Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Department of Psychology

Field Experience in Psychology - PSY 390



Instructor: Elizabeth (Libby) Jones, Ph.D.
Office: Gary A. Ransdell Hall 3029
Phone: (W) 270-745-4414 (H) 270 843-4230

Prerequisites: Psy 100 and Junior or Senior psychology major, with twelve hours in psychology and approval of the department. Particular courses will be designed as prerequisites or corequisites for particular community placement experiences.

Course Catalog Description: Practical work experience in a supervised psychology-related work setting with a cooperating psychological or human services agency, private business or industry. Psychology 390 may be taken for 3 hours credit at one time. Only 3 hours will count within the first 33 hours of a psychology major. Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to designated or assigned sites.

Course Objectives:

  1. Students will obtain supervised work experience within a psychological, human service agency or private business/industry.
  2. Students will integrate conceptual knowledge obtained through courses in the psychology major or minors in psychology or gerontology 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 the ethics and work behaviors expected of professionals working in psychological, human service agencies or private business/industry.

Course Materials:

Available on Blackboard

Course Requirements:

  1. Goals and Attendance Schedule: During the first week of the placement each student meets with the site supervisor to develop a written summary of duties and goals for the semester along with developing a schedule of attendance for the semester. By the end of the second week of the semester, or, 20 hours of participation each student will provide this information in the Emergency Contact and Procedures Information and the Community Placement Goals and Learning Activities forms (see Blackboard site).
  2. Logs: Each student is expected to document his/her time and activities on the Log Form found on Blackboard. Each log sheet must be signed by the site supervisor and submitted for review at the monthly seminar meeting with the WKU instructor or according to the schedule posted on Blackboard for online offerings. By the end of the placement, each student will need to have accumulated 120 hours in his/her field placement.
  3. Seminar Meetings/Discussion Board: On campus students are required to attend a monthly seminar meeting and a final meeting to be held during the class final exam period. There will be designated topics for each meeting and students are expected to discuss experiences they have had in their placements that relate to the topics. Seminar groups will meet six (6 times) during the semester at the designated class meeting time.   Participation in the seminars is required and contributes to the final grade. Students are also expected to participate in an online discussion on Blackboard, WKU's online course delivery system, between seminar meetings on a weekly basis. Participation is required and contributes to the final grade. Online Students: Students participating in the online course delivery do not attend any seminar  meetings. However, there will be increased requirements for participation in the online discussion board on Blackboard, WKU's online course delivery system. Participation is required and contributes to the final course grade. Postings should be distributed across the placement. Points will be deducted for multiple postings on one date.
  4. Reflection/Connection Papers: Each student will complete 6 reflection/connection writings based upon their experiences in their field placement. These assignments require students to think about their experiences and relate them to their coursework in psychology. Complete guidelines for the format, length, and content of the papers are provided in the Course Materials section on Blackboard.
  5. Summary Paper: At the end of the semester each student will submit a summary paper integrating his/her experiences in the placement and reflections with prior course work. Guidelines for completion of this summary paper are included in the Course Materials section of Blackboard.
  6. Forms: Students are responsible for completing and turning in forms (logs, emergency contact form, evaluation forms) at the appropriate times. A schedule will be provided to students indicating the timelines for submission of forms. Some forms will require the student to obtain a signature from the site supervisor (e. g., logs, evaluation forms). A final portfolio of course materials is submitted for grading and is due to the instructor on the scheduled final exam date and time or the last day of the summer session.


  Points Percentage
Participation 600 60%
Seminars [not required for online class] 126  
E-mail updates to Instructor   99  
Discussion Board Postings    126  
    [Online Offering] 210  
Logs 100  
Supervisor Evaluation 100  
Evaluation of Placement 50  
Reflection Papers 200 20%
    6 papers (33 each)    
Course Summary Paper 200 20%
Total 1000 100%


A=90 – 100%; B= 80 – 89%; C= 70-79%; D = 60-69%

Special Note: Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or other auxiliary aids or services) for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Services, Room 445 Potter Hall. The phone number is 270.745.5004 VT/DD.

Please do not request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor without a letter of accommodations from the Office for Disability Services.

The course schedule, topics, procedures and requirements are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor or in the event of extenuating circumstances.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 Last Modified 9/24/14