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
Research laboratories are maintained in the department and practicum, internship, and counseling opportunities are coordinated through the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Psychology students have been involved in the college's Summer Science Research Institute, the HNGR program, and participated in a number of programs at HoneyRock, Wheaton's outdoor center for leadership development. Students also have opportunities through faculty member involvement in the Center for Rural Psychology, and the Urban Partnership Initiative (Big Idea Foundation). The department maintains close ties with the college's Counseling Center to help meet the needs of the campus. The department also maintains a Latin American Interest Group that was developed to sculpt a shared vision for the establishment of an ongoing dialogue with Christian mental health professionals in Central and South America.
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 adviser 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 a member of the Wheaton College chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in 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 those meeting the requirements for membership will be sent out during each semester.
Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology for undergraduate Psychology Majors and serves the purpose of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to undergraduate women and men who have made the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet a series of academic qualifications. 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 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
Students who are eligible for induction into Psi Chi will be contacted via CPO when they meet the scholastic requirements outline above. It should be noted that the requirements for membership in Wheaton College's chapter are higher than those placed by the national office. A membership application will be sent to eligible students' CPO boxes and those students interested in becoming a member of Psi Chi should submit their completed application and dues to the Psi Chi Secretary as soon as possible. Inductees will then be contacted and informed of when the induction ceremony will take place. All members of Psi Chi are encouraged to attend the induction ceremony and a brief meeting that usually follows for the coordination of upcoming events and election of officers for the following year (in the spring semester).
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 in the Spring is one of our annual highlights.
Each Christmas the program sponsors an undergraduate Christmas party which usually takes place at the home of one of the undergraduate faculty members. This is an opportunity for all psychology majors and minors to come and fellowship inside the community of the program and get to know their professors and each other on a more personal level.