Undergraduate Program


The Practicum Experience: Early in their degree programs, typically as sophomores or juniors, students can choose to participate in a practicum experience that exposes them to hands-on experience in programs that serve youth, families, and the aging (HDFS 286). The practicum counts toward the HDFS Concentration, Early Childhood Professions Concentration, and Prevention and Intervention Sciences Concentration. The Practicum can also be taken by students in other concentrations, as an elective course.

Click here for Local Practicum Placement Process and Options.
Practicum Coordinator:
Day Halsey, MS day.halsey@colostate.edu

Mandatory Placement Process Information

Please note that there are different processes for local (within 30 miles of CSU) and distance (more than 30 miles from CSU) placements.

Mandatory Practicum meetings are scheduled during the semester prior to participation in either of these courses. For example, students planning on taking practicum in the Spring would attend the meeting during the previous Fall semester. Similarly, students planning on taking practicum in the Fall or Summer would attend the meeting during the previous Spring semester.

Background Checks: Please note: ALL students wishing to enroll in HDFS 286 (Practicum) will need to complete and pass a background check PRIOR to the first day of class. If you do not complete and/or pass the background check, you will be not be able to continue in the class that semester. If you have questions, please contact the practicum coordinator and/or your assigned HDFS advisor.

Please note - The practicum placement is not a guaranteed process. Students who register for HDFS 286 and miss any necessary steps, including any of the steps in the placement process will be asked to drop HDFS 286 and forfeit will their place in the practicum program for the semester. Students can always apply to complete the practicum in a future semester.

Mandatory Placement Procedures

On-Campus PRACTICUM Placement Procedure

  1. Register for HDFS 286, including the lab.
  2. Watch your CSU email for emails from the instructor regarding placement details.
  3. Follow email instructions to be placed at a practicum site.
    • Students interested in pursuing graduate programs in Child Life: recommended placement at Denver Health Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, or National Jewish Hospital. Students must take additional steps to complete a competitive application for Children’s Hospital Colorado (summers only). Please read the Practicum Placement Process and Options document (linked above) for more details.
    • Students completing Colorado Director Qualifications: recommended placement at the Early Childhood Center.

Online PRACTICUM Placement Procedure

If you plan to take HDFS 286 through CSU Online (www.online.colostate.edu) the mandatory placement process will typically occur before online registration opens.

  1. Students must contact the HDFS Practicum Coordinator (day.halsey@colostate.edu) prior to the online registration period and express intent to take the course.
  2. Register for HDFS 286.
  3. Students who live within 30 miles of CSU will be required to be placed in one of the local practicum sites (see link above) and will follow the on-campus placement procedures as listed above.
  4. Students who live more than 30 miles from CSU will need to contact the HDFS Practicum Coordinator to learn about the distance practicum placement process.