The Practicum in Participatory Methods

  • The practicum involves the student in a supervised, hands-on experience with participatory research. It is arranged by the student and can take place at any point in the student’s career after they have taken the core course. Within the first two weeks of the semester, the student will develop a research contract with the supervising faculty that outlines the scope of work, approach/methods for working with the community, learning objectives, and anticipated products.9
  • As part of the contract, the student will need to submit regular reports to the faculty supervisor on their progress and any dilemmas they are facing in their project.  In advance of the first day of final exams for the semester, the student must submit an electronic portfolio to the supervising faculty with e-copies of 1) these reports, 2) a reflection on the overall experience, 3) any products submitted to the community, 4) at least two responses from community members about the student’s efforts, and 5) an executive one page summary of the project goals, outcomes, and lessons learned.
  • The evaluation of the student, made by the supervising faculty will be based on whether and how well the student completed his/her contract, the statements from the community, the quality of the r
    eports, and the strength of the reflection.
  • The research can be associated with ongoing participatory research such as that being conducted by the Warren County/UNC-CH SPARC (Sustained Participatory Research Collaborations).  Or, it could be designed in relation to a field site of the students own choosing.
  • The practicum should be arranged as an independent graduate research course with an affiliated faculty member of the CIPR or an approved member of the student’s committee chair or dissertation advisor. The course number will be that of the independent graduate research course associated with the department of the supervising faculty.  For example, if the supervising faculty is in Geography, the course will be GEOG 900: Special Work in Geography.