To complete the M.A. in Cross-disciplinary Studies, students must complete a total of 130 hours of practicum. Students are responsible for documenting practicum hours, and must have these hours verified and signed by an on-site supervisor. The practicum experience is designed to provide students with an experiential opportunity to utilize theory and methodology within a diversity of professional settings. Students will have the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts within a practical framework.
Practicum I and II provide a community placement for the student to develop and refine practitioner skills. Using the Practicum experience, students have the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts within a practical framework under the supervision of an on site supervisor. The Department Chair and the Practicum Coordinator will work with students to establish a placement suited to each student's interests, if possible.
Practicum placements have been established in an array of settings, such as schools, prisons, court systems, parks, human services agencies, community organizations and corporations. Additionally, the student is encouraged to explore and initiate a Practicum setting specific to their own individual interests. If a student finds an appropriate site, the Practicum Coordinator will assist the student in calling the site and negotiating for a placement. The department has a site, Community Resolution Services (CRS) and students are invited to explore opportunities with CRS.
Some practicum sites require a background check before the practicum placement can begin. This includes schools and other organizations involving children or other vulnerable individuals, law enforcement agencies, etc. Generally the background check is at the student's expense and should be done as soon as possible before the practicum term.
Additionally, the student will attend a Practicum class with course work and faculty supervision. The student must receive contractual approval from both the Practicum Coordinator and the agency on site supervisor before beginning the required Practicum hours. The student is responsible for documenting Practicum hours and receiving supervisor approval. The practice component of the student's Practicum is evaluated by the on site supervisor each term; this evaluation is combined with the classroom performance and course requirements and converted into a final overall grade by the professor teaching the course.
Please consult the Department Chair and the Practicum Coordinator for detailed information. During each term and at every Residential Institute, one or more Practicum Advising sessions are scheduled. Students who have not yet registered for practicum courses are encouraged to attend these sessions. Students may also seek individual in-person or telephonic appointments with the Practicum Coordinator for assistance with practicum placements. Please view our Practicum Handbook and forms.
Final Portfolio Project
For students in MACS there are two options as a final project at the end of the program, the thesis or portfolio. For more information about the thesis option, please refer to the Thesis Guidelines.
The portfolio project is designed to demonstrate the cross-disciplinary perspective students acquired and honed in the program. Students will use the portfolio to present what they learned through their own personalized curriculum.
The completed portfolio will respond to the following questions:
- Why did this student choose to do graduate work in Cross-disciplinary Studies?
- How did this student decide on a concentration track?
- How did this student's perspective on Cross-disciplinary Studies evolve over the course of the program?
- How does this student intend to utilize his/her graduate education in the professional marketplace?
The completed portfolio will contain narrative sections responding to the above questions as well as exhibit and comment on selections of the student's work completed during his/her time in the program. Work selections must be drawn from a minimum of four different courses the student took while in the program. The portfolio must clearly identify these courses. One of these courses must be a MACS core course. Selections of the student's work exhibited in the portfolio may include but are not limited to the following:
- Research papers
- Professional projects completed during the student's practicum sequence
- Oral presentations
- Course journal entries
The completed portfolio will also include both the resume the student used as he/she applied for admission to the program as well as the student's updated resume reflecting the academic expertise he/she gained as a graduate student in Cross-disciplinary Studies
For more detailed information on the final portfolio project please visit our catalog.
Option. Students who wish to complete a 6-credit Master's Thesis may do so by completing an additional 3 credits. Students must request permission from the Chair before enrolling for the Master's Thesis.