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Internships and Practical Experiences in the Psychology Major

All students in the psychology department have some practical experiences in the community, businesses, or in the lab. Students may choose to complete a practicum, independent study, and/or an internship.  

  • Practicum: An application of theory and methods of psychology to specific areas of psychological services in a supervised setting. Prerequisite: 12 hours in Psychology and permission of the Department Chair.

  • Independent Study: Self-directed study following a contractual plan initiated by the student and accepted by the staff. Prerequisite: permission of the Department Chair.

  • Internship: A field experience for psychology majors and minors in which formal evaluation, supervision, and direction are provided by an outside agency in concert with the supervising professor and student. Prerequisite: 12 sh in psychology and permission of the Department Chair. (NOTE: A reflective paper to describe how the experience met learning objectives is required and Grading is S/U.)


Current and previous internships and practical experiences of psychology majors


Family Crisis Council—Court Advocate Intern: Domestic violence/sexual assault training followed by work in court system to assist victims of violence and assault, filing of protection orders, and victim support.

Knox Middle School: Worked with 7th grade counsellor doing small group sessions with grades 6, 7, and 8, teaching coping mechanisms and ways to build esteem. 

Rowan County District Attorney's Office: Observed District, Domestic Violence, Probable Cause, and Superior Courts; assisted ADAs at Traffic Court; filed driving-criminal records; acted as "runner" during ADA court 

Community Care Clinic: Shadowed physicians and assisted with pharmacy stocking. Checked in clients and managed health care records. 

Communities in School Coordinator Assistant: Assisted the coordinator of Communities in Schools at North Elementary School to implement projects that involve families in school programs, and mentor students who need skills to increase effective social interactions, motivation to complete assignments, and support to increase self-confidence. 

Creative Counseling Summer Camp Intern: Worked with special needs children in play therapy.

Food for Thought: Assisted with communication and marketing tasks involving donors and key stakeholders. Develop written communication and enhanced social media presence; assisted with e-newsletter software. Other tasks include learning about how to run a small not-for profit agency, program development and operations; volunteer coordination; and community engagement.

S and H Youth and Adult Services, Inc.: Counselor shadowing and youth mentoring; group counseling and record maintenance.

One Step at a Time/Footprints in the Community: Interned to learn the structure, function, and operating procedures of One Step at a Time Therapy services and Footprints in the Community program. Learned CDC assessments and intervention strategies of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists.

Partners in Learning: Worked with autistic children and children with cerebral palsy, training and developing gross and fine motor skills and behavior modification protocols.

North Carolina Research Campus: Recruited and researched infants/toddlers for Dr. Carol Cheatham's Nutrition and Cognition study on the effects of DHA on cognitive development, performing pre- and post-assessments with infants age 12-18 months, and interviewing parents for intake and follow-up.

Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services: Completed case management for clients; organization of activities, speakers, and sponsors for a youth summer programs.

Speech and Occupational Therapist Intern: Implemented structured therapeutic activities developed by Speech and Occupational Therapists for an 18-year-old adolescent with autism.

Translator: Spanish translator at the Good Shepherd Clinic.

Guidance Counselor Shadow: Assisted the guidance counselor at North Elementary School to implement projects that involve families in school programs. Worked on lessons focusing on making healthy choices (emphasis on being drug free), recognizing bullying, and being responsible and respectful. Led small groups of students on social skills and anger management and observed mediation between students let by the counselor.

Applied Behavior Specialist Intern: Implemented structured therapeutic activities, developed by an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) specialist, with a 2-year-old child demonstrating the symptoms of autism.

Partners in Learning: Implemented a new motor skills curriculum with selected 4-year-old children, assisted with the organization of the fall special Olympics for preschool children with developmental delays, and taught a 6-year-old child with cerebral palsy to swim.

Practical Intern: Worked with a male adult diagnosed with expressive and receptive aphasia and verbal and oral apraxia, including mastering personal information, word recall, auditory and visual picture recognition, visual confrontation naming, picture identification, word stimulation, reading comprehension and picture association, sentence completion and functional vocabulary.

Intervention Specialist Intern: Assisted a high school Intervention Specialist to implement programs for adolescents and their families to increase student attendance, reduce substance abuse, and overcome academic challenges. Also, mentored students who need strategies to increase effective social interactions and complete assignments.

Exceptional Students Assistant: Worked one-on-one with students identified with autism, and assisted teachers with one-on-one activities that guided and supported the children's goals on their IEP.

Play Therapy Intern: Learned strategies in play therapy and support for children with special needs and their families and teachers by shadowing and assisting specialists in play therapy and preschool inclusion.

LiviRae Survey/Marketing: Collected social media sites data for LiviRae Lingerie, home to the show "Double Divas" on LifeTime, in the corporate office.

Rowan County Youth Services Bureau: Conducted market research to determine how the agency is perceived in the community and by consumers of its services and programs, with an aim of developing a comprehensive marketing plan (new name, logo).

Hospice of Rowan County: Assisted patient counselors both in-hospice and at-home, with a focus on understanding key issues and providing transitional services for patients and families.

Research Assistant: For members of Psychology Department.

"Effects of ICT on health-seeking behaviors in young adults"

"Linguistic analysis of Twitter users"

"Fitness priming and judgments of self and others"

"Social processes research"

"Self-enhancement techniques after ego-depletion"

"Women athletes' motor performance after priming"

"Judgments of objectivity in writing"

"Aversive bias in hiring practices"

"Mental rotation under stereotype threat"

"Implicit egotism after depletion"

"The role of smartphone ‘apps' in health-related self-efficacy reports"

"Does authorship matter to evaluation of blog posts?"

"Aversive bias in the courtroom"

"Analysis of psych-oncology options in Hospice"

"Facebook use and the HEXACO personality traits"

"Effects of music cost on music liking: The downside of downloading"  

One Step at a Time Therapy Services and the Footprints in the Community program

The student will develop an understanding of the structure, functions, and operating procedures of the One Step at a Time Therapy Services and the Footprints in the Community program. The student will develop an understanding of CDC assessments and the intervention strategies implemented by Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Speech Therapists through observation of and participation in professional responsibilities within the agency. The exact nature and level of participation by the student is left to the discretion of the Agency Supervisor.

The student will document observation and participation through a written journal of agency-related activities and a final paper/presentation. 

Food for Thought

  • Create monthly e-newsletters
  • Assist with packing parties
  • Research (nutrition, community resources, grant foundations, etc)
  • Attend monthly board meetings
  • Marketing (update website, design brochure, design Oktoberfest logo)
  • General non-profit management (draft word documents, update master databases, write thank you letters to donors)
  • Set up and attend community events (e.g., Riot in the Pasture, FFT Breakfast Kickoff, Poverty Simulation)  

District Attorney's Office

  • Observe District, Domestic Violence, Probable Cause, and Superior Courts
  • Pull shucks/assist ADA's at Traffic Court (each Friday 8-12)
  • File driving records/criminal records
  • Act as "runner" for ADA's during court
  • Copy files