Field Experience – Practicum and Internship
The PREE faculty value field experience and believe that students should be engaged in summer work opportunities while pursuing their degree. In fact, most faculty members agree that students should start acquiring summer experience at least by their sophomore year. While students are required to participate in service opportunities throughout their coursework, students must also participate in other field experiences. Students may gain summer field experience on a non-credit basis during their freshman and/or sophomore summer(s) in the form of a summer job with a park or recreation agency. As students develop their knowledge base and enhance their skill sets, they will be required to participate in two academic credit-based field experiences. These two academic components for the Park and Resource Management program are the practicum and internship experience.
The practicum experience is a 3 credit-hour course that ideally is taken in the summer months of either the sophomore or junior year. The practicum consists of approximately 120 contact hours in the field of park and resource management. The practicum site must be approved by supervising faculty and can be performed on a paid or volunteer basis. The practicum student is responsible for communicating with his/her practicum faculty supervisor during the practicum experience. Students registering for a practicum experience will receive a complete book of instructions with required forms and assignments. The cost of the practicum experience is based on that particular year’s costs per credit hour (3 total) established by the university.
The internship experience is designed as a more intensive and in-depth experience for the student. The internship is a 12 credit-hour course and consists of 480 contact hours in the field of park and resource management. Typically, students graduating in the spring of a given year would take the internship the summer following their last semester of coursework. For students graduating in December of a given year, the students may elect to take their internship during the summer prior to their last semester of coursework. Internship sites must be approved by the supervising faculty member and can be performed on a paid or volunteer basis. The internship student is responsible for communicating with his/her internship faculty supervisor during the internship experience. Students registering for an internship experience will receive a complete book of instructions with required forms and assignments. The cost of the internship experience is based on that particular year’s costs per credit hour (12 total) established by the university.
Several options are available for field experience. While students may participate in volunteer positions to meet the requirements, the majority of students elect to participate in paid experience opportunities. While taking courses in the major, students will be instructed on the application procedures for both federal and state land management agencies. Help sessions are held at select times throughout each year and students have the opportunity to participate in federal and state job fairs and interview sessions sponsored by both the university and the Parks & Recreation Department.
A partial listing of agencies and links to where our students typically find practicums, internships and full time work are provided in Careers.