In school, as in business, as in life, communication is king. Poor communication can ruin a student’s experience or irreparably damage your program’s relationship with a field site. Give your students the resources and knowledge they need to navigate their experience successfully. Facilitate communication between your program and your site supervisors so they feel connected to your program without having to do additional work.
Set expectations up front – Help your students understand what it takes to have a great experience. Help them make it easy on the field instructors as you need to keep them happy year after year.
Tip #1: Most institutions have career services. Partner with them to provide training, especially if your students don’t have prior professional experience. Just because your students know their career path doesn’t automatically mean they’re ready to walk into a professional setting.
Tip #2: Prepare an email guide or a brochure with simple tips that students can reference. If you’re not sure what to include, ask students who’ve completed their field placement to see what they wish they had known. Keep in mind that what you think is obvious, may not be to your students. Including tips on dress code and office norms can go a long way.
Make it easy – a portal that tracks communications between site supervisors, students, and the program is crucial to facilitate a great experience for all. If the system keeps messages as records, it can also be useful for later reference for involved parties to continue learning or for reporting purposes.