Practicums


Practicums are work-integrated courses offered by the Faculty of Information designed to provide students with hands-on experience in their field. The program is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their field and develop professional practice and conduct.


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MI Practicum Program

The Faculty of Information offers two practicum opportunities: INF2173H and INF2158H. Once enrolled, students choose from the practicum placement list the host organization for which they will complete the course requirements. The choice is to be made freely, with the consultation with the course instructor and the Careers Office, so that the program can best reflect the students’ interests and options.

For a detailed description and the syllabus of the two practicum courses please click the following links:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Are practicums paid opportunities?

Normally, MI practicums are unpaid. In exceptional cases, partners/employers may offer a paid practicum project. All practicum projects, whether they are unpaid or paid, must first go through a review and approval process to ensure they meet the practicum course requirements. Please note the distinction below between an unpaid and paid practicum (Source: Student Placements — Office of the Vice-Provost, Students).

    • Students on placements who are receiving wages from their placement employers are considered to be on paid placements and should be treated as any other worker employed by the placement employer. Students should have employee contracts with their employers and the responsibilities of the employer and the student should be clearly defined.
    • Students on placements receiving no funds from their placement employers or who are receiving stipends, honorariums or reimbursements are considered to be on unpaid placements. A placement agreement should be in place as it provides a detailed framework for the relationship between the University, placement site and student. Further documentation is required to secure workplace insurance and confirm the responsibilities of all parties.

If you are interested in submitting a practicum project and learning more about the requirements, submission and approval process, please email the Careers Office.

Q. What are some examples of practicums? What kind of projects are students typically involved with?

The Faculty of Information hosts a virtual exhibition of past practicum projects by iSchool students. Please view this page.

A few past practicum examples include:

      • Aurora Museum & Archives (ARM): Confirm inventory of records that have been transferred to the Archive from the Records Department, Enter record locations into Laserfiche, Create an Excel sheet that lists the record, its contents and location, etc.
      • BeMused Network (UXD): The student will have an opportunity to help develop a series of workshops and learning resources to help introduce design thinking to arts organizations that want to adopt it as a practice.
      • City of Toronto (CIPS): Research on Authoritative Source (framework) {for records and data}, Develop straw model/statement, Present model to senior management, Set direction for draft policy/directive, See attached slide deck for more information.
      • Forests Ontario (LIS/C&T): Research, record and analyze web, social media, and database data, Present research data analysis in a presentation to staff and with a report.
      • Museum of Health Care at Kingston (LIS): The Museum of Health Care has a reference library which, in its current state, is incompletely inventoried, disorganized, and generally lacking in care and attention. The practicum student will complete a full inventory of our library, will identify subject headings, will classify/catalogue and label each item according to current standards, will make recommendations, in consultation with the Curator, for items to be transferred from the reference library to the permanent collection, will design and create finding aids and categorized listings of our holdings.
      • Women’s College Hospital (ISD): This practicum will require the student to: Conduct a Needs Assessment through collaborative consultation with diverse stakeholders within the Hospital, Conduct an Environmental scan by critically evaluating the education websites of local hospitals, Design the framework for a creative, innovative and effective website and intranet page for learners and their clinical supervisors.
      • The Bishop Strachan School (LIS, UXD): We would like an audit to investigate how well (or not) our policies, procedures, services and resources reflect and serve our community with respect to diversity, equity and inclusivity. This might involve investigations into our collection and catalogue, our online presence, our interactions with patrons, our ways of organizing and making resources available, our department meetings, our communications to patrons, and/or our signage; We would like to review and possibly expand our database and electronic resource collection to insure that we have the best possible, academic resources available for our students and faculty. We would like our e-resources to better support our rigorous and sophisticated programs.
      • Kids Help Phone (KMIM): Research and consult with various community organizations, agencies, stakeholders, and governments to identify and gather suitable resources for inclusion in Kids Help Phone’s Community Resource Database; Create, enter, and update records in the CRD according to Information and Referral Standards and the AIRS/211 LA County Taxonomy; Oversee a variety of solicitation methods and processes, including Automated Verification, telephone and email, that the CRD team used to confirm the accuracy and completeness of record information; Perform queries of the CRD to assists in the development of required internal or external reports; Develop indices and other finding aids to support use of the CRD for internal and external stakeholders, May participate in projects and other activities as assigned.

Eligibility Requirements

Practicum course eligibility requirements.
INF2173H — Information Professional Practicum INF2158H — Management of Corporate and other Special Information Centres
Pre-requisites
  • At least four (4) required courses in your concentration in addition to INF1005H and INF1006H Information Workshops
  • Open only to second year students
  • INF1321H or INF1322H or INF1323H or INF1324H
  • Open only to second year students
Time Commitment 105 Hours 45 Hours
Typical Offering Offered in Winter and Summer Terms Offered in Fall Term only

PLEASE NOTE:

    • Students that are in 2 terms of Co-op are not eligible to take a practicum.
    • MI students are only eligible to take up to 2 terms of work-integrated learning opportunities for academic credit in the following combination:
      • 2 terms of Co-op
      • 1 term of Co-op + 1 practicum
      • 2 practicas

How and When to Enroll

    • Enroll into the course during the course enrollment periods.
    • Students can choose from a list of available projects once they are in the practicum course.
    • Students may also seek practicums on their own—however, the project must first be approved by the Careers Office.

BI Practicum

The BI Practicum course prepares students for the demands of today’s changing workforce by strengthening and supplementing the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom in the real work setting. Students complete 100 hours towards a dedicated project in diverse sectors. The Practicum encourages networking and supports work-readiness and development of professional competencies.