The Child Studies (CSTU) program has three required third and fourth year practica in the areas of children and families. An important course that prepares students to go into practicum is Principles of Program Design for Children (FRHD*2040) offered in winter of the second year of study. It is within this course that students prepare to be placed in a practicum site that corresponds with their interests and learning objectives
In third year, CSTU majors take Practicum I: Child (FRHD*3200) and work together in a team to plan, implement, and evaluate creative activities for young children at the on-campus Child Care and Learning Centre.
In fourth year, CSTU majors may:
- Work as a student teacher in primary and secondary classrooms
- Assist in planning and implementing a parent group for parents with learning difficulties
- Implement activities with individual preschool children with autism
- Work with at risk children in community drop-in centres
- Support families from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds in a community prevention program that helps adults and children connect with others in their neighbourhood and link them with the broader community
- Plan and implement individual sessions with children, under the supervision of a Speech and Language Pathologist, to improve their speech and language skills
- Work with preschoolers to identify areas of developmental delay and create intervention strategies
- Work in group homes with at risk children
In the fourth year of study, students take come together to take two practicum courses, Practicum II: Child (FRHD*4330) in the fall and Practicum III: Child (FRHD*4350) in the winter. Students may have two placements in different organizations or opt for a two-semester placement with a single organization in which they can enhance and advance their learning and practice. Students are placed in educational facilities or within a range of human service organizations serving children and youth. The practicum experience provides students an opportunity to work alongside professionals, receive ongoing feedback and supervision. It is this experience that enables students to integrate what they learn in the in the classroom with professional practice.
Students must have the consent of the practicum coordinator or designate to take practicum courses. Once the intention to register for the practicum is confirmed, the Practicum Coordinator matches students with the available placement. In order to take the practicum course, students must get a course waiver signed to register for the course and submit all required documentation for their particular placements (including, but not limited to, police check with vulnerable sector query, immunization records, etc.). The practicum coordinator communicates about these requirements with students in the summer prior to the fall and winter placements. Sometimes students decide to study part time or take courses out of sequence. It is essential that students who do so be in touch with the practicum coordinator.