2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Emergency Operations CenterStudents obtain practical field experience in their junior or senior year through a winter or summer session practicum with an organization relevant to their interests. Students must complete 150 hours of relevant work with an organization. Student have found placements with organizations such as emergency management agencies at federal, state and local levels, private sector organizations in the area of business continuity or risk planning, and nongovernmental organizations. Our students, of course, prefer paid practicums but often this is not possible for the organizations and many students end up taking the practicum for credit alone.

The practicum period and the projects the students work on during this time are determined by the organization in consultation with the concentration coordinator. Practicums are designed to be meaningful for the organization as well as for the students. Our undergraduate students have engaged in preparedness outreach efforts and have worked on environmental education initiatives. Some have been involved with emergency planning for a single organization for a specific event while others have coordinated with multiple organizations that were part of a network to update their comprehensive crisis manual. These are just a few examples. The goal is for them to use much of what they learned in their courses to an applied setting. During the placement, students connect their experiences and prior coursework through weekly reflection pieces.

Practicums take place in winter or summer session. Many students find placements in Delaware or surrounding states, but some students return to their home-state during these semesters and we are able to find placements for them there. Click on the Alumni Showcases sidebar to learn about some of the practicums our students have been involved with as well as how those practicums were valuable to their educational or career paths.

Organizations interested in hosting a practicum student are welcomed to contact the concentration coordinator.



EEM Alum Jason Horowitz during his concentration practicum in NZ.

To satisfy his practicum component, EEM Alum Jason Horowitz spent several weeks working with the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office in New Zealand. In reflecting upon his experience, he indicated that through the practicum, he developed a much better understanding about how a real professional government disaster agency functions. He noted that his original perception focused on their activities during disasters and did not consider all they do in between events. It also allowed him to see the differences between the emergency management in the US and NZ.

EEM Alum Jason Horowitz during his FEMA-Corps deployment.

Upon graduation of UD’s program, Jason Horowitz secured a position as a Project Outreach Liaison with FEMA-Corps. Early in his position, he was already acquiring work experience and getting a better understanding of FEMA it assists communities after disaster, preparing him for a career with the federal organization.

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