Practicum and Research Experience | Gerontology | SIU

Southern Illinois University




College of Education and Human Services


Practicum and Research Experience

At the outset of the Practicum, a field learning plan will be established. This will include an “individualized learning plan”, goals to be accomplished and objectives. The areas for which goals should be established will include the following:

  • Orientation to agency’s mission, target clients, organization, funding sources, policies, management and administration.

  • Planning and intervention strategies consistent with the student’s area of expertise.

  • Orientation to the worker’s role within the agency, specific to gerontology.

  • Evaluation strategy to evaluate the impact of program intervention and or policy initiatives undertaken within the practicum.

  • A practicum may be supervised by a faculty within a different department than the student’s major department. If this is the case, the initial paperwork must be approved within the student’s home department and copies of all materials related to the contract must kept within the student’s file within the advisement office.

  • How do we differentiate hours from a practicum within one’s program, and the Certificate?

  • Practicums will consist of either three credit hours (150 contact hours) or 6 credit hours (300 contact hours).

  • Students may be involved in locating their practicum site. Generally some negotiation should occur between the faculty member and student to find a site that will meet the student’s interest and learning goals.

  • Practicum experiences can be offered each semester. If the appropriate call number for a practicum does not exist, students can register for an Independent Study with the appropriate number of credit hours.

These areas will be developed through a written plan, and monitored by a field liaison person, assigned by the Gerontology Advisory Board.

It is expected that the liaison visits the practicum site at least three times during the course of the practicum. These visits include: prior to commencement, at the midpoint of the practicum, and when nearing completion.

It is also possible to complete a research project focusing on aging instead of a practicum experience.  This project should be conducted under the advisement of a faculty member with expertise in the area of aging (approved by the Gerontology Advisory Board).