The Psychology Department offers to interested junior and senior majors a two semester internship that allows them to gain experience in applying what they have learned. Most students in the internship have sought placements in human services. Typically these students' placements have included probation departments of district and juvenile courts, guidance offices in public and private schools, the victim advocacy program of the local district attorney's office, crisis pregnancy programs, social services departments in nursing homes, assisting a child life specialist in a medical hospital, and day and residential programs for mentally ill and mentally retarded adults. Still others have chosen programs outside the human services such as an advocacy program for immigrants, legal assistant for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, fundraising for a non-profit organization, and working as a behavioral specialist for a zoo.
Students spend ten hours per week in placement and meet weekly as a class to reflect on their experiences. We try to accommodate students' interests in the selection of field placements.
There are multiple opportunities for research while attending Gordon. The psychology department faculty encourages you to explore these.
Most faculty members in the department have ongoing research projects, and all desire student involvement in their work. If you are interested in working on a research project, please talk with any and all faculty members with whom you would like to work. In some cases, student participation in faculty research can be significant enough that it is appropriate for the student name to appear in any resulting publications. Those who wish to pursue a doctorate after graduation from Gordon should explore this option, as publications weigh in the graduate school acceptance for Ph.D. applicants.
Sometimes students desire to carry out their own research. The department has multiple opportunities within the curriculum to do so. You will take a two-course Research Methods sequence which teaches the techniques of analysis (statistics) and the methodology of research design and implementation. You will then put your learning into practice by carrying out a research project of your own choosing. Although the idea is your own, you will receive a great deal of help in carrying out these projects. In some cases, exceptional projects can be submitted for review and possible presentation at a local undergraduate conference.
After completion of the Research Methods courses, you are required to participate in another laboratory course. Most of these lab courses require a second research project. Gordon has a striking number of choices for these lab courses, more than is typical in either other Christian colleges or in secular colleges of comparable and even larger size. Currently, lab courses are offered in Physiological Psychology, Animal Behavior, Community Psychology, Social Perception, Social Cognition, and the conceptual and measurement issues involved in Wisdom, Intelligence and Creativity.
In a few cases, students desire further research experience. Consult a faculty member as they often supervise independent research. These possibilities of working with faculty members on your own research or of working with faculty members on their own research can bring you class credit as well as research experience.