Practicum are learning experiences that take place outside the classroom. Parents and students know that extra-curricular activities are essential for college admission. These activities demonstrate leadership, development of interests, commitment, and the ability to delve deeply into an area of passion. Through concentrations, we intentionally develop activities that directly relate to the concentration.
Practicum helps students rule in/rule out potential careers and majors, provides excellent answers to typical admission essay prompts, and clearly demonstrates student ownership of their own growth. These experiences also provide great opportunities for students to connect with and learn from adults outside the classroom. The Concentration deans plan a variety of Practicum experiences for students, but students can also propose experiences that they design for themselves.
There are three main types of experiences: 10, 20, and 30 point experiences. To earn the points, the student must complete the activity and write a short reflection on what they learned from the experience. These reflections could very easily form the basis of the student’s college admission essays. To complete a concentration, students must earn at least 100 Practicum points and some points must be earned each year in grades 10 to 12.
Practicum Descriptors and Point Values
“Exposure” (10 Points)
Experiences that last from an hour to one or two days. Examples include meeting with professionals in the field, museum visits, lectures at colleges, and business tours.
“Commitment” (20 Points)
Experiences that require at least weekly participation spread out over several weeks. Examples include afterschool productions, internships, volunteering, science fair projects, leadership roles in organizations, and academic competitions.
“Immersion” (30 Points)
Experiences that require 24/7 participation for several days. Examples include mission trips, college summer enrichment programs, and other school trips such as the Silicon Valley Business Plunge or the China Trip.
To learn about practicum opportunities specific to your concentration, click on the appropriate link: