Frequently Asked Questions – Regarding Practicum and Challenge for Practicum Credit

Practicum is restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (CYS) degree. Students complete supervised practicum placements in a variety of community-based .programs and services for children, youth and families. These practica are completed on Tuesdays and Thursdays OR Wednesday and Friday during the fall and winter academic terms, or as four-week block placements (Monday to Friday) during Summer Sessions. Students may not enroll in other daytime classes on practica days

More information regarding Practicum can be found HERE.


You register for practicum as you would any other CHYS Course. There are currently 4 levels of Practicum: CHYS 2251, CHYS 3351, CHYS 3352 and CHYS 4451. You are encouraged to register for practicum early as placement hosts are limited and CAP numbers don’t always reflect the spots available.

  • Child Abuse Register (CAR)
  • Vulnerable Sector Search (VSC) – this includes your Criminal Record Check
  • Emergency First aid & CPR “C”/AED

For full details regarding Practicum Documentation please visit the: Practicum Documentation Webpage

Some placements may require further screening and immunizations or additional security clearance beyond those noted above. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that any additional requirements are completed. Students are also responsible for covering any associated costs.

This maybe a possibility.  If you are interested in doing your practicum at your place of work  please contact the CYS Practicum Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Miller, Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca, to discuss.

Yes, students are permitted to complete their placement at or near their home location.  Contact the CYS Practicum Coordinator to discuss: Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca

Yes! All students are required to attend the ONLINE mandatory practicum meeting. Exceptions will only be made for those students with extenuating circumstances. You MUST contact the Practicum Coordinator, Jennifer Miller (Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca) prior to the meeting to inform her of your absence.  Meeting specifics will be sent to each student prior to the meeting.

During the meeting we will discuss, professional conduct, student expectations, confidentiality, and Supervisor roles. You will also meet your MSVU Practicum Supervisor and learn the location of your Practicum Placement.

Students may not enroll in other daytime classes on practicum days. Evening classes are permitted as long as your practicum is finished prior to the start of your evening class.

Before any placement, students must meet the following prerequisites:

  1. a CGPA of 2.0 or higher at the end of the academic term prior to the practicum experience.
  2. completion of all prerequisites for the practicum for which they intend to register.
  3. all PRACTICUM DOCUMENTATION must be in order.

Students living in the Halifax area do not need to arrange practicum placements.  As a department we have developed very close relationships with our Placement Hosts in a varied number of settings across the Halifax area.  Placement locations include Halifax, Dartmouth, Eastern Passage, Sackville, Clayton Park Bedford, Spryfield and Hammonds Plaines – just to name a few.

Students studying outside greater Halifax must contact the Practicum Coordinator, Jennifer Miller Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca 5 weeks prior to the start of term to arrange placement.

All Practicum hosts are vetted through the Practicum Coordinator.  Students are not permitted to choose their placement without first discussing it with the Practicum Coordinator.

At least 5 weeks prior to the start of term, Distance Students enrolled CHYS 2251 are asked to approach 2-3 licensed early childhood settings to see if they would be willing to host a practicum student. You then need to provide the Practicum Coordinator with the contact information and the name of the contact person at each site. The Practicum Coordinator reviews each host to determine the suitability of the site.  The process is similar for all other practica, contact the Practicum Coordinator Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca for guidance.

On-line Learners are required to attend the mandatory meeting.

Placement information forms are sent to students via email months before the start of term.  When enrolled in practicum it is critical to monitor your @MSVU.CA email address on a regular basis.

For lower level practica (CHYS 2251, 3351) you are asked to provide information such as your home location, your means of transportation and previous practicum experience (if applicable).  Students are matched with Placement Hosts based on the information provided.

We try very hard to match students with their expressed interests, however, the final decision of placement is made by the Practicum Coordinator.  Depending on a Students career path, completing two practica in a similar setting (ex. early childhood) may be possible.

Students requiring placement interviews or additional documentation (such has health screening tests) are contacted prior to the start of practicum with instruction. Again, this information is sent via email and it is impetrative to monitor your @MSVU.CA email, when enrolled in practicum, even during the summer months.

Students who have requisite work and/or education experience can undertake a practica challenge for credit.

Prior to any practicum challenge, all students MUST successfully complete at least one CHYS practicum under the Department’s supervision.  Additional details can be found below:

As of Fall 2015 Students who have received 11 units of transfer credit are ineligible to challenge for further credits as per university regulations. A maximum of 2 Practicum credits [1.0 unit] can be received through Challenge for Credit – this includes credits received by PLAR [Prior Learning Assessment] at another institution.

Field experiences in licensed early childhood settings.

Directory of Licensed Child Care Facilities | NS Department of Education

SOME Examples

NOTE: This is not a full list of available placements, just a sample of placement types. 

CHYS 3351 is an inclusion focused practicum.  Opportunities include practicum experiences working with Inclusion Coordinators at Early Childcare Centres, working at Developmental Centres, or working in a Pre-Primary setting.

SOME Examples

Developmental Centres:

Childcare Centres with an Includsion Coordinator

Pre-Primary for students in Nova Scotia (search for schools that indicate PP)

CHYS 3352 and 4451 practica may also include these types of settings.

NOTE: This is not a full list of available placements, just a sample of placement types. 

CHYS 3352 / CHYS 4451

These placements provide students an opportunity to gain experience in a wide range of services for children, youth and families related to their own interests and future goals.

Family Resource Centres

Early Intervention

Schools/Programs for Children with Autism/Learning Disabilities (interview required):

IWK — this placement requires additional documnenttion (health screening), as well as an INTERVIEW.

Local Private Schools (Grades Primary – 9)

Community Sector (interview required)

Youth in Care (interview required, requires shift work)

Programming for Children & Youth at Local Not for Profit Organizations (interview required):

Department of Education & Early Childhood Development

Youth Focused Support (requires after school hours)

Speech Therapy (requires after school hours, interview required)

NOTE: This is not a full list of available placements, just a sample of placement types. 

Some 3352/4451 practicum placements (group home environments) may require students to take their NVCI (Non-Violent Crisis Intervention) training. The cost is $300 and the course can be taken at Complete Safety Training located at 2187 Larry Uteck Blvd. in Bedford.

NVCI Training Link (click to register)  https://cstraining.ca/nvci-course/ 

If you have any questions about this, please contact Jennifer Miller – Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca 

When you contact the Practicum Coordinator or your MSVU Faculty Practicum Supervisor always include your full name, your student ID number and the Practicum you are registered (or plan to register) in.

Issues that arise when in Practicum should be brought forward to your MSVU Faculty Practicum Supervisor.  Questions regarding upcoming Practicum should be directed to our Practicum Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Miller Jennifer.Miller8@msvu.ca.