The Praxis Program—Tools for the World of Work
The Praxis Program provides an exciting opportunity to combine the practical reading, writing and analytical skills of a Liberal Arts education with marketable skills required for success in today's workplace. Praxis is neither a major nor a minor, but a unique program that will complement any Arts and Sciences major. The program is flexible, so you will have room in your schedule to fulfill the requirements while taking other courses that interest you.
The Arts & Sciences faculty have helped to develop the program and Praxis faculty are committed to a fuller mentoring relationship with students. Course enrollments are limited to ensure you get the individualized attention you deserve. In addition, leaders in business, nonprofit organizations, government and the like (who discovered the foundation for their success in liberal arts studies) are lecturers in the signature Praxis courses. Click here for a list of current Praxis faculty.
The program is designed for students in the second semester of freshman year or in the sophomore year. Students must fill out an online application for the program and be accepted to enroll in Praxis courses. Students must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA to be considered eligible; This program is only offered to students in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Praxis - Required Core Courses
There are 5 required core courses for the Praxis Program.
Organizational/Leadership (3 Units) - L62 201 Leaders in Context (Offered Fall Semester only)
In this course we explore leadership both theoretically and practically. Focus is on understanding the concept of culture and how the cultural context informs a leader’s style and effectiveness. This course also is designed to help students develop insights about leadership practice through readings, discussions, conversations with leaders, and group projects based on fieldwork. Students examine a wide variety of leaders and leadership styles in order to better understand how leaders mobilize followers within the constraints of their particular settings. Students also analyze the creation of institutional identity within organizations and corporate culture and explore effective leadership practices within these settings, as well as analyzing some cross-cultural examples of leadership. This course is limited only to students enrolled in the Praxis program.
Socio-Tech - Technology in Organizations (2 Units) – L62 207 Fluency in Socio-Technology (Offered Fall Semester only)
This course studies the fundamentals of technology and how that technology is effectively implemented in organizations and affects human interactions and processes. We consider much of Microsoft Office: Excel, Access and PowerPoint and how the presentation of data in these forms affects our decision-making processes and how humans interact using these technologies. We also develop web skills with a close look at how presentation of information and data in general functions or does not function based simply on how it is presented. This course is limited only to students enrolled in the Praxis program.
Communication, Written and Oral (3 Units) – L62 285 Communication That Works (Offered Spring Semester only)
This course focuses on the communication forms and skills essential to contemporary living and working. Various forms of writing for different audiences and purposes: business letters, memorandums, proposals, reports, press releases, speeches as well as public speaking are practiced and critiqued. The use of technology common in public speaking is practiced and critiqued. The use of technology common in public presentations is expected. Course reading is supplemented with viewing and listening. Final grade is based on combination of quizzes, writing assignments and demonstration of speaking skills. This course is limited only to students in the Praxis program.
Internship – L62 298 or 299 Praxis Internship
As the capstone experience of the Praxis Program, the internship will allow students to put into practice the skills and knowledge learned in the Praxis curriculum. The Praxis internship will be conducted with the mentorship of a sponsoring Praxis faculty member, and usually occurs by the end of the senior year. It is NOT POSSIBLE to fulfill the internship portion of the Praxis Program with an internship that occurred before completing the majority of Praxis requirements. Additional information on the Internship.
Praxis Seniors Masters Class – L62 300 Praxis Seniors Master Class (Offered Spring Semester only)
As a capstone to the Praxis Program Experience, this course will re-visit the major themes of the core Praxis courses in order to analyze their meanings in an interdisciplinary way. Students will learn and explore the deeper applications of the topics introduced to them in their Praxis coursework at a time in which they can reflect about what they have learned in the context of their internship experience.
Praxis – Additional Requirements
Analytic and problem-solving requirement (3 units)
Required: Econ 1011 Introduction to Microeconomics
Econ 1021 Introduction to Macroeconomics
Phil 100G Logic and Critical Analysis
Quantitative Skills (3 units)
Required: A course in statistics (select one from below):
Math 1011 Introduction to Statistics
Math 2200 Elementary Probability and Statistics
Math 3200 Elementary to Intermediate Statistics and Data Analysis
Pol Sci 363 Quantitative Political Methodology
Psych 300 Introduction to Psychological Statistics
International perspective or experience (3 units)
Required: Study of a language through the 300 level
A study abroad experience
One course with an international perspective by petition (must be 300 level or above)
Praxis – Electives
These are not required courses, however we recommend them as they will help you build a strong foundation through the Praxis experience.
L62 Praxis 101. Freshman Seminar: Bad Leadership (1 unit)
This course explores the theory and practice of leadership from a neglected side — the bad side. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach. Anthropological methods are used in order to understand the typologies, social behaviors and practices associated with bad leadership. Key topics include an exploration of the definition of bad leadership, circumstances in which it appears, and its implications for leadership. The course also explores the psychology of bad followership and the role of followers in the acceptance and persistence of bad leaders in a variety of social and organizational contexts.
L62 Praxis 105. Psychology of Young Adulthood: College Years (1 unit) (Same as Psych 105)
This course covers selected topics relevant to the developmental, social, personal and cognitive issues confronting young adults during their college years. Material is drawn mainly from the field of psychology, and the emphasis is on the scientific basis of concepts and on empirically supported strategies for growth and development. The knowledge gained may contribute to academic success, personal development and a more rewarding social and academic experience over the course of college and beyond. Freshman standing — entering first-year undergraduates only.
L62 Praxis 286. So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Building the Innovative Mind Through Liberal Arts (3 units)
It is a little-known truth that more entrepreneurs come out of Arts & Sciences than any other college. This course begins by exploring why this is so, examining in particular the creative and innovative qualities developed in liberal arts that are crucial to the success of the entrepreneur. We then move on to examine entrepreneurs in action, hearing from those in the field and reading of others, learning how the liberal arts proved instrumental in various ways to their development and ultimate success as entrepreneurs.
L62 Praxis 367. Seminar in Positive Psychology (3 units) (Same as Psych 367)
Reviews the relatively recent development in the field known as: “Positive Psychology.” Topics may include: happiness and life satisfaction, positive self-esteem, creativity, caring relationships, love (passionate and otherwise), empathy, optimism, ambition, moral character development, attachment, compassion, forgiveness, helping, work ethics and successful aging. Designed to take a sampling of those aspects of psychology that emphasize the positive side of human nature. Psych 100B and at least one 300-level course.
The Praxis Internship
As the capstone experience of the Praxis Program, the internship will allow students to put into practice the skills and knowledge learned in the Praxis curriculum. The Praxis internship will be conducted with the mentorship of a sponsoring Praxis faculty member, and usually occurs by the end of the senior year. It is NOT POSSIBLE to fulfill the internship portion of the Praxis Program with an internship that occurred before completing the majority of Praxis requirements.
- The student must secure a Praxis faculty sponsor.
- It is NOT POSSIBLE to fulfill the Praxis Internship requirement with an internship that was not approved and/or occurred before you completed the majority of your Praxis requirements.
- During your internship, monthly progress reports must be given to the faculty sponsor.
- Upon completion of the internship experience, the student will submit a 10 page paper exploring the relevant issues and questions set by the sponsoring faculty. Depending on the topic, nature of the internship, and discretion of the sponsoring faculty, a daily journal may be submitted in lieu of the 10- page paper.
Credit Option (3 units)
- The internship must consist of 180 hours for 3 units
- The internship must be at least 8 weeks in duration to receive the 3 units of credit.
- In order to receive the 3 credit hours for your internship, it must be unpaid. In this case, an unpaid internship grade will be pass/fail.
No Credit Option
- If the internship is paid, it will still fulfill the Praxis internship requirement and you will need to sign up for the No Credit option. The internship will be graded, but will not count for credit hours. University policy states that paid internships may not be counted for credit hours.
- If your internship is less than 180 hrs, you will need to sign up for the No Credit option.
Setting up the Internship
All internships must be approved by the program director. Please submit your request for approval for your Praxis Internship.
Some past Praxis internships have included:
- Affton Chamber of Commerce – economic development and urban planning
- Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Company – marketing techniques and project development
- Minnesota 150th Anniversary Project – web design and focus group management
- Boston Urban Scholars Program – teaching, tutoring, program development
- Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership – training and professional development
- IMG Sports, Entertainment, and Media – sales, market research, client management
- Fanscape Media Marketing – online public relations and promotion, client services
- Broadreach – course lead instructor, dive instructor, and bookkeeper (Fiji, Solomon Islands)
- Walgreens Corporation – human resources rotational
- Senator Sanders Washington, DC office – exploring interests in public policy
What skills will I acquire from the Praxis Program?
You will build both “hard” and “soft” skills. You will, for example, learn how to master the Microsoft Office Suite as well as various leadership styles—knowing when and how to apply them. The skills you learn through your Praxis coursework will give you the competitive edge in your job search, interviews for professional school, and even your other WU classes
How is Praxis Different From a Business Minor?
The Praxis Program is broader and interdisciplinary. It is a leadership program with an organizational focus. The Praxis Program is focused on exploring how individuals function in any organizational setting, and teaching students how to be competitive in their future careers. These include medicine, law, education, non-profit work as well as business settings. Students are able to gain proficiency in many topics and skills while at the same time learning the value of applying their liberal arts education to a variety of work environments.
Is the Praxis Program a major or minor?
The Praxis Program is neither a major or a minor, it is shown on your transcript as a Milestone.
Does the Praxis Program find internships for participating students?
In order to secure an internship, students should work closely with the Praxis advisor in the Career Center. The Praxis program believes that securing an internship is an important learning experience and we want you to be successful in landing an internship that suits you. Faculty advisors will ensure that internships are relevant and that the written requirements are fulfilled in a timely manner.