School of Health and Exercise Sciences is looking for more community partners
After years of classroom study and lab research, Kurt Whitney couldn’t wait to test out what he had learned.
With a career goal of becoming a chiropractor, Whitney is studying human kinetics with the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. In his fourth and final year, Whitney was thrilled to be placed at the Valeo Health Clinic in Kelowna, where he logged 40 practical hours under the supervision of chiropractor Ben Stevens. He came back to campus excited about his career plans.
“My practicum placement has definitely motivated me to work harder,” he says. “Not only did I learn a great deal, but I was also able to improve my skills, especially when it comes to client assessment, time-management, and organization.”
Practicum placements are mandatory for Bachelor of Human Kinetics students, explains School of Health and Exercise Sciences practicum coordinator Rebecca Frechette. Based on the student’s goals, schooling, and interest, Frechette tries to find a community organization that can help with student skill development and supervision.
“Our fourth-year students are extending the walls of their classrooms into the community,” says Frechette. “Valuable connections are made through experiential learning opportunities in their practicum program.”
Practical placements not only benefit the students, but Frechette notes that community partners often gain from having a student in their working environment. Along with the required 40 practical hours, students must also research a topic within the scope of the practice, provide a summary of their findings and then give a presentation on their experience to their colleagues and professors.
“Practicum experiences are invaluable for enhancing the student’s career potential,” says Frechette. “Our students benefit a great deal from applying at least three years of their university education in a practical setting.”
Frechette notes the community has been highly supportive of the practicum placement program and she thanks the many organizations who have been involved in the past. With September just around the corner, she is thinking about future placements for this year’s fourth-year students and is encouraging new community partners to participate in the placement program.
“We appreciate all community support and this involvement is critical in the sustainability of our practicum program,” she adds. “Our students benefit a great deal when they have the opportunity to apply at least three years of their university education in a practical organizational setting.”
Student placements in the Health and Exercise Sciences practicum program include, but are not limited to, involvement in:
- Exercise rehabilitation
- Shadowing/assisting medical and health professionals such as physicians, dentists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and chiropractors
- Strength and conditioning/training different populations
- Coaching/training athletes
- Working with individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities
- Health promotion-based organizations
- Employee wellness programs
- Assisted living and residential care facilities
- School districts
- Athletic therapy
- Fitness/recreation management
If you are interested in having a UBC Human Kinetics practicum student join your organization in the upcoming school year—from September to December, or January to April—please contact Rebecca Frechette at 250-807-9565 or send an email to Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org.