A practicum is 1-5 credits and geared toward students who want to add a work experience to a mostly full course load. 1 practicum / internship credit = 40 hours across a 15-week semester, so a 3-credit practicum means working 8 hours a week. Prospective students should have a 3.25 overall GPA or 3.5 in the major. An internship is 6-12 credits and for students who want to spend half or all their semester working. A 12-credit internship would mean working 32 hours a week. Prospective students should have a minimum 2.5 overall GPA.
We strongly recommend that all qualified junior and senior English majors undertake a practicum or internship (you may only choose one). While most are unpaid, both offer the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. Employers also prefer college grads who have completed practicums and internships. Below are some success stories from Mansfield University English majors.
In Spring 2017, Adam had a practicum with The Arc of Chemung. The Arc was founded as a nonprofit in 1953 to meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Chemung County, New York area. The organization aims to provide quality support and increased opportunities via education as well as community acceptance and participation. In his practicum, Adam researched housing options in the Elmira area and used Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and other resources to create an online housing manual in clear language that is user friendly for people with special needs. He also researched and compared similar sites.
The focus of Alison's Spring 2017 practicum was on improving Mansfield University's web presence. Over the course of the semester, Alison worked closely with colleagues to expand her skills in web writing and digital media editing. She also performed usability testing with three groups (current students, faculty and staff, and prospective students) and studied their interactions with the Mansfield University website. She submitted reports to Marketing and also presented her key findings at the annual Showcase of Student Scholarship.
In Fall 2016, BA English major Kylie Ortity had an internship the semester with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The goal of the organization is to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. On average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes in the United States. In her full-time internship, Kylie worked with events staff preparing for events and silent auctions. She also prospected donors from the Mid-Atlantic area, which includes all of Maryland, Delaware, and Northern Virginia.
In Fall 2016, BA English major Lyss Trostle had a practicum in MU Marketing. She commented, "I copy edit documents and the website for the university, including the style guide and department web pages. This practicum has helped me develop skills in copy editing and has improved my writing abilities. Being an English major with a concentration in Professional Writing, the practicum directly relates to my major and has prepared me for a potential career in copy editing."
In summer 2016, Kate Haywood had a Copy Editing practicum in MU Marketing. Her responsibilities included copy and content editing of existing documents, publications, and web information. She reviewed information for grammar, spelling, clarity, and message cohesion tied to the university’s mission, vision, Academic Promise, MU2020, and marketing campaigns. She drafted copy for new projects, edited and presented materials, and rewrote content as necessary. Her other duties included preparing correspondence for internal and external entities; scheduling meetings; conducting research; seeking story information from the campus community and storyboard material; and performing office duties, such as scanning and filing.
In Fall 2015, Melissa Walker had a practicusm with the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health. She attended workgroup meetings, recorded and transcribed minutes, assisted in website development, and created materials that showcased the organization's value to the community. She even helped create a new mission statement for the Be Your Best You workgroup! "My time spent with the Partnership has been extremely valuable," commented Melissa, "and I can confidently say I’ve successfully assisted the Partnership with its goal to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of Tioga County."
In Fall 2015, Paige Kisner had a practicum with author Nancy Rue. Paige assisted Nancy by doing research, posting blog entries, and testing soon-to-be-released courses. Paige also created a Facebook page for Nancy’s anti-bullying campaign and created content daily for 20 weeks.
Kirsten describes her internship: "As an English Education major looking to supplement the “teaching” part of my education, this summer  I’ve been doing an internship with Mountain Home Magazine, a local publishing company based out of Wellsboro, and I’ve been having a fabulous time! I never realized just how many steps are involved in getting a document put together and put on newsstands. The laid-back atmosphere suits me, and the editors and staff are extremely knowledgeable about publishing programs, sales and distribution, and journalistic writing. Everyone here has gone out of their way to guide, teach, and assist me in assigned tasks like copy editing, using publishing programs, the interviewing process, and, of course, writing, which has undoubtedly been my favorite task. I’ve been able to apply the writing skills and literary knowledge I’ve learned from Mansfield University English professors to my writing assignments, and I’ve received very encouraging feedback. The best part about my internship thus far, I must say, has been seeing my work in print for the very first time. I would highly recommend that English students, both BA and BSE, take advantage of an internship with the folks at Mountain Home, or with any publishing company for that matter, because the knowledge and experience gained will be an invaluable experience."
Katherine describes her internship as follows: "During the summer of 2005, I interned at Penguin Books in New York City for precisely ten weeks, and I’ve got to say that it was the most rewarding educational experience of my life. I worked for a senior editor, and my job mostly consisted of reading unsolicited manuscripts and rejecting or approving them. Of course, there were parts of my job that weren’t so glamorous. Making copies of 400-page manuscripts, delivering contracts to different departments, running errands in general--these are the things that people typically don’t mention when they’re bragging about their job. I didn’t mind them, though. I viewed them as my part in helping a well-known and respected publishing house run. All in all, I would recommend that any student do an internship in publishing or otherwise. You learn how a business works. You’re exposed to a world that’s completely different from the collegiate one and asked to function in it. But most of all, you learn more about who you are and what you want, and any experience that can show you something more about yourself is definitely worth doing."