The Internship Handbook Department of Psychology Union College

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1 1 The Internship Handbook Department of Psychology Union College An internship can be a valuable experience for the psychology student. It offers practical experience in the discipline and enables you to apply what you have learned in the classroom. An internship will also help you decide your future career goals in psychology by providing experience of what professional psychologists do in the workplace. Many students work in internships over the summer or winter break, but if you want to receive academic credit for an internship then it is more likely something you will do part-time during the term at Union. This is because you must have a member of the Union College psychology department supervise your internship experience and award the grade, and it would be very difficult for a faculty member to do that at a distance. To receive academic credit for your internship you must also fulfill a few strict requirements (listed below). Perhaps the most important requirement is that the internship must provide you with a relevant and meaningful work experience, that is, you should be learning about what a professional actually does day-to-day in that setting. An internship filing papers and photocopying will not earn academic credit; shadowing a school psychologist or providing support to rape victims will. In addition to a work experience component the internship for credit also has an academic component in the form of a significant academic project. In collaboration with your faculty supervisor you will devise a reading list of scholarly works related to the work experience and complete a significant academic project. The academic project is usually a major 25-page paper, but some faculty members may accept or even prefer several shorter academic papers. The details of your internship placement, the reading list and academic projects must be described on the Internship Contract form (appended to the end of this document), which should be approved by your faculty supervisor and the Chair of the Psychology Department before you start your internship. Copies of the completed form should be given to your faculty supervisor and the Psychology Department administrative assistant, JoAnne Christensen. You must complete a minimum of 100 hours of work at the site that you have chosen for your internship (usually 10 hours per week over the ten-week term), although you may do more. And finally, the internship must be entirely voluntary: you cannot receive academic credit for a paid internship. These requirements are summarized below.

2 2 Internship requirements for academic credit 1) Psychologically relevant work experience 2) Reading of related literature and writing of academic paper(s) as arranged with faculty supervisor 3) 100 hours of work at the site 4) Cannot be a paid internship position Internships are listed as PSY 490 Independent Study, and only one such course may be counted towards the major. Planning your Internship The first step in planning your internship experience is to decide what most interests you about psychology. Do you want to do research, or clinical work, or something in education? What sort of population do you want to work with? Then do some research to find suitable organizations where you can gain the sort of experience that interests you. You can start by seeking advice from professors whose teaching and research relate to your area of interest. Then examine the list of potential sites below for places that look appealing to you. And finally use your connections: maybe your parents or a friend s parents or a family friend works in the field or knows someone who does and can offer advice and help. You can also check out the New York State Office of Mental Health website for information about various licensed programs in the area at: Once you have narrowed down the list of sites to places that interest you, you will have to approach the organizations or institutions and offer yourself as an intern. Some of the sites listed below have welcomed Union students in the past and they will obviously be familiar with the concept of a student internship and open to your request. And some of the sites have established volunteer programmes which may provide you with a readymade internship or can be slightly tweaked to fit the requirements. Other sites may be unfamiliar with the internship concept, but open to your request; however some may reject the offer of a student intern. In order to maximize your chances of being accepted as an intern you should make your approach in a professional manner. Send a letter or an e- mail and then follow it up with a phone call. Be sure to emphasize what you can offer the organization as well as what you want to get out of the internship. If you are asked to go for an interview treat it as you would a job interview: dress professionally, be on time and be courteous. In the planning stage you may want to approach a few different sites at the same time so that you can visit and check out whether they really are places where you want to spend your time. And in the event that one site rejects your request you will have others as back-ups. Bear in mind that it may take you some time to set up your internship with a particular site, so start your planning early: a month or more in advance of the term during which you want to carry out the internship.

3 3 Potential Internship Sites Union College Department of Psychology Clinical Sites Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center 112 State Street Room 1100 Albany, NY (518) Albany County Rapid Assessment, Intervention, and Linkages Program Albany County Department of Probation Mercantile Building 60 South Pearl Street Albany, NY (518) Albany Damien Center 12 South Lake Avenue Albany, NY (518) programs and services for people living with HIV/AIDS Anxiety and Phobic Disorders Center at Pine Bush Mental Health 1A Pine West Plaza Albany (518) Campbell House Psychological Associates 101 State Street Schenectady, NY (518) deals with autism spectrum disorders

4 4 Center for Disability Services 314 South Manning Boulevard Albany, NY (518) has various facilities throughout the capital district for adult services and early childhood education services Community Hospice of Schenectady County 1411 Union Street Schenectady, NY (518) Conifer Park 79 Glenridge Road Scotia, NY (518) / drug rehabilitation center with inpatient and outpatient services Ellis Hospital Department of Mental Health Services 216 Lafayette Street Schenectady, NY (518) Four Winds Hospital 30 Crescent Avenue Saratoga Springs, NY (518) psychiatric inpatient and outpatient services Gilda s Club Capital Region NY 8 Wade Road Latham, NY (518) cancer support organization

5 5 Northeast Parent & Child Society 120 Park Avenue Schenectady, NY (518) provides services to abused, neglected and troubled children and their families; operates various facilities throughout the capital district Northwoods Rehabilitation & Extended Care Facility at Hilltop 1805 Providence Avenue Niskayuna, NY (518) /6033 Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc Locations throughout Albany County (518) community residence drug rehabilitation program Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc RSS Continuing Day Treatment Program (outpatient day treatment) 314 Central Avenue Albany, NY (518) outpatient drug rehabilitation program Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc VISTAS 314 Central Avenue Albany, NY (518) outpatient intensive psychiatric rehabilitation program RID-USA, inc (Remove Intoxicated Drivers) PO Box 520 Schenectady, NY (518) operates various services, including a DWI victims helpline

6 6 Saint Peter s Addiction Recovery Center (SPARC) 3 Mercycare Lane Guilderland, NY (518) operates various inpatient and outpatient facilities throughout capital district Samaritan Hospital Department of Behavioral/Mental Health Services 2215 Burdett Avenue Troy, NY (518) Samaritan Hospital Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program 2215 Burdett Avenue Troy, NY (518) Samaritan Counseling Center 220 North Ballston Avenue Scotia, (518) operates several facilities throughout the capital district Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center of the capital region (518) timesunion.com/communities/samaritans/ Saratoga Hospital and Nursing Home Saratoga Hospital Psychiatric Inpatient Unit 211 Church Street, First Floor Saratoga Springs, NY (518)

7 7 Sexual Assault Services Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson 1040 State Street Schenectady, NY (518) /5385 Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital Psychology Group 1270 Belmont Avenue Schenectady, NY (518) Wesley Health Care Center 131 Lawrence Street Saratoga Springs, NY (518) nursing home, long-term care, day services and outpatient therapies YWCA-Domestic Violence Shelter Director, Carol Mazurek 44 Washington Avenue Schenectady, NY (518) Educational Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady 400 Craig Street Schenectady, NY (518) operates various facilities and programs throughout Schenectady

8 8 Elmer Avenue Elementary School 90 Elmer Avenue Schenectady, NY Psychologist/Social worker: Head Start Albany County Albany Community Action Partnership Administrative Offices 4 Central Avenue, Third Floor Albany, NY (518) Head Start Saratoga County 70 Malta Avenue Ballston Spa, NY Parsons Child and Family Center 60 Academy Road Albany, NY (518) offers various family support services and a child trauma study center Parson s Child and Family Early Head Start 530 Franklin Street Schenectady, New York (518) Zoller Elementary School 1880 Lancaster Street Schenectady, NY Psychologist/Social worker:

9 Internship Contract Union College Department of Psychology 9 To the student: This form must be completed by the internship student and returned to JoAnne Christensen in the Department of Psychology by the end of the second week of classes of the term. To receive one course credit for an internship experience you must complete 100 hours of applied experience along with a significant academic project that is arranged with your faculty supervisor. You may also be responsible for a number of additional requirements due to the unique circumstances of your internship site. To qualify for academic credit you may not receive remuneration for the internship experience. Academic Term Internship Student s Name Site Name Site Address Site Telephone On-Site Supervisor s Name On-Site Supervisor s Title Faculty Supervisor at Union College Primary Client Population (e.g., acute psychiatric inpatients, maximum security inmates, children with developmental disabilities) Description of Activities (outline your primary on-site responsibilities)

10 10 List of Relevant Courses Previously Taken or Currently Taking (if possible, you should finish relevant course work before starting an internship. For example, if you are working in a school setting, then first enrolling in developmental and/or educational psychology would be appropriate). Preliminary Reading List (you may attach an additional sheet if necessary) Description of Significant Academic Project (a major 25 page paper or equivalent) Signature of Student Signature of On-Site Supervisor Signature of Faculty Supervisor Signature of Psychology Dept. Chair

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