Editorial

Participate More Outside the Classroom

default article imageStudent enrichment is important in any university. However, not everyone likes to get involved. Some students will not go beyond the required work for their major. Maybe they would get more involved with their majors if they were given credit for doing work outside of standard curriculum. This is exactly what the University does with the practicum credit, but they are only for certain majors. Not every field has practicum credit as a requirement. Nevertheless, some of us at The Outlook feel like this should change.

If a student can graduate college with a deeper understanding of their major and have actual first-hand experience, that person will be more likely to get hired. Businesses today do not just want people with a degree; they want people that have real experience in the work field before they finish their education.

Communication majors at the University are required to take a one credit practicum. For the students interested in journalism, their practicum includes writing seven stories to be published in The Outlook. This gives students the experience of writing for a real newspaper and dealing with the stress of journalism like deadlines and finding reliable sources.

However, not everyone on staff feels that a practicum should be required. Some feel that there are enough clubs aimed at specific majors that can benefit students so that any further outside work is unnecessary. The students getting “forced” to participate are taking positions away from people who could potentially really want that spot.

Students should take advantage of the programs presented at the University, especially when credits can be earned.

The Department of Music and Theatre Arts has also created an Applied Music Program. This gives students, regardless of their major, the opportunity to receive one credit for a private music lesson. This may not be considered as practicum for majors in that department, but it is a start.

Business majors do not require any practicum credit. Doug Stives, Director of the MBA Program and business professor, explains that their equivalent is an internship. A third of the accounting majors at the University attend internships at CPA firms to get experience in the field.

Political science majors also require internships that are considered to be their practicum. Rekha Datta, PhD Professor of political science, said that since fall 2010, political science majors are required to take a one credit course in civic engagement, which is a project/service-based practicum on or off campus.

Different fields require different work. All majors are incredibly diverse and this can make it hard to create a specific practicum for that program. Therefore, internships may be the next best thing next to practicum.

Internships and practicum are alike because they both provide exposure to the real life workplace for graduates. However, here at The Outlook, the majority of us feel that practicum should be required in more programs at the University. Sometimes a club is not enough for to students to get the experience of a career.

The practicum can also help students determine if they want to pursue their major. It gives them enough experience to see if they will enjoy that career choice for many years to come.

College is where students are supposed to figure out what they want to do for the rest of lives. The University provides students with many opportunities to help with this choice, but it is ultimately up to the student. Having a practicum for each major would give students a better grasp of their major while receiving credit for it.



Correction:

In last week’s issue, the SGA Minutes in the Politics section were reported with one inaccuracy. It should have been stated that the plans for students to use their meal plans in the Student Center and Shadows are tentative, not definite as the article stated.