POLS 3499 & SOCI 3499:The following site contains a list of websites and links for students enrolled in Professor Bruce Peabody's Spring 2002 Practicum class.
Practicum in Politics
Practicum in Sociology
If you wish to return to Prof. Peabody's homepage,
please click here.
POLS 3499 & SOCI 3499:
NOTE: We will next meet on February 26th, as specified in your syllabus.Syllabus
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY
Please read this syllabus thoroughly and carefully -- doing so will substantially improve your ability to do well in this course and your opportunities for learning.
OUTLINE OF SYLLABUS
The Practicum is a three-credit course in either Political Science or Sociology that combines the traditional classroom setting with the practical workplace experience of an internship. Students enrolled in this course serve as interns at local political, legal, or social service organizations and agencies while reading academic literature about the sector within which they are working. The Practicum combines hands-on field experience with regular discussions about student work experiences, as well as scholarly readings and assignments appropriate for each student.
Through this course you will be exposed to possible careers in political science and sociology and you will cultivate your ability to apply academic knowledge. In addition, the Practicum should ease your eventual transition into employment – by developing invaluable professional contacts, interpersonal skills, and on- the-job experience. In class we will have presentations by different professionals who will help you to think about how to get ready for, and thrive in, the workplace, and we will develop tools to help you write a well-structured analytic essay based on your internship experiences. In short, at the end of the semester you should have a better idea of how you might translate your scholarly training into a profession.
A. The Internship
Students must work eight (8) hours per week for at least thirteen (13) weeks at an internship site selected with your instructor; past experience suggests that many employers prefer students to work in either half-day or full-day blocks of time to satisfy this requirement. Your work schedule and assignments should be designed in consultation with your supervisor.
Your supervisor will complete an end-of-semester evaluation of your performance. This evaluation will be given considerable weight in calculating your final course grade. Among other things, your supervisor will be asked if you have been fulfilling your eight-hour requirement, arriving on time, and behaving professionally. Failure to meet these obligations will result in a reduced grade, incomplete, or even a failing grade for the semester. At you discretion, you may also ask me to provide your supervisor with a mid-semester evaluation.
Fairleigh Dickinson University considers all its interns to be representatives of the University. Although most of our internships are unpaid, students must maintain a courteous, professional attitude at all times during the internship. You should behave as if you are working as a salaried, full-time employee of your agency. You will need to arrive at and maintain a schedule of regular work times. Keep in mind that the success of your internship experience will help determine opportunities for future students. Moreover, a strong internship performance may lead to an enthusiastic and detailed letter of recommendation useful for future employment and graduate school.
While we have had an excellent track record with prior student experiences, it is possible you will run into work-related problems. If you find that you are having persistent difficulties with your work site or supervisor, you should let your instructor know, and, if possible, try to resolve the situation with your employer. If you are experiencing a serious predicament at work, make sure you carefully document the situation with names, dates, and times, and speak with me immediately.
B. Class Participation
Students must attend scheduled class meetings and participate
in our discussions at these meetings. In order for this class to
be fully successful, everyone must regularly participate through active,
During the semester, students will be required to read academic work about the field within with they are working. Since students will be placed in a diverse array of internships, there is no single reading list for the course. Instead, the instructor will provide general readings for the class as a whole, while giving additional, individually tailored assignments. Readings will either be (1) available through the web; or (2) distributed in class.
In addition to class participation and reading, the course has five more formal assignments. You are advised to note and keep track of the “assigned” and “due” dates for each of these assignments, and write them in your datebook or some other organizer you regularly consult:
1. resume and cover letter:
2. mid-semester report:
3. research paper:
4. research paper workshop:
5. research paper presentation:
6. work portfolio:
a) An “Internship in Review” essay (1-2 pages) summarizing the work you have done and reflecting on what you have learned. You should use this essay as a an opportunity to think about what lessons you might impart to others entering your internship, and what lessons you would want to keep in mind for your own future work experience. Among other questions you should consider: What prior expectations have been changed by your internship? What substantive knowledge did you learn? What aspects of your work have challenged, refined, or supported what you have learned in class? What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to do the internship over again?
b) Any supplementary work that demonstrates points made in your essay and shows what you have been doing over the course of the semester. This might include work, writing, or programs you have helped produce over the course of the semester such as office memos or letters, a brochure you put together, or the agenda of a meeting you helped organize.
c) A typewritten record (or work log) of every time you
worked at your internship site, the hours you worked, and a brief description
of what you did
Additional information about these assignments will be provided through the course of the semester.
All of your written assignments must be given to me in class on the day they are due; no emailed work will be accepted.
Late assignments will be penalized 1/3 of a grade for every day they are late; if you are unable to hand in an assignment on time because of an illness or emergency, you must provide me with a note from the Dean of Students. Assignments that are poorly written or filled with grammatical and/or spelling errors will be returned with or without comments; a student will then have 24 hours to return the paper with corrections to the professor. After this period, or if a second paper is returned by the instructor, the paper will be treated as late.
Your grade for this course will be based on:
· Supervisor’s internship evaluations (50%)
For the purposes of this course, your final grade will be determined as follows:
In determining your final grade, your instructor will also take into account improvement over the course of the semester, how much knowledge you come out of the course with, and your class participation.
All students enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University are required to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy. According to the Policy, students are expected “to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty . . . [and] have the responsibility to each other to make known the existence of academic dishonesty to their course instructor and then, if necessary, the department chair or the academic dean of their College.” Academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to) cheating, plagiarism, falsification, and multiple submission of academic work. A full discussion of the Academic Integrity Policy is in the Student Handbook; please review this discussion.
Plagiarism is a particularly serious academic offense. According to the Academic Integrity Policy plagiarism is “[r]epresenting the ideas or language of others as one’s own.” You must provide a citation every time you use someone else’s language or borrow their distinctive ideas (for this course, you may simply use the author’s name and page number -- e.g., Peabody, 3). If you are found guilty of plagiarism in this class you will receive a failing grade for the appropriate academic exercise and a letter discussing the episode will be sent to your Chair, Dean, and to Enrollment Services. A second case of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the course and possibly other sanctions. It is fully expected that you will use the work of others in this class, but you must indicate when you do so. If you have any questions about the Academic Integrity Policy or plagiarism please see me immediately.
What follows is a list of class topics and your assignments; I have provided reminders for important dates such as when assignments are due.
Use this schedule to coordinate and plan your assignments and responsibilities in this and your other classes. If you discover that you have multiple papers due on the same date or week, try to work something out with your instructor (well in advance of the due date) or get one of your assignments done early.
Jan. 29: The Syllabus
Feb. 5 Introduction, Resume Writing, The
Feb. 12 Obtaining and Retaining a Job: The Employer’s
NOTE: This class will meet at the Learning Center at Honeywell (101 Columbia Road; 973-455-2000). Go to the Security Office and let the officer know you are coming from Fairleigh Dickinson for a meeting with Mary McGrew.
Feb. 26 Check-in/The Interview Process
NOTE: all Practicum students must have an internship and a work schedule established by this date; failure to do so will result in the Practicum being converted into an Independent Study with the instructor (requiring students to write a 20-25 page research paper)
Mar. 12 Check-in/Thinking About the Research
Mar. 18 – 22 Spring Break
Mar. 26 Check-in/The Analytic Research Paper
Apr. 16 Workshop for Political Science and Sociology
May 7 Student Presentations; last day of class
Obviously, to do well in this course, you will need to succeed at your internship. Allow yourself some time to settle in to your position, but don’t hesitate to talk with your supervisor or you instructor if you believe that things aren’t going well, if you don’t believe you are getting much out of your experience. In the past, students who have been unfulfilled in their internships have been assigned to new projects, new supervisors, and even moved to entirely different internships.
As soon as you begin your internship work, you should start thinking about possible topics for your paper. Try to pick an idea that will sustain you through the research and writing required for a substantial project. Are there things about your work that surprise or alarm you? Are there consistent difficulties or problems you or your co-workers contend with? These questions may point you to promising avenues for further research.
When writing your final Practicum research paper, you should spend a significant amount of time analyzing the assignment you and your instructor have agreed upon, thinking through the most effective way to approach this assignment (what are the most important questions that need to be answered? What readings/class discussions shed light on this question?). You should then construct a detailed outline setting out your argument and the logical, sequential stages through which you will make this argument. You can then write your paper by simply fleshing out the individual parts of your outline and making sure you have smooth transitions from point to point, paragraph to paragraph.
Make sure you finish a draft of your paper at least 24 hours before it is due. Set it aside for a few hours and then proofread it for errors, logical inconsistencies, and points that need elaboration. If you have a reliable friend or family member, have them help you with your editing (so long as the final work remains yours alone). Set up an appointment with the Academic Support Center (973-443-8538) at any stage of the writing process from the roughest of outlines to (what you think is) a polished draft.
Here are some additional tips:
· always keep a hard and disk copy of your written assignments;
· make sure all your written work is free of spelling and grammatical errors;
· if you are worried that you may have plagiarized/not cited something correctly, check with your instructor; you are well-advised to err on the side of caution on this topic;
· if you can’t meet me during office hours, please schedule an alternate time;
· for websites and links that may be of use in this course, check: http://alpha.fdu.edu/~peabody/practicum.html
· if you are having problems with the readings, assignments, or a classmate, see me immediately – do not wait until the assignment is due or your classmate causes you grief.
Professor Peabody can be reached at:
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Department of Social Sciences & History
Madison, NJ 07940