A student-arranged “Practice Experience” is the signature element of the GPP Minor, providing an opportunity for students to connect the theory and practice of poverty action. The intention is for students to gain valuable learning experiences through working with non-governmental organizations, government agencies, social movements, and community projects that focus on various dimensions of poverty action – from community health and food security to economic justice and grass-roots political power.
The Practice can be arranged domestically or internationally. The minimum time expected for the Practice Experience is 240 hours over the course of at least six weeks in the field. Many students engage in Practice Experiences much longer than this minimum.
In planning your Practice, there are three important restrictions to keep in mind. Practice Experiences cannot involve:
Additional information on these restrictions is provided below:
The process of selecting and arranging a Practice is considered a significant learning experience in itself. Therefore, Blum Center staff do not place students into pre-selected Practice Experience sites. Instead, the GPP staff and peer advisers provide substantial support to students in finding a meaningful Practice Experience. GPP Peer Advisors, all of whom hold regular drop in office hours, provide students with resources and guidance on how to go about identifying and developing a Practice Experience that suits the individual student’s interests and needs.
The GPP minor declaration orientation, mandatory for all students who declare the minor, also provides essential information and resources for this process. Such resources include access to a database that contains information on where past GPP students completed Practice Experiences,organized by sector and location. Prospective GPP students are welcome to visit peer advising office hours to use this tool for brainstorming PE interests. Declared students will also be added to the GPP Weekly Announcements email list, which includes several PE opportunities.
To get started with identifying a Practice Experience, students are encouraged to view the following documents:
While students have some flexibility to choose their site, scale, and form of poverty action, each choice raises distinct social, political, and logistical challenges and opportunities for the student. This document—organized around 11 common types of PEs—highlights some questions to engage with when considering these PEs.
Preliminary Questions for Organizations
This sheet outlines specific questions students may want to consider when contacting organizations for the practice experience.
Read about some current student’s practice experiences here and see where students have completed their practice experiences below: