HDFS Internships

HDFS Internships

The HDFS academic internship is the culmination of the student’s college training for a career in the human services.  Most students find the challenging internship experience the most rewarding of their college program.

The HDFS academic internships combine an on-site supervised work experience with a structured academic learning plan for which a student earns academic credit.  The student’s substantive work and responsibilities within the work organization creates a professional experience that supports academic and career goals.  The faculty internship instructor and the work-site field supervisor collaborate to promote the student’s critical thinking, observation and reflection that foster intellectual, personal and professional growth. 

Baccalaureate Degree Internships

HDFS 401: Project Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation in the Human Services
Credits: 3.0
Prerequisite: HDFS 312W; approval by internship coordinator. Prerequisite or concurrent: HDFS 411
HDFS 401 is part of a sequence of courses that develop skills and competencies of the human services student. The course emphasizes the further development of communication skills, diversity skills, team-building skills, critical thinking skills, and technology and leadership skills. Intended to be completed prior to the internship experience, the course will initially focus students’ efforts on the identification of a field-based human services project or program, and a setting within which it could be carried out. Subsequently, students will design and plan the project or program, examine and propose effective implementation and management procedures, and incorporate state-of-the art evaluation procedures into the design. Students will work closely with the Career Services office on campus. Students will develop their learning contracts with their field supervisors and faculty.

HDFS 402: Human Services Seminar
Credits: 4.0
Prerequisite: HDFS 401
HDFS 402 is contemporary ethical, administrative, and clinical issues in human service field will be presented and discussed, as they relate to the provision of services, for a wide variety of client populations. In addition, this course will utilize a developmental approach to explore issues through exercises and activities related to the student’s mastery of skills in the practicum.

Students meet on a weekly basis in the classroom to discuss their internship experiences. This course provides ongoing support to students, helps process learning experiences and assists with the writing of the capstone paper.

HDFS 495C: Professional Practicum in Human Services
Credits: 8.0
Prerequisite: HDFS 401 or HDFS 490
HDFS 495C is the 480 hour (32-35 hours per week) practicum. Credit reductions may be granted with Departmental approval when the student has documented 5+ years of paid human service experience and/or successful completion on an Associate level internship. Students must receive at least one hour of supervision per week with their field supervisor. Field supervisors are recognized as the on-site instructor. Students will engage in learning experiences and complete a project agreed upon in the Learning Contract. The Learning Contract is the document that is developed between the student and their field supervisor during HDFS 401.

 The following are example agencies with whom current and former Penn State Shenango students have interned:

  • Crisis Shelter – Lawrence County
  • Sharon Regional Health System – Behavioral Health
  • Prince of Peace Center
  • St. Paul Homes
  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Diversified Family Services
  • Behavioral Health Commission
  • Veterans Affairs Office
  • Children and Youth Services
  • New Light Christian Education Center
  • Vocational & Psychological Services
  • Children’s Aid Society
  • Keystone Adolescent Center
  • Kids Zone
  • Community Counseling Center
  • Lakeland Learning Center
  • The Purple Cat
  • Hope Academy for Autism
  • MCAR
  • Alliance for Behavioral and Developmental Disabilities
  • George Junior Republic
  • Primary Health Network
  • Keystone Adolescent Center

The HDFS program has a strong focus on students preparing for internship and gaining real world experience. Students are encouraged to strategically select their internship to suit their professional and/or graduate school goals.