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Professional Experience

Course Code: CMNS 3900
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Partially Online, Field Experience
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course helps prepare students for a career by providing the supervised and evaluated professional experience required for the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication. Students may work in a communication role for an employer or complete a communication project for a client.

Course Content

1. Preparing for Professional Experience

Students will

  • meet with the program coordinator to discuss and clarify their professional goals
  • demonstrate suitable job-search or contract-finding techniques, including research, telephone, interviewing, and networking skills
  • submit traditional and email resumes and supporting material to potential supervisors or clients
  • confirm a suitable professional experience that relates to their studies in professional communication
  • with the workplace supervisor/client, develop a job or contract work plan for approval

2. During the Professional Experience

Students will

  • perform the duties assigned by the workplace supervisor/client, as appropriate
  • work within the organizational expectations and policies for hours, days of work, and dress code, as appropriate
  • ask for and respond effectively to feedback for continued learning
  • arrange for a meeting of the workplace supervisor/client and program coordinator
  • participate in all assigned relevant tasks
  • assist in the production of appropriate workplace documents under the direction of the workplace supervisor/client
  • produce documentation as required according to specific restraints and timelines
  • demonstrate an ability to establish effective working relationships with coworkers, supervisors, client(s), and/or other contractors
  • notify the program coordinator if issues or concerns arise that require intervention
  • participate in online discussions and keep a work journal throughout the professional experience

3. After the Professional Experience

Students will:

  • write a short formal report on the professional experience
  • prepare and present an oral report that will demonstrate the types of experience acquired and practised on the job/project
  • arrange a debriefing meeting with the program coordinator

Methods of Instruction

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. supervised work experience
  2. independent research or project
  3. instructor feedback on student work
  4. peer feedback on student work
  5. employer/client feedback on student work
  6. self-evaluation
  7. online discussion
  8. individual consultation
  9. presentation (individual or group)
  10. field trips

Means of Assessment

Students will be evaluated using the Mastery grading system.

  • The student, workplace supervisor/client, and program coordinator will participate in the evaluation process.
  • The student must complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised professional experience and produce satisfactory work to receive a Mastery grade.
  • The program coordinator will ordinarily meet at least once with the workplace supervisor/client during the professional experience.
  • The workplace supervisor/client will evaluate the student’s work performance, attendance (as appropriate), and work ethic.
  • The program coordinator will evaluate the student’s formal report and work journal, and will assign the course grade.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. arrange and/or apply for a suitable experience that relates to their studies in professional communication
  2. apply skills and strategies in a workplace or contractual situation in which they will be expected to perform as a professional communicator
  3. develop knowledge and skills useful for their career path (for example, developing the ability to take direction, achieve consensus, produce written documents, and meet deadlines)
  4. make valuable networking contacts
  5. have a valuable professional experience to add to their resumes and a valuable product to add to their professional communication portfolio
  6. be able to articulate connections between classroom-presented theory and work experience
  7. acquire an experiential basis for better understanding of their coursework

course prerequisites

Acceptance into the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication

and permission of the Professional Communication program coordinator



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.