Take your learning beyond the books and gain invaluable hands-on education through service-learning courses.
Service-learning courses provide the experience, knowledge and skills that make college graduates more marketable in the helping professions. These courses allow students to interact with a diverse group of individuals with special needs, build and put into practice communication and problem-solving skills, and take psychology out of the textbook into interactions with real people in structured and supportive environments. You will gain an appreciation of community needs and assets, a deeper understanding of yourself, and an awareness of career options.
"I got my current job because of the experience I gained in the service-learning course." - Program participant
Comments from Previous Service-learning Students
"I was able to see a culture and life situation other than the one I'm used to."
“Completing a service-learning project gave me a realistic perspective of my career choices.”
“I feel as though it made each individual open their eyes and take notice of what is going on in the community. It also encouraged me that one person can make a difference.”
“This class has been great preparation for a job as a therapist. I feel like the class has given me confidence and I realize that I have the ability to work with just about anyone.”
“I think that this class gave me the feeling that I was a part of things at the university, not just a typical student who goes to lecture classes, never experiencing any hands-on work until after graduation … I would say that overall, the class made this academic year stand out from the rest.”
“With a major like psychology, where several options seem to be available on which career choice to move toward, it has been important to narrow down those choices. This program has allowed me to do that.”
Service-learning Opportunities in the Department of Psychology
- PSYC 493, Fieldwork: Human Services - This three-credit course requires students to apply to register, typically as a junior or a senior. The course offers students the opportunity to spend 120 hours in a non-profit human services organization in conjunction with a weekly class component that combines theory and experiential processing.
- Psyc 493, Mentoring Children at Risk - This three-credit course offered during the summer includes one week of intense classroom training and then one week mentoring children at the All God’s Children camps. Together, they swam, rode horses, did arts and crafts, resolved conflicts, and learned about each other. The VCU students kept daily journals and wrote a comprehensive paper at the end. Life-changing discoveries—for both VCU students and the children!
- PSYC/CRJ S/SOCY 491 and 493 Youth in Corrections - This three-credit course provides an opportunity to mentor and tutor youth involved with the legal system. The course is open to students with a junior standing or higher. Course work focuses on at-risk youth and the court system. Students participate in the service project, Project ACE (Assisting Correctional Education).
- In addition to these two offerings, there are special sections of PSYC 492, Independent Study, which add a one-credit service learning opportunity in conjunction with a developmental content course.
Find out More and Register
Interested students should come to Psyugrad Advising for consultation prior to contacting the instructor of record.
You may apply and participate in more than one course.