What is the Practicum?
Each winter, eligible* third- and fourth-year students devote one day / week (or its equivalent) working in the city as a historian. Some work for one of the many museums, often conducting research on collections in preparation for future exhibits. Others do research on specific topics for various non-profit organizations, usually at Library and Archives Canada or the City of Ottawa Archives. Finally, a third group of students find themselves doing a number of different things in which they get to apply the historian’s skills of conducting research, analysis of data, and the communication of results. In the past few years, students have worked for, among others, Canada War Museum, Library and Archives Canada, Canada Science and Technology Museum, Bytown Museum, Archives and Research Collections here at Carleton, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Skate Canada, the National Capital Commission, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, The Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa, Partnership Africa Canada, and the City of Ottawa (Heritage Conservation Division).
More details on the practicum can be found in the course description for HIST 3807: Practicum in History.
Student Success Stories
For Luka Dursun, the fact that the course provides him with an academic credit at the third-year level is second to the experience he gains while at his practicum. Assigned a box of letters, diaries, photographs and official records, Luka was tasked with piecing together the biography of a soldier who served in the Second World War. “At the War Museum, I actually get to have my hands on real history,” he said when asked about his personal experience at the practicum.
Learn more about Luka’s practicum experience.
Andrew Narraway says that the practicum provided him with an opportunity to get practical hands-on experience and gave him his very first taste of archival work:
“I learned the basic skills at Carleton for this kind of work and the practicum gave me the opportunity to put what I have learned to use. As an undergraduate you do not realize how much you are really learning over the course of the degree until you are placed in a situation where you have to use those skills, the placement was that situation for me.”
Learn more about Andrew’s practicum experience.