Monday, December 20, 2010

Your internship sounds really interesting! Can you talk more about it?


So as a psychology senior there are a few options for major completion outside of the "history and issues" capstone class that we all need to take for a semester.

One option is a semester long "advanced topics" course where the topic is based on the professor teaching the course and what he/she specializes in. Another option is research, which is one semester for regular majors and two semesters for honors program students who are taking research to complete the honors program.

The third option is what I'm doing, a year long "practicum" course. Each student in my class (and the other section, in total about 30 of us) has gotten a placement at a human services agency in the Burlington area. I'm working at Spectrum Youth and Family Services, which is a local non-profit that focuses a lot of homeless youth and youth in transition.

Spectrum has a pretty wide range of services, but I work in the residential sector at a group home for 6 adolescent boys. Currently we have only 5 residents, but we have capacity for 6. They all come from different walks of life: substance abuse, psychological treatment, foster care, poor home life. They are all in state custody and are at the Co-op program to help the transition into indepenent living and so that the staff (and me and an intern) can help them learn life skills and provide other support and resources for them.

As practicum students we're provided a list of possible sites for our year of internship, but we are responsible for sending emails, making phone calls, and getting interviews at various locations until we find one that's right for us. We've got people at all different types of sites: group therapy, substance abuse, mental illness, DCF, crisis hotlines, and alternative schools, to name a few.

SMC is also one of the only schools that offers the full year practicum experience, and I couldn't be more excited about my second semester at the Co-op. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions (or if you want to hire me this summer in NJ! haha)


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