Practicum (Fieldwork) Best Practices
You may use the following scripts to guide you as you reach out to potential practicum sites (this is what you should say when you call, or meet with approved sites).
Review Our Best Practices Below
Treat the practicum like an extended interview.
Arrive 5-10 minutes early each workday. Dress just a bit better than what is expected, while remaining appropriate for the company culture. Seek out opportunities to go above and beyond. Ask for support and take the advice seriously.
Always carry a pen and paper so you can take notes or jot down detailed instructions.
Ask questions. Volunteer for projects. If you find yourself with lots of down time, take it upon yourself to compose a list of potential projects or activities (such as shadowing coworkers) and pitch your ideas to your supervisor for feedback. Ask the supervisor to share their path in this career.
Seek out opportunities to make your supervisor’s job easier.
Anticipate needs. Proofread everything (for errors, not for style). Ask to help/support your supervisor in upcoming agency activities.
Go outside of your comfort zone.
If you are not familiar with a particular career with children and families then explore it in your practicum. This is your opportunity to see what you think of this possible career option
Ask questions and request guidance.
The best way to learn and grow is to request direction and feedback. Don’t take anything personally because you are learning and this time in your career is about being mentored. Prepare your Supervisor for all forms that you will need them to complete. Give the forms to them in advance and with clear instructions and due dates.
Follow the rules and guidelines of the site.
Make sure you are prepared to be in a professional setting by communicating (both written and verbal) clearly and respectfully. If you experience any inappropriate interactions with clients or employees discuss your concerns with your Site Supervisor and your seminar Instructor.
Never, Never, transport a client or parent.
You are not allowed to transport any infant, child, adolescent or parents in your vehicle or site vehicle. You are not covered by this type of insurance and this is not allowed. Also do not be left alone with any client or parent without a Site Supervisor present.
Complete additional hours at your Practicum.
Students are required to complete 60 hours for each practicum, but they may also exceed the required hours. Additional hours are optional. If students have the time to complete additional hours at their site this may help them network and showcase their skills. Additionally this may help with future references, letters of recommendation and resume building.