The Psychology Department currently offers a 3-credit course called Field Experience in Psychology I (PY435). This course is only available to psychology majors, requires junior or senior status, and may only be taken once. PY 435 is currently one of several courses that majors can choose from within Group VI (Clinical/Applied courses for those in the Class of 2011-2014) or Group I (Advanced Topics for those in the Class of 2015 and beyond) to fulfill our major requirements.
PY435: Field Experience in Psychology I
Designed for students to gain supervised experience in a practical setting via a special arrangement with a selected agency in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area. There are many possible sites through which students may explore the applied aspects of psychology, both clinical and research.
PY435 is offered in both the fall and spring semesters to junior or senior psychology majors only. (it is not offered in the summer), and consists of two components: off-campus internship and an on-campus component.
PY436: Field Experience in Psychology II
Prerequisite: PY 435 and junior or senior standing in psychology and written permission of the Director of Undergraduate Field Education. By special arrangement with an individual and a selected agency, the student will engage in a supervised experience designed to develop further psychological skills in a practical setting.
PY436 does not count towards the 40-course, 120-credit hour requirement for graduation, but can be taken and earned for credit. Course grade does count within your GPA. Thus, this course will not fulfill any needed PY or free elective as denoted in your audit form. Students who are ahead in their courses (e.g., due to advanced credit or are summer courses) may find room in their schedule to take PY436.
Beginning Fall 2011, students who have completed PY435 can register for PY436, Field Experience in Psychology II. This course involves the same careful planning that PY435 currently requires. Students would be required to take PY435 and 436 in different semesters so as to have a cumulative field experience at a single or at different sites. For Fall 2011, only existing sites are available, but come Spring 2012, field placements at new sites will be considered.
Planning for Field Experience
- Students would be required to take PY435 and 436 in different semesters so as to have a cumulative field experience at a single or at different sites. For Fall 2011, only existing sites are available, but come Spring 2012, field placements at new sites will be considered.
- Course Requirements for PY436:
- Monthly class meetings would group PY435 and PY436 students together and will be arranged prior to the start of the semester based upon students' schedules.
- Despite having joint class times,
- PY436 students would develop a portfolio (reflections on field experiences, written reports or other materials created at PY436, CV) to be compiled in place of the journal required of PY435 students.
- Different readings will be required for PY436 students than what is used for PY435 students to reflect their more advanced professional experience and development.
PY 435 and PY436 are designed to ensure that students engage in careful planning for this experience. Specifically, students start a full semester in advance to choose and secure an appropriate placement while receiving ongoing guidance from the Director of Field Education in Psychology. At the start of each semester all junior and senior psychology majors will receive an email informing them of the date and time of the mandatory planning meeting for field education. Students must respond to this message and confirm their attendance. During the planning meeting the Director will distribute the externship handbook, forms and a list of approved training sites. After attending this meeting and completing the necessary forms, students will begin to communicate with the sites that are in line with their career goals. Placement sites are ones where psychologists typically work and are designed to provide the student with both observational and "hands-on" experiences, even though placements have worked with a range of professionals from psychologists to professional counselors, social workers, lawyers, doctors and allied health professionals, and business professionals to develop students’ Industrial/ Organizational Psychology interests class="Normal1". Thereafter, students apply and interview at the sites they are most interested in, and engage in discernment as to which site to pursue if they are given more than one offer. Only after students have secured a letter of offer from their chosen site can students register for PY435 or PY436.
Again, for more information about these courses, please attend a Field Placement Information session that is scheduled during the first half of each semester. The process to secure a site for PY436 remains the same as it was for PY435 so please consult the description within PY435.
How Study Abroad Affects Field Experience Planning
Students who are planning to study abroad can register for either field experience course if they undergo the process described in the previous paragraph during the semester before they depart for study abroad. Thus, they need to plan early and try to solicit a site early before leaving, if and only if the site is willing to secure the student that far in advance; some sites have been willing, while others have not. For instance, a student who is a junior studying abroad in the spring would need to plan, interview, and solidify a placement for PY435 or PY436 during the fall of their junior year to then take either that field placement course in the fall of their senior year. There is no guarantee that all sites are willing to secure a student a full year in advance. In the event that PY 436 students are wishing to continue at same placement in the same position they did for PY 435, arrangements should be made with the site supervisor and the Director of Field Education during the semester they take PY435 to ensure that PY 436 could be taken upon their return from abroad. In the event that students do not wish to plan the two semesters in advance to take PY435 or PY 436 upon their immediate return from study abroad, students are certainly able and encouraged to follow through with the process upon their return and pursue taking a field experience two semesters after studying abroad (i.e., junior who studies abroad in spring could return in fall of senior year and interview at sites and then take PY435 in spring of senior year).
Course Requirements for PY 435 & PY 436
The off-campus internship consists of 120 hours (roughly 10 hours per week) at an approved placement site to be completed over the course of the term. Placement sites are ones where psychologists typically work and are designed to provide the student with both observational and "hands-on" experiences. (If a site at which you would like to work is not on the "approved" list, please discuss it with the director of field education, who will determine if that site may be approved.)
Students also attend an on-campus class component to field experience. Monthly class meetings would group PY435 and 436 students together and will be arranged prior to the start of the semester based upon students' schedules. The 90-minute small group meetings adhere to a combination supervision/seminar format. Students will be expected to discuss readings on the reading list and issues that arise at their placement. class="Normal1"Students are also required to keep a journal, with a minimum of weekly entries, which are turned in at each meeting and reviewed by the Director of Field Education who provides guidance and feedback to the students on a regular basis. Journal requirements are further detailed in the PY435 syllabus. Despite having joint class times, PY436 students would develop a portfolio (reflections on field experiences, written reports or other materials created at PY436, CV) to be compiled in place of the journal required of PY435 students. Different readings will be required for PY436 students than what is used for PY435 students to reflect their more advanced professional experience and development.
Alternatives to PY435 and PY436
For students who are not able to complete PY 435 or PY 436, they may wish to pursue field experiences during the summer months. Please note that PY 435 and 436 are not offered for credit during the summer. However, non-credit opportunities which will enhance their portfolio are available. Please see the following website for more information: https://inside.loyola.edu/academics/psychology/undergraduate/current/summerinternship.html
Important Issues to Consider Before Committing to Field Experience
- Before one can register for PY 435 or PY 436, students need to consult the Field Experience Checklist
- It is the student's responsibility to arrange for transportation to and from their placement site. Loyola does not allow students to use the car/van pool for undergraduate internships.
- Remember, once a student commits to a site, that commitment needs to be honored. Only in extremely unusual circumstances do students not complete the placement once committing (e.g., leave of absence from the University, etc). Re-evaluation of one's schedule and feeling that you are over-extended is not sufficient reason to drop out of a placement once agreeing to intern there.
Remember: Field Education sites are counting on extern students. Therefore, it is important to make sure you can complete the placement before agreeing to it!
Dr. Katie J. Loomis, Interim Director of Undergraduate Field Education, can provide you with a full list of possible training sites. For more information on the program, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Casey Hofmann, Field Education Assistant, at 410-671-2298 or email@example.com.