Sophomore Practicum FAQ


Nathan Carpenter '20
Director, PAL and SOAR Programs

How do I register for the Sophomore Practicum? When is the registration deadline?

You can register for the Sophomore Practicum here. Once you submit the initial form, you will receive a link to a more in-depth registration form. You must complete both forms by the deadline of Friday, October 30 in order to fully register for the program.

Am I eligible to participate in the Sophomore Practicum?

If you are a) a sophomore and b) not going to be enrolled in Oberlin classes during the spring semester, you are eligible to participate. Students who are enrolled at Oberlin during the spring semester, whether in-person or remotely, are not eligible.

What if I’m an F-1 visa holder?

International students are expected to be enrolled during the spring term. Students who are enrolled at Oberlin in the spring term — whether in-person or remotely — cannot also participate in the Sophomore Practicum. However, if an F-1 visa holder will not be enrolled for the spring term, they can participate. Students who cannot or elect not to enroll in the spring should contact Josh Whitson to discuss any immigration implications.

We are currently working to create a comparable program for international students who are enrolled in the spring and therefore unable to participate in the Sophomore Practicum. This program will take place in May.

Do I need to declare my major in advance?

No. The Sophomore Practicum is intended for both declared and undeclared students. Have a major? Great! Don’t have one? Still great! The Sophomore Practicum is perfect for helping you figure out your next steps, regardless of where you’re starting.

Can I be a Double Degree student?

Yes! Any eligible Arts & Sciences or Double Degree sophomore can register for the Sophomore Practicum.

I’ve submitted an appeal to enroll in courses in the spring, but I don’t find out until after the Sophomore Practicum registration deadline. What should I do?

Students who are planning to appeal should still register for the program by the October 30 deadline. If your appeal is approved, we will withdraw you from the program with no penalty.

Do I have to participate in both components of the program — the Winter Term and the spring semester micro-internships?

Only the Winter Term retreat is required for participation in the Sophomore Practicum. Students who successfully complete the Winter Term are not required to pursue a remote micro-internship for the remainder of the spring semester. You will be asked to indicate your plan on the registration form.

Is the January retreat required? Can I choose to do another Winter Term project?

The program is not required, but is one of a few Winter Term options available to sophomores on the fall–summer enrollment track. The available options are:

  • Enrolling in the Sophomore Practicum;
  • Enrolling in both the Sophomore Practicum and a language course;
  • Enrolling in a language course.

We strongly encourage sophomores on the fall–summer enrollment track to choose one of these options. Students who will be away from campus in the spring and are considering not completing a Winter Term project should consult with their academic advisors. Students can also consult the Winter Term site for more information.

What is the time commitment for the January SOAR Retreat?

From January 5–29, students should expect to attend full days of programming Monday through Friday, planned to accommodate students in a range of time zones. A more detailed schedule of the Winter Term program will be made available during the fall semester. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory in order to receive Winter Term credit and be eligible for funding for a spring semester remote micro-internship.

Do I need to participate in the Winter Term in order to receive funding for spring semester remote micro-internship?

Yes — students must successfully complete the Winter Term program in order to receive a micro-internship placement and be eligible for funding.

Is the micro-internship remote or in-person?

At this time, the program is designed to support remote micro-internships. However, if you already live in the same location as your internship site, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How many hours of work is expected?

You should anticipate spending approximately 10 hours per week on your micro-internship over the course of 8 weeks. Specific work plans and hours will be developed in collaboration with your sponsor.

How will my micro-internship be determined?

Students who indicate that they would like to be matched with a micro-internship will be mutually paired with an alum or parent sponsor based on your academic and professional interests, career goals, and the sponsor’s project needs.

Can I find my own remote micro-internship and still receive funding?

Yes, students who wish to pursue a remote micro-internship as part of the Sophomore Practicum can indicate on the registration form if they would like to be matched with an opportunity or if they would prefer to find their own. Both options are eligible for funding.

Who will supervise my micro-internship experience?

Your assigned sponsor will supervise and support your week-to-week experience and provide you with projects and mentoring opportunities.

Am I able to accept further work experience with my sponsor after the micro-internship?

Absolutely! We encourage you to network and stay connected with your sponsor after your micro-internship officially ends. You are more than welcome to accept further opportunities, if offered by your sponsor. This, however, is not guaranteed and will be independent of the practicum experience.