2016 Grace College public relations practicum information

Thank you for considering partnering with the Grace College public relations class. Please read the below for information about the public relations practicum. If you would like to participate this round, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Deadline to sign up for a student worker: October 16, 2016


Course start date: October 18, 2016
Course end date: December 15, 2016

Rationale: Believing that the best education is one that is honed with real world experiences, these practicums are set up to match each student in the Grace College Public Relations Principles course with a partner in the local community. For 8 weeks, starting on October 18, the student will work with their assigned partner to facilitate some aspect of Public Relations. These are un-paid opportunities for students and are meant to be mutually beneficial for all involved.

Supervisor expectations: Those business owners/administrators/employees overseeing each partnership are the supervisors. Supervisor roles are: assigning project(s), critiquing where necessary, offering feedback, making suggestions, and generally help the student to see their work through the eyes of an organization that has to manage budgets and real world issues. At the end of the 8 week session, you will "grade" the student on their effort, work quality, attitude, work ethic, responsibility, etc.

Projects: Ideally, students are working on something related to building your organization's relation with the public. Sample projects might be creation of a newsletter, shooting and editing a video, helping to plan an event, helping with facets of social media, or some other project. Note: busy work is discouraged.

The goals are twofold. First, that organizations benefit from having someone to help with whatever project is in process. Secondly, students will learn from the experience and see a little bit about what real-life public relations is and consider some of the aspects that businesses need to be concerned with as they work toward developing a greater public presence and perception.

What to expect: Students have been assigned organizations based on each locations expressed need, and each student's expressed interest. Not every match is perfect, but there should be enough overlap to allow a successful project to occur.

On the first week of class, students will be contacting their assigned organization to set up an initial appointment. At this appointment, you should get acquainted with your student(s), go over project ideas, and arrange times for them to work with you. In order to earn the credit for this class, I ask that each student spend 3-5 hours per week working with their organization. This does not need to be on-site activity: much work might be done from their dorm room with only periodic face-to-face meetings for evaluation and instruction. You should also feel free to use Skype, phone calls, Facebook, or whatever method of communication is least intrusive for you as a professional. If you prefer face-to-face meetings, then students will have to abide by those expectations.

Things to consider: I repeatedly tell the students that this is an opportunity for them to display professionalism, and that professionalism is expected in all cases. As a professional, you, the practicum supervisor, are doing Grace College a favor by letting students intrude on your professional life. I want students to appreciate that and be as little burden as possible. This means that students will work around your schedule. They are to show up at meetings prepared and on time. They are to respect the task given them and the access to any potentially sensitive information. They are to give this project first priority in their academic life.

At the end: By the end of the 8-week session, students will ideally have completed something they can point to as evidence of their work for you, their organization. Several small projects would be fine. 

Towards the end of the session, I will send out an evaluation form that asks a few simple questions about how the project went. Please fill this out and evaluate the practicum and the students' work. 40% of their grade in this class depends on how well they work for you.

If there are problems: As stated above, I expect professionalism and a good work ethic from each student in this course. 90% of the time, this is what I get. Inevitably, however, there are students who do not make this opportunity a priority and put little effort into their work. If you feel that your assigned student is not pulling their weight, you should feel free to address it with them. I, as professor of the course, will stand behind you 100%. Or, if you prefer, you may contact me and I will address the issue with the student.

After it is over: If your session with students was purposeful, and you enjoyed working with him/her/them, there is a possibility to continue the relationship through Grace College's applied learning department. Continuation is not required on your part. Any continuation is beyond the scope of this class and would be arranged with the student(s) and by contacting Randy Polston at the contact information below.
Randy Polston
Director of Applied Learning, Grace College
office: 574-372-5100 x6416

My Contact information
Patrick Loebs
Assistant Professor of Communication, Grace College
office: 574-372-5100 x6096
mobile: 612-209-0160

PR partner information form