Youth in Development

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Empower the Next Generation of Changemakers. Volunteers work with youth in communities on projects that promote engagement and active citizenship, including gender awareness, employability, health and HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, sporting programs, and info technology.

Students who choose Youth in Development, take three courses from one of the following areas:

  • Social Work
  • Psychology

Recommended courses:

  • ANTH 3600 Anthropological Research Methods 
  • COMM 2242 Alcohol, Addiction and Culture (CEL)
  • COMM 2246 Family Communication
  • EDUC 3241 Educational Psychology 
  • PSYC 1110 Developmental Psychology (nurses only)
  • PSYC 1310 Psychopathology & Clinical Science (non-majors) 
  • PSYC 1610 Behavioral Neuroscience
  • PSYC 2150 Developmental Psychology* (lab or non-lab section) - lab section (CEL)
  • PSYC 2210 Social psychology
  • PSYC 2220 Stereotyping prejudice and discrimination
  • PSYC 2310 Psychopathology & Clinical Science for Majors 
  • PSYC 2330 Gender & Mental Health
  • PSYC  2370 Community & Mental Health

And build 50 hours of related field experience through an activity:  

  • Students can work with the career counselor in their school or college to assist them with finding internship, volunteer, research or experiential learning opportunities to support their sector of choice.
  • Psychology majors can participate in an internship for one or two semesters of credit in Applied Psychology*. The wide range of opportunities includes:
    • Working with children with Autism
    • Assisting probation officers and guidance counselors
    • Working in advertising and human resources
    • Assisting in psychiatric facilities 

*Students choose between an Internship in Applied Psychology (1) or a Teaching Psychology Internship (2). All internships allow students to spend ten hours a week using knowledge acquired in their classes. 

*Psychology majors also have the opportunity to work in a faculty member’s lab during the supervised research course (3). Advanced majors can also take an independent research course (4), during which students design their own independent project under the mentorship of a psychology department faculty member.  Psychology majors also have the opportunity to engage in summer research opportunities at other institutions, as well as at Fairfield University.

(1) Internship in Applied Psychology: Integrating both cognitive and experiential learning, the Psychology Department offers its senior psychology majors the opportunity to work as interns in varied settings.  Student interns are offered a wide selection of placements from which to choose, including working with autistic children, assisting probation officers, working with guidance counselors, learning about advertising or human resources, working in psychiatric facilities, etc. Each student spends at least ten hours per week on-¬‐site under qualified supervision enabling her or him to use the skills and knowledge acquired as students of psychology. 

(2) Internship in Teaching Psychology: This practicum experience, open to advanced psychology majors, affords the student an opportunity to explore the profession of the teaching of psychology. Under the direct supervision of the professional staff of the Department, students are introduced to the issues of curriculum development, methods of classroom instruction, selection and use of media resources, test construction, and strategies for the academic and practical motivation of students. Interns have the opportunity to observe participating faculty engaged in the profession of teaching, to share in some of the instructional activities, and to meet with other interns in a seminar format to process the learning experiences. 

(3) Supervised Research: This course is the mechanism through which many of the professors in the department engage students in their research programs for course credit during the academic year. Students work in the laboratory of a faculty member, learning hands on what psychological research entails, and are expected to do substantial reading and critiques of peer-reviewed journal articles, to analyze data collected during the semester with the guidance of the professor.

(4) Independent Research: This course entails the design and implementation of an independent research project, and is taken by a subset of psychology majors, usually during senior year. It is also the mechanism through which psychology majors in the university honors program complete their senior theses. Independent research students, under the guidance of the faculty advisor, develop their own projects, with the outcome measure being an empirical paper in APA format with novel data collected during the project.

Internship sites (a sampling):

  •       YWCA (domestic violence unit)
  •       Superior Court (adult probation, family court, juvenile center)
  •       Legal Services of Connecticut
  •       Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (children's unit)
  •       Family and Children's Agency, Norwalk
  •       New England Center for Children
  •       Giant Steps
  •       National Center for Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder
  •       Fairfield Preparatory School (counseling)
  •       The United Way (organizational)

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