PSYC 327: Psychology in the Community

PSYC 327: Psychology in the Community
Mike Hurley

PSYC 327: Psychology in the Community was developed to engage students in community outreach, and to integrate their reflections on those experiences with other psychology courses.  It is taught by Michael Hurley.

Service

  • Students engage in service work with local organizations.
  • While most students begin the semester with an organization in mind, the CLCE website
    provides a list of service opportunities tailored for the course. 

Learning

  • Students create individualized learning objectives and connect them to other George Mason psychology courses.

  • As a largely self-directed course, classes only meet four times over the course of the semester: once for orientation, twice for reflection sessions, and concluding with a resume workshop, which focuses on how to professionally communicate service-learning experiences
    to potential employers. 
  • Before each reflection session, students post short papers on Blackboard about their service experiences.
  • On a weekly basis, students update their journals with their service activities, respond to Blackboard discussion questions, and respond
    to their peers’ reflections.
  • A final reflection paper connects class work with fieldwork to create a cohesive learning experience.

 

Significance

“For students with liberal arts majors, taking classes that offer the opportunity to get relevant practical experience is particularly important.  Our students often do not realize how the knowledge and skills they are acquiring in college can translate to the workplace, and experiential learning courses present an excellent opportunity for students to discover the value they can offer to potential employers.”

— Mike Hurley