Work Experience Practicum Overview & Guidelines

Students majoring in Forest Engineering, Forest/Civil Engineering, Forestry, Renewable Materials, and Tourism, Recreation & Adventure Leadership must complete a six-month work experience practicum prior to graduation.

  • Current Recreation Resource Management are required to complete the six month work experience practicum.
  • Current Tourism & Outdoor Leadership majors complete an internship (guided by a different set of criteria).
  • Natural Resources majors do not have a six month work experience requirement but are encouraged to seek out internship and work experiences.
Students from all College of Forestry undergraduate majors are encouraged to seek out work and internship experience.

The following principles provide guidance and outline the goals for student practica.

  1. To promote students’ learning and development.
  2. To connect students’ in-class education with on-the-job training through paid (or unpaid) employment.
  3. To provide the opportunity for students to “test-run” a type of job, an agency or business prior to entering the work-force in that specific area.
  4. To engage students in active practice of their chosen field of work with the benefit of a seasoned professional’s guidance. 


  1. Students must complete work equal to six months of full-time employment. Work may be completed in shorter periods (i.e. two 3-month summer periods, etc.) so long as the duration totals six months. 
    1. Work experience can be full-time, part-time, seasonal, and internships. 
    2. Unpaid work experience is acceptable to submit (i.e. unpaid internships, volunteer work). 
    3. Work should be related to your area of study. If you have questions about what types of work are acceptable, please make an appointment to speak with your Advisor.
    4. One month of work equals 150 hours, six months equals 900 hours of certified work experience. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of the hours worked. You may wish to confirm your dates of employment and hours worked with your supervisor prior to submitting your Practicum Summary form in order to ensure consistency and accuracy. 
  2. Students must complete and submit a Practicum Summary form in which they address the learning outcomes, detail the type of job performed, and provide supervisor contact information, etc. which will be used to send an evaluation to the supervisor.  
    1. The student’s supervisor must complete an evaluation of the student’s performance and assign the degree of competency reached for each of the Learning Outcomes. It is suggested that students discuss the work experience requirement and employer evaluation request prior to submitting the work experience so supervisors will be expecting it.
    2. If the immediate supervisor is a current OSU undergraduate student, an employee in a supervisory role who is not a current OSU undergraduate student should evaluate work, verify hours and complete the employee evaluation. 
    3. If you are self-employed and do not have a direct supervisor, your work experience will be evaluated by a member of the College of Forestry who will determine if your work meets program guidelines and should be forwarded to the Department Designee for certification. 
  3. When writing about your work experience and learning outcomes please write professionally, and with clarity and coherence (i.e. write in complete sentences, avoid slang or texting abbreviations, etc.).
  4. Work experience must be submitted at least one full term before the student’s anticipated graduation term (to allow time for processing, review of the documents, approval by the departmental designee, etc.)

Assessment and Approval Process*

  1. A student’s Work Experience Practicum will be evaluated by a departmental designee(s)^. This individual will assess the practicum. The departmental designee will be charged with contacting students whose practicum does not pass muster or where performance on the job or attainment of acceptable level of competency (regarding learning outcomes) was unacceptable.
    1. applicability to the student’s program (major) and his or her educational and employment goals.
    2. acceptable nature of employment (work was performed at a legitimate business or agency; supervisor was not a family member or fellow student, etc.) (Please see instructions regarding fellow student supervisors and self-employment).
    3. length applied to overall six month duration requirement (based on total hours worked over duration of employment)
    4. degree of competency reached for each of the learning outcomes (per the evaluation provided by the supervisor and based on the student’s own assessment)
    5. determine if or when exceptions* may be made to the requirements, approval process, duration of employment, etc.
  2. The departmental designee will evaluate the student’s assessment of the learning outcomes.
  3. Upon approval and completion of an acceptable practicum and learning outcome summary/assessment, the student’s advisor will enter the details into MyDegrees and all documentation will be scanned into Nolij.

^ Departmental designees should be someone other than the advisor for the major, and will be appointed by each department head for a period of two years. This individual should be well versed in the program and associated academic requirements and outcomes, and will work closely with other faculty and with the major’s academic advisor.

*Exceptions beyond those stated here must be approved by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies.

Learning Outcomes

By accomplishing 6-months of work experience, students should be able to:

  1. Achieve a level of critical thinking that allows one to comprehend, retain, and apply newly learned principles, procedures, tasks, etc. at an appropriate level for the position.
  2. Accept and fulfill obligations with initiative, reliability, and consistency (in quality, timeliness, accuracy, skill-level, attendance, etc.).
  3. Provide feedback and practice judgments, when requested, in a communicative and constructive manner that engages critical thinking skills.
  4. Engage in safe practice and performance of duties.
  5. Effectively use verbal and written communication skills to demonstrate clarity of expression, clear organization of ideas, and an understanding of appropriate/specialized vocabulary; and express interpersonal communication competence.
  6. Display developing leadership ability with the goal of professionally organizing and directing plans, procedures, teammates, etc.