The Practicum in Applied Psychology (APSY2152) is a course-based, credit-bearing experience that allows students to (1) develop experience at a professional work setting reflecting the student’s main area or vocational orientation with supervision by faculty and, (2) develop professionally and practice work related skills.
The Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology Department aims to equip students with the critical skills and knowledge necessary for continued occupational, educational, and personal advancement in Psychology and related disciplines. In addition, the department strives to foster 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 students to:
Students will reflect on their internship experience in order to identify and assess their growth in skills and experience, gain a broader appreciation of the discipline and enhance their sense of civic responsibility.
Preference will be given to Juniors and Seniors who have completed at least 12 credit hours of APHD/EDUC courses prior to the semester of Applied Psychology Practicum (APSY2152) enrollment.
Sophomores and students who are minoring in Applied Psychology interested in taking the class will be considered on a case by case basis determined by fit. Interested Sophomores should complete a Field Placement Application form and meet with the Applied Psych Practicum advisor prior to being admitted to the class.
Students should be able to:
Students 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 regular 15 week semester, a 3 credit practicum course will equate to approximately 225 hours. Be prepared for a large time commitment and schedule your classes accordingly.
Students should contact a Practicum Advisor to begin to discuss the process. Students will complete a Field Placement Application form and bring it to the meeting with the Advisor. During the initial meeting, students will be advised as to their readiness to begin the practicum experience. The Advisor will provide recommendations on how to improve qualifications for practicum if benchmarks have not yet been met. In addition, the Advisor will begin to identify a practicum experience that meets the student’s career goals and will help to prepare a resume and correspondence to an internship site.
Prior to enrolling in APSY2152, students will also attend a required practicum preparation workshop. The practicum preparation workshop is designed to help students transition to a practicum site and will address ethics, communication strategies, values, self-regulation strategies, and professional development. Upon completion of the pre-practicum workshop, students will be able to:
Students 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 students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the major; gain exposure to potential career paths; develop competency working in diverse settings, 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. Students, in collaboration with practicum site supervisors and course instructors, , 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).
Some additional guidelines are:
The practicum experience can be very rewarding as students learn to work effectively as a contributing member of a work group or team and recognize the relevance and importance of psychology concepts and theories in practice. Students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience for continued education or employment and will likely experience a sense of accomplishment when contributing to a community organization and its mission.
“Our practicum student was an incredible asset to our team in a very short amount of time. She was engaged with our office and showed a genuine interest in getting to know our work and key stakeholders who we interact with. Our student was able to help us with tasks that wouldn't have gotten done easily without her present. We have actually invited her to return as a paid student employee next fall and have helped her secure a summer internship in our area.”