PSYC 3880 (Field Experience)

Looking for a field experience? Visit the Internships Overview page for resources on finding a field experience opportunity.

Departmental Policy

Course Description and Guidelines

Credits not to exceed six per semester, and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite:  PSYC 1100 and PSYC 1101 or PSYC 1103. Open only with consent of instructor. With a change in content, this course may be repeated for credit. Students taking this course will be assigned a final grade of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). Due to the S/U grading, PSYC 3880 cannot be used on a plan of study (e.g., psychological sciences major or minor) unless the plan of study requires an internship course and specifically lists PSYC 3880 as an option (e.g., criminal justice minor).

This course is intended to enable undergraduate students to obtain career relevant educational experiences that usually are not available in formal classroom settings. These experiences include (1) an off-campus site, (2) a field supervisor, (3) a set of educationally relevant field activities, (4) a UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor, and (5) some procedure for evaluating the student. Students engaged in such off-campus activities may receive academic credit contingent upon the extent to which these activities conform to the guidelines listed below.

  1. Off-Campus Site: Identification of an appropriate off-campus site is the responsibility of the student. An appropriate off-campus site should provide a reasonable learning situation where the student would be able to both observe and participate in work related to psychological sciences. Ideally, the student would be able to obtain an overview of the role(s) of those who do psychological sciences-related work in non-academic settings. While the site may be affiliated with UConn, a field experience that takes place at the main Storrs UConn campus is not acceptable.
  1. Field Supervisor: The student is expected to both identify and obtain the cooperation of a field supervisor who would monitor the activities and learning opportunities of the student. The field supervisor should agree to complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Supervisor Version that both summarizes and evaluates the student’s activities at the off-campus site.
  1. Educationally Relevant Activities: Such activities could include a wide variety of tasks depending on the area of psychological sciences to which they are relevant. Such tasks should involve professional activities related to psychological science and not clerical duties. The student should consult with their UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor to determine relevance.
  1. UConn Psychological Sciences Faculty Sponsor: A faculty sponsor can be any faculty member within the Department of Psychological Sciences. Since the student will be asking the faculty member to carry out additional tasks in order to serve as a sponsor, this faculty member is often one the student knows somewhat well. The faculty sponsor is responsible for determining the amount of academic credit and for assigning a grade. In meeting these responsibilities, faculty sponsors may wish to meet with the student periodically to discuss the off-campus experience, may wish to consult with the off-campus supervisor, may wish to visit the off-campus site, and may require specific products from the student and/or the off-campus supervisor. As stated in the PSYC 3880 Learning Plan, the faculty sponsor will evaluate a paper written by the student at the end of the term in which the student describes their activities, integrates those activities into some theoretical framework within psychological sciences, and specifically identifies how those activities have enhanced the student’s educational goals. The student must make arrangements with their UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor before the beginning of the field experience.
  1. Opportunities for Evaluation: The field supervisor is expected to complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Supervisor Version by the end of the term. In addition, the student will complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Student Version and submit a paper to the UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor at the end of the term as indicated in the PSYC 3880 Learning Plan.

A note on financial compensation: Whether or not students are paid for their off-campus activities is irrelevant to the extent that their “paid employee” status does not interfere with the quality of their learning experience. To the extent that these off-campus experiences are exclusively or primarily a “job,” the educational value of these experiences becomes suspect.

Additional CLAS Restrictions

No credit may be given retroactively for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in the internship course in advance. A student may count no more than fifteen internship credits towards a bachelor’s degree in CLAS, and each credit for internship work must entail at least forty-two hours of work per semester or term. The required number of hours of work must be stated clearly in the learning agreement or work plan for the internship signed by both the instructor of record and the internship supervisor.

Learning Plan

Student’s Responsibilities

  1. Read and understand all policies pertaining to PSYC 3880 as outlined by the University, including The Student Code, CLAS, Department of Psychological Sciences, and the field experience Agency, and agree to abide by them.
  2. Discuss the PSYC 3880 Learning Plan and course responsibilities with your field supervisor. Agree to hours of work per week for the term (see credit conversion chart).
  3. Discuss the PSYC 3880 Learning Plan and course responsibilities with your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor.
  4. If requested, meet periodically with your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor during the term to discuss progress.
  5. At term’s end, submit a paper to your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor; describe your activities, integrate those activities into some theoretical framework within psychological sciences, and specifically identify how those activities have enhanced your educational goals. Your UConn psychological sciences faculty sponsor will determine the length and scope of the paper.
  6. At term’s end, complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Student Version. You will receive an email to your UConn email address instructing you to complete an electronic version. A paper version is also included in this packet.

Field Supervisor’s Responsibilities

  1. Discuss with the student their responsibilities and how those responsibilities will enhance the student’s psychological sciences education.
  2. Agree to supervise the student for the appropriate number of hours per week for the term (see credit conversion chart).
  3. At term’s end, complete the PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation, Supervisor Version. The student will receive an email with an electronic version that s/he may forward to you. Alternatively, you may request a paper version from the student.

UConn Psychological Sciences Faculty Sponsor’s Responsibilities

  1. Discuss with the student their responsibilities, including any periodic meetings and the scope of the final paper.
  2. If desired, meet with the student periodically during the term to discuss progress.
  3. Evaluate the student’s final paper.
  4. Review the Student Version and Supervisor Version of the PSYC 3880 Field Experience Final Evaluations.
  5. Assign a grade of S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory).

Registering

To register for PSYC 3880 (Field Experience), complete the PSYC 3880 Learning Agreement and the Independent Study Authorization in the Field Experience Packet. Paper copies can be obtained on the shelf next to the Undergraduate Program Window. Be sure to fill out both forms completely and obtain your Field Supervisor and Faculty Sponsor’s/Instructor’s signature. Bring the form to the Undergraduate Program Office for the Advisor’s and Associate Department Head’s signature and final processing. Forms are due by the end of the 4th week of the classes during the regular academic year and by the end of the add/drop period for summer courses. No credit may be given retroactively for internship work undertaken without being properly enrolled in the internship course in advance.

Evaluations

Student and Supervisor evaluations may be completed online at the following links:

PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation: Student Version

PSYC 3880 Final Evaluation: Supervisor Version