All McBride students need to fulfill a three-credit "Practicum,” which emphasizes cultural immersion and engagement in the world of public affairs. The practicum is similar to an independent study, but with a twist. The goal of the course is for you to pursue a worthwhile experiential learning opportunity – that is, to “learn by doing.”
Essentially, you will be challenged to learn by immersing yourself in an unfamiliar cultural context. You have many options to develop an individualized study program that facilitates your own personal, intellectual, and professional goals. Possibilities include: studying or interning abroad, engaging in research in science or public affairs, learning through service to your community, working as an intern in a way that interfaces the public, and many other options.
The goal is for you to think outside the box and to:
• Research and identify an opportunity that facilitates your own goals
• Fulfill the equivalent of three academic credits in Honors
• Develop a plan for completion, including timetable and budget
• Learn by doing … and exploring!
McBride is committed to helping students pursue amazing opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of CSM alumni and supporters, the program is able to offer Honors Enrichment Awards to defray extra costs associated with the practicum.
The requirements and options for completing the Practicum are explained in each of the Practicum Pathway Agreements below.
For a quick overview, consult the Practicum Pathways Chart
Detailed instructions and expectations are outlines on each of the Practicum Contracts below:
Foreign Area Study (Practicum Agreement #1)
Study abroad for a year, semester, or summer.
Public Affairs Internship (Practicum Agreement #2)
Work with a governmental or non governmental agency that interfaces with the public.
STEM Research (Practicum Agreement #3)
Work in an academic program in science, technology, engineering or math.
Supplementary Humantities or Social Sciences Coursework (Practicum Agreement #4)
An educational program outside the the CSM curriculum, such as an intensive language program, summer archaeological field school, semester in DC, National Collegiate Honors Council semester program, Semester at Sea, etc.
Community Engagement through Service Learning (Practicum Agreement #5)
Honors course that combines volunteering with a local community organization and studying about social issues such as poverty and privilege.
Independent Study: Directed Research (Practicum Agreement #6)
Directed independent research project in such fields as history, literature, policy, sociology, or other areas.
Students may complete the Practicum any time that meshes with their commitments and goals, but the Practicum projects must be completed by the end of the Fall semester of the senior year. Most students will typically follow a timeline that looks like this:
• Freshman year (spring): students apply to McBride and receive acceptance notifications.
• Sophomore year (fall): students enroll in HNRS 305, in which they work to identify viable pathways and deliver a preliminary proposal for their Practicum projects.
• Sophomore year (spring): Practicum Agreements should be submitted to the program by April 15 (or before).
• Junior year: most students will complete their Practicum projects sometime between the summer after their sophomore year and the summer preceding their senior year (although some students will complete the Practicum during the sophomore year).
• Senior year (fall): by the end of the Fall semester of the senior year, all students must have completed their Practicum projects and earned grades of B or better.
To learn more about what some McBride students have done, see the McBride newsletters or Recent Recipients page of the McBride website.