Introductory Field Work
Introductory Field Work (PSYC 202) is a 2-credit lower-level introductory practical experience that includes 80 on-site hours (approximately 6 hours per week, organized as one full day or two half-days), a weekly small group class meeting with the JMU instructor, and other relevant assignments intended to enhance the overall experience (see Sample Syllabus below). Students apply for Introductory Field Work the semester before they will complete the Field Work.
Students work at selected agencies, and agency sites require an interview and selection process the semester before starting. Some agencies require background checks before students may begin.
Decisions regarding acceptance into Introductory Field Work will be based upon quality of application materials, input from consultation with departmental faculty and listed references, past performance in related activities, and a personal interview with the JMU course instructor. By submitting your application, you give your permission for these resources to be contacted/accessed and used for your consideration for selection into PSYC 202 – Introductory Field Work. Students whose application materials and past performance in related activities demonstrate high potential for success in Intro Field Work will be offered an interview with the JMU course instructor prior to official acceptance into the course.
Acceptance into Introductory Field Work does not guarantee students a Field Site. However, the instructor will work with students throughout the semester to help them obtain a Field Site until all opportunities are exhausted. Information from accepted students (Application & Resumé) will be sent to sites of interest, and site supervisors will then review students information and begin to offer interviews during the following weeks. The timing of site interviews is variable (i.e. some sites are quick to set up interviews while others may not know for several weeks if they can offer interviews). It is a goal that every accepted student will have a Field Site prior to the end of the semester. It important for students to build their next-semester schedules in a flexible way that will allow them to devote six hours per week to their site experience.
Apply for Introductory Field Work?
- Completed applications are due:
Spring 2022: Friday, October 29 - noon
Fall 2022: Friday, March 25 - noon
- Consider your ability to commit to an 80-hour site + academic experience
- Review the Sample Syllabus (PDF)
- Review the list of Potential Sites below
*Information about site opportunities and student testimony included pertains specifically to PSYC 495: Field Placement experiences, though students in PSYC 202 might expect somewhat comparable experiences
- Complete the Application (Word)
- Attach your completed application to an email to Dr. David Szwedo (firstname.lastname@example.org). Include in the body of your email your top 5 site choices (in order).
Make the subject of your email: Term | ApplyingFor | IFW(yourLastnameFirstname).
Prerequisites for Introductory Field Work
Admission to the Psychology Major, completion of PSYC 210 or 212, and sophomore status.
- Alcohol Safety Action Program
- Arc of Harrisonburg
- Batterers Intervention Program
- Blue Ridge Legal Services
- Community Counseling Center
- Children's Case Management
- Community Corrections - Department of Probation and Parole – District 39 (Harrisonburg)
- The Fairfield Center
- First Step, Inc.
- Friendship Industries
- Harrisonburg-Rockingham Social Services District
- Healthy Families
- Intensive Community Treatment
- JMU Adult Degree Program
- JMU Counseling Center
- JMU Student Leadership Center
- JMU Residence Life
- Mercy House
- Public School Placements (School Counseling)
- Sentara Hospice
- Summit House
- Teen Pregnancy Prevention
- Valley Associates for Independent Living
- Victim Witness Program
- Virginia Institute of Autism
- Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Activities Department