FAQ about Field Education in Psychology
1. What is Supervised Field Experience?
Supervised Field Experience (Psy 400) is a 6 credit off-campus experience in which psychology majors serve as para-professionals in a social service or mental health setting. Students must log a total of 240 hours connected with the Field Experience course with a minimum of 150 hours served at the internship site. The Supervised Field Experience in Psychology is one way students meet the general college requirement for Field Education. Many students report that the Supervised Field Education experience was one of their most meaningful college learning experiences.
2. Who should take Supervised Field Experience (Psy. 400)?
Since field experience placements are usually in social service and/or mental health settings students majoring in psychology and interested in clinical/counseling related careers will likely take Supervised Field Experience offered through the Psychology Department.
3. Are there other ways to meet the college Field Education requirement?
Yes, off-campus programs such as “Chicago Semester” may fulfill this requirement. Also, students with double majors in Psychology and another discipline may choose to meet this requirement through a Field Education experience offered in the department of their second major. Students interested in pursuing an academic or research-oriented career in psychology may choose to fulfill the Field Education requirement through Psy. 401, Guided Research Experience. Only one Field Education experience is required for graduation.
4. When should I take Supervised Field Experience in Psychology?
Ordinarily, students take Supervised Field Experience in their senior year. The course is offered both Fall and Spring semesters every year.
5. Can I complete Supervised Field Education in the summer?
Yes under special circumstances and subject to approval by a Faculty Field Education Supervisor. Students must present rationale supporting the need for a summer internship placement.
6. How do I find an internship placement?
Students are responsible for securing an internship placement including contacting the agency, setting up interviews and submitting whatever materials may be required by the site. The student must also submit the name of the field supervisor to whom they will report at the placement site. Applications available from the Psychology Department must be submitted in advance of the intended semester, March 15 for Fall internships, October 15 for Spring internships. The Faculty Field Education Supervisor must approve all internships placements.
A list of potential internship sites can be obtained from the Psychology Department. Students may also secure internship placements not on the Psychology Department list subject to faculty approval. Students are encouraged to consult with Psychology faculty regarding the suitability of specific internship sites.
7. What should I look for in locating an internship placement?
Generally internship sites that offer direct or “hands on” experience produce the best learning. Internships that offer special training are also attractive. The availability of supervision and mentoring is also a significant factor to consider. Internship sites that offer experiences in a student’s area of interest are especially valuable. In some cases internship sites may lead to paid employment.
8. Can I obtain a paid internship?
Yes, although generally internships are unpaid, volunteer experiences.
9. Can I fulfill my Field Education requirement at more than one placement?
Yes, however both placements must be approved by the Psychology Department and the total number of hours logged for both internship placements must add up to 240 in order to meet the course requirements
10. Who can I talk to if I have further questions regarding Supervised Field Education?
Make an appointment with your academic advisor regarding other issues or questions you may have or speak with any faculty member in the Psychology Department.