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Creating a Practicum – How to Develop a Program

Updated on February 3, 2013

What Will the Practicum "Do"?

© Copyright 2005

This is Section Two of a four-part HubMob Education weekly topic article about the practicum in higher education. The four parts include:

  1. What Is a Practicum? – How to Compile the Background
  2. Creating a Practicum – How to Develop a Program
  3. Using a Practicum – How to Implement a Program
  4. Evaluating a Practicum - How to Determine Its Effectiveness

Rights of Passage in Education

A Practicum Is...

Nurse Practicum Discussion & Supervision.
Nurse Practicum Discussion & Supervision.

Components of a Rite of passage

This section of a Practicum Proposal or outline lists and explains the Purpose of the practicum, the Action to be taken to start and finish the experience, any Products, Services, or Other Features that will be created or enhanced by the practical experience, and a Timeline for completing the overall project.

Here is the definition of practical from the Merriam-Wenster Dictionary form its first entrance in 15th century and still used today (BOLD emphasis is mine) :

Middle English, from Late Latin practicus, from Greek praktikos, from prassein to pass over, fare, do; akin to Greek peran to pass through. {This reminds me of a "right of passage".} --

1 - of, relating to, or manifested in practice or action : not theoretical or ideal

2 -  actively engaged in some course of action or occupation

Source: practical. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved February 13, 2009, from

Oklahoma Wildlife Action Plan

An Ineffective Action Plan (48 sec.)

Purpose and Action Plan

Purpose of Practicum

The purpose of this Practicum is to build a networking bridge between (AGENCY) and various community based organizations (CBOs) in order to provide the best possible package of reentry services to Illinois ex-felons rejoining society across the state of Illinois. This will include the services listed above and other services that are relevant. The student will help strengthen current partnerships and establish new working relationships with various interested community CBOs, with the first priorities being State IDs, bus fare and other transportation options, and counseling.

Practicum Action Plan

In preparation for this Practicum, the practitioner met with his (AGENCY) mentor/supervisor, (Name) to discuss the Practicum and plan first steps, and:

  1. Attended the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the Illinois Dept of Corrections, hosted by (local agency), (Date).
  2. Attended meetings with church leader, Reverend (Name), pastor of the (Church) who spoke of sharing his resources with (AGENCY) Specifically important in this is the (educational agency) and its Life Skills Course facilitation by (Name).
  3. Obtained contact with some heads of these related groups.
  4. Planned to schedule appointments to meet with group heads.
  5. Begun to build a network bridge of contact for (AGENCY), the church and these related CBOs in order to facilitate getting to know one other and sharing resources.

Practicum - Travel in Kazakhstan.

Practicum Trip to a City of Karaganda TSUM department store, a chain throughout Kazakhstan. Much like GUM in Moscow. Credit: tdalcher on typepad.
Practicum Trip to a City of Karaganda TSUM department store, a chain throughout Kazakhstan. Much like GUM in Moscow. Credit: tdalcher on typepad.

Next Steps

Following this, the next steps were to:

  1. Continue to attend pertinent civic community meetings on an ongoing basis. This includes the monthly CAG meetings.
  2. Obtain contact information related to the heads of various relevant groups attending civic community meetings. Concentrate on groups that can help ex-offenders with State ID’s, bus fare and transportation options, and counseling as the first three priorities.
  3. Schedule appointments to meet with these contact persons.
  4. Build a "bridge of contact" for (AGENCY), using Memoranda of Understanding between CBO’s and (AGENCY) in partnerships established or strengthened by this Practicum, forming a printed directory of CBO’s and services to be shared, and forming a database for a future Internet based directory of services and contacts available to ex-felons through (AGENCY) and its supporting network.
  5. A) Begin with contacts already established with (Church), (Church), (Church), (additional agencies), and CAG. Secure contact names and information and compose, and have signed, a Memorandum of Understanding about services offered and contact people, between each entity and (AGENCY), with help from the staff of (AGENCY). B) Add similar contact information and Memoranda of Understanding from contact List provided below. C) Prepare a database and hardcopy Directory of Services for Ex-Offenders in Microsoft Excel and Publisher that includes the information gathered in A and B above.  

A Bridge of Cooperation Contact List

The practitioner was assigned to establish a telephone calling list for establishing and maintaining working partnerships with (AGENCY) to aid ex-offenders. This was accomplished by:

1. Obtained from (AGENCY) the calling list for current and past partners.

2. Added the following contacts to the list in #1 above:

  • Community Advisory Group; Statewide Community Safety and Reentry Working Group

Governor of Illinois, Rod R. Blagojevich (contact information)

Lt. Governor Pat Quinn (contact information)

The practitioner planned to find and contact the heads of these subcommittees: Public Safety; Health and Behavioral Health; Employability, Education and Training; Housing; and the Faith Based Community.

  • Chicago Department of Public Health (contact information)

The practitioner planned to discover the health (including mental health) referral network available to ex-offenders.

  • Chicago Transit Authority (contact information)

The practitioner planned to help to arrange donated bus passes and information about transportation programs for target populations, and/or a more effective method of distributing these items.

  • Illinois Department of Human Services (contact information)


  • Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) (contact information)


  • Illinois Department of Transportation (contact information)

The practitioner investigated all transportation options available to ex-offenders in the State of Illinois. New options may present themselves in future meetings with IDOT.

  • Illinois Secretary of State (contact information)

The practitioner examined the process of obtaining State ID cards, Voter Registration, and Vehicle Registrations; and updated ex-offender information, logging each into the networking directory of services related to (AGENCY) and its partners in this specific bridge of cooperation.

  • (Organization Name) (contact information)

The mission of the (Organization) is to bring about fair and effective correctional programs that are responsive to the needs of both offenders and the general community. The association’s goals are to:

  1. Promote fair and effective prisons and jails.
  2. Promote fair and effective sentencing, including a range of intermediate sanctions (alternatives to incarceration).
  3. Monitor correctional facilities and programs in Illinois and provide information, referral and public education services.
  4. Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with organizations concerned with prisons, criminal justice, and related issues.

In support of these goals, the association's principal activities include advocacy, monitoring, policy development, public education, and information and referral services. Organization staff and members of the Board of Directors are available to address groups on topics relevant to corrections and criminal justice. This is a private, not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization. Partial support for our activities comes from foundations and trusts, some from the United Way in Chicago, but more critically from individual benefactor-advocates for the humane treatment of ex-offenders and incarcerated persons through effective uses of public funds. Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent provided by law. The practitioner sought and planned to bring the (Organization) on board for networking within the bridge of cooperation to help (AGENCY)

  • XYZ Employment Network (contact information)
  • ABC Safety Foundation (contact information)
  • Church (contact information) - The practitioner determined the current services available to ex-offenders and (AGENCY) from (Church).
  • (Mosque) (contact information) - The practitioner discovered what current services for ex-offenders and (AGENCY) are available from (Church).
  • (Local Agency) (Contact Information) - This group evolved from a protest group during the Civil Rights Era. They boycotted against discriminatory employers and confronted unresponsive public aid officials. Later, the agency purchased two service stations, a Laundromat, a fast food franchise, a working factory, and a multi-unit housing development for use in their advocacy work for nondiscrimination.

3. Added appropriate and pertinent contact persons listed below to the original list established in #1 and #2 above.

Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services and Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections co-chair the working group of a 33-member executive committee. Members include federal, state, and local leaders from Illinois involved with offender reentry. The committee includes law enforcement and corrections, local elected officials (LEOs), state officials public policy leaders, faith-based professionals, social services, substance abuse services providers, education leaders, job placement specialists, private business, housing advocates, ex-offenders, and others. The executive committee formed subcommittees to address five key issue areas to reduce recidivism among ex-offenders: Public Safety; Health and Behavioral Health; Employability, Education and Training; Housing; and Faith-Based Community.

The Illinois Governor’s Community Safety and Reentry Working Group:

(Names, Titles, and Organizations)

State Agency Contacts:

(Names, Titles, and Agencies/Divisions)

The practitioner consulted with (AGENCY) mentor and supervisor to determine which names on the above lists are more appropriate and effective to contact and can most effectively aid in networking to serve ex-offenders in Illinois.


See the next section for details related to putting the program to work at Using a Practicum – How to Implement a Program.

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