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Overview

The Department of Human Development and Family Sciences offers two experiential learning opportunities to HDFS majors: the Applied Field Practicum and the Research Practicum.

The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences requires a six credit hour applied or research practicum that deals with children, families, or individuals in some capacity.  Students can meet this requirement with either HDF 652P or HDF 652F, which are applied practicum in a field setting that is completed in one semester, or with two HDF 355s, which is a research practicum course, and usually spread out over two semesters. HDF 352L and HDF 352 can also meet the practicum requirement; however, only HDF 352L is offered each fall and spring. Students should not plan to take HDF 352F to meet their practicum requirement. 

Courses

HDF 352 and 352L:  A field practicum, 10 hours per week, with a weekly two-hour seminar. HDF 352 involves a placement at a community organization that serves children, families or individuals; the course is rarely offered and cannot be repeated for credit. HDF 352L involves a placement at the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory; the course is offered every fall and spring and requires successful completion of HDF 466. Students should not plan to take HDF 352 as a means of meeting their practicum requirement. 

HDF 652F:  A field practicum; 18 hours per week for one semester with a two-hour bi-weekly seminar. Placement occurs at sites in the community that serve children, families, and/or individuals. Under the supervision of a trained professional and depending on the site, students can be exposed to and gain experience in client interaction, awareness of individual needs, communication and planning, family dynamics, human development, family life education, assessments, facilities management, and group processes. There is a required two-hour practicum site selection and orientation meeting held during the semester prior to the practicum semester: For the fall semester, students will meet during the previous spring, and for the spring semester, students will meet during the preceding fall semester. 

HDF 652P:  A field practicum; 18 hours per week for one semester, with a two-hour weekly seminar. Placement occurs at either the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory or at sites in the community that serve young children and their families. Under the supervision of a trained professional, students can be exposed to and gain experience that involve young children, including management, parent interaction and support, assessment and planning for group and individual needs, communication, family dynamics, and direct classroom teaching. HDF 466 must be completed successfully before enrollment. There is a required two-hour practicum site selection and orientation meeting held during the semester prior to the practicum semester: For the fall semester, students will meet during the previous spring, and for the spring semester, students will meet during the preceding fall semester.

HDF 355: A research practicum; 10 hours a week for one semester; repeated a second semester.  Students may apply to be placed in an HDF research lab led by a professor in HDF. Students gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical framework of human development and family sciences and learn a variety of skills related to research, such as research methodology, coding, and interview skills.  A paper or independent project related to the research experiences is required. May be repeated for credit. 

Application:

Students should apply to complete either practicum two semesters prior to their expected semester of enrollment in the practicum course. 

The application for the field and research practicums requires the following:

  1. Attending a practicum information session
  2. An electronic application (on this webpage under Resources)
  3. An updated degree audit submitted to the practicum information box in SEA 1.432
  4. Two reference forms submitted to the practicum information box in SEA 1.432 (at least one reference must be an HDF faculty member or TA; the second may be a professional reference from another setting)

Please contact academic advising for access to the HDFS Practicum Application.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2018: March 9th

Spring 2019: May 4th

 

PRACTICUM COURSE LOAD LIMITATIONS

Students take the applied practicum, HDF 652F or 652P, their last semester, with the exception of summer school (the applied practicum does not meet in the summer). It is best if students take no additional coursework along with the applied practicum, as it is a professional placement and students need to be able to devote their emotional time and energy to their site.   Students are denied placement if they exceed 12 credit hours. A letter is provided for Insurance and scholarships, if needed. This letter is not valid for financial aid.  Students should discuss with their financial aid officer any financial aid concerns or questions for their practicum semester.