Museum Studies: Field Experience

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 240

       Course Name: Museum Studies: Field Experience

       Credits: 3 (1 lecture; 10 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ART 120

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers on-site experience in museum field. Students serve internship (paid) or practicum (unpaid) for 10 hours weekly at a Chicago area museum (art, history, natural history, science, botanic garden). Job appropriate to student’s skills. Regular meetings with instructor to provide detailed reports of work experience required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Student will develop career goals and strategies
  2. Student will develop work habits that are suitable to the museum field
  3. Student will show competency in achieving the responsibilities required by the job experience
  4. Student will develop skills in seeking employment in the museum field
  5. Student will enrich the student’s major area of education (fine art, art history, history, ethnography, science) through practice
  6. Student will acquire familiarity with a non-profit institution environment

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Individual work plan
    1. Educational objectives
    2. Assessment of skills
    3. Career goals
  2. Work Place
    1. Organizational charts
    2. Supervisor
    3. Responsibilities and goals
    4. Evaluations
    5. Job descriptions
    6. Procedure manuals
    7. Office resources
  3. Communication skills
    1. Working with individuals below and above your level in the organization
    2. Developing team goals
    3. Conflict resolution
    4. Decision making
  4. Occupational skills
    1. Get it done attitude
    2. Craftsmanship and detail-oriented abilities
    3. Skills specific to the job
  5. Review of internship
    1. Knowledge of skills gained
    2. Application to career goals
  6. Finding a museum job
    1. Resume
    2. Application
    3. Job description
    4. Sources for employment
    5. Interviewing
  7. Professional organizations
  8. Evaluation of job experience
    1. New skills acquired
    2. Professional goals

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Students will meet every two weeks in an instructional setting to evaluate and develop the work experience and its relationship to the educational goals.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course is taught as a face-to-face course.

  1. Work 10 hours per week in a museum environment
  2. Attend at least 3 one-hour meetings with instructor during the semester
  3. Meet for 2 hours every 2 weeks in a classroom setting to discuss experiences on the job
  4. Develop and produce a resume

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Required textbook: Introduction to Museum Work, by G. Ellis Burcaw

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Evaluation by supervisor on the job
  2. Classroom work
  3. Quality of job resume

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.