Internships are a very helpful way to learn more about psychology through first-hand experiences, to explore career options in psychology, and to become a more competitive applicant for both graduate school and jobs. The Department of Psychology will be offering an internship course — PSYC 393 – during the Fall 2014 semester that will be taught by Dr. Meyers. PSYC 393 is a three credit class that counts towards the psychology major and towards graduation.
Students will select a 150-hour internship placement at an approved site that interests them. Undergraduates also will participate in an online component of the class that involves weekly discussion postings, readings, and written assignments about their site work. This opportunity is open to both Chicago and Schaumburg students, and can even be completed out of state with appropriate arrangements.
Finding a site
Undergraduates will find their sites for the internship class with the support and assistance of the university. The site must be an organized setting (such as a social service agency, a charitable organization, a hospital) rather than an informal arrangement (such as babysitting or assisting a neighbor in need). The internship must involve direct interactions with clients or the target group rather than requiring you to perform clerical or other administrative tasks that do not connect as well to psychology. The site must have a designated supervisor. This person must be available to provide training, answer questions, and provide you with appropriate feedback. Supervisors must be sufficiently knowledgeable about your performance so that they can complete the required evaluation forms, and should hold at minimum a college degree.
Keep in mind that the 150 hours do not include any training that the site requires. Also, students cannot double-count hours serving at the site with any paid employment or other college-related, credit bearing experience. Please note that undergraduate internships in psychology are unpaid as well.
Students can find possible internship placements by contacting the staff in the Career Development Office. They can help you identify ideal opportunities, utilize online resources, write a resume, and support you through the internship process. Start with their site online at http://www.roosevelt.edu/Career/Student/Internship.aspx. You can find instructions about how to search their internship databases by clicking here.
You can also research site options by looking at different databases online. The best resource is volunteermatch.org. Go to the following link at http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/advanced.jsp and enter your zip code in the location field. Other databases that are similar include www.idealist.org, www.chicagocares.org, and www.allforgood.org.
Another strategy that students use is to contact sites directly and ask if they allow volunteers. Places to call in your neighborhood include social service agencies, hospitals, psychiatric centers, and similar organizations. There are online directories of such places, too, such as Community Resources Online (http://irissoft.com/cje1/). Try to find an area that interests you using their pull-down menus that are arranged by topic.
If you are interested in volunteering with children or families, the Initiative for Child and Family Studies does have a listing of related sites with these populations. You can download the Excel file at http://sites.roosevelt.edu/smeyers/initiative-for-child-and-family-studies/outreach/ . However, some students in this internship class will opt to work with adults instead.
Dates for the site work and advance planning
All 150 hours must coincide with the semester in which students enrolland should be evenly spread across the term. Your work should begin by the start of the semester and finish by the end of the term. This averages to about 12.5 hours per week at the site.
Because it takes a while to finalize a site placement, there are two important advance deadlines.
Participation in the online class
The internship class also involves your participation in an online seminar through Blackboard. Each week, students will read a chapter from The Successful Internship by Sweitzer and King, participate in an asynchronous discussion (i.e., students log on to the site at different points during the week to post their responses), and maintain a journal of your site work. Your grade in PSYC 393 will reflect your supervisor’s assessment of your work, the quality of your discussion postings, and the quality of your journal. Even though the class is online, it is not technical or difficult to use Blackboard. You can see the syllabus here.
Who can take this class and when will it be offered?
The class is designed for psychology majors who have completed at least 12 semester hours. Students from other areas who have sufficient background can complete this class as well. There is an enrollment limit of 25 students on PSYC 393.
How do I sign up?
Email Dr. Meyers at email@example.com with any questions you have and to receive permission to enroll. After you receive permission via email, you can add the course to your schedule using RUAccess. Students who are registered for the class will receive follow-up instructions and correspondence.