College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychology

Service Learning and Practicum Opportunities


At this time, three undergraduate courses (i.e., Clinical/Community Psychology, Psychology of aging, and Community Research) include a service learning component.  The component requires each student to spend a set number of hours working at a community site related to that course’s material.  Service learning provides another unique opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning.  It gives students a chance to apply the information that they have learned in the classroom, develop skills related to specific employment options, and get a first-hand look at the daily functions of particular agencies.  In addition, students provide valuable volunteer assistance to agencies that may be either understaffed and/or under-funded.  
 
Students who wish to extend their on-site training beyond the service learning can enroll in our Undergraduate Practicum course (Psych 445).  This course provides students with the opportunity to gain supervised experience at one of more than 50 local and county agencies.  Student meet once a week in a classroom setting, but the majority of their time is spent working on site under the direction of a site supervisor.   For example, students volunteer anywhere from 15 to 135 hours per semester at an agency or business that serves the surrounding community.  Approximately 25-30 students take the course each semester.  Sites range from Lewiston and Clarkston, to Pullman and Moscow, the greater Palouse region, and sometimes as far as Spokane.  Rarely, students work in agencies located in other areas of Washington.  Students gain not only personal hands-on experience in a field that is related to psychology, but also provide a service to the community.  Students who take the class are better prepared to either progress into graduate school or enter the workforce right out of college.  Some students are offered positions at the sites where they did their practica.  Our students provide services to the elderly; sick and dying; mentally ill; children of all ages and abilities in various educational, residential, and community service settings; victims of sexual assault, abuse, and domestic violence; jail inmates and juvenile offenders; people with drug and alcohol problems; and the list goes on.  Students provide case management and social work services, guardian ad litem services, support and advocacy, paraprofessional counseling services, tutoring and education, community outreach, hospice care, child care, recreational services, and program coordination.  The Palouse and the state of Washington benefit greatly from our students' desire to learn and give back to the community.  A list of practicum sites (changes occasionally) can be found at www.wsu.edu/psychology

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Department of Psychology , Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4820, 509-335-2631, Contact Us