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Field Placements Reimagined 2020/2021 | Academic Newsletter | Seneca College

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Field Placements Reimagined 2020/2021

Field Placements Reimagined 2020/2021

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by Cynthea Penman, Lynn Fournier-Ruggles, and Diane Douglas, School of Legal, Public & Office Administration

in the June 2021 issue


Field Placement plays a critical role in student education and experience, and for some, provides their first glimpse into “the real world” of their chosen profession. With COVID closures, three programs in the School of Legal, Public & Office Administration found creative ways to offer safe and rewarding alternatives.

The Library & Information Technician (LIT) program field placements in fall 2020 brought the “host libraries” to the students, with a weekly lecture series, as well as host-provided assignments simulating what students would have tackled at onsite field placements. In winter 2021, the students attended a panel session at a major virtual library conference. They were also paired with two information professionals for an in-depth chat about library work and careers. A highlight was a weekly virtual reference series hosted by Seneca Libraries staff, with students experiencing a live simulated reference session. For each of these, reflections were submitted.

When we invited members of the Program Advisory Committee for the Justice Administration Services (JAS) diploma program to help, they brought enthusiasm and passion to a variety of virtual learning experiences: a weekly speakers’ series for an insider’s view of Canada’s court and justice systems and virtual “coffee chats” with program graduates, followed by reflective writing assignments. Every student had at least one mock interview with a virtual hiring panel which turned out to be not so “mock” as a number of students were offered job contracts.

Thanks to the overwhelming support of our Seneca Alumni and industry professionals, the Real Property Administration (RPA) program was able to offer our students an engaging and informative field placement. Each student participated in two virtual mock interviews, and similar to the Justice Administration program, some mock interviews resulted in job offers! We featured an engaging career preparation week where alumni from the assessment, appraisal, property tax, and municipal sectors spoke with students on future pathways. Students also gained insight into becoming property inspectors by working through training modules from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporations.

While the students’ field placement experiences weren’t the usual on-site exposure to professional workplaces, the alternatives did help them gain a better understanding of their chosen career and work environment, and the opportunity to network and connect with future peers. Unusual times call for creative measures!



View the June 2021 issue of the Academic Newsletter.

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