Experiential Learning

Students benefit from opportunities to learn by reflecting on experiences beyond their typical classroom activities and by applying the knowledge and skills they gain from traditional courses in new settings. 

To this end, students are required to complete an Experiential Learning requirement as part of UWSP’s new General Education Program (GEP). This requirement can be met by completing a course that has been designated as Experiential Learning or by an outside project/experience that has appropriate faculty mentoring.

The Department of Psychology offers several choices for completing this requirement.


Students report that participating in an internship program is invaluable experience when searching for employment in the field after graduation or applying to graduate school. 

These internships occur at various community agencies including school psychology and guidance departments, shelters for abused women, alcohol treatment programs, group homes for delinquents, or halfway houses for parolees. Occasionally internships for students with industrial-organizational interests are available.

  • Students apply for internship around the 8th week preceding the term in which they wish to do an internship. Advertisements will be posted around the hallways of the Department.
  • Typically, we place 15 students per term in internships.
  • Senior psychology majors who have taken PSYC 351 (Abnormal Psychology) and PSYC 401 (Introduction to Counseling and Psychotherapy) can apply for an internship. 
  • Interns receive PSYC 494 Human Services Internship credit for working at an unpaid placement for 6 hours a week.
  • Interns must also attend a weekly course, PSYC 495 (Human Services Internship Seminar), where they discuss ethical issues and issues common to all placements.
Additional questions should be directed to Dr. Jeana Magyar (Jeana.Magyar@uwsp.edu).

Service Learning

Service learning consists of an activity that is focused on meeting a human need in the community. It combines service to the community with material learned in an academic context. Finally, it provides students with the opportunity to relect on the links between service and learning.

Similar to our internship program, we offer placements in a wide variety of agencies in our area where we have established collaborative partnerships. These consist of opportunities working directly with individuals ranging from infancy to adults, with possible placement at the YMCA Childcare Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County, etc. Alternative locations to do your service learning may be possible to arrange as well.

  • Some agencies require and application and background check.
  • All agencies require an orientation session.
  • Students complete 15 or more hours at one of the agencies following placement.
  • Students will submit a progress report after 5 hours of volunteer work.
  • Students will complete a reflection activity (either written or oral) once all of the hours have been completed.
Interested students should contact Dr. Justin Rueb (jrueb@uwsp.edu).

Independent Study

Finally, students can become involved in research opportunities in order to satisfy the GEP Experiential Learning requirement. Methods for getting involved in research are outlined elsewhere on this site.