To be eligible for graduation, students entering as freshman in the Department of Hospitality Management are required to fulfill a minimum of 800-hours of on-the-job, paid work experience in the hospitality industry; 100 hours must be earned through University Hospitality Services after matriculating in the major (UHS is the campus organization that oversees campus dining and campus catering). This work experience may be completed over several summers or during the academic year. For transfer students, practicum hours will be prorated and must be completed after matriculating in the Hospitality Management Department. Students transferring in their sophomore year will need to complete 600-hours, students transferring as juniors will need to complete 400-hours. Please see Practicum requirements for further information.
UHS / WSBE Student Practicum Manual
Guidelines for Student Employment: The following guidelines have been established to assist you during your practicum work experience. This is a living document and is subject to change. Changes will be posted on the department Website, through communication from the instructor, and when significant changes are made they will be noted in a Preface to this document. In the event of a change, every reasonable effort will be made to make these changes available to students.
Purpose and Objective
The purpose of any practicum or other hospitality work opportunity is to ensure that you obtain meaningful work experiences within the hospitality industry prior to graduation. The principal objective of the Practicum requirement is to reflect on the practical application of knowledge and skills in real work environments and to ensure that your education has the essential balance between theory and practice. In attaining this objective you will be able to:
- Test your career interests and gain valuable work experience in the various segments of the hospitality/service industry;
- Recognize, develop, and practice skills necessary for your future career;
- Put classroom theory into practice in the "real world" and utilize this practical experience in future academic assignments;
- Compare and contrast different types of organizations, company cultures, and work environments;
- Explore different departments/areas within an organization, gaining invaluable perspective regarding issues, concerns, and behaviors of employees at various levels; and
- Improve your marketability upon graduation
Fulfilling and Calculating Your Practicum Requirement
There are two components of the practicum. The first is the UHS Practicum for credit and the other is Working Outside of the University. Details follow on each of these methods.
A. UHS Practicum (HMGT 404 - UHS Hospitality Practicum, 100 hours, 1 Credit , Cr/F)
The 100-hour, on-campus paid practicum is a winning formula. The collaborative effort between the Department of Hospitality Management and University Hospitality Services ensures that first -year students will have a work opportunity that helps build the initial rungs of one's career ladder under the guidance of the Hospitality Management Department and UHS.
Students enrolling in the Hospitality Management Major as a Freshman will be required to enroll in HMGT 404 which is completed as a continuing course in the second semester of Freshman year. Students must complete 100, paid clock-hours working within the UHS auspices and complete monthly journals of their experiences and reactions to that experience, which shall be submitted to the course instructor on the first of each month during the semester. Further details will be provided by the instructor.
A work report, consisting of 5 pages typewritten and supported by at least 1 current reference (within the last 5 years), is to be submitted at the conclusion of each semester. The work report shall identify the unit or units within the UHS organization for whom the student worked (name of supervisor, campus address and phone number) and text that describes the work relating the work to the references and what the student feels that s/he got, or did not get, out of the experience. The requirement for the practicum is, therefore, to demonstrate:
- Evaluation and contextual planning
The essential skill of this critical reflection and reformulation of practice is not tied to a specific work environment, but to developing a students' ability to reflect on practice and ultimately transform practice based on new sets of relevant values. As an educational outcome the practicum steps beyond training into the realm of education in its broader objectives of changing a knowledge base that informs action.
Hours worked by you are tracked for the purposes of the practicum requirement on a semester basis by the UHS practicum coordinator and course instructor. Because this is a continuing course, a letter grade of IA will be assigned at the end of the first semester. Upon completing 100 paid, clock-hours and a satisfactory work report from the UHS supervisor, satisfactory submissions of the personal journal and written report, a grade of Cr will be assigned. However, if these requirements are not met, then a grade of F will be assigned.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT POINTS:
- Students enrolling as Freshmen will be required to complete HMGT 404. Students enrolling as Sophomores and Juniors in the major will NOT be required to complete HMGT 404.
- You may work additional hours for UHS and apply these additional hours (above the 100 required hours for HMGT 404) toward your overall 800 hours of practicum work experience if you choose. You may work with UHS for an additional 300 hours up to a maximum of 400 hours (100 hours from HMGT and 300 additional hours from UHS) of the 800 required hours of your practicum work experience needed for graduation.
In all cases, every student will be required to complete a total of 800 paid, clock-hours of an approved work experience(s) within the hospitality or an allied industry as a requirement for graduation.
UHS Practicum Expectations
The practicum is a paid employment opportunity and thus you are expected to behave in a professional manner at all times. You will clock-in and clock-out just as any other student employee, and you will be compensated on a bi-weekly basis.
You will be provided with a handbook at the beginning of your first employment opportunity with UHS. The following list some of the basic expectations of this DHM/UHS Practicum:
- Dress appropriate to the position--Your supervisor will inform you of the appropriate attire for each position that you fill. It is your responsibility to report to work dressed and ready to go.
- Timeliness--You will sign up for a given time period. You will be expected to clock-in at that time ready for work and to complete each shift. You will be provided a phone number to call in case an emergency prevents you from coming to work. If you fail to make a shift you must coordinate with your supervisor to ensure that you make up the hours prior to the end of each semester.
- Disciplinary Action--As with any job, you may be subject to disciplinary action should you fail to adhere to the guidelines as outlined in the employee handbook.
- Types of work experiences normally sought and approved-Defined by the Hospitality Management Department for the practicum requirement, employment in any of the industry segments listed below will be considered for practicum credit purposes:
- On-Line DHM-UHS Practicum Manual
B. Work Practicum outside the University
The remaining practicum hours may be completed over one summer, a combination of summers, during intersession, or during academic semesters outside the University System within the hospitality industry. Employment in any of the hospitality industry segments listed below will be considered for practicum credit.
1. Industry Segments
2. Job Functions
Listed below are examples of ACCEPTABLE areas of employment:
Hospitality Real Estate
The following job functions listed below are examples of NOT-ACCEPTABLE areas of employment:
- Farm Stands
- Retail Sales
- Ice Cream Parlors
- Life Guard
- Camp Counselor
- Fraternities, Sororities or Social Organizations
- Gourmet Dinner Assistants, Teaching Assistants and Peer Advisors
Unpaid externship opportunities (ex. Starwood externship)
STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE:
This list of NOT–ACCEPTABLE areas of employment is not all-inclusive. Before you accept a position, if the position would fit into any of these categories or does not fit into any of the positions listed in ACCEPTABLE areas of employment above, then do not apply. Seek another opportunity. If after considering this list, you still need clarification to determine if a position qualifies for practicum credit, then a Petition Form must be completed and submitted for approval prior to acceptance of employment. This Petition Form must include the following information before it will be processed:
- Name of employer
- Location of employer and job
- Detail job description and duties
- An outline of the learning outcomes you expect from this employment
- Career benefits you expect to gain from this employment
Once the form is completed, please print and deliver to the Hospitality Management Administrative Assistance. The HMAA will then review the form and obtain necessary approvals. If at any time you need guidance with this decision or any other career decisions, you should consider contacting the advising office or one of the Hospitality faculty members.
Gourmet Dinner Assistants, Teaching Assistants, and Peer Advisors:
No practicum-credit will be given for employment from any educational assistance or educational organization job.
Fraternities, Sororities, or Social Organizations:
To receive practicum credit for your work at a fraternity, sorority, or social organization, it must be a paid position (such as steward), and you must have a full-time employee fill out your practicum credit form. Volunteer work on a committee (such as event planning) will not count towards practicum credit.
To receive practicum credit for your own business, you must petition in advance so that appropriate verification procedures may be set in place.
Employment Verification Forms
All hours considered for the Work Practicum outside the University and those hours worked through the UHS in excess of the 100 required for HMGT 404, an employment verification form is required. You are responsible for obtaining this employment verification from your employer. Both you and your employer must complete and sign the appropriate sections of the Employment Verification Form. DO NOT wait until the semester you are graduating to collect all these forms. Failure to provide the documentation may result in a delay of your graduation. Upon receipt of the completed Employment Verification Form the Department of Hospitality Management will email you to notify you of the specific amount of practicum hours you have completed.
The Department of Hospitality Management retains the right to verify the accuracy of the information submitted. Any misinformation will be considered a violation of the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.