Human Rights and Human Diversity offers a number of ways for you to gain practical experience working or volunteering in fields connected to human rights, diversity, and social justice.
Community Service-Learning (CSL) is a teaching method that encourages students to draw connections between knowledge they gain through their studies and practical applications in the community. Students are engaged in voluntary activities while integrating their experiences with academic course work. CSL's objectives are balance between specific academic goals on the one hand, and building community capacity on the other. It fosters student leadership and enhances connections to the community at large.
In HR300: Professionalization Seminar, students hone many professional skills, but the centrepiece is an assignment in which students work in teams to write real grant proposals for local non-profit organizations. How would you like to add that to your resumé?
Internships and field placements can be valuable to students both academically (a chance to reflect on the relationship between material studied in class and practice in the field) and as career preparation (e.g., practical job search techniques, work-related skills, developing contacts and networking skills that may lead to full-time employment).
We currently offer four fully-funded 90-day summer internships in Ghana, Africa for third-year students. Positions are awarded on a competitive basis.
We offer two 0.5-credit courses that offer you a change to combine that academic reflection and career preparation with unique experiences:
These two courses have been designed to provide you with opportunities to gain academic recognition for relevant experience you may gain through internships or international volunteering. This said, the benefits of an internship/field experience, over and above academic credit, will vary depending upon the level of effort you put into preparing for the experience and the amount of initiative you take to make the most of this valuable opportunity.
Rules and Regulations Governing HR391 and HR392
Identifying and Obtaining Positions
Students interested in registering for HR391 or HR392 should first discuss this possibility with the Human Rights and Human Diversity (HRHD) program coordinator before contacting potential academic supervisors or placement organizations.
It is the student’s responsibility to identify and obtain appropriate internships and international volunteering field placements. To assist with this search, the program maintains a list of positions that have been previously identified (see Internship and Volunteer Opportunities below). This list, however, is not exhaustive, so students should not limit their research to the possibilities listed.
Rules Governing the Approval of Positions
1. Approval must be received prior to beginning the placement.
There are two aspects to receiving approval:
- Students must identify a faculty member in the program who will agree to be their academic supervisor for HR391 or HR392. The academic supervisor assists the student in identifying a topic for the research paper and presentation, grades the research paper and presentation, and submits a grade for the course. Such agreement is to be reflected in the HR391 or HR392 Academic Supervisor Form.
- Students must receive the HRHD program coordinator’s approval of their placement at least one month prior to beginning their placement. Placements performed without such prior approval will not be eligible for academic credit in HR391 or HR392. Thus, it is imperative that students begin to search for opportunities well in advance. To receive such approval, students must submit all the forms identified on the HR391 Application Checklist or HR392 Application Checklist to the HRHD program coordinator at least two months prior to the start date of the position.
2. Students must have completed the academic prerequisites prior to beginning the placement.
The prerequisites for both HR391 and HR392 are:
- Permission of the program coordinator
- Completion of at least 10.0 credits
- HR100 or HR/CT260
- Cumulative GPA of 7.0 at the time of application.
3. The placement must enable students to learn more about human rights, human diversity or international development.
For HR391, the placement must be with an organization that is engaged in the protection, promotion, or advocacy of some element of human rights (or social justice more broadly understood); or in advocating for a social group associated with human diversity (e.g., race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability); or that is engaged in matters related to multiculturalism in Canada (e.g., multicultural centres, immigrant settlement services).
For HR392, the placement can take one of two forms:
- It may be with an organization that would qualify for HR391, but that takes place in an international setting; or
- It may be in an international development setting and involve engagement in some aspect of delivering international development services.
4. Minimum Length of the Placement
Placements must, at a minimum, be the equivalent of a four-week full-time position. If it is a part-time position, it must include at least 160 hours of work.
5. Other Rules Governing Internships and Field Placements
- Full-time or part-time jobs are not eligible.
- Students may not serve in placements on campus.
- Students may not serve in an organization where they have previously worked.
Requirements After Completing the Placement
Students are to ensure that the following forms are delivered to the Human Rights and Human Diversity (HRHD) program coordinator by the end of the term following the completion of the placement (but preferably much earlier):
- Student Evaluation of the Internship or Field Placement
- Internship/Field Supervisor Evaluation of Student
Failure to ensure the receipt of these forms will result in a grade of "F" in the course.
The student must complete the following academic requirements to receive academic credit for HR391 or HR392:
- Completion of a 15-page research paper. The paper is to be based on a research question related to the student’s internship or field placement. The research question must have received prior approval from the academic supervisor.
- Presentation to an undergraduate class (the class to be determined by the academic supervisor in consultation with the program coordinator) on what he or she learned from the internship or field placement. The presentation is to use presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint) and must be at least 15 minutes in length.
These assignments will be graded by the academic supervisor. The final grade in the course will be calculated according to the following formula:
- Research paper: 75% of the grade.
- Presentation: 25% of the grade.
Failure to complete the minimum length of the internship/field placement or failure to make the presentation will result in an “F” in the course.
All coursework must be completed by the end of the academic semester immediately following the semester in which the internship or field experience took place. Failure to complete the work within this time limit will result in a grade of “F”.
There's nothing like putting your ideas into practice to cement your learning, develop a broader perspective, start building a network of future contacts and colleagues, and develop valuable career preparation.
In the fall, we will add links here for internship and volunteering opportunities as well as potential sources of funding. You may find ideas for internships or field placements for credit in HR391 or HR 392 (see above).
In the meantime, here's something to get you started:
- Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP): Place your name in an inventory for possible selection for full-time and part-time student jobs with the federal government.