08 May 2010

Practicum or Internship?

The words can mean the same thing but most colleges have specific meanings for each. At a lot of schools, a practicum is a short "observer" assignment while an internship is a semester- or year-long "learn on the job" assignment.

That said, a practicum may also be a "practice" experience, with the same meaning as internship. How the terms are used may be discipline-specific.

Tip for getting along at the site: regardless of how the college labels the experience, the wise student adopts the term used out at the site. So, if your academic program says Practicum, but your assignment calls you an Intern (in an Internship), adopt the internship language when you are at the site!

The content on this blog is not offered as legal advice or guidance. Consult your college, advisor, or internship supervisor for help with issues surrounding internships. © 2010 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. Dr. Bold is a co-author of the book Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. More about Dr. Bold can be learned at www.marybold.com

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