One simple question

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As a senior for my final semester, I needed to be in an internship as a practicum for my major. At first, I didn’t think it was a big deal, just find a place that could tolerate me for 10 hours a week. However, I did not realize it would be possibly one of the most frustrating experiences of my major.

Since I am a part of the Griffon News, I tried for an internship at the St. Joseph News Press since I hope to get a job there after I graduate. However, my professor said that I had to find an internship that was either a government office or public service (although one could argue that journalism is a public service). Myself and the other students in my department were given a list of possible locations to do our internships, however these were just not-for-profit organizations that wanted free labor and wouldn’t really lead to future jobs. Fortunately, I was able to get in contact with a supervisor at the Air National Guard to be able to sign up for my practicum.

However, that’s just the beginning. After the drama of waiting for paperwork to be signed and my background check to clear, I now have an issue with the structure of the practicum for my department.

According to our syllabus, students are required to complete a semester-long research project that is supposed to be original research that is connected to our internships. To get the best grade, we must use “acceptable scientific methods” and “demonstrate an ability to collect and analyze comparative data” along with “offer and test a hypothesis.”

My question: what will this really teach us?

Supposedly it is a requirement to write this research project because simply working at our internships is not enough to gain the experience necessary for our major.

Research projects are already a part of our major, and if I counted correctly, we have completed at least nine research projects and papers. We know how to create these types of projects.

You may be thinking that I’m just lazy and complaining about an assignment that’s pretty simple, but no – this is about getting the best education for the money that is spent on tuition. Assigning papers and research projects claiming to help educate us is just a lazy means of teaching, especially considering we have done so many for several different courses over the past few years.

I would much rather sit in a room for lecture, take notes and take regular tests because that’s how we actually gain knowledge. Yes, research papers are a necessary skill to learn, however, it is one that is already taught in ENG 100 through ENG 108!

Of course, I must realize that this is an on going problem across the university: the rules from decades ago are already set, and everyone that is able to change the way things work are too stuck in their ways or too stubborn to do anything about it. For a school with so many liberal ideals being thrown around like nothing else is correct, it’s pretty ironic to see how afraid of change it can be.

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