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College of Continuing & Professional Studies

Field Experiences Handbook

The faculty of the Department of Leadership Studies in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies at Mercer University is committed to preparing students for careers in Public Safety Leadership. An essential component of this career preparation is the Field Experience. Careers in this area incorporate skills and techniques that can be learned and improved through experience, in addition to the traditional academic setting.

The optimum Field Experience is in an agency or organization under the guidance of an experienced Public Safety individual. Under these conditions, the field experience can facilitate the student's development as a practitioner.

The Public Safety Field Experience occurs in the junior or senior year of study. Early in the major is the ideal time one can more reasonably decide if this is the major applicable to them, and they can begin to apply the knowledge, theory and experience gained from the classroom.

Contents of Handbook

  • Purpose and Goals
  • Getting Approved to Do a Field Experience
  • Getting Credit for the Field Experience
  • Prerequisites
  • Agency Selection and Placement
  • Role of the Site Supervisor
  • Role of the Center Faculty Supervisor
  • Role of the Student
  • Tips for the Student
  • Forms:
    Field Experience Application
    Student Performance Evaluation
    Student Field Experience Evaluation of Agency
    Time Logs

Download the complete Handbook.

Purpose and Goals

The purpose of the Field Experience is to provide an educational experience related to the total undergraduate program, comprising learning experiences within the context of an agency placement which are different from, but related to, classroom learning. The Field Experience is designed to help the students:

  • gain first-hand knowledge and greater understanding of The Public Safety Systems in the community, with emphasis placed on the operation of an agency as an organization, its contribution to the community and the services provided to its citizens.
  • integrate and apply the knowledge, theory and understanding derived from the content area in the academic program to his or her role within the context of an agency setting and the provision of services by that agency.
  • develop some of the techniques and skills common to practice in the field including assessing problems, planning for solutions, implementing plans and evaluating outcomes. Emphasis is placed on interpersonal communication skills, observation, data collection and organization, interviewing, reporting and evaluating, using oral and written communication.