is within this course that students prepare to be placed within one of the many human services organizations that provide experiential learning opportunities to students.
Students must have the consent of the practicum coordinator or designate to take practicum courses. In order to take the practicum course, students must get a course waiver signed to register for the course and submit all required documentation for their particular placements (including, but not limited to, police check with vulnerable sector query, immunization records, etc.). The practicum coordinator communicates about these requirements with students in the summer prior to the fall and winter placements. Once your intention to register for the practicum is confirmed, the Practicum Coordinator matches students with the available community placements. Sometimes students decide to study part time or take courses out of sequence. It is essential that students who do so be in touch with the practicum coordinator.
The practicum courses are a unique component of the BASc undergraduate degree. The Family Studies and Human Development (FSHD) program has a required practicum in third year, as well as an optional practicum in fourth year in the areas of youth, young adults, families, and seniors. In both third and fourth year, students are placed within a range of human services organizations, working alongside professionals and receiving ongoing feedback and supervision. It is this experience that enables students to integrate what they learn in the classroom with professional practice. Some examples of what FSHD majors may do in third and fourth year practica include:
- teach and support clients experiencing mental health issues in the local community garden project, or explore their creativity and its role in the healing process in a local art-based program
- develop, implement and evaluate recreation programs for seniors in a local retirement facility
- recruit and train leadership volunteers and present seminars on the value of volunteering
- develop and implement sexual health education programs to young adults