By UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
Beginning this fall, Fort Hays State University undergraduates in psychology will have the opportunity to apply for participation in an internship at new partner locations. Initiated by department chair Dr. Dharma Jairam, this program is the first of its kind for psychology.
According to Dr. Jairam, “We have launched a new internship program for undergraduate students and have already partnered with four separate local entities that will provide these internships. Students will be able to get vital hands-on experience and earn college credit.”
Currently, the program partners include the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Early Childhood Connections, Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, and FHSU’s Health and Wellness Services. Jairam is optimistic that the number of partners will grow quickly. He anticipates having at least one more before the fall semester begins and over twice this number by the spring semester.
One aspect of this program that Jairam believes will be most useful to undergraduates interested in psychology is the variety of potential career paths these different partnerships highlight. “I wanted the students to be able to explore the variety of different opportunities, so the experiences are pretty broad. They can get everything from peer counseling to working with children in early childhood environments, to observing in the court and legal systems.” This program will highlight the significant flexibility students have with a degree in psychology.
According to Jairam, “I was unsure how well this idea would be received by our partners when I began reaching out to them. So far, we have had only positive and very enthusiastic responses, which has been very encouraging.”
Jairam believes the program can expand beyond Hays and across the state of Kansas, making it possible for students who attend through one of the virtual programs to also complete these types of internships in the future.
“We have found that our virtual students often want more ways to connect with the university, and these internships could be a way to further that relationship,” Jairam said.
Students interested in participating will need to submit an application and rank the sites they would most like to intern. Students will also need to include a letter of intent, a current resume, and a letter of support from a faculty member. A committee within the psychology department will review applications to match selected members with the internship sites. For more information on the internship program visit //fhsu.edu/psych/internships.