Emotional Intelligence

Become a Practicum Host

Each year, Western Continuing Studies invites PR professionals to host post-degree diploma students for the practicum component of the Diploma in Public Relations. We work with you and our students to coordinate the best possible professional practicum placement for the applicant and organization. 

Program Overview

The Diploma in Public Relations is a post-degree program that includes 10 diploma-credit courses plus a student practicum for which the student receives academic credit. Students are eligible to apply to the Diploma in Public Relations only after successful completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. The program has a heavy emphasis on developing the students’ skills in writing, communication, and leadership, with the goal of producing graduates who will go on to become leaders in the field.

Practicum Timing

The practicum is the final term of the Diploma in Public Relations.  Students must complete 560 hours at their practicum site between May and August (exact dates may vary slightly).  During this period, students are expected to be on site or working remotely on a full-time basis (i.e. 35 hours per week). 

Practicum Activities

There is not a prescribed list of activities that must be completed. Instead, the Practicum Supervisor helps the student to create six learning goals for the four month practicum based on the student’s interests, and current projects at the site.

Requirements of Practicum Supervisors

As students’ skills are at an entry level, supervision, explanation, and direction are vital. The student’s supervisor should be a practitioner who has at least 5 years of relevant public relations or communications experience. Although the student can be expected to work fairly independently, contact and supervision is expected from the supervisor. 

The Role of the Practicum Supervisor

  • Help the student to create six learning goals for the practicum; evaluate their performance in meeting the goals at the end of the practicum
  • Review weekly journal entries submitted by the student; evaluate the student’s performance in reflecting in their journal at the end of the practicum
  • Meet with the student once per week to discuss their progress
  • Provide the student with a range of experience in as many aspects of the industry as possible
  • Orient the student to the organization, including policies, procedures and personnel
  • Monitor work assignments and provide constructive feedback
  • Be available and accessible for counsel and advice
  • Provide the student with networking opportunities

Course List

  • Public Relations: History and Society
  • Communications Planning and Skills
  • Public Relations Writing I
  • Design for Public Relations
  • Research and Evaluation in Public Relations
  • Media Relations
  • Public Relations Writing II: Electronic Media
  • Event and Project Management
  • Internal and Employee Communications
  • Professional Practice for Public Relations

Through the course work, students have developed knowledge in:

  • Creating strategic communications plans
  • Crafting clear and concise content and key messages
  • Using industry-standard software to create documents and multi-media presentations
  • Managing the communication design process
  • Planning and executing events
  • Writing for social media platforms and maximizing SEO
  • Using presentation skills in a professional capacity
  • Writing techniques, including speech writing, media releases, letters to the editor, opinion columns, internal and external communications
  • Conducting market research and measuring data
  • Working with the media and creating media relations campaigns and tool kits
  • Developing crisis communications strategies


Successful completion of the practicum, based on the Practicum Supervisor’s evaluation of the student’s on-site performance, is a requirement of the academic program.  Postings for both paid and unpaid practicums are accepted.  In instances when previous practicums have been unpaid, many sites have chosen to offer a stipend or honorarium.

Submit a Posting

Contact Ashleigh Lerch, Work Integrated Learning Coordinator with the following information:

  • Name and email address 
  • Learning opportunities
  • Skills required/valued
  • Information regarding payment, honorarium, professional development opportunities, etc. (if applicable)

Looking forward to partnering with you during the upcoming year!

Find out more about the Diploma in Public Relations program.