There are a variety of opportunities available for undergraduate and graduate students to acquire practicum experience.
For graduate students, most of this experience is part of the formal one-semester practicum required as part of graduate training. Some examples of the local agencies in which graduate students recently have received this experience are:
Orleans County Mental Health
Victor Central Schools
Stepping Stones Preschool (autism services)
Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities
SUNY Brockport Counseling Center
Rochester Psychiatric Center
Learning Disabilities Association
University of Rochester Medical Center
Unity Health Systems Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
Graduate students interested in making arrangements for these practica should consult with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
You do not have to be a graduate student to acquire internship experience. In most cases, the kinds of internships sought out by undergraduate students are either of a community/clinical nature or are teaching practica.
Many undergraduate students would like to acquire experience working
in social service agencies or other community and/or clinically related
settings, and at the same time acquire academic credit for their work.
Most of these opportunities are organized through the Brockport Career
Explorations Course (BCEC). To design such an experience, you need first
to find a psychology faculty member who is willing to sponsor you. A good
place to start is to ask your advisor, or you can inquire in the Psychology
Department main office (133 Holmes Hall). Most of the formalities of setting
up the practicum will be managed by the Office of Career Services on campus.
For more information about how to do this, go to the BCEC
, or contact Rob DiCarlo at (585) 395-5422 or firstname.lastname@example.org Also read the following application packet for BCEC at www.brockport.edu/career/Internship/BCEC_Application%20Packet2010.pdf
Some recent examples of local agencies where psychology undergraduates have received practicum training via BCEC include:
Crestwood Children's Center
Orleans County Mental Health
Unity Health Systems
Hillside Children's Center
Broome County Development Center
Clara Barton School
St. Joseph's Villa
Heritage Christian Home
Genesee Valley BOCES
SUNY Brockport has one of relatively few undergraduate programs in psychology that offer teaching practica in psychology to undergraduate students. On average, about 25-30 students per year participate in the various teaching practica available in psychology. These practica are offered under the following course numbers:
PSH 423 Practicum in Teaching Conditioning and Learning
PSH 440 Practicum Teaching Biopsychology
PSH 465 Practicum in Teaching Experimental Psychology
PSH 468 Practicum in Teaching Research Statistics
Students who enroll in these practica work with psychology faculty teaching the course to which the specific practicum applies. For example, assume you are interested in gaining some practicum experience teaching statistics (PSH 202). You would go to one of the faculty members who will be teaching that course during the semester for which you wish to participate, and ask if you might enroll in PSH 468 under his/her supervision. If he/she agrees, you will be permitted to enroll. During the course of the semester, you may engage in a number of instruction related activities, including tutoring students who are enrolled in PSH 202, helping them complete homework assignments, assisting them in their preparations for exams, etc. The specific activities in which you will engage will depend on the course and the instructor.
These teaching practica are excellent experiences, as they help you gain useful teaching experience. Experience that will, among other things, be useful as part of your application portfolio if you wish to apply to graduate school. They permit the faculty member(s) who supervise your work to become familiar with you and your capabilities (and thus put them in a position to write valuable reference letters for you), and they provide the opportunity to learn the subject matter of the course in which you are assisting much more thoroughly than would be the case otherwise.
Clinical/community practica and teaching practica are not the only kinds
of practicum experiences available to psychology students; they are merely
the most common ones. In reality, however, the BCEC program is an extremely
flexible one, and you can design just about any kind of practicum experience
you might wish as long as you can find a psychology faculty member willing
to sponsor it. You could participate in an industrial/organizational psychology
practicum in a local business or industry, for example. Or you might want
to work out arrangements for a practicum in human factors psychology or
in psychopharmacology in related local businesses. Do not be afraid to
ask questions, and do not hesitate to propose any practicum that makes
sense to you. The sky is the limit.
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