The School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy offers a number of opportunities for both its undergraduate and graduate students:
- Faculty-directed and independent research projects, internships, and a host of other programs
- Internship opportunities (an Internship Information Seminar is hosted every semester)
- Wheaton College chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology
Psychology majors have the opportunity to become research assistants in the laboratories of any researcher in the School of Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy. This includes the undergraduate Psychology program as well as the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program (PsyD and PhD), the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy. While any student is allowed and encouraged to approach a researcher and seek to collaborate in their laboratory on a volunteer basis, there is also a specific curricular mechanism to foster research collaboration between students and faculty – PSYC 497 Collaborative Research Groups. After completing PSYC 269 Experimental Psychology, one may register for PSYC 497 for either 2 or 4 credits. The students registered for that course select their top few choices for home laboratories. Students are then placed into various laboratories by the PSYC 497 coordinator. PSYC 497 may be repeated for credit, but only 4 credits of PSYC 497 may count towards the Psychology major (any excess may still count towards overall graduation credit requirements).
In addition to course work in psychology, another way to understand the importance of psychological research and its contribution to human knowledge, research ethics, and specific issues pursued in particular studies is to actually participate in them.
We invite all adults to participate in our research. College students under the age of 18 are not generally allowed to participate in research. Students in Psychology courses at Wheaton College can earn extra credit in their courses by participating as research subjects in studies conducted by faculty in the School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy. These studies may be for the faculty member’s own research program or part of a course requirement. Some studies have very specific requirements regarding who is an eligible participant, so not all studies will be accessible to all willing participants.
As early as the junior year, students are encouraged to consider the possibility of completing an internship for academic credit towards their selected major. An internship is a work-related learning experience which is incorporated into a student's academic program. It gives the student an opportunity to integrate theoretical learning in a major area of study with actual work experience. It is intended to enhance educational goals, expand job skills, and guide career decisions.
The internship may be completed for 4-8 credit hours under the direction of a faculty advisor and an employer supervisor; the Internship Coordinator is available as an additional resource. Involvement in an internship begins with attendance at an Internship Information Seminar, offered early in the fall and spring semesters. This seminar introduces students to the internship process at the College and assists students in planning for an internship.
An internship experience should be a new, educationally rewarding one rather than a continuation or repeat of a current or previous work experience. It is a short-term position. The work experience should involve challenging tasks with educational value rather than tasks which would be considered as "busy work." Students must have reached junior status and have completed at least 16 hours in their major before requesting an internship.
Psychology majors at Wheaton College who choose to do an internship are required to have 40 hours of experience in some area of applied psychology for each hour of credit received. To the extent that it is possible, we encourage participation in a wide variety of activities. For example, at some of our clinical internship sites students are involved in the these types of activities: conducting interviews with new clients, writing up social histories, participating in diagnostic staff meetings, working with patients on the ward, and sitting in on individual and group therapy sessions.
Psi Chi, International Honor Society in Psychology
Psychology Majors and Minors have the opportunity to become members of the Wheaton College chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. The purpose of Psi Chi is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship and to advance the science of psychology. Psi Chi offers a variety of educational and social activities for all psychology students throughout the school year.
Psi Chi inductions are generally scheduled for the fall and spring semesters of each school year. Applications for students meeting the requirements for membership in Wheaton College's chapter will be sent out each semester.
Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society (APS).
Eligibility Requirements for Wheaton College Chapter
- Completion of 3 semesters of the college courses
- Completion of 9 semester hours of Wheaton College psychology courses
- Ranking in the top 35% of their class in general scholarship
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.6 (on a 4.0 scale) in psychology classes and 3.5 overall
It should be noted that the requirements for membership in Wheaton College's chapter are higher than those placed by the national office.
Psi Chi Member Resources
The International Honor Society Psi Chi publishes a newsletter, Eye on Psi Chi, four times a year, the Journal of Psychological Research in which students can publish research, and An Eye on the Workplace, as well as blogs, podcasts and webinars. In addition, the School of Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy provides students with information about new Psychology classes, information about Psychology faculty members, and information about graduate schools and careers in Psychology.
Activities for Undergraduate Psychology Students
While the School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy annually sponsors several lectures by distinguished psychologists, the most important of these is the annual Scandrette Lecture which focuses on the integration of Psychology and Christianity. It generally occurs during the Spring semester of the academic year. This lecture is specifically designed to address issues of interest to Christian psychologists.
Each year the program has two department chapels. The Fall chapel is directed by the School of Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy faculty and staff, while the spring semester chapel is directed by Psi Chi. Faculty and local psychologists have been featured as guest speakers during these chapels.
A school-wide graduation celebration on the Mezzanine for Psychology Majors and Minors each Spring is one of our annual highlights. Psi Chi International Honor Society also hosts activities such as Career Exploration, World Mental Health Day, and holiday parties for Psychology students.