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Department of Psychology

Field Experience in Psychology

Psychology 390

Course Catalog Description

PSY 390. FIELD EXPERIENCE IN PSYCHOLOGY. (3-6 hours) Junior standing; Psychology Major or Minor with 12 hours in psychology; approval of the department and a 2.5 GPA in psychology. Field placement sites are approved based on consistency with the student's academic preparation. Practical work experience in a supervised psychology-related work setting with a cooperating psychology or human services agency, private business, or industry. Psychology 390 may be taken for 3 hours credit at one time. Only three hours will count toward the psychology major or minor. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to designated or assigned sites.

The Field Experience in Psychology course is designed for students majoring or minoring in psychology. Students must be of Junior or Senior standing, obtain faculty recommendations, and hold a GPA of at least 2.5 in psychology courses. Most placements also require particular psychology classes as prerequisites or co-requisites. In addition to these requirements, the student's schedule of classes should permit at a minimum half-day, if not whole day participation at the site.

Enrollment in the Field Experience in Psychology requires advance planning and approval by the Psy 390 instructor in order to obtain approval from the instructor to register for the course. After enrollment in the course, the student works with the Field Experience instructor to obtain a community placement. This step must take place the semester before the placement is to occur. The specific steps can be viewed in the Handbook.

The purpose of the course is dual in nature. The first purpose is to provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in a setting outside of the university where concepts, practices and knowledge from the field of psychology are utilized. The second purpose is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about professional behavior and ethics and the linkage between theory and practice.

As stated in the course Syllabus there are four objects for the Field Experience in Psychology. They are:

  1. Students will obtain supervised work experience within a community agency, program or business.
  2. Students will integrate conceptual knowledge obtained through courses in the psychology major or minor with applied experiences obtained in the community placement.
  3. Students will learn to use reflective writings for professional growth and development.
  4. Students will learn about professional ethics and work behavior.

Psychology 390 is designed to give students majoring in psychology exposure to the practice of psychology and human service professions. Students in Psy 390 do volunteer work and gain experience in a psychological service agency or in a related agency. The aims of the course are for students to see the work of these professionals firsthand, to integrate field placement experience with coursework, and to learn if they are interested in a career in one of these areas. Placements are available with a variety of programs and agencies. Typical/routine placements have been with the Family Enrichment Center, Barren River Safe Space, Child Crisis Stabilization Unit of LifeSkills, Rivendell Behavioral Health , Warren County Schools – Family Resource Center & Preschool Programs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Camp Courageous (summers), and psychologists in private practice.

For any questions or comments about PSY 390 please contact Dr. Sarah Ochs.

Student Letter




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 Last Modified 10/28/19