COMS 407 Practicum
Practicum refers to a course of study in which you apply your learned skills or knowledge – you put them into practice. In other words, it is a project or duty where you apply your skills and learning.
NIU Catalog Description
COMS 407 PRACTICUM (1-3). Experience in the cocurricular forensics and individual events programs, the classroom, organizational settings, research activities, and the media. May be taken for or repeated to a maximum of 3 semester hours. Majors, minors, and approved others only. S/U grading.
There are two main types of practicums, called “407” for short:
- working with a communication department instructor or professor in some manner
- joining Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
Typically, you would approach a communication department instructor/professor whom you know and would want to work with. Inquire if they could offer COMS 407 credit or if they need certain work done. There is a large variety of what this could be.
- Teaching assistant – help an instructor with their course(s)
- Research assistant – help professors gather research
- Forensics – coaching, tutoring, assistance related to the Forensics program
- Event planning
- Lab attendant – monitor media labs in the department, assist students
- Production assistant – if available, assist a professor on a media project
If you are interested in PR, PRSSA could be a good group to join. It’s a national organization, so there are membership dues, but it’s also a membership that looks good for employers and may help you prepare for a career.
How to add COMS 407 credit
Option 1: working with a communication department instructor or professor
- Contact the instructor to discuss the credit. If they agree to offer you practicum credit, then proceed to step 2.
- Complete the 407 Permission Form.
- You and the instructor must sign the permission form.
- Bring the signed and completed form to Nathan Rice, undergraduate office specialist in Watson Hall 209. He will later add you to the credit. Note: it is your responsibility to resolve any issues which may prevent enrollment, including holds on your account or needing overload permission from your academic college.
- Monitor MyNIU to make sure you are enrolled in the 407 credit for that semester. If you experience any issues, please contact Nathan Rice at email@example.com or in Watson Hall 209.
Option 2: joining PRSSA
PRSSA: See above for link. You must attend the first meetings of PRSSA. The group’s leaders or faculty adviser should be available to explain their process for adding COMS 407 credit.
- Experiential Learning
Laura Vazquez, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Watson Hall 213
Watson Hall 217