Practicum and Community Field Experience

During practicum all student candidates are expected:

  • to adhere to principles of professional conduct
  • to be aware of the Code of Ethics for your practicum organization, in your relations with principals, teachers, faculty advisors, fellow candidates, students and their parents/guardians, staff and management
  • to respect the right to confidentiality,
  • to respect boundaries in all interactions, including social media,
  • to act as good role models regarding the use of language, attire, attitudes, respect for others, fair decision-making, and collegiality,
  • to speak and write professionally about colleagues, school personnel, and employees,
  • to observe all legal aspects, observe normal social courtesies as guests in a practicum facility


Practicum Student Agreement

Practicum Guidelines

For the Education Assistant Diploma program, please also see these sections on practicum:

For the Unit Clerk Certificate program, please also see these sections on practicum:

For the Mental Health and Addictions Support Worker Certificate program, please also see these sections on practicum:


General FAQs

Where will I be placed for my practicum?

Depending on your program, your practicum may occur in a private or public agency, business or organization, private or public school. We ensure that practicums are a fit and relevant to your program.

How do I submit a practicum placement request?

Your Student Success Coordinator will have made contact with you within two weeks of your program start. At any time, you can send an email to Apurva Gosavi at [email protected] with your ideas.

May I arrange my practicum placement?

Arranging your own practicum will be based on the program you are in and whether the SSC already has the host on file. For Education Assistants wanting a public school district, the Student Success Coordinator works with the School Districts. If it is a private school, you can certainly reach out to them and ask, however, confirmation must come from the SSC after she researches the school to ensure viability. If you are in the Unit Clerk program, you can inquire with private offices and labs and information sent to your SSC. If it is for a Health Authority, your SSC must go through HSPnet on your behalf. For Mental Health and Addictions and Developmental Services Worker students, you can inquire with community living agencies and other private organizations. Hosts that are already on our list will be discussed with you based on where you live.

What if I have special circumstances that could affect my practicum placement?

Ashton College is aware that due to health reasons or other personal issues, you may require delaying your practicum. Your Student Success Coordinator will work with you.

Do practicum hosts hire based on practicum with them?

It is always a bonus to have a student hired from their practicum site. Depending on your program it does happen but it is not a guarantee.

What should my relationship with others at the practicum be?

Always maintain a professional relationship with your supervisor and clients. Do not reveal much about your personal life to anyone, especially the clients. Do not use your supervisor as a personal confidant or therapist. That is not their role. Doing so only makes supervision and evaluation of your more difficult. Be friendly of course but keep your personal life out of your practicum site. You must maintain professional boundaries.

Workload FAQs

What am I expected to do during my practicum?

All practicums come with a logbook or assignment that will be done during the time of your practicum. Your Student Success Coordinator will discuss those with you during the Practicum Orientation. While on your practicum, your host supervisor will set your hours and tasks based on the expectations of the program you have taken.

If I become disappointed with my practicum site, may I change to a different agency?

Typically students are expected to remain at their placement. Students are rarely permitted to change sites. Organizations invest many hours and some expense in training and mentoring practicum students. When a student agrees to take on responsibilities at a placement, then the obligation has been fulfilled

Any student who is unhappy with the experience he/she is getting at the practicum site should make that clear to both the site supervisor and the Student Success Coordinator so that a more fulfilling experience can be negotiated. Engaging in difficult conversations and resolving difficult issues is part of being a professional not something to be avoided. It is unfair to an agency site for a student to simply give up and move to another agency.

What if I discover I cannot handle the practicum emotionally/personally?

If you discover that working with the clients of an agency or focusing on the issues of the clients creates too much emotional turmoil for you, please advise your supervisor right away. Facing emotionally charged issues is an everyday occurrence in the helping professions. Sometimes just having someone to talk to can help.

Supervision FAQs

How often should I expect to be observed by my faculty advisor?

Due to continued restrictions in most schools, agencies and organizations it may be impossible for a physical visit. The SSC will contact you once a week and will contact your host supervisor a minimum of 2 times to discuss how you are doing.

Policies and Guidelines FAQs

What if a labour dispute occurs during the practicum?

If there is a labour dispute during your practicum, you may be required to pause your practicum. Dependent on the length of the practicum, the SSC will work with you and your practicum host to resolve the days missed or have you complete your practicum elsewhere. The Student Success Coordinator stays aware of any placements that are currently going through a possible dispute if they are union.

Can I work part-time during the practicum?

You can work part-time during your practicum as long as your hours do not interfere with the hours you will be at your practicum.

What if I am absent during a practicum?

If you are going to be absent for any reason, you must inform your practicum host as well as the Student Success Coordinator. Depending on the reason, you may be required to make up that day.

What if I encounter serious personal or medical problems during the practicum?

It will be important to stay in touch with your Student Success Coordinator during your practicum. The SCC will work with each student on a case-by-case basis.

What are the consequences if I am asked to leave my practicum?

If you are asked to leave your practicum, the Student Success Coordinator will investigate through conversation with your practicum host to the reasons why and then speak with the student. If resolvement cannot be done, another practicum may be set up for you.


Contact Information

Our Student Success Coordinator is your first point of contact regarding practicums, questions and practicum check-in.

Apurva Gosavi, Student Success Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 604-891-1250

Days/Hours: Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm PST

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