About Practicum

What is a practicum?

Women’s Studies majors and students earning a post-baccalaureate certificate in Women’s Studies complete 6 credit hours of practicum (WS 409) as part of their degree requirements. Through the practicum, you will put your knowledge to practical use as you work with an on- and/or off-campus organization to further its mission. You may choose to complete all of your practicum credits with one organization, or you may share time as a practicum student with more than one organization. Additionally, you may complete all of your practicum hours in one term, or you may work over more than one term to complete your practicum.

All Women’s Studies majors and post-bacs are required to complete a 2-credit seminar (WS 411) during the first term in which the student earns any practicum credit. This course complements the experiential aspect of the practicum in ways that extend and produce new knowledge through our shared examination of praxis. Students may only register for this course during the term that they are beginning their practicum experience, in the case of students completing the practicum over more than one term.  

WGSS offers two types of practicum experiences: you may choose to work with an off-campus organization or an on-campus program, and/or you may choose to serve as a teaching assistant/mentor in a WGSS course. WGSS has established relationships with some practicum sites, and/or you may develop your practicum with an organization of your choice, in consultation with your WGSS advisor or with Vicki Reitenauer, coordinator of the practicum. Some WGSS instructors welcome practicum students—typically students who have completed prior coursework with distinction with that instructor—into their courses as teaching assistants/mentors; if you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, speak directly with an instructor with whom you are interested in working or with Vicki Reitenauer.

Registration for practicum credits and the experiential seminar is done through a by-arrangement form in the first case and a special registration form in the second; see your WGSS advisor or Vicki Reitenauer to complete these forms.


Practicum Advisor

Vicki Reitenauer: Assistant Professor and Practicum Coordinator/Advisor; vicr@pdx.edu


WGSS Faculty Advisors 

Miriam Abelson, PhD: Assistant Professor; abelson@pdx.edu

Sri Craven, PhD:  Associate Professor; cravens@pdx.edu

Sally McWilliams, PhD:  Professor; s.mcwilliams@pdx.edu

Lisa Weasel, PhD: Professor & Department Chair; lisaw@pdx.edu



Number of credit hours

Practicum credits are earned by working a set number of hours per week or for the term.  The following is a guide for determining credit hours:

Total Hours

During a Single Term

Hours per week 

for 10 wk term























Questions? See Frequently Asked Questions, or contact Vicki Reitenauer, 503-725-5847vicr@pdx.edu.