Post COVID-19 Leadership Practicums

Ian Hua, Co-Editor in Chief

Although the shutdown of the MacDuffie School building has caused much to be cancelled, senior leadership practicums continue to be a requirement for graduation this quarter. 

Completion is still necessary, but Dean of Students Trish Cox, who has been the organizing force for the practicums, did remove the requirement for seniors to present their practicums to the current juniors due to the challenging coordination effort it would require given the circumstances. 

Additionally, the deadlines concerning the completion of certain materials (a journal and reflective essay) have become more flexible, similar to how academic assignments have been affected. To ensure all students and situations were given proper attention, Cox gave deadline oversight to students’ advisors. 

“They’re the ones who collect all of these, they’re the ones who get them and read them,” Cox said. Ultimately, the goal is completion before graduation. Naturally, despite the slight requirement changes, some additional challenges have arisen in pursuit of this goal. 

Receiving all the paperwork (the journals and essays) was difficult for Cox even in normal circumstances last year, and the community’s current physical separation has certainly not made it easier. As such, Cox stressed the importance of communication. 

“I’m hoping that if there’s something going on at home, like if somebody’s sick and I don’t know about it… or there’s just nothing they can do for whatever reason, we need to find that out so we can figure out what we’re going to do to amend the whole process for that person, change dates or do whatever we need to do,” she said. 

Furthermore, many seniors had original practicums that were interrupted or prevented by the school shutdown, and some haven’t yet begun. Cox and student advisors have worked with these students to overcome such challenges, and while difficult, she said this has caused all those involved to adapt in many positive ways.