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Experiential Learning

The BS Psychology Program at Barry University offers two options for experiential learning.

The first option for experiential learning is through psychology courses that contain a service-learning component. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with course work and critical reflection to enrich the learning experience, foster civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Psychology service-learning courses provide students with hands-on experience and an opportunity to integrate theory with practice in order to develop appropriate knowledge, skills, values and professional competencies. Students are matched with a service agency and work with a field/service advisor who serves as a liaison between the course professor and the service-learning agency. Our students work with a range of individuals from preschoolers in academic and social enrichment programs to the elderly in nursing facilities.

The second option for experiential learning is through a series of independent research courses: PSY 295, PSY 395, and PSY 495. Students earn 3 credits per class and work one-on-one with a professor on a research project. In PSY 295 the student researches a topic of interest. In PSY 395 the student writes a research proposal and designs the study. In PSY 495 the student conducts the study, analyzes the data and reports the results. The student presents the study at the Department’s Annual Psychology Student Research Forum. The student will also be encouraged to present the study in a professional venue such as the annual convention of the Florida Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association or the Association for Psychological Science. The College of Arts and Sciences and the Psychology Department provide financial support to help students attend conferences where they are presenting. The independent research project offers students the opportunity to develop the research, writing, and presentation skills that will make them good candidates for graduate school and employment.

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