What Is the Practicum?
The Georgia Municipal Association's Local Government Practicum seeks to provide real-world experience for Georgia's future local government managers. Through partnerships with four universities in Georgia, GMA:
How Does the Practicum Work?
- Provides cities with assistance on research projects for which they may not otherwise have the time or resources
- Connects students to cities so that they can gain hands-on experience and build relationships and networks with local government professionals
- Connects universities to cities for community outreach and workforce development.
The Practicum allows city managers and administrators to obtain assistance from students enrolled in a Master of Public Administration program. Cities receive objective analysis and recommendations at no cost to help guide decision-making. They cooperate with students to develop a scope of work that can be completed within 3-4 months. Students work independently, visiting the city 2-3 times per semester. Unlike an internship, the city does not have to provide the students work space. At the end of the semester, students formally present their reports to city officials, university faculty, and GMA staff.
Since the program began in 2007, students have completed projects on a wide variety of topics, such as:
- Performance measurements
- Social media strategies
- Feasibility studies
- Tourism plans
- Citizens academies
- Economic development studies
- Event permitting recommendations
- Citizen surveys