Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Practicum - Experiential Education

My Practicum (PS 450/460) class meets for the entire academic year.  This makes SMC unique as most other colleges/universities only have a one semester Practicum.  Students are out in the community for 8 - 10 hours each week and then back in class for 2.5 hours for the academic year.  Both Molly Millwood and I each teach a section of this senior experiential educational class.  This year my students are at the local elementary school, the middle school, an alternative high school, a senior citizen housing complex, the Department of Children and Families, the Howard Center (working with adult schizophrenics) and at Women Helping Battered Women - one of the many skills they learn in Practicum is how to make OBJECTIVE observations as opposed to subjective observations.  They HAVE to be able to observe people's appearance and behavior for any signs of "differences" - potential abuse, warning signs, etc.  We spent some time in class yesterday learning these skills and the pictures show them in discussion about why objective observations are SO important in the field of counseling.  this is only my second meeting with this group but they already are impressing me.....that is not always an easy thing to do.