EDA University Center for
Regional Economic Innovation

Technical Assistance Explained

“Practicum” is a university course of study that is led by students and guided by faculty which allows students to experience firsthand “practical” application of previously studied theory. Practicum is an important method for integrating classroom work and pragmatic planning in “real world” situations and usually takes the form of a technical assistance project or feasibility study.  This experience is essential in the progression from student to trained practitioner, and also provides economic development professionals with access to technical assistance and data analysis that wouldn’t otherwise be available.

The MSU REI University Center selects at a minimum 2-4 semester-long practicum projects for funding each year. These projects, based in colleges and universities across the state, assist Michigan communities in completing local and regional economic development initiatives, especially in distressed rural and urban communities. Projects include data collection, analysis, the development of plans and implementation strategies. Project deliverables include a final written report, webinar, and presentation at the annual Innovate Michigan! Summit.

Examples of past practicum projects can be viewed on REI’s past projects page.

To apply for funding, visit the Student-Led Project Application.