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Student Guide

What is the Practicum?

The Practicum is a required, non-credit course for all MLIS students. It’s usually a 100-hour work placement, located in an approved site, working under the supervision of an experienced Information Management (IM) professional; the 100-hour placement is typically unpaid.

When can I do my Practicum?

If you’re a full-time student: after your first year
If you’re a part-time student: after 6 core classes

Your Practicum can be completed in the spring/summer (April to August) or concurrently with classes in the fall term of the second year.

How do I arrange a Practicum placement?

Placements are arranged through the MLIS Program Coordinator, JoAnn Watson, beginning in November.

Make an appointment via the Doodle Poll (link provided via email after the Practicum Information session) to meet with JoAnn to discuss Practicum ideas. Meetings take place in November and December.

You must submit your completed Practicum Application form and up-to-date resume electronically to practicum@dal.ca at least one week prior to your meeting. The last day for submitting Practicum applications is December 1st. 

  1. CURRENT RESUME: Convert to a PDF and submit by email. Follow the naming convention:
    o Surname1st initial_Resume_YYYY_MM_DD
    o e.g. DoeJ_Resume_2012_11_21


  2. PRACTICUM APPLICATION FORM: Save as a Word document and submit by email. Follow the naming convention:
    o Surname1st initial_Application_YYYY_MM_DD
    o e.g. DoeJ_Application_2012_11_21

Can I contact potential Practicum sites directly to discuss placement feasibility?

Within HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality): No, this must be arranged through JoAnn.

Outside HRM: Yes, after meeting with JoAnn.

If I want to do my placement in another city, or country, can I?

Yes, but you still need to submit a practicum application form and meet with JoAnn in the fall term to discuss your Practicum ideas.

If you choose to do a placement outside HRM, it is your responsibility to:

  • Follow directions for Practicum application form submission
  • Meet with JoAnn in the fall term
  • Contact prospective placement sites to determine feasibility for a placement
  • Advise JoAnn immediately when a placement has successfully been negotiated
  • Provide placement contact information to JoAnn

How do I apply for the Practicum?

Placements are arranged through the MLIS Program Coordinator, JoAnn Watson, beginning in November.

Make an appointment via the Doodle Poll (link provided via email after the Practicum Information session) to meet with JoAnn to discuss Practicum ideas. Meetings take place in November and December.

You must submit your completed Practicum Application form and up-to-date resume electronically to practicum@dal.ca at least one week prior to your meeting. The last day for submitting Practicum applications is December 1st.

You must submit two documents at least one week prior to your meeting with JoAnn:

  1. CURRENT RESUME: Convert to a PDF and submit by email. Follow the naming convention:
    o Surname1st initial_Resume_YYYY_MM_DD
    o e.g. DoeJ_Resume_2012_11_21


  2. PRACTICUM APPLICATION FORM: Save as a Word document and submit by email. Follow the naming convention:
    o Surname1st initial_Application_YYYY_MM_DD
    o e.g. DoeJ_Application_2012_11_21

Do I need to register for the Practicum?

Yes, but not until you have completed your practicum. You will register for INFO 0590 in the term following placement completion (i.e. if you complete your practicum in June, you will register for INFO 0590 in the fall term).

A final grade cannot be logged until you have registered.

How will I be evaluated?

Practicum performance will be evaluated based upon successful completion of the work placement, your performance during the Practicum placement, feedback from your Practicum Supervisor (Supervisor’s Report) and your own Practicum report.

A Pass or Fail grade is assigned by JoAnn after the Practicum has been completed and all course requirements have been met. All course requirements must be completed by February 1st of your graduating year.

Do I have to pay for the Practicum?

No. INFO 0590 carries no credit weight therefore has no tuition fees.

Do I have to complete a report?

Yes, please see the Practicum Report Guidelines.

  1. 100-hour placement reports: Due two weeks after the conclusion of the placement.
  2. Extended work placement deadlines:
    • Fall Registration: November 1st
    • Winter Registration: February 1st

What are my responsibilities as a Practicum student?

  1. Complete all INFO 0590 course requirements by the deadlines.
  2. Correspond in a timely, professional manner with all parties involved with the Practicum.
  3. Respond to JoAnn’s Notice of Placement, in writing, within three business days of receipt confirming willingness to accept the placement.
    Note: Acceptance of a proposed placement constitutes a binding contract on the part of the student to undertake the work involved.
  4. Acknowledge and agree that:
    a. You are subject to the policies, procedures, and regulations of the facility where the Practicum placement is completed.
    b. The facility where the Practicum placement is completed has the right to require the student to leave the facility because of the performance or conduct of the student.
    c. You have the responsibility to maintain appropriate behaviour while in the facility where the Practicum placement is completed, particularly concerning privacy and confidentiality of records and all other information related to that facility. All such information is confidential and cannot be communicated except as outlined in the policy of the facility. If confidentiality is breeched, the penalty may include termination of the Practicum placement.
  5. Immediately inform JoAnn about any concerns that arise during the course of the Practicum placement.

Can an Extended Work Placement be counted as a Practicum experience?

Yes, if it meets the following criteria:

  • 500+ hours of continuous employment in an information setting
  • Supervised by an approved, experienced information professional

If you choose to use an extended work placement (pre-admission or pre-graduation), it is your responsibility to:

  • Discuss potential extended work placements with JoAnn prior to December 1st.   
  • Follow directions for Practicum application form submission.
    • Complete either the Pre-Admission, or Pre-Graduation employment option on the application form.
    • Note: Pre-Graduation can either be employment during your time at SIM or through a formal internship.
  • Practicum Report submission:
    • Student:  provide a report on your Pre-Admission, or Pre-Graduation employment following the Practicum Report Guidelines by the following deadlines:
      • Fall Registration: November 1st
      • Winter Registration: February 1st
    • Supervisor:
      • if your supervisor provided a letter of reference to the MLIS Program no supervisor’s report is necessary.
      • if your supervisor did not provide a letter of reference to the MLIS Program, the supervisor’s report is to be submitted by the following deadline:
        • Fall Registration: November 1st
        • Winter Registration: February 1st

What if I’m interested in a Health Sciences library placement in a hospital setting?

Note: Immunizations, Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector checks are a requirement and must commence in December for an April placement.

You must make an appointment with JoAnn (via the Doodle poll) in early November if this is your interest.

It is strongly recommended that you begin to satisfy the immunization and security requirements over the December break in order to obtain formal approval for an April placement. Failure to complete the specified protocols in time will result in a cancelled placement.

What if I’m interested in a Records Management or Archives placement?

You must have completed the following prior to starting the placement:

  • INFO 5515 Organization of Information
  • INFO 6370 Records Management and/or
  • INFO 6800 Archives

Previous experience in an archive or an RM setting is an asset.

How do I know when I have secured a placement?

As soon as a placement has been confirmed with a placement site, JoAnn will send a Notice of Placement to you via email, arranging the initial contact between you and your supervisor. You must reply via email within three business days confirming willingness to accept the placement.

If I complete an unpaid Practicum is the placement site responsible for workers compensation?

Effective September 1 2014, the University purchases occupational accident insurance to cover students participating in unpaid practicum placements that take place in Canada. This coverage does not include placements in Ontario and New Brunswick as our students are now able to participate in the workers’ compensation program in these provinces.

What are the course requirements and deadlines?

PRACTICUM INFORMATION SESSION October 17th, 2016. Attendance is mandatory.
 
PRACTICUM APPOINTMENT
Booking Students book their appointments via the Doodle poll
Timeframe November 1, 2016 through December 9, 2016
 
PRACTICUM APPLICATION FORM
Submit Electronically to practicum@dal.ca
Due At least one week prior to practicum appointment.
Deadline Applications will not be accepted after December 1st.
 
RESUME
Submit Electronically to practicum@dal.ca
Due At least one week prior to practicum appointment
Deadline Resumes will not be accepted after December 1st
 
ACCEPTANCE OF PRACTICUM PLACEMENT
Students must acknowledge acceptance of their placement within three business days of receiving their Notice of Placement.
 
PRACTICUM REPORT

For 100 hour placements: Due two weeks after the conclusion of the Practicum placement.

For 500 hour (extended) placements: Due Nov 1st (for Fall registration) / Feb 1st (for Winter registration).

Final deadline for ALL course components: February 1st of your graduating year.

Why is a Practicum placement such a great opportunity?

The Practicum placement experience enables the student to test and evaluate theories discussed in class, to gain experience in an information setting, to refine specific areas of interest, and to explore areas of particular interest for course specialization and future employment.
This is accomplished through:

  • Extending studies beyond the classroom to practical, hands-on work experience in an information setting;
  • Evaluating and supplementing studies through the comparison of differing perspectives and methodologies;
  • Testing individual performance, problem-solving skills and ideas in the context of a professional environment;
  • Enhancing communication and report writing skills;
  • Making contact with potential employers and future colleagues in the professional community;
  • Providing feedback, via your report, on the Practicum and its relevance which allows SIM’s Curriculum/Continuing Education Committee to continually evaluate and improve INFO 0590.