Psychology Internship Description
The Psychology Internship Program at Appalachian State provides students with practical experience in an agency related to psychology. To that end, Appalachian State University and the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology will grant academic credit for satisfactory completion of approved work experience. Students can work with organizations that provide an opportunity to gain experience in a supervised role, with actual responsibilities, that are relevant to psychology. The internship must include planned educational objectives, and be approved by the Department of Psychology Internship Coordinator in advance.
How to Pursue an Internship in Psychology
If you think you might be interested in an internship experience, then you might start by considering the following:
Any site that might offer a training experience that could be relevant to Psychology is a consideration. Ideally, the experience and training offered would also be consistent with your career goals. While traditional sites like a homeless shelter, a camp for special needs children, or a human services agency are the most common, you might also consider sites that offer training relevant to other areas of psychology such as human resources, research, or a school setting.
The internship experience must involve an educational opportunity that enhances your academic experience. Fortunately, many organizations offer valuable supplements to your formal class experience.
Summer may be a good opportunity for you to have the time to be involved with an agency or organization as a volunteer or employee. Summer internships do not need to coincide with the summer class sessions. Summer interns need to spend at least 8 weeks and a minimum of 120 hours on site. Internships during the fall or spring semesters are also an option.
You can consider many organizations in the local Boone area for interesting experiences that would often include applied experience helping others.
You may have an organization you admire or would like to target for a training opportunity in your hometown, or elsewhere. If you would prefer to plan an Internship experience over the summer and live at home, then that may be a practical option. If you find an organization in your hometown that might offer a relevant training experience then contact the Internship Coordinator to discuss the option.
Some students may wish to take the opportunity to train at a site far from the university to gain unique experience and training in a geographic region away from ASU. You may discuss a proposal to train anywhere with the Internship Coordinator. We have had students complete internships all over the US and abroad.
Here are some summaries from students who have completed Internships in the past.
Enrollment in the internship class (PSY 4905) provides credit for 3 semester hours. During the Fall and Spring semesters, this involves spending 8 hours at the agency site per week, for a minimum of 120 hours total. Students must also complete other class requirements such as weekly reflections, weekly hour logs, and a class presentation, in addition to attending and actively participating in class. In the summer the internship class is delivered asynchronously.
Steps to Arrange an Internship
1. Find an organization you would like to train with. See the Local Internship web link on this page for ideas. Contact them, ask about opportunities, learn what options they may have. Clarify what role and responsibilities you might have, and what time commitment may be required. If interested in completing an internship there, find out who your supervisor would be, and develop a plan to be involved, including a start and finish date.
2. Consult with the Psychology Internship Coordinator as needed by email (Lauren Keroack, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
3. When emailing the Internship Coordinator always keep the same email thread, with your Internship in the Subject line. This way the Coordinator can see where you are in the process of required paperwork steps. There are often many other prospective interns emailing in the same week.
4. Attend an internship info session at the beginning of the semester prior to when you plan to intern. The info session dates will be emailed to all psychology majors.
5. Fill out the Internship Interest Survey to indicate your interest in completing an internship the following semester. This survey will be emailed to all psychology majors. You may also request a link to the survey from the Internship Coordinator by emailing email@example.com.
6. If you meet the academic criteria to enroll in the internship course, the Internship Coordinator will email you with a list of next steps.
7. Consult with your internship site supervisor to develop a list of responsibilities, duties you will perform, a daily/weekly schedule indicating your time commitment on site.
8. Consult with your internship site supervisor to develop a list of educational objectives, consistent with the site(see examples provided on this site).
9. Complete a draft Psychology Departmental Internship Agreement as a Microsoft Word file (typed, not handwritten), and provide this to the Psychology Internship Coordinator, unsigned, by attachment (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). This requires a description of Duties and Educational Objectives that must be approved by the Internship Coordinator.
10. Once your proposed Psychology Departmental Agreement is complete and approved, the Coordinator will use information from that document to complete the ASU Internship Contract, and provide that 2nd document to you by attachment. You then sign, have your site supervisor sign both agreements, and turn both documents in to the Psychology Internship Coordinator via email.
11. The Internship Coordinator will then initiate your course registration for PSY 4905. You cannot register for this course yourself.
12. If your Internship will be International (out of the US), you will also need to submit an OIED International Internship application to the Office of International Education and Development for approval.
13. Contracts must be filed before the last day of the first week of classes in the semester (cannot be retroactive).
14. Contact the Psychology Internship Coordinator at email@example.com with questions.
1. Before registering for the internship class (PSY 4905) the student must be a Psychology major and cannot be on academic probation or suspension and must have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
2. The student can proceed with registration only AFTER the Internship Coordinator has approved and signed the 2 Internship Agreements: (1) one for the Dept. of Psychology, and (2) one for Appalachian State University (which is completed by the Internship Coordinator). The Psychology agreement can be obtained by emailing the Internship Coordinator.
3. Educational Objectives will be included in the Dept. of Psychology Agreement. Examples of Educational Objectives are provided below.
4. The Registrar’s Office will register the student in the course. The student must pay regular tuition and fees.
5. The student intern must satisfactorily complete all requirements of the work experience that are required by site and the Department of Psychology.
6. During Fall and Spring semesters, the internship class (PSY 4905) will meet virtually one evening per week. During the summer the class is delivered asynchronously.
7. The student intern will provide weekly reflections to the Internship Coordinator describing the experiences, responsibilities, and accomplishment of educational goals. This will be facilitated by using an ASULearn electronic course site.
8. The student intern will keep a log of hours on-site to be reviewed by the Internship Coordinator.
9. The student intern will complete a summary evaluation of the internship experience.
10. The student intern will obtain both midterm and final evaluations from their site supervisor, and provide these to the Internship Coordinator at the midpoint and conclusion of the internship experience.
11. The intern is subject to the jurisdiction of all rules, regulations, and codes of conduct affecting students at Appalachian State University, as well as those that the site employer may require.
Documents for Internships
- Psychology Department Internship Agreement [DOCX]
- Educational Objectives Examples [DOCX]
- Sample Syllabus for Internship [DOCX]
Local Internship Opportunities
- Consider the local organizations described in this link. You are welcome to suggest other local options as well.
- Past Internship Experiences described by ASU Psychology Majors
Non-Local Internship Opportunities
Consider the statewide opportunities described in these links for Internship training, including
Internships can be completed in the summer, either locally in the Boone area, or elsewhere at a suitable agency. Summer internships will also need to include at least 120 hours on-site for 3 credits. Summer interns do not need to match the summer session class schedule. Generally, interns can start mid-May, or later and end as late as mid-August. Start and stop dates are flexible to accommodate students and the site. Summer interns should plan to spend at least 8 weeks on-site, rather than a briefer more condensed experience. Summer interns will also need to pay for 3 credits of summer tuition.
Funding for Internship: Hatch Scholarship
Funding for internship experience, typically for a summer Intern, is awarded on a competitive basis via the Hatch Scholarship fund. Applications are solicited early in Spring semester, watch your email then for an announcement.
See the Hatch Scholarship web page information
Psychology Internship Coordinator
For more information contact the Internship Coordinator, Lauren Keroack at firstname.lastname@example.org