Experiential learning is an essential component of the Bachelor of Child Studies Degree. These opportunities (fieldwork, practicum and capstone courses) introduce students to a wide array of practice, agencies and skilled professionals. Graduates will have completed three practica over the course of study, along with a capstone course. These provide students with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in their related discipline. The practicum is a place to begin learning from others and to receive supervision in the development of core skills for competent early childhood education or child and youth care practice.
Some practicum agencies where our students have been placed include, but are not limited to:
|Child and Youth Care Counsellor||Early Learning and Child Care||Leadership Practicum|
|Aspen||Akidemy Preschool||Alberta Health Services|
|Autism Friendship Society||Bow Valley Child Care Centre||Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta|
|Boys and Girls Club||Bowmont Community Preschool||Autism Aspergers Friendship Society|
|Calgary Board of Education||Calgary Board of Education||Beads of Courage|
|Children’s Cottage||Child Development Dayhomes||Brenda Stafford|
|Cornerstone Youth Centre||Churchill Park Family Care Society||Brenda’s House|
|Enviros||Families Matter||Catholic Family Services|
|Hull Services||Heartland Agency||Calgary Urban Project|
|Louise Dean||Louise Dean||Inn from the Cold|
|Pathways||Métis Little Sundance Daycare|
|Stepping Stones||Mount Royal University Child Care|
|Renfrew Educational Services|
|Rosedale Community Preschool|
|University of Calgary Child Care|
|YMCA Child Development Centres|
Bachelor of Child Studies Capstone Projects Each year of the four-year program, experiential learning components in and out the classroom allow you to put theory into practice and gain valuable skills that will support you later on in your career. A fourth-year community-based capstone course brings your learning together and prepares you for the workforce or graduate studies.
Here are some of the innovative and impactful projects that our students have worked on over the past few years:
2018/19 Capstone ProjectsEnviros
Students researched and examined current practice tools and literature surrounding natural supports for children and youth in care, foundations for caregiver support and the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report that Enviros identified as initiatives to be woven into practice within the agency and its programs.
The State of the Issue: Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth in Calgary
In this capstone, students partnered with the Street Level Working Group, a collaboration of professionals working to address sexual exploitation of youth in Calgary, to design and conduct 6 research studies addressing various aspects of this issue.
Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta
Students participated in the provincial professional association’s efforts towards a recognized profession. This included engagement with ELCC students and early childhood educators throughout the province, and current AECEA members and board members. Students also planned the first ever student led conference for ELCC students, and developed a draft Code of Ethics and Scope of Practice document.
Students enhanced their own knowledge of Indigenous culture and ways of knowing as it relates to their practice in the Human Services disciplines. Emphasis on understanding the context of Indigenous communities and families, with a greater emphasis on working with youth. The students compiled a video library whereby various Indigenous elders and spokespersons were interviewed and recorded, capturing Indigenous history and experiences.
Students worked with the Calgary Public Library (CPL) to conduct a needs assessments of various locations based on the needs of the community and individuals who access the library. Using leadership and facilitation skills for the purposes of learning and presentation, students assessed, researched, and developed a solution-focused plan to align with the needs of the branches.
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate of Alberta
Bachelor of Child Studies students worked with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) to research, design and develop the framework for a volunteer and mentorship program, Friends of the Advocate. Students connected with other agencies who share common interests to the OCYA to create a network of Friends of the Advocate, and developed a training manual and a social media platform for Friends of the Advocate.
Students worked with the management team of the Children’s Cottage to examine the needs of the program and develop tools to promote positive mental health practices.
Churchill Park Family Care Society
As a pedagogical partner, Churchill Park provided students the opportunity to assess and align its early learning sites around the city with the Alberta Curriculum Framework. Students worked closely with leaders to bring the Alberta Curriculum Framework to life in their practice.
This joint initiative of United Way of Calgary, Mount Royal University and local partners aimed to contribute to the development of an engagement strategy or initiative that would support and encourage youth to be involved in their neighbourhoods and inspire community change. The students developed connections with local partners and agencies to gain an understanding of the community and what youth engagement may look like within it. From there, students identified recurring themes and proposed long-term recommendations and youth engagement strategies to United Way and interested partners. In the following term, students implemented youth engagement strategies with partnering agencies: youth granting, youth night, community mapping, youth voices, and youth connections. Each strategy is unique and ties to a need found within the community that has been expressed by an agency or a community member.
Early Childhood Development Network — First 2000 Days
With the exceptional teaching of Launa Clark and Monica Pauls, the Mount Royal University Bachelor of Child Studies Capstone group worked towards linking, aligning and leveraging all of their learning and experiences towards building better outcomes for children.
Alberta Children's Hospital
The goal of this capstone was to improve and advance the pet therapy, play rooms and volunteer services within the hospital. This was done by working closely with the child life team, as well as exploring the child life profession. Another aspect of the project was to create more awareness of child life in the hospital. The students created a poster and video highlighting the benefits and importance of child life within hospitals.
Shifting Perspectives — Enviros
In partnership with Enviros, students planned and organized a province-wide, two-day conference with a focus on understanding addiction as a symptom of unmanaged mental health concerns, or a self-managed response to trauma, grief and loss. The objective of the conference — Shifting Perspective — was to shift the way professionals and future professionals understand, treat, and heal addiction and mental health. Students wanted to deepen the understanding of the complexities of addiction and mental health, and provide participants with innovative and practical tools in dealing with mental health and addiction concerns.
Students utilized existing YMCA facilities and youth programs to determine how to effectively promote the Free Calgary Flames Grade Six Memberships initiative and how to intentionally leverage current youth programs and activities to increase youth engagement in YMCA experiences.
CBE — Discovering Choices Community Outreach Bus
Together with Discovering Choices (Westbrook), students researched the need for a community outreach school bus to travel to areas of the city with limited transit options and deliver outreach school courses. Students developed a proposal and presentation to the Calgary School Board.
Sexual Exploitation Conference
With a committee of representatives from agencies that provide programs for sexually exploited children, youth and young adults in Calgary, Child Studies students planned and held a sexual exploitation conference. The conference was intended for agencies and staff to learn more about sexual exploitation and available resources for those who are exploited.
Students worked with family resource community programs to conduct community needs and asset assessments which helped inform the development of some community initiatives in a new resource centre location that was working with new immigrant families and young families. At the same time, students reviewed the kindergarten readiness program, early childhood educators’ understanding of their role and image of the child. Recommendations were shared with the educators and managers