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Description of Internship (Course: PSY 4970)

Goals and Objectives

The internship component is the student's opportunity to realistically apply psychological theory and practice in a selected human service agency. Agency supervisors provide diverse learning activities for the maintenance and enhancement of the intern's professional development. In exchange, the intern brings their unique perspective and style to the agency. Agency supervisors typically enjoy mentoring and understand the developmental nature of the internship process.

The undergraduate academic program educates the Psychology student as a generalist. The internship is designed to focus the student on a specific population requiring particular knowledge and skills. Students coming out of internship are thought to be more confident of their abilities and are ready to make a contribution in their vocation.


The internship experience allows the student to:

  1. Apply knowledge gained in the classroom in a practical setting while under the close supervision of an experienced professional.

  2. Sharpen previously acquired skills and gain new skills in helping relationships.

  3. Gain specific knowledge and skills of a particular client population served by the agency.

  4. Assess his/her own strengths and weaknesses in an applied setting.

  5. Observe and gain an understanding of the occupational roles and ethical responsibilities of professionals in an applied field.

  6. Gain familiarity with an agency's purpose, function, policies and procedures.

  7. Gain familiarity with the human services networks in the community.

Specifically, the internship experience will make particular demands of the intern which will vary from one internship to another. The student should evaluate as carefully as possible what specific task demands will be made on the job to determine if he/she feels competent to handle the anticipated work. A careful match of a placement with a student whose abilities are adequate to fill the internship is very important; first, because the greatest amount of learning will occur, and second, because a successful internship is the biggest stepping stone to job placement after graduation.