Criminal Justice Sciences Division

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Criminal Justice Practicum

Our practicum program has a rich history, with decades of partnerships with criminal justice agencies in Oregon and around the country. These partnerships have helped shape generations of professionals in the field. Our students have interned in hundreds of agencies in criminal justice and related fields.

Facilitating professional relationships between students and criminal justice organizations and creating lasting partnerships that are mutually beneficial to our host agencies and students is a responsibility we are very proud of.

Our criminal justice students provide valuable service to our partner host agencies, who in turn, foster both professional and personal growth to prepare our students for the workforce.

It’s an amazing feature of our criminal justice and cybercrime programs!

For Students:

The Ultimate Practicum Planning Guide!

Below is a brief overview of the practicum process. It is an abbreviated overview, however. Please make sure you refer to the CJ Practicum Essentials guide for a full and complete explanation of the required process. 

Additionally, contact the WOU CJ practicum coordinator if you have any specific questions not addressed on this page or in the CJ Practicum Essentials guide. 

What is Practicum?

Handcuffs, judge gavel, and scale.

Students are required to take CJ409: Practicum as part of their degree completion.

The Criminal Justice practicum at WOU requires completing 33 hours of professional experience per university credit (4 credits = 132 hours) with a public, nonprofit, or social service agency related in the field of criminal justice or related fields.

Students may also take an additional 4 practicum credits, which will count toward CJ electives.

Meet with the WOU CJ practicum coordinator and/or your CJ advisor as early as your freshman year to discuss a practicum that fits you!

How do I find a Practicum?

Man on the phone looking at paper at a desk.

Your practicum agency is to be chosen by you, in consultation with the WOU CJ practicum coordinator.

It is imperative that you start taking proactive steps to secure placement at an agency at least one year in advance.

It takes time to research and narrow down agencies. Here are some links to give you some inspiration, but it is important that you meet with the WOU CJ practicum coordinator and/or your CJ advisor to discuss your practicum ideas and questions before you get started with planning.

When do I register for Practicum?

scale

Practicum experiences are completed during the junior or senior year of study.

Do your best to plan for and complete the practicum onboarding process at least 3 terms in advance of your desired start date.

“Late” planning is not ideal, but sometimes, unavoidable. Give yourself as much time as possible to complete the process.

Once accepted by a host agency, contact the WOU CJ practicum coordinator directly so that your registration can be processed.

How do I register for Practicum?

person on computer

Carefully review “CJ Practicum Essentials” and complete the Practicum onboarding process.

Your practicum involves a process/agreement between you and your host agency AND the registration/process between you and WOU.

Is there anything special I need to do?

person on computer

YES!

EARLY and PROACTIVE arrangement of your practicum is absolutely vital.

Arranging practicum can be a lengthy process, including background investigations, legal forms, contracts, etc.

The sooner you get your process going, the better, so any issues can be addressed with the WOU CJ practicum coordinator.

Activate your WOLFLINK account in your portal!

Find and register for networking opportunities.

Search for practicum opportunities. 

Upload your resume and application materials. 

Service Learning and Career Development

Located in the Werner University Center, the Service Learning and Career Development Office is an active resource on campus for students and alumni. Formally established in 2004, the SLCD prides itself on helping students achieve career readiness by hosting networking events and providing Experiential Learning opportunities in an effort to help students succeed.

Whether you are looking for help building your resume, prepare for interviews, or many other things to prepare you for an internship, the SLCD is a great resource!

Consider taking the following courses offered by SLCD: 

ICS 112 Career Exploration
This class is about designing the life you want. Learn how to apply Life Design methods to build pathways that help you reach your career goals. You will learn how your personality, interests, strengths and values relate to your career choices, and learn proactive methods to explore.

ICS 125 Career Readiness
This course is designed to provide you with the fundamental tools to find and secure a job. Topics will include job search strategies, resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and how to network like a pro. Face-to-face engagement with recruiters will provide additional insight into these topics from the perspective of employers. Reflection on students’ interests, values and goals will also be integrated into course.

 

Wolfie Pointing

Did you know we have a practicum opportunity right here at WOU?

Campus Public Safety hosts a practicum that might be a perfect fit for your interests and goals. 

For Host Agencies

Are you interested in being a host agency?

Our practicum program welcomes agencies and organizations across the spectrum of criminal justice and related fields. Our goal is to provide students with diverse opportunity to explore their passions within all intersections of the field. 

What’s expected of a host agency?

Our program is designed to be flexible and to be generally ‘hands-off’. This means that the intern’s schedule and the work that is to be completed is negotiated by the student and the host agency. Although the work may vary significantly from agency to  agency, internship activities typically allow students to spend time in a professional setting, participate in some of the activities typical of professionals working in the field, receive some training, make connections, etc.

How do I find a practicum candidate and/or advertise a practicum position? 

Please contact Dr. Omar Melchor-Ayala to discuss practicum opportunities and to locate candidates. 

We encourage agencies to register on WolfLinkan online service that employers and recruiters can use to post job, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc for WOU Students and Alumni.

How do I process a potential Practicum candidate? 

Please follow all the procedures and requirements set forth by your own agency to acquire volunteers/interns. Students must complete all your agency requirements AND, separately, complete the CJ Practicum on-boarding process with us. 

Dr. Omar Melchor Ayala

Omar Melchor-Ayala, PhD

Practicum Program Coordinator

Ask me about the Practicum program!

I look forward to hearing from you and the opportunity to discuss your questions. Additionally, please explore our website for more information about our degrees and programs.

email icon  ayalao@mail.wou.edu

phone icon  503-838-9219

CJ Information Board Maaske Hall, 217

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SCIENCES DIVISION | criminaljustice@wou.edu | 503-838-8733 | Maaske Hall, second floor