A practicum is an opportunity for students to integrate on-site work with class time for interdisciplinary connections and reflection. A practicum includes placement at an outside organization, along with an academic component that involves regular meetings with faculty members and staff members, and culminates in a final reflective paper and presentation and, in some situations, participation in the College poster session.

2020-2021 Courses


SLCeeds: Ideas From Concept to Creation

Open, Practicum—Spring

This course experience teaches students the process for taking any idea from concept to creation and the strategies for executing that work effectively and efficiently. All students will engage in the process within the context of ideas developed by the students. By combining theory with practice, students will have the opportunity to experience a full process cycle so that they can begin the journey to mastering these skills. Assignments will track the various steps of the process, culminating into a final paper and presentation to a panel of alumni judges.


Exploring the Work of Community-Based Agencies: Linking Theory and Practice

Sophomore and above, Practicum—Fall and Spring

A maximum of 12 students will be able to join this course each semester. This course may be taken for either two or three credits.

According to NonProfit Westchester, a local advocacy group, nonprofits make up 13.6 percent of the total workforce in Westchester County. The goal of this two- or three-credit course is to offer students the chance to develop, through readings and direct work, a deeper understanding of community-based work and of a nonprofit that has a strong partnership with the College. Largely through journal writing, students will engage in the process of action and reflection to explore and learn about community-based work. Some questions that this course will address include: What is a community, what is community-based work, and what is a nonprofit? Who are the people served by the agency? What are some of the complexities that the agency faces? What is the agency’s mission? How does a nonprofit agency develop and change over time, and how does it determine the kind of community-based work it will do? How does an agency determine the success of its work? What are the funding sources, and what are the some of the social forces that impact the work of each agency and the people it serves? Students will meet throughout the term for a weekly, one-hour seminar with the director of the Office of Community Partnerships. Students will also select a faculty sponsor with whom to discuss articles and journal entries throughout the semester. All students will participate in the end-of-semester poster session and write a 7- to 10-page paper on an aspect of their work over the semester, which brings together their reflections and experiences and readings. The number of students who will be able to take this course will vary according to the number of faculty available for any given semester.

Foundations in Workplace Culture and Well-Being

Sophomore and above, Practicum—Fall

Students have the option to take this course for three or five credits.

This is a practicum-based course offered in collaboration with SLC Career Services. Second-, third-, and fourth-year students who will be completing an internship placement in fall 2020 are eligible to take this course. The aim of the course is to help support students in making the transition from academic life to work experience. This course will address topics that are generally applicable to workplace culture and well-being across fields such as communication, diversity and inclusion, professional networking, job crafting, stress management, and work-life balance. Over the semester, students will develop an academic understanding of relevant concepts, drawing from industrial, organizational, positive psychology, and related fields. Students will be invited to integrate their internship experiences through class discussion, experiential activities, collaborative group work, and observation journals. Class reading assignments will include academic literature and relevant popular media. Classes will include discussions based on assigned reading and internship observations, experiential activities related to class topics (e.g., communication, networking, meditation), Career Service workshops, and an alumni panel. Internships may be in any field and must be approved by SLC Career Services. This class meets once weekly in the evening and may include periodic conference meetings and/or SLC Career Service consultations. Students are expected to attend weekly class meetings in addition to regularly attending their internship placements.


Intensive Semester in Yonkers: Communities Learning Together: Engaged Research in Yonkers

Intermediate, Seminar—Fall

This course is open for interviews and registration. Please visit Intensive Semester in Yonkers on MySLC for program information and application.

What benefits should research offer to communities? Can research done on communities produce knowledge or change structures that improve the lived realities of community members? In this course, students will grapple with these and additional questions as they explore community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) and examples of social movements that have turned to CBPAR. We will examine the intersections of policy, global reform efforts on education, immigration, and structural oppression in theory, research, and practice. Based on your understandings of the principles and research methods of CBPAR, you will develop a proposal for a CBPAR project for your internship organization. Through your work in the City of Yonkers, this course invites you to examine the practices of an engaged researcher in service to others seeking to build community. Students may take this course individually or apply to participate in the Intensive Semester in Yonkers.


Building a Professional Identity During the Global Pandemic

Sophomore and above, Practicum—Spring

This course may be taken for either three or five credits.

This is a practicum-based course offered to second, third, and fourth year students, who will be completing an internship placement during the spring 2021 semester.  The aim of the course is to help support students making the transition from college life to work experience in their chosen field during the COVID-19 pandemic. This course is offered in collaboration with Sarah Lawrence College Career Services and will include mid-semester workshops on communication and networking, plus an end-of-semester alumni panel, based on students’ interests. Over the semester, students will explore the process of building a professional identity during a time of remote work and uncertainty. Weekly reading will include topics in psychology and related fields.  Topics will include building a professional identity, early supervisory skills, diversity equity and inclusion, workplace communication, imposter syndrome, professional networking, stress management, work-life balance, and ways of supporting wellbeing. Classes will include discussions based on assigned reading and internship observations and on experiential activities related to class topics (e.g., communication, networking, meditation). Students will be invited to integrate their internship experiences through class discussion, experiential activities, collaborative group work, and observation journals. The goal is for students to gain an academic and experiential understanding of key concepts, which students may apply both this semester and beyond. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are completing an internship, fieldwork placement, or a related work experience are eligible to take the course. All internships (fieldwork placements and/or other work experiences) must be registered on Handshake and approved by Career Services to be eligible for this class. (Please see the SLC career services website for details on registering your placement.)


Archive of the Senses: Evoking Communities Through Perception

Sophomore and above, Seminar—Spring

This course is designed for students with some familiarity with working in a variety of media and who wish to explore them further in relationship to our local communities. Progressing through a series of projects involving all of the five sense perceptions and a variety of material and media, students will explore what it means to use everyday technologies today. Each project will ask students to explore the nature of sensation and of mediated experience. What happens to us when we capture our sensory perceptions? How do media technologies influence our perceptions of the world? How do other kinds of diverse knowledge, techniques, or know-how that exist in communities come into play in relation to digital apparatuses? During the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to work with writing, sound, image, and procedural rhetoric as a way to experience public environments, as well as to represent individual and collective stories about them. Additionally, we will study a selection of media theories relating to a wider range of technological apparatuses inaccessible to our actual use (such as the electron scanning microscope or fiber-optic cable landing sites) in order to situate our projects within a larger, global framework. For qualified and dedicated students, course work may include volunteer work with a local community partnership.


Theories of Development

Intermediate, Seminar—Fall

For graduate students and seniors with permission of the instructor.

“Knowledge is there in the seeing.” What we observe when we look at children is related to adult assumptions, expectations, and naïve theories that we carry with us from our own families and childhoods. How are those theories related to the ways that theorists have framed their questions and understandings of children’s experiences? Competing theoretical models of Freud, Skinner, Bowlby, Piaget, Vygotsky, Werner, and others have shaped the field of developmental psychology and have been used by parents and educators to determine child-care practice and education. In this course, we will read the classic theories in their primary sources (psychoanalytic, behaviorist, attachment, and cognitive-developmental) as they were originally formulated and in light of subsequent critiques and revisions. Questions that we will consider include: Are there patterns in our emotional, thinking, or social lives that can be seen as universal, or are these always culture-specific? Can life experiences be conceptualized in a series of stages? How else can we understand change over time? We will use theoretical perspectives as lenses through which to view different aspects of experience—the origins of wishes and desires, early parent-child attachments, intersubjectivity in the emergence of self, symbolic and imaginative thinking, and the role of play in learning. For conference work, students will be encouraged to do fieldwork at the Early Childhood Center or in another setting with children, as one goal of the course is to bridge theory and practice.


Research Methods Practicum

Intermediate/Advanced, Small seminar—Fall

In this seminar, students will gain valuable research experience through a weekly meeting focused on research methods, research ethics, and contemporary research questions and approaches; a weekly collaborative group workshop; and individual and group conference meetings with faculty supervisors on either a regular or an as-needed basis. The seminar component will include readings on, and discussions of, research methods and ethics that are specific to the research in which students are involved, as well as the discussion of contemporary research articles that are relevant to student and faculty research projects. All students involved in the research experience will take turns leading the discussion of current research related to their group’s work. Weekly seminars will also be led by invited faculty in psychology and related disciplines. Weekly collaborative group meetings will also involve reading and discussing research articles and research methods papers specific to the topics of research being undertaken by each student member. Students participating in the Research Methods Practicum will be expected to attend and actively participate in weekly, full-group seminars and weekly collaborative group workshop meetings; select and facilitate full-class and group discussions of relevant contemporary research articles (at least once for each meeting type); work at least five hours within a lab and/or community setting appropriate for their projects or otherwise engage in active research; contribute toward ongoing research and practice within their lab or community setting; develop, implement, and report on (in the form of a short paper prepared for possible publication and a poster at the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Poster Session) an independent research project; and provide their colleagues with ongoing verbal and written feedback on their projects.


Advanced Behavioral Statistics Practicum

Intermediate/Advanced, Small seminar—Spring

This course will be offered based on student need and interest. Prerequisite: previous college-level statistics course

The primary objective of this course is to understand and apply various statistical analysis techniques when conducting your own independent research. As such, it is a useful companion to the completion of an independent research project as part of a senior thesis, independent study, or research seminar course. The course covers core statistical methods that are essential in the behavioral sciences, including ANOVA, ANCOVA, and linear, logistic, and multiple regression. Relevant non-parametric statistics, such as chi square, will also be discussed. This course will meet weekly in a workshop format to learn and apply various statistical techniques to sample, as well as real, data sets. Weekly assignments will utilize SPSS, a standard data analysis program utilized in behavioral statistics. Students will be responsible for working collaboratively with their colleagues—in this course in regular weekly meetings outside of the class meeting time—to further develop their understanding of each statistical technique, as well as to develop their ability to utilize SPSS. Students will also be required to apply statistical concepts to the development of thesis or other research proposals, including a discussion of potential analyses and the relevant data to be collected that might utilize these techniques. Students will meet regularly with the instructor to discuss an ongoing project for which they will utilize some of the statistical techniques learned throughout the course. By the end of the semester, students should have completed their analyses and incorporated a report of the work completed into a final project report, be it a thesis, independent study, or other conference project.