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Practicum site supervisor guide

Thank you for your interest in the McGill School of Information Studies (SIS) Master's Practicum program.

The Practicum is a 3 credit elective course (GLIS 699) through which McGill School of Information Studies master's students participate in supervised field practice, applying their theoretical knowledge base and learning gained over the course of the program with the opportunity to practice professional skills. The program is typically taken by second-year master's students in their final semester. > More information about learning outcomes and roles.


For Practicums offered during the Winter semester, prospective site supervisors submit site descriptions in the summer of the previous year. Interviews with potential students are held in the mid-fall. Student placements run from early January to early April. The total hours for the student are 120 hours over 12 weeks, with a 50% minimum (60 hour) on-site requirement. Please note: when offered in Winter, students are typically enrolled in the 3-credit Practicum program as part of a full-time (12-credit) course load, taking three other master's-level courses concurrently with the Practicum.

Interested in a Winter 2015 placement?

Site project descriptions to be submitted to the Practicum Coordinator August 31, 2014 for Winter 2015 (January) Practicum start. Please contact the Coordinator for more information.



Practicum site supervisors are established information professionals who are qualified to provide leadership, expertise, and support to an emerging information professional. Examples of qualifications:

  • Archival Studies – Appropriate training and professional experience in Archival Studies
  • Knowledge Management – Appropriate training and professional experience in Knowledge Management
  • Librarianship – MLIS or equivalent degree

Organizations in emerging information sectors are encouraged to contact the Practicum Coordinator for more information about the program or to discuss site supervision qualifications and possibilities. 

Role and responsibilities

The site supervisor is the individual at the Practicum site who has primary responsibility for the supervision of the student and is responsible for communication with the SIS Practicum Coordinator throughout the Practicum. As appropriate, and as discussed with the SIS Practicum Coodinator, supervision responsibility may be shared with other qualified staff.

Practicum site supervisors participate in the selection process, create a workplan in collaboration with the student, and are responsible to be available to the student for orientation, consultation, guidance and supervision during the practicum. As well, Practicum site supervisors are responsible to submit formal mid-term and final evaluations which are discussed with the student in the spirit of learning and growth.

Supervisors are to contact the SIS Practicum Coordinator with comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions at any time.


1. Site Description. Site supervisors submit a practicum site description to the SIS Practicum Coordinator by the submission deadline (typically in August if applying for a Winter placement). Samples or guidance in creating site descriptions are available from the SIS Practicum Coordinator.

2. Student Interview. 2-3 potential students will be selected as suggested interviewees by the SIS Practicum Coodinator. Selection is based on student CVs and practicum site selections. Students are responsible for setting up interviews with potential site supervisors. After the interview(s), site supervisors will select preferred candidate(s) and inform SIS Practicum Coordinator (not students directly) of decision regarding each student. The SIS Practicum Coodinator will relay the information to the student, who will accept or decline the offer.

Notes: Supervisors are encouraged to identify preferred candidates as early as possible as students may receive more than one placement offer. Practicum placement is a competitive process for both students and sites; while we endeavor to match all students and sites, placements are not guaranteed.

3. Practicum Agreement & Work Plan. Once a placement offer has been finalized, the site supervisor will prepare the Practicum Agreement and Practicum Work Plan in collaboration with the Practicum student. 

4. Mid-Term & Final Evaluations. Provide a written evaluation of student performance to SIS Practicum Coordinator and discuss evaluations with the student. The purpose of the mid-term evaluation is to provide feedback to the student for areas of further development and to ensure placement goals are on track. 

At the completion of the Practicum program, the School hosts a Practicum Showcase open house event where students present visual displays of their Practicum projects. All supervisors are invited to attend this event.


Important dates 2014/2015

Mark the dates! For a complete schedule, see the practicum schedule page.

Aug. 31, 2014 Site Supervisor deadline to submit site description for Winter 2015 Practicum to the Practicum Coordinator.
Oct. 27 - Nov. 21 Site Supervisors interview students and inform Practicum Coordinator of preferred applicants.
Nov. 28

Students and Site Supervisors meet to complete and sign both the Work Plan* and the Agreement Document* by November 28.

January 5, 2015 Winter 2015 Term begins. First week of practicum (on-site)
February 27 Site Supervisor deadline to submit Mid-term Evaluation Form* of student performance to the Practicum Coordinator.
March 30 - April 3 Final week of practicum (on-site)
Date TBA Poster showcase. Site Supervisors are invited to attend.
April 17

Site Supervisor deadline to submit Final Evaluation* of student to the Practicum Coordinator.

If you are interested in hosting a practicum placement as a Site Supervisor or would like to learn more about the program, don't hesitate to contact the SIS Practicum Coordinator.


Nathalie Blanchard
SIS Practicum Coordinator / Coordonatrice de stages
School of Information Studies / École des sciences de l'information
McGill University
3661 Peel St., Montreal, QC H3A 1X1