Practicum and Course Related Experiences

Practicum and Course Related Experiences/Observations

ECDC involves practicum students and interns from six area colleges and universities (Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College, Bethel College, Indiana University South Bend and IVY Tech). These students are pursuing degrees in Education or related fields, such as Nursing, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Speech & Language Pathology, or Communicative Disorders. These courses require involvement in a high quality early childhood education program serving young children. Practicum students from area colleges are scheduled weekly for a semester. The time commitment depends upon the college course requirements. Some practicum students spend 75 minutes per week in an ECDC classroom, while other practicum students spend 20 hours per week or 144 hours across the semester. Many practicum students co-plan curricular activities with the ECDC lead/co-lead teacher and implement activities under the teacher’s supervision.

All practicum students are required to read the College Student Handbook and to participate in an orientation, as well as to complete other requirements based upon the type of involvement and the quantity of time spent with ECDC. Typically, the ECDC classroom lead/co-lead teacher supervises and evaluates the practicum student.

Some college coursework involves a one-time observation. ECDC also accommodates these observations. Scheduling observations at ECDC for coursework can be accomplished by contacting the individuals listed below. Observations typically only occur during the following times 8:00–12:00 and 2:30–5:00.

In addition, students that have completed practicum work with ECDC are given priority in the hiring process for both school year and summer college student positions. Please see the college student employment page for more information.

“ECDC is a great work environment and a great opportunity for students at Saint Mary’s. As a senior Communicative Sciences and Disorders major, working with young children allows me to see spontaneous speech between children and their peers. This knowledge is something I take directly with me to my classes as well as to the clinic. Working with all different types of children has shown me what it really means to treat everyone as an individual. One activity maybe great for Child A, but give the same activity to Child B and you’ve got yourself an uncooperative child in therapy! Building a relationship with the children and staff over the past three years has been so rewarding.”

“The aspect I most enjoy about ECDC is how rewarding it is to see the children grow from the beginning of the year until the end. Even more so, seeing children progress from year-to-year. It is wonderful to see a 3 year old grow from never being in a classroom setting to becoming a writer and starting to recognize words in the 4s or 4/5s a year later. For a young 20-something looking at life after graduation, I am very thankful towards ECDC-SMC for giving me the opportunity to shape who I am as an adult. I may be helping facilitate the ECDC philosophy, but it has certainly rubbed off on me and I will take it with me wherever I go. I also have the confidence to know that I can handle myself in a professional manner in any situation or environment.”

— Saint Mary’s College Senior

Important Information

Contact Information

If you are interested in using ECDC for your practicum experience please contact:

Tammi Kunz
(574) 631-3344

Jennifer Wray
(574) 284-4693