Practicum Information for Students

It’s Time for Your Practicum!

Your practicum experience is an unpaid period of time spent in the workplace for educational purposes. During the first two terms in class you have received training in general office procedures. In terms 3 and 4 you will be focused on the medical related curriculum; scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records, medical billing and transcription using medical office software simulating an office environment.

Your practicum experience is an incredible opportunity for you in the Office Administration-Medical program, at Niagara College. This is your opportunity to explore areas in the field you have not been exposed to, gain an understanding of what is required of various jobs, and the skills necessary to be successful, as well as engage directly with industry partners.

During terms 3 and 4 you are expected to complete 188 hours, in total, of work experience in a health-care setting. You will apply and develop knowledge and skills in an office environment either in a community or hospital setting. You will maintain a journal and present an oral report to peers and faculty.

The principle objectives of your practicum are:

To apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to an office environment i.e. community or hospital setting
To provide you with an opportunity to learn how an office or institutional office functions
To allow you to explore career choices

During the two terms of practicum placement you will participate in a Learning Agreement between you and your practicum employer so that throughout the experience you can practice and demonstrate competencies and skills you learned in-class. In turn you will develop new skills and gain experience.

Your practicum placements will enhance the topics you learn while in class and it will give you a chance to develop practical skills and knowledge. This experience will enhance your resume and your chances to gain meaningful employment upon graduation.

Think of your practicum placement as an opportunity to audition for full time employment and secure excellent employment references.

In order to have this practicum experience you must have successfully completed all previous terms/courses as well as demonstrated satisfactory attendance and punctuality throughout the program within the first two terms of the program. You will also have to complete the mandatory immunization and Vulnerable Persons forms that are expected of many health care related employers (See forms) and have them submitted prior to starting school again in the fall of your third term. Due to the extreme importance placed on this component, know that you cannot graduate unless you have successfully completed the 188 hours of practicum.

The practicum is graded (S/U) satisfactory or unsatisfactory based upon the employer’s evaluation, practicum report and the submission of all evaluations. Final grades will be posted when the final material are submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

Download the Checklist

A “Preparation for Practicum Checklist” can be downloaded to help you get started.