Frequently Asked Questions

A practicum is an experiential learning arrangement between the employer, the student and the practicum faculty advisor in conjunction with the Career Center. The program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and the Weatherhead School of Management, and for students pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. You will earn transcript notation (pass/no pass) for part-time or full-time workplace experience in conjunction with the completion of a learning agreement during the academic year (fall, spring and summer semesters). The primary goal of this active learning experience is for you to expand your intellectual, professional and personal growth in an area related to your academic and career goals.

Who is eligible to participate?

In order to participate:

  • You must be a declared major in either the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering or Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU.
  • Your GPA must be 2.5 or greater and in good academic standing.
  • You must have completed 60 credit hours before starting your assignment (30 completed credit hours for a transfer student).
  • You must be able to work full-time for a minimum of six consecutive weeks during the academic year. This requirement only applies to early identification programs and first-year international students.
  • You must be eligible to work in the country of placement.
Why should I participate in a practicum?

Your career does not suddenly begin after your senior year. It is out there right now for you to explore. By participating in the practicum program, you can sharpen your skills, begin a network of employer contacts, assess your strengths and test classroom theories in a real-world setting. There will never be a better time in your life to explore your intended career path and reflect on your academic learning. Students who participate in the practicum program:

  • gain practical knowledge
  • enhance academic knowledge
  • explore and clarify career goals
  • develop written and oral communication skills
  • promote personal and professional growth
  • acquire job search skills
  • establish professional connections with employers
  • improve career possibilities upon graduation
Does applying guarantee me an assignment?

No. The Career Center will make job referrals that will provide you with employer contacts. It is not realistic to think that all referrals will always lead to offers. The practicum program is designed to assist you in your search and teach you valuable job search skills. There are ways to maximize your chances of getting a position by participating in this program, producing a high quality resume and perfecting interviewing techniques.

What are the steps involved to becoming a successful practicum student?
  • Complete your profile information on Handshake.
  • Create a marketable resume and have it reviewed by a Career Center professional.
  • Upload and publish your resume on Handshake.
  • Research companies of interest.
  • Participate in a mock interview.
  • Draft a learning agreement and share this with your Practicum advisor.
  • Obtain approval from your faculty advisor.
  • Complete your learning agreement objectives.
  • Discuss your employer evaluation with your Practicum supervisor.
  • Send a thank you letter to the employing organization.
How do I research prospective employers?

There are many guides in the Accenture Career Resource Library in 229 Sears Building for researching organizations. In addition, there are some great online resources available to you as a Case student. If you would like assistance with researching viable organizations, make an appointment to see a career counselor in the Career Center.

You can also review the following resources:

  • International Career Employment Weekly - an online newsletter about international job announcements
  • Resources for students seeking internships, practica, co-ops
  • Associated Western Universities - Internships and fellowship programs for business, science and engineering students, graduates and faculty
  • Students.gov - A student gateway to U.S. government services and information
What are some of the fees and financial aid concerns as a practicum student?
Students are not charged tuition for the semester they are on assignment. They are charged an administrative fee of $100 for a part-time opportunity, and $250 for a full-time opportunity. The fee will be billed directly to the student's account. Students are encouraged to meet with financial aid prior to registering for the practicum. In most cases, students' financial aid is not altered.
What about healthcare while on assignment?

While you are at your practicum assignment, you are automatically charged a fee for the Case Medical Plan. As in the past, if you have your own insurance coverage, you may elect to waive the Case Medical Plan by completing and returning the Medical Plan waiver form to University Health Service. Although you are officially a full-time student while at your practicum assignment, you are not automatically eligible to use the services provided by the University Health Service and the University Counseling Service because you are not enrolled for credit hours. Even if you decided to remain on the Case Medical Plan, you cannot automatically access the University Health Service and University Counseling Service. If you would like to have access to these services, you may purchase a student health plan from Case. Please note that you may not purchase the services individually or on a "per visit" basis. If you have questions about the Case Medical Plan, please contact University Health Service.

Is there a Housing and Residence Life policy for practicum students?

During the practicum, students may live at home, remain on-campus or find housing near their assignment. If you choose to live on campus, the Office of Housing, Residence Life & Greek Life will bill you for room and board. The Office of Housing and Residence Life prepares mailings twice a year for practicum students that are on assignments. The information pertains to on-campus housing arrangements when you return from your practicum assignment. Generally, this information is sent out in February and November.

How do I enroll in Practicum?
  1. Make an appointment with the Career Center to discuss your eligibility for Practicum. Do not accept an offer until you have met with the Career Center.
  2. Once you receive an offer, email a copy of the offer letter to Brian Matthews, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning, for review.
    1. The offer letter must include your start and end date, indicate that it is full time (40 hours/week) or part-time (20 hours/week), and include the street address of the office where you will be working.
  3. Schedule an appointment with Brian Matthews in the Career Center to enroll. Enrollment includes:
    1. Completing the Practicum Profile and learning objectives on Handshake through MyCareer.
    2. Identifying a faculty advisor.
    3. Sharing your learning objectives with your faculty advisor and your work supervisor. This is your learning contract with your employer.
    4. Registering for the course after it is created by the Career Center.
    5. International students: Practicum is a university-sponsored experiential learning program; international students are eligible to work via curricular practical training (CPT).
    6. Enrollment is defined as registering for the course on SIS by the semester enrollment deadline (dates listed below).
When do I enroll in Practicum?

Students interested in Practicum should enroll during the semester prior to the semester in which they wish to work. For instance, if you wish to participate in Practicum in the fall semester, you would enroll during the summer. Enrollment must be completed no later than the late registration and add/drop date (listed below).

Current enrollment deadlines by semester:

Fall 2017: September 8, 2017
Spring 2018: January 19, 2018
Summer 2018: May 18, 2018
Who do I contact for more information?

To start your practicum search, contact the Career Center at 216.368.4446 to make an appointment with your career counselor or stop by during our scheduled drop in consulting hours. When you receive your offer and are ready to start the enrollment process, please make a practicum appointment with Brian Matthews.