PSY 410 Field Experience in Human Services

Still trying to decide what career to pursue? Want to understand how your psychology degree and curriculum relate to your future job? Find an internship and sign-up for PSY 410!

 
Why Do an Internship?

Internships are a great opportunity to explore potential careers and link your coursework with “real world” experience. You make connections with potential future employers, learn skills employers want to see, and can develop strong references to boost your success upon graduation. Although not all internships are paid, you can even get credit for a paying job!

 
What Types of Work Qualify for Internship Credit?

You can earn internship credit for any psychology-related work that helps you build new skills or enhance your knowledge of the field. Although all jobs involve some tasks like data entry and filing, the majority of the work should give you an opportunity to learn and practice new skills.

Internships are not limited to clinically-oriented positions. Because psychology majors go on to work in many different fields, you could earn internship credit for work related to:

For information on OSU’s standards for internships, visit the Career Development Center page on internships.

 

How Many PSY 410 Credits Can I Earn?

PSY 410 is a variable credit course, graded Pass/No Pass. You can enroll for 1-16 credits and can split those credits across terms. Although only 4 credits can count toward your psychology major, any additional credits count as elective credits toward graduation requirements.

Each credit requires 30 hours of work over the course of the term. Regardless of the number of credits a student takes, they will do about 20 hours of reading and writing over the course of the term.

Number of credits Classroom hours per term Internship hours per term Total hours per term Avreage total hours per week
1 20 10 30 3
2 20 40 60 6
3 20 70 90 9
4 20 100 120 12
For each additional credit hour, add 30 internship hours per term.

Students can enroll for fewer credits than what is possible based on their work hours. In other words, if you only need 3 credits toward graduation, but are working 15 hours each week, you can enroll for only 3 credits (instead of 5 credits, which matches your hours worked).

 
Course Information and Enrollment
 
What to Expect

The PSY 410 course combines work at the internship site with academic work designed to help students make the most of their internship experience.

To maximize your learning at the internship site, you will review topics like ethics, professional behavior, following best-practice guidelines, and career planning. You will also select personal learning goals specific to your internship. This academic work will take about two hours each week, and will require students to participate in online activities and discussions. All readings will be available online at no cost.

 
Steps to Enroll
  1. Find an internship site and clear the site and type of work with your OSU internship coordinator

  2. Complete and submit the internship contract to get permission to enroll.

  3. Enroll in the course for the number of credits listed on your contract.

  4. Obtain liability insurance if needed.

 
Internship Coordinators
Corvallis, Ecampus, Bend Portland Hybrid Program

Nicole Wolf
nicole.wolf@oregonstate.edu
541-737-1369

Jennifer Connor-Smith
connorsj@oregonstate.edu
503-488-9890

 
How to Find an Internship

Each student is responsible for finding their own internship site. Finding an internship is very similar to looking for a job, which means students should put their best foot forward in all communications with potential internship sites.

There are many ways to find potential internships. Many businesses and non-profit organizations post their positions on job boards. Others post opportunities only on their own web pages (look for links to careers/jobs or volunteering). Many places that take volunteers will work with students to develop an internship experience. You can explore that possibility by emailing or calling the volunteer coordinator.

If you are not certain where you would like to work, check out these lists of potential internship sites below. These lists are intended to stimulate your thinking -- students are not limited to seeking internships at these sites. Because the needs of organizations vary over time, not all of these organizations will have internship opportunities available every term.

Before committing to an internship, please check with your OSU internship coordinator to make sure that the site you have chosen and the type of work you plan to do qualifies for internship credit. You should do this before completing the internship contract. Your campus internship coordinator can also give you advice about searching for internship sites.

 
Internship Opportunities

 

Internship Contract & Course Enrollment

 

You will need a course override to enroll in the class. To get this override, submit the completed internship contract to your campus internship coordinator (see contacts above) before the start of your internship term. The contract must be signed by your internship site supervisor before you will be given permission to enroll in the class.

This contract asks students to describe their work and learning opportunities and their specific goals for the internship. You should complete these sections based on a conversation with your site supervisor. This will help guarantee that you are both on the same page about what the internship will involve. The learning goals you choose may revolve around building new skills or exploring a potential career path. Regardless of the content, the goals should be specific, measurable, and realistic given your level of experience and the number of hours you will be working.

Examples:

  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively
  • Understand mental health assessment, treatment and service terminology and apply each of these concepts
  • Maintain privacy via HIPAA compliance in a medical setting, which can be transferred to maintaining privacy via FERPA in a school setting
  • Learn to write professional intra-office email
  • Remain calm in a crisis

 

Liability Insurance

Students doing clinically-oriented work may face civil or criminal charges if they harm a client through inappropriate actions or the failure to take necessary action. Students working in clinical placements that involve potential liability risks should purchase student liability insurance. This insurance costs about $35 per year and will help cover legal costs. Speak with your internship coordinator if you are not certain about whether you should purchase liability insurance.

Reputable providers include: