Western Kentucky University

Department of Psychology

Field Experience in Psychology - PSY 390

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Placement Sites

 

In general, any placement that provides activities consistent with the field placement goals is appropriate. Most placements within the Bowling Green community know about the course and the procedures. Placements in Nashville, Louisville and other communities are also possible, however students will need to work with the Field Experience instructor to make the arrangements. If a student is interested in a placement in a community outside of Bowling Green, it is important that these arrangements be worked out well in advance of the semester in which they wish to enroll.
Prerequisite courses are required for many of the placements. In general placements in a mental health setting might require:

  • Psy 440 – Abnormal Psychology,
  • Psy 455 – Introduction to Clinical Practice of Psychology, and/or
  • Psy 450 – Introduction to Personality Theories

Placements in a business setting may require:

  • Psy 370 – Industrial Psychology,
  • Psy 371 – The Psychology of Sales Behavior, and/or
  • Psy 473 – Training in Business and Industry.

Course Requirements

The Field Experience in Psychology requires 120 hours of service in a placement for three hours of credit. During the first week of classes students will meet with the university instructor to receive the course syllabus, schedule of meetings for the semester and general guidelines for successful completion of the course. In addition, students will meet with the site supervisor during the first week of classes to develop a written summary of duties and goals for the semester. These duties and goals will be more individualized and serve as guides during the student's placement period. This summary of activities and goals for the student in the placement will be submitted to the WKU instructor by the second week of classes.

Community Supervisor

The Community Supervisor is the professional employed by the placement in which the student is obtaining experience. This professional is responsible for familiarizing and orienting the student with the activities of the site and the site's procedures, policies and expectations for professional conduct (e g confidentiality, dress code). In addition this professional serves as a mentor during the experience, supervising the student while they are present at the site, and planning appropriate activities.

Site Supervisor Responsibilities

  1. Interview and select community placement students. Once students have met the criteria for participation, they will be given site contact information or work with the WKU instructor to determine possible placement sites. The students are responsible for setting up an interview with the site. The site supervisor should interview potential community placement students and determine whether or not they want to take on the student. Sites have the right to select or reject students that they interview. In some cases, there may not be a good fit between the student and the site, or the site have situational constraints for a period of time that limit or prohibit having community placement student(s).
  2. Provide opportunities for a variety of activities and experiences. These activities should include an orientation to the site, development of individual student goals for the semester, and opportunities to see the application of psychological principles in a real life situation. Selection of appropriate student activities should occur within the context of the legal and ethical practices pertinent to each site. In addition, it is hopeful that the student's activities contribute to the site's operations and functions. While there are many activities that may be inappropriate for a student it is important that the student not be limited to activities that are not substantive and educational in nature.
  3. Provide a role model. For many students the community placement is their first professional work contact. As such, the site provides a model of responsible work behaviors, professional ethics, and professional ethics.It would be important to explicitly communicate expectations to each student as to specific site requirements regarding appropriate attire, communication skills,and social conduct. Feedback to the student regarding professional behaviors and activities may be necessary to facilitate adjustment to the professional setting. If appropriate, the WKU instructor can assist in this process.
  4. Monitor participation and communicate with WKU instructor. Site supervisors will be responsible for signing the monthly log of activities that the student submits to the WKU instructor. This is to verify that the students have been in the placement. In addition, it is the site supervisor's responsibility to communicate any significant concerns about the student's performance in a timely manner. The WKU instructor will work with the site supervisor to resolve any concerns.
  5. Participate in student evaluation. Each site supervisor will be contacted in the middle of the semester to determine the student's adjustment to the site. In addition, each site supervisor will complete an evaluation form and assist in grade determination.

 

 

See: List of Community Placement Sites

 Last Modified 3/28/14