Information for CMAT 249
Public Relations Practicum
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CMAT 249 is a 2-credit core course requirement for all students
who declare the Journalism/Public Relations (J/PR) track in
Practicum is a "mini-internship" which gives students the
opportunity to gain professional experience in an area of
interest in the journalism and/or public relations field.
Students will learn the day-to-day operations in a specific
professional context and have the opportunity to grow as
professionals and to further nurture the skills necessary to
succeed in a career in that area.
In order to apply for Practicum, students must declare CMAT as
their major and J/PR as their track (it must be
indicated in Gullnet). Students must also have earned
a grade of C or better (a grade must be recorded in Gullnet) for
CMAT 240 (Introduction to Journalism & Public Relations) in
order to apply.
After meeting the above prerequisites, students complete a
Practicum Application with their academic advisors during a
program planning meeting (these meetings are required each
October & March). The application gives students a chance to
share their career aspirations, the semester in which they
desire a Practicum, and their projected graduation date.
The Practicum Director reviews all applications, and based on
student aspirations/needs and the availability of relevant
Practicum sites, identifies the best place (on-campus, or if the
student has transportation, in the community) for the student to
engage in Practicum.
There are approximately 35-40 Practicum students placed each
semester at over 25-30 pre-approved and supervised Practicum
Once the Practicum Director matches students with relevant
Practicum sites, students are contacted via campus e-mail with
their placement information (including information about the
site and the supervisor).
Students then contact their prospective Practicum Supervisor and
complete a face-to-face interview. Following successful
completion of the interview, they negotiate a working contract
After the Practicum Director reviews and approves the contract,
students are given registration directions. Once students
officially register (via Gullnet), they are invited to
orientation class sessions for the semester in which they are
placed for their Practicum.
In addition to being mentored at the Practicum site, the "class"
of Practicum students each semester meets periodically with the
Practicum Director for instruction and guidance.
Practicum students complete a substantive graded written
mid-term and final project, and Site Supervisors submit written
evaluations of the students to the Practicum Director which are
assessed as part of the final course grade.
Students must complete one Practicum (for two credits), earning
a grade of C or better, as part of their graduation
requirements. The 2-credit experience must reflect at least 90
hours of work.
Students are not expected to have expertise in a
particular area, but are expected to have interest and
enthusiasm about gaining practical experience outside of a
traditional classroom environment .
For J/PR students who are interested in earning credit for an
Internship (CMAT 495), earning a C or better in CMAT 249 is one
of the pre-requisites. A Practicum and Internship cannot take
place at the same site.