Practicum experiences are offered each Fall and Spring semester to a small number of students. These experiences provide students in psychology the opportunity to apply their knowledge to an actual situation in the field. The student is expected to spend a total of 85 hours (about 6 hours per week) during the semester engaged in on-site activities (i.e., “direct contact hours”), which includes 1 hour per week of on-site supervision, plus 1 hour per week of on-campus faculty supervision (with Dr. Mandracchia). A journal/log is kept throughout the experience and becomes a part of the student’s file at the end of the experience. Each student must make arrangements for their on-site supervisor to write a letter of evaluation to the faculty supervisor upon completion of the experience.

Students interested in taking practicum may want to begin by contacting Dr. Mandracchia (, the department practicum coordinator, sometime during their junior year. Because of the necessarily small enrollment in practicum, students must submit an application the semester before they hope to do a practicum. The application deadline will be posted and will precede the pre-registration period each semester in order to allow the department to review the applications and determine participation prior to the advisement period. The following are the main concerns reviewed by the department in making its decisions regarding practicum applications:

  1. Faculty availability to provide supervision.
  2. A review of course work already completed. Consideration is given to performance and completion of course work related to the practicum experience.
  3. Course and outside work load of the applicant. The department discourages participants from taking an unrealistic course or work load during the semester of a practicum due to the time requirements of these experiences.
  4. History of responsibility of the applicant. The department expects students to be capable of self-direction in order to participate appropriately in practicum.

The following is a list of some of the practicum sites students have had in the past. The department cannot guarantee placement availability and students are not limited to just the sites listed:

Altec Industries, Inc.

Alzheimer Association

Buchanan County Academy

Buchanan County Juvenile Office

Buchanan County R IV School

Child Advocacy Center

Family Guidance Center

Helen Davis State School

Jackson County Prosecutor

KANZA Mental Health Center

Mosaic Life Care – Behavioral Health

Mosaic Life Care – Human Resources

MWSU Counseling Center

Northwest Behavioral Health

Noyes Home for Children

NW MO Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center

Riverbend Treatment Center

Special Olympics Missouri

St. Joseph Resource Center

St. Joseph School District (School Counselors)

St. Joseph Youth Alliance

The Center (A Samaritan Center)

The Guidance Center (Atchison)

United Cerebral Palsy of NW MO

Valley Hope of Atchison

YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter

Student presents her work at a national conference.