ERIC Number: ED354456
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Undergraduate Internships: Oxymoron or Necessity?
O'Neill, Maureen S.
The undergraduate major in psychology has evolved in recent years. Traditionally, course work was designed to provide a sound preparation for graduate school. Practical experience was seen as the province of graduate education. However, research indicates that the vast majority of psychology majors do not attend graduate school. The undergraduate curriculum must address the needs of those who wish to major in the field but enter the work force upon graduation. Endicott College, a small women's institution, has designed a curriculum combining the liberal arts approach to psychology with extensive supervised work experience in the field. The curriculum also addresses the needs of students who major in psychology and intend to earn certification as teachers in elementary education and early childhood education. Over the course of four years, students do three one-month internships and one semester-long full-time internship. The last senior internship is supervised closely both by on-site supervisors and by designated Endicott faculty. The faculty conduct intensive seminars on a biweekly basis to process the experience and explore the literature on topics relevant to internship experiences. As expected, the internships facilitate job placement. An unexpected result is the increase in the percentage of students who decide to attend graduate school as a result of their exposure to the internship experience. With good advising, a sound curriculum, and proper supervision during internship, the undergraduate psychology major can be well prepared for work or for graduate school. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychology Association (100th, Washington, DC, August 14-18, 1992).