Three credit hours of a practicum or internship are required of all communication majors. Most internships and practicums are coordinated by Clark McMillion. If you have questions regarding an internship or practicum, please contact Professor McMillion during his office hours, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Monday and Wednesdays (573 Lucas Hall; Phone: (314) 516-6724; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). More information is available here.
Practicums can be taken at the junior level. Practicums are on campus, working for such organizations or units as University Admissions, Alumni Relations, Sports Communication, The Current, Student Activities, or University Marketing and Communications. Practicums can be taken for 1, 2, or 3 credits in a semester. A practicum student should work 150 hours for 3 credits (approximately 10 hours a week for a regular fall or spring semester). The number of practicums available for students is limited by the need of the campus organizations and units.
Internships can be taken when students are seniors and have completed most all other requirements in the major. For transfer students at least 12 hours in Communication courses should have been completed at UMSL before registering for an internship. Internships are usually off campus and involve working for a radio station, TV station, public relations firm, advertising agency, promotions and or PR for local organizations, video production business, newspaper and other communication related organizations.
Potential internship sites are listed in 590 Lucas and in CareerKeys on the Career Services website. You should consider several sites. Students are allowed to find internship sites not listed at the above places only with the approval of the internship coordinator. Students are never allowed to use their current jobs as an internship. Approved internship sites should be open to any and all applicants. Some internships are paid but most are not. You should never start your internship before you have registered for the class. For unpaid internships the organization you work for could be in violation of federal and state minimum wage laws if you start working before you are officially registered. Internships require 150 hours of work. Students may register for up to 6 hours of internship credit. 50 additional hours are required for each additional credit hour. No more than 6 hours of internship can count towards the 36 hours needed for the major.
Internships and practicums are available for Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
1. Contact the site for which you would like to work. All sites require you to apply, so having a resume and cover letter is important.
2. Set up an interview with the site. Make sure to dress professionally. Be prepared to provide the site with a resume. You may also be asked to provide examples of your work.
3. If you are accepted, you and your site supervisor should fill out and sign the contract form and return the form to the Professor McMillion before the beginning of the semester or very soon after the semester starts. You will not be registered until you have used the consent number to enroll and paid all necessary fees. You should not begin the internship/practicum before you are registered for the class!!
4. After receiving and approving the contract, the coordinator will give you the permission number that you can use to register for the course.
5. Read the course syllabus and follow its directions.
1. A mid-term report is required. The report should discuss your activities during the first part of the semester. You should write about your progress and evaluation of your experiences. With the report you need to turn in a time sheet which lists all the hours you have worked. The report should include a detailed proposal for your final project. The papers should be 1-2 pages. The typed reports are due midway through your practicum or internship. The internship coordinator will email you with the exact due-dates, which are usually the 7th week of the semester. This report can be submitted by email, but you should keep a copy for your records because it should be a part of the final packet that you submit at the end of your practicum/internship.
2. Final Project, Paper and Major-Field Assessment test: The final project should represent work done during the internship/practicum. It should reflect the best work you have done. Submit examples of your work, such as video or audio tapes, articles, promotional work. Discuss your project with the site supervisor. The project will be evaluated on the basis of content, creativity, appearance, potential impact, and professional image. Include with the final project a short paper (2-3 pages) that discusses your internship/practicum as a learning experience. You should critique and evaluate the overall value of the internship at the site you have selected. As part of the department's assessment test you need to apply a communication theory to the internship experience. This part of the paper should be at least two pages (500 words).
3. You will also need to submit or have sent to the internship coordinator a form and an evaluation letter with a recommended grade. This letter should be written by your site supervisor.
4. You will need to turn in a final time sheet along with the final project, papers, and evaluation letter. This sheet should list all hours, duties within each time frame, and an hourly total. The internship coordinator will e-mail you the due date during the semester, which is typically the last week of the semester.
5. Turn in all materials (the final project and paper, evaluation letters, time sheets, etc.) to Clark McMillion's office or mailbox (590 Lucas). NO FAXES OR EMAILS!!
- Mid-term report 20%
- Final Project and Paper 40%
- Site supervisor letter 40% (please note that the site supervisor provides only a recommendation, only a UMSL faculty member can assign an official grade)