Gerontology minor students should enroll in Arts & Sciences 492, Field Practicum in Aging, for 3 credits (except in rare and specific cases, students enroll only after completing the 3 required core courses and the 6 credits of electives). The program director or adviser can provide a consent to enroll. Planning for a practicum should be initiated 6-8 weeks in advance of the beginning of a semester due to the time needed to set up arrangements with a field site appropriate to the student’s interests. A formal Field Placement Agreement is signed by the Site Supervisor, the Campus Supervisor, the student, and a UMKC official representing the Curators of the University of Missouri. Students are expected to devote a total of 150 hours to the practicum. Due to the work schedule of the student, supervisor, or the agency, completion of the 150 hours sometimes extends beyond the confines of one semester. While this is acceptable, all parties must be apprised if the timetable will extend beyond one semester. Students should be aware that an “incomplete” will be registered on the student’s transcript until the hours are fulfilled and all requirements as described below have been met.
Activities and Hours
The student is to fulfill a time commitment of 150 clock/contact hours (an average of 10 hours per week). These should be spent in the varied activities of the Practicum site or required university assignments as established and negotiated among the Site Supervisor, the Campus Supervisor and the student—initially through a learning contract with specific objectives and goals for the experience. Up to 10% of the hours (15) can be fulfilled through the reflective journaling activity described below.
Specific activities that will form the basis of the evaluation of the student are as follows:
- A reflective journal: this provides the chance to hone documentation skills (important to any job), demonstrates to one’s supervisor the judgment exercised within the assigned activities, and shows application of the student’s studies in gerontology to real life. The Campus Supervisor and student may agree to use the journal feature of Blackboard for submission of weekly or bi-weekly entries if considered most convenient. The reflective journal should include:
a. A record of the number of hours/times, and dates dedicated to all practicum-related activities;
b. An objective description of location, people, and activity in which the student is engaged;
c. Reflections on the value of the activity for the agency and for the student;
d. Identification of the gerontological issues that are apparent in the activity;
e. References to concepts, theories, research, interventions, resources, etc. which may be cited (APA form is not necessary), that demonstrate how the student’s class work, learning, reading, discussions, may be applied to and/or integrated into practice;
f. Content in narrative form with attention to grammar, spelling, and readability.
- Performance evaluation by site supervisor and student: The Practicum Evaluation Form is available from the Campus Supervisor and should be completed by both the Site Supervisor and the student when the program requirements are completed. Typically, the student and Site Supervisor discuss this evaluation. It is the student’s responsibility to submit this to the Campus Supervisor, who will evaluate the full performance of the student and issue a grade
Grading of the Practicum will be based on the following:
|• Planning, communication, goal-setting:|
• Reflective Journal:
• Site Supervisor Evaluation:
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