The Practicum Experience
The Taproot Collaborative seeks to provide students with the highest quality education and training possible. And in the work of community development, we are but one of many excellent organizations and ministries seeking to make a positive change in the communities of South Philadelphia. That is why Taproot has hand selected deeply involved and locally compassionate organizations to partner with; organizations that care as much about sustainable transformation as we do. We believe that deep and abiding change can only happen with the kind of knowledge and support that these organizations can offer. And we feel there is no better way to introduce Taproot students to the beautiful complexity of South Philadelphia's social and cultural fabric than through such partnerships.
As students progress through the program, they are asked to become deeply familiar with the process of creating new things (programs, products, services, etc.). And through the application of design thinking and hands-on training workshops designed to equip them to analyze and creatively respond to a variety of complex problems, students begin to produce some impressive results. Before the end of the program, students must successfully develop and integrate project based executive skills and creative team problem solving to produce final deliverables such as product/service feasibility studies and basic business plan outlines. These final projects then serve not only as an exceptional training tool for students, but also a valuable asset to the organizations and practicum sites they work with.
Our Practicum Sites
- New Sanctuary Movement. http://www.sanctuaryphiladelphia.org
- Philadelphia Praise Center. http://www.philadelphiapraise.com
- Saint Thomas Aquinas Center. http://staquinas.com/aquinascenter/
- SEAMAAC - http://seamaac.org
- Southwark School- http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/s/southwark
- Woman’s Opportunity Resource Center (WORC). www.worc-pa.co
Please note that the organizations listed above are subject to change at any time.
Interested in becoming a Practicum Site?
Please read the requirements listed below and send us your request for registration.
Requirements for Practicum Sites
Though practicum sites are not required to pay for Taproot’s student teams, an ideal site meets the following requirements:
- A basic agreement with Taproot’s vision for the participating students and community organizations, as described above.
- A list of possible project ideas for the Taproot student teams to work on. A good project is one that requires research, creative development, space for iterations, and clear objectives. A not-so-good project would be one that requires extensive and very particular technical skills or significant financial costs to explore. While a product or service may end up needing substantial investment to launch, the piecing together of a plan for that product or service should not (at least for our purposes).
- A primary contact person for the organization through which all program information may be channeled. While the Taproot staff would be responsible over particular project development and execution, this person would be responsible for the general guidance and management of the Taproot student projects. This ensures that the team projects and their outcomes are as a consistent as possible with the organization’s goals.
- Reasonable flexibility with Taproot’s student teams. While student teams will be required to update their respective practicum sites when they are working offsite or have specific needs or requests, we ask that all sites understand and respect the need for students to occasionally work irregular hours to complete project objectives.