Practicum Overview and Key Responsibilities

The Practicum Program is a zero-credit experiential learning opportunity at CWRU coordinated by The Career Center,  which provides students with opportunities to develop and enhance skills, insights, and knowledge. The desired learning outcome of the Practicum is intellectual, professional, and personal growth in an area related to a student's academic and career goals. Practicum students enroll in course sections for the semester in which they are on assignment (either full-time—40 hours/week or part-time—20 hours/week). Part-time participants are still expected to enroll in credit-bearing coursework.

The information on this webpage is also available as a downloadable PDF for you to save and share with faculty advisors and supervisors.

Learning Outcomes for Students

  • Integrate academic theory with practical experience in a professional field of interest
  • Clarify career goals
  • Develop content specific and transferable skills
  • Establish mentoring relationships with professionals in a career field of interest
  • Build a professional network

Benefits to Employers

  • Utilize the ideas, skills and talent of bright young students over extensive time period
  • Contribute to the development of the future workforce in your field
  • Recruit and evaluate potential employees
  • Increase brand recognition on campus

Components of the Practicum Program

  • Learning Objectives—Students create two to three learning objectives for the practicum experience. These goals must be approved by the Faculty Advisor and shared with the Practicum Supervisor.
  • Mid-point and Final Evaluations—Students complete self-evaluations at the mid-point and end of the practicum experience. Practicum Supervisors also evaluate students at these times. The evaluations will be sent to students via email with specific due dates. These evaluations should be based on the student's progress towards achieving the learning objectives.
  • Reflection Paper—At the end of the experience, students are required to write a reflection paper and upload the paper to Handshake. The format, design, and content of the reflection should be agreed upon between the Faculty Advisor and the student. Some advisors may ask students to submit weekly or monthly reports; others ask for a comprehensive reflection at the end of the experience.

Key Responsibilities

Students, faculty advisors and employers/supervisors each have key responsibilities to ensure the successful completion of the Practicum program.

  • Meet with Practicum Coordinator in the Career Center one semester prior to intended practicum term
  • Attend a mandatory Practicum workshop (if applicable)
  • Email copy of the offer letter to the Practicum Coordinator before accepting the offer
  • Meet with academic advisor to discuss how practicum would affect graduation timeline
  • Identify a Faculty member to serve as your advisor and to help you create appropriate learning objectives. Be sure to share a job description.
  • Visit Office of Financial Aid, Housing, and ISS (if applicable) to review logistics of participating in program
  • Create learning objectives and share them with your Faculty Advisor for approval. Once fully approved, upload them into Handshake and notify the Practicum Coordinator
  • Fill out Practicum Form in Handshake
  • Register for non-credit practicum course and receive class permit from Practicum Coordinator (all done in SIS)
  • International Students:  Complete CPT paperwork and submit to VISA office
  • Complete a mid-term and final evaluation
  • Complete final Reflection Paper and updated resume, uploading each into Handshake
  • Keep in touch with Faculty Advisor, as needed, through reflection assignments
  • Ensure all steps have been completed and that you will receive transcript notation
Faculty Advisors
  • Meet with practicum student to discuss program requirements and positions under consideration
  • Assist student with creating learning objectives, ensuring that they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely
  • Review learning objectives and email approval to Practicum Coordinator
  • Be available to the student/employer to discuss student performance throughout the Practicum experience
  • Review both the student and employer evaluations to monitor student progress on learning objectives
  • Provide guidance on content of reflection paper and review upon completion
  • Assign grade in SIS (PASS/NO PASS) for the experience
  • Register your company or organization with Handshake and include the primary contact for the organization
  • Ensure that the student has a supervisor who can provide information about company policies, expectations, key contacts, and feedback
  • Review the practicum student’s learning objectives prior to the start of his or her employment with your company
  • Provide an orientation for the student that covers the following areas:
    • Facility tour
    • Worksite policies and procedures
    • The organizational structure
    • The office culture
    • Introduction to co-workers
  • Support a possible site visit from the Practicum Coordinator during the semester. Coordinator will contact you to schedule the site visit
  • Conduct a midpoint and endpoint evaluation of the practicum student (evaluation will be emailed). Share your evaluation with the student so that he or she can gain valuable feedback

Practicum-Internship Comparison

There are important differences between Practicum experiences and internships.




Eligible students

Students enrolled in CAS, WSOM, Nursing, Entrepreneurial ventures (undergrad & grad)


Duration Minimum 11 weeks (early ID programs 6 week minimum)
(FT: 40 hours/week | PT: 20 hours/week)

Typically 8 weeks (part-time or full-time), but can vary

Class Standing

First-year through graduate students


GPA Requirement

Minimum of 2.5


Transcript Notation

Yes, upon completion (pass/no pass)



Registration in SIS required



Paid or unpaid, but typically paid

Paid or unpaid


Learning Objectives, midpoint and final evaluation, reflection paper(s)

Learning Objectives suggested

For more information about the Practicum Program, please contact Emily Weaver, International Student Career Specialist, at 216.368.4446 or You may also consult our Practicum FAQs page.