PSYC 390 Internship in Psychology, (3 credit course)
The Psychology Department values experiential education. To provide students with structured opportunities for such learning, we regularly send students to Internships such as Arsenal Family & Children's Center, UPMC-Shadyside Hospital Elder Life Program, a Forensic Psychology Internship opportunity that involves working with a local Psychologist, and a non-profit agency (Neighborhood Resilience Project).
The internships have two components: weekly activities at the specific site, and meetings with the course instructor that integrate reflection on internship activities with scholarly reading. The course, for which students receive a letter grade, requires a final paper demonstrating reflection and integration of the experience with relevant academic scholarship.
Arsenal Family & Children's Center
The Arsenal Internship is held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There is a class limit of 4 students. In this program, students learn about typical child development by observing preschool children. In addition, they observe the teaching techniques used with normal children and learn about intervention strategies. Teachers meet with students to discuss various materials. Lectures are presented and teachers meet with students for discussion.
Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)
The internship at the Hospital Elder Life Program is an innovative program designed to improve the hospital experience of older patients by exploring their past and current experiences, interest/values, and physical and psychological challenges. The internship is 8 hours per week for the academic semester, often done in two 4-hour shifts. Orientation meetings for this internship will take place prior to the start of the semester, and interns are expected to monitor their email for communications from the volunteer coordinators.
We offer HELP placements at UPMC Shadyside, Allegheny General Hospital, and West Penn.
Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh
Emmaus Community serves adults with intellectual disabilities. They provide permanent homes and respite care, and are advocates for individuals in the community who are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. You will be at the site approximately 8-10 hours a week and scheduling is very flexible. Now that Emmaus has multiple locations, and your exact placement will be based on agency needs. The internship experience will vary depending on your individual interests and agency needs, but duties could include helping the residents with tasks of daily living such as cooking, providing companionship (e.g., playing games, going out to eat), driving residents to appointments, and completing administrative tasks. Internship students are required to possess a valid driver's license and must be able to pass a criminal background check. There is no minimum GPA/QPA requirement for this site.
Forensic Psychology Practicum
This internship is supervised by Dr. Eric Bernstein, a licensed psychologist who specializes in forensic based work within Family and Juvenile Courts. This entails child custody evaluations and work for Office of Children Youth and Family Services in matters concerning abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of children. Internship students will be exposed to all aspects of this clinical practice including observing interviews, assessment, and testimony within Court.
Student activities include (1) observing and learning about the nature of a private practice and the responsibilities and practice of performing forensic work, and (2) offering administrative assistance such as filing, organizing, and other clerical duties. Depending upon students' experience and interest, they may also assist with scoring psychological testing. This internship requires a commitment of 8 hours per week for the entire semester. Dr. Bernstein's office is located in a secure office building in Station Square, and all supervised field placement hours will occur during office hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Allegheny Health Network -- Women's Behavioral Health
Women's Behavioral Health offers outpatient and intensive outpatient services to women who are pregnant and/or postpartum. We focus on bonding and stress relief techniques such as infant massage, baby wearing, yoga, meditation, and art therapy.
One service we offer is childcare for moms who are undergoing treatment, which addresses a major barrier to care for many women. This presents a unique opportunity for interns. We are in need of additional support in this area as we move towards providing therapeutic child care. Interns can expect to engage in play, interact directly with young children, create activities that are developmentally appropriate and therapeutic, and complete developmental screenings when needed. Additionally, there is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of topics such as postpartum depression, infant and child development, and the importance of the parent-child relationship. Because this program is in the process of being developed, interested interns would have the ability to help create a structure for future volunteers. This would include providing feedback, developing materials and helping us monitor and collect data as we consider the efficacy of our program.
Interns will volunteer for approximately 8 hours a week, and will be scheduled during the hours of 9am and 5pm on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays. Interns must complete all required clearances.
Neighborhood Resilience Project
Neighborhood Resilience Project Pittsburgh is a non-profit community organization that serves the Hill District of Pittsburgh. Exact duties of internship students may vary, but it is likely that your work will involve helping community residents recover from individual and community trauma. You will be expected to volunteer 8-10 hours a week at their Hill District location. This is a great opportunity for students interested in trauma, community development, human/social services, or counseling.
Client Experience Research at
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
The internship at the Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation (Allegheny County Department of Human Services) will be 8 hours per week, and students are expected to complete those hours during the work week (Monday-Friday, between 8:00-5:00). The internship is flexible to accommodate days/times for internship student(s). In this program, students will have the opportunity to learn about program evaluation and design in human services. There will be a special emphasis on qualitative research methods to collect service experience data. Students will observe and have the ability to participate in all aspects of our client experience research program: reviewing the literature, designing a project scope (research questions to methodology), collecting data/field research, data analysis (both quantitative and qualitative), as well as dissemination (reporting findings in narrative report and/or presentation with program stakeholders). Click here for sample reports prepared by DARE staff. Lectures and seminars will also be incorporated in the internship. The main objective of this internship is for students to increase their awareness about program evaluation and research in human services, especially methods that amplify client voice.
This internship is an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in gaining research experience.
In order to apply for this internship you must have completed Research Methods in Psychology (PSYC 201) and you will be required to pass a Child Abuse background check. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence (PSYC 225W), Perspectives on Disability and Illness (PSYC 324/OCCTH 324), and/or Psychology of Gender (PSYC 353), but you are welcome to apply even if you have not completed any of those three courses.