The Practicum in Applied Psychology allows students to experience a faculty-supervised professional work setting that equips them with the critical skills and knowledge necessary for continued occupational, educational, and personal advancement in Psychology and related disciplines. In addition, the Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology department fosters an environment in which students are encouraged to identify their values and vocational aspirations, apply their disciplinary training and knowledge to an increasingly complex world, and recognize their important role in society as members of a vital citizenry.
The Practicum in Applied Psychology (APSY2152) is a course-based, credit-bearing experience that allows you to:
You and your fellow students will reflect on your internship experience to identify and assess your growth in skills and experience, gain a broader appreciation of the discipline, and enhance your sense of civic responsibility.
Students who are Applied Psychology & Human Development (APHD) majors are eligible to register for this class. Preference is given to juniors and seniors. Sophomores and APHD minors may be able to register with approval from the Undergraduate Associate Dean’s Office, if space is available.
You should be able to:
You should prepare for and expect to participate in professional and direct engagement with the practicum site over the course of a semester. Typical practicum experiences require 8-12 hours a week for a minimum of 12 weeks. You should plan to begin your placement no later than the week following the add/drop deadline, and continue through the end of the semester. Be prepared for a large time commitment and schedule your classes accordingly.
You will gain real-world learning experiences by working with professionals in an applied setting that is relevant to psychology. In general, the practicum experience will provide you with the opportunity to apply what you have learned in the major, gain exposure to potential career paths, develop competency working in diverse settings and with diverse populations, build mentor and other network relationships, and develop professional skills.
Much of the learning will occur at the placement site, under the guidance of an on-site supervisor. In collaboration with practicum site supervisors and course instructors, you should develop a practicum plan (i.e., individualized learning objectives & assessment plan).
Appropriate practicum learning objectives, informed by the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major (Version 2.0, Aug 2013), include:
More specialized learning objectives can be formulated according to personal goals and the placement setting (e.g., group facilitation, program evaluation, introductory assessment skills).
Baird, B.N. (2014). The internship, practicum, and field placement handbook: A guide for the helping professions 7/e. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
This course is a transition from student to professional life. You are not only a BC student, but also will be a part of, and will represent, your practicum site. As such, you will be expected to meet standards of conduct in such aspects such as dress, language, ethics, accountability, and work quality. It is important to set the highest possible standards for how you perform in your professional life. In the professional world, getting by with the minimum simply is not enough. You should set high standards and plan to aim beyond the minimum requirements. This is not to say that you are expected to know everything. Asking questions and taking appropriate initiative can help you find your way in your practicum. Some good advice to remember throughout your practicum experience is to “be honest with yourself and with others” and to “do your best” (Baird, 2014).
“In a very short period of time, our practicum student became an incredible asset to our team. She was engaged with our office, showed a genuine interest our work and our key stakeholders, and helped us with tasks that otherwise wouldn’t have been completed. We invited her to return as a paid student employee the following semester and helped her secure a summer internship.”