For students interested in getting hands-on experience in psychology during their time at Shepherd, we have several options.
Research experience: All Psychology majors get to experience the process of doing psychology research during their Senior Thesis project. Those who would like additional research experience are encouraged to contact individual faculty members and ask about helping with their ongoing research projects. You may earn credits by registering for either PSYC 211 Faculty Led Research or PSYC 312 Research Practicum. (Your faculty mentor will tell you which to sign up for.)
Work experience: Psychology majors who have a job in which some component is related to psychology may register for PSYC 392 Co-operative Education in Psychology. You’ll be able to reflect on how you apply your psychology education to your work and earn credits in the process! Start by finding a Psychology faculty member willing to supervise you and work with them to establish the requirements for the class. Contact the Cooperative Education Office for more information.
Internships: Students interested in clinical psychology should read below to learn how you can get involved in the department’s clinical practicum program. “Practicum” is basically another word for “internship”. These are unpaid positions in which you gain valuable experience working directly with patients and clinicians at local mental health facilities.
CLINICAL PRACTICUM (PSYC 313 Clinical Practicum, 3 credits)
The Department of Psychology has made arrangements with a handful of local mental health service providers to offer supervised hands-on experience in the field of mental health. Hands-on experience can enrich your academic learning and your career in many ways:
- helps you identify what you love doing and what you are good at;
- provides the opportunity to work closely with faculty, who may be able to provide you with a positive recommendation for future jobs or grad school;
- looks great on your resume for future jobs or grad school;
- provides connections with human service providers in your local area, which can lead to job opportunities in the future.
- GPA, class standing (Senior, Junior, etc.), and previous clinical/counseling coursework will be considered in placing students.
- You must complete an application; look for the email from Dr. Murtagh around mid-semester, listing the opportunities that are available for the upcoming semester, and return the application to her. (Students who apply by the deadline will be placed first; however, if there are open practicum positions, late applications may be considered.)
- A minimum of 150 hours on site are required (about 12 hrs./wk.; schedules are usually somewhat flexible), as well as weekly meetings with your faculty supervisor, and some academic requirements (some reading and writing assignments).
Contact Dr. Yufik for more information: email@example.com
CLINICAL PRACTICUM SITES
You will be asked to rank your preference for the practicum sites; the process is competitive, and your first choice may not be available.
Sites available for Spring 2020
|Children and adolescents|
|At Excel Youth, students will have lots of client interaction and family contact, sitting in on individual and group therapy, field trips, community activities, and home visits. There is the opportunity to develop a special interest group or activity, if the student is interested in that. Excel Youth provides psychosocial rehabilitation services for children and adolescents with a mental health diagnosis. Located in Frederick and Hagerstown, MD.|
|Homeless Outreach Program (HOP) of Way Station in Hagerstown|
|HOP works with the Washington County homeless population both in the community and in their office. They provide case management type services to help people access their needed documentation (birth certificates, IDs, etc.), connect them with needed resources in the community, and provide onsite services for activities of daily living. Many of these folks also have mental health needs as well. Located in Hagerstown, MD.|
|Children, adolescents, and families|
|At WVU Medicine, students will gain research experience and exposure to clinical work with children, adolescents, and families. Students will score questionnaires from patients and enter data in a database, conduct literature reviews, and help with data analysis. Students can also observe therapy sessions with children, adolescents, and families and attend training sessions related to mental health and clinical issues. If students are interested, they will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project utilizing the clinical data and present it at a conference. Located in Martinsburg, WV.|
|Berkeley Medical Center (WVU Medicine)|
|Adults with mental illness and substance use disorders|
|At Berkeley Medical Center, students can observe and gradually gain experience in working with individuals with substance use disorders and serious mental illness. Berkeley Medical Center is an inpatient crisis unit. Students will shadow therapists and will eventually conduct intakes, assessments, and groups. Located in Martinsburg, WV.|
|Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County|
|Contact with children, adolescents, parents, and adult volunteers|
|Big Brothers Big Sisters helps to change children’s lives by matching them with caring adults who can guide them on a path to success. Students completing a practicum at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington Co. would serve in the role of an enrollment specialist (ES). You will be carefully trained, and will gain a good deal of skill and experience in interviewing. The ES serves as the first point-of-contact for prospective volunteers, children and their parent/guardian. In this capacity, the ES provides an overview of the mission of the agency, guides them through the enrollment process, then develops a match recommendation for the client. The ES will also have the opportunity to participate in the implementation of the agency’s bimonthly Big-Little group activities. Applicants must have reliable transportation, must successfully complete a criminal background/driving record check, and must be proficient in Microsoft Office, including Word and Outlook. Preference will be given to students who can plan to complete two semesters of practicum at BBBS. Located in Hagerstown, MD.|
Sites previously available
|Hope Center at the VA|
|Veterans with mental illness and substance use disorders|
|At the Hope Center at the VA, students can observe a wide range of mental health programs, individual and group. Students will help with research studies and will have the opportunity to take part in staff trainings and case consultations. Students can request particular kinds of experience – substance use disorders, dialectical behavior therapy, behavioral health, and others. Located in Martinsburg, WV.|
|Children and adolescents|
|At Heeling House, students will learn to conduct applied behavior analysis (ABA), social skills groups, and animal-assisted therapy (including therapy dog training). Students will be trained to serve as behavior technicians and will be responsible for conducting one-on-one ABA-based therapy sessions based on treatment plans for each child. They also have the opportunity to observe and/or run social skills groups based on the lesson plans for each child. Located in Sterling, VA.|
|Berryville facility (Grafton Integrated Health Network)|
|Children and adolescents|
|At the Berryville facility, students can assist children and adolescents in the classrooms or in the residence halls, and can sometimes sit in on individual, group, and family therapy. This is a secure, trauma-informed psychiatric residential treatment program children and adolescents with psychiatric and developmental challenges — autism, oppositional-defiant disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and others. Located in Berryville, VA.|