Preceptorships can provide a unique and valuable opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in your psychology classes. Working with a psychology faculty member, you will craft a learning contract that will meaningfully relate your understanding of the material you’ve encountered in your study of psychology to the course you arrange to precept. A more explicit policy for using preceptorships in fulfillment of the requirements for a major in psychology will take effect at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year. The details are below.

In general, 4-credit preceptorships conducted under the supervision of a psychology faculty member may count as your “wild card” course within the major. You and your faculty sponsor will determine the goals, strategies, and assignments that best meet your learning objectives and that ensure the experience advances your knowledge of psychology.

The following list spells out the most common features of a preceptorship:

a) The student will be required to become involved in a variety of aspects of the courses’ organization. This involvement may include such activities as (but is not limited to): grading, developing and delivering topical lectures in the course, test item construction, laboratory preparations, holding exam reviews, holding regular office hours, and choosing readings or discussion topics in conjunction with the course instructor. These activities will be detailed in the precepting learning contract.

b) The student will conclude her/his preceptorship by writing a final paper (12+ pages) that draws upon both the student’s precepting experience and her/his critical reading of the scholarly literature associated with the precepted course, as detailed in the precepting learning contract.

c) The student will submit reflection papers, typically weekly, that explicitly connect the scholarly literature associated with the precepted course to the precepting experience or to specific assignments, as detailed in the precepting learning contract.

A preceptorship can substitute for one of your three upper-level requirements only if your learning contract additionally articulates a set of goals and assignments equivalent to the workload and intellectual intensity of a typical advanced level.  Just as advanced courses involve considerable engagement with the scholarly literature, advanced-level preceptorships involve considerable engagement with relevant scholarship. Although students and their faculty supervisors will determine the specific readings best suited to the preceptorship, we expect the student will read a significant number of scholarly sources (typically equivalent to 20-40 peer-reviewed journal articles; may include books or book chapters written for a professional audience) related to the content of the precepted course in addition to completing all the readings assigned to students for the course. The nature and extent of additional readings and their relationship to the final paper will be detailed in the precepting learning contract.