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Department of Psychology

Field Experience in Psychology - PSY 390


WKU Instructor Responsibilities

  1. Supervise the student application, registration, and placement process. Approve students for the course and assist students in securing site for the community placement.
  2. Provide Experience in Psychology Guidelines to site supervisors, psychology majors and advisors in the Psychology Department. Also to ensure that the guidelines are mutually agreeable and appropriately implemented.
  3. Assist the site supervisor in planning and implementing appropriate activities. Upon request, the WKU instructor will assist the site supervisor develop goals for the student and activities to ensure that the experience meets the course goals and student needs. The WKU instructor will review, approve and/or suggest modifications to the goals and activities developed by the student and the site supervisor.
  4. Communicate with site supervisors. The WKU instructor will initiate phone, in-person, or email contacts with the site supervisor at the middle and end of the semester. If necessary or requested, these contacts can be increased. The mid semester contact will be to obtain a progress report on the student and their adjustment to the site. The end of the semester communication will include a written evaluation of the student completed by the site supervisor and a discussion of the grade for the student.
  5. Lead seminars and monitor student progress. The WKU instructor is responsible for reviewing student logs and reflection papers, leading seminar meetings with students or online activities.
  6. Student Evaluation. The WKU instructor is responsible for determining course grades, however input is obtained from the site supervisor in the form of an evaluation of student performance.

Student Responsibilities

The Field Experience in Psychology is different from traditional courses in the Psychology major. It is a field-based course that provides opportunities for students to observe and work with professionals in the community. Partnerships have been developed with the community sites in order to allow for student participation. It is important to recognize that the community sites participate voluntarily in this program and that continued participation may be dependent on successful student performance in the community placement.

Depending on the placement site students may need to provide special requirements Students are responsible for obtaining their own transportation to the field site. In addition site requirements for certain types of professional attire or dress codes may result in some extra expenses for the student. The needs for specific or special attire should be disclosed at the interview so that students would be aware of this before the start or selection of the site.

In that this is a field-based course, performance in this class is evaluated on the student's ability to accept and display professional work behaviors and to integrate observations with prior course learning. While specific grading and course requirements are addressed in the course syllabus some aspects of course requirements will be provided below along with other student responsibilities.

  1. Complete application process the semester before the placement. It is the student's responsibility to complete the application, registration and interview process the semester prior to the placement.
  2. Interview and obtain site placement. Once approved, the student will work with the WKU instructor to obtain a site placement. Students should approach the site interview as if it were an interview for a job, dressing professionally and being prepared with questions to ask about the site such as who their supervisor would be and activities in which they might be participate.
  3. Fulfill requirements of syllabus including:
    • Monthly logs – complete at turn it at the monthly seminar meeting
    • Reflections paper – turn in monthly at the seminar meeting
    • Summary paper of experiences – submitted at the end of the semester
    • Attend seminar meetings
  4. Complete activities as assigned by the site supervisor. Students are to follow the direction of the site supervisor and other professionals at their site. The process of supervision requires that the student and supervisor assume mutual responsibility for assuring that student and course needs are being met. Students must take responsibility for informing the site supervisor of their perceived needs (e g knowledge, skills) and their perceived competency or comfort level with activities and experiences. In all cases the student should be guided by "If you don't know or are unsure – ASK!" Site supervisors will not be able to meet the student's individual needs unless they are known. In addition, the student will need to inform the site supervisor of the comfort level in performing certain activities, or their needs for support and guidance when engaging in a new activity. The student must also accept responsibility for bringing up concerns, problems or issues encountered as well as monitoring the proportion of time engaged in different activities to ensure the goals of the community placement are being achieved. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the on-site hours are being obtained and notifying the WKU instructor if there are any problems with the activities.
  5. Display professional behavior. It is the student's responsibility to comply with the policies and procedures of the placement site, and exhibit ethical conduct and professional/work related behaviors (punctuality, cordial working relationships, timely work completion) under the site supervisor's supervision and feedback. Students should approach his/her placement site as if he/she is an employee of that site. Site supervisors often provide references for students pursuing employment or further graduate study. How well you do in your field placement can influence future employment or other future professional pursuits!


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 Last Modified 9/25/14