PSYC 3850 Community Psychology

Spring 2024

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to Community Psychology and help you discover how psychological principles are carried out within the community setting. 

The course will be delivered in conjunction with the Applied Studies office and a lecture portion and placement:

  • An in-person class: Monday | 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM
  • Community-based work placement (volunteer or paid): 96 hours by the end of the semester (Approx. 8 hours/week)
Application Deadline: January 5, 2024

Grade Distribution

  • Academic Deliverable(s) | 60%: Course work as assigned by Dr. Mather 
  • Student Performance Evaluation and Monitor Visit | 20%: Evaluation submitted by your Work Placement Supervisor at the end of the semester and monitor visit with Work Placement Supervisor and Applied Studies Instructor 
  • Monthly Reflective Reports | 20%: Assigned and graded by your Applied Studies Instructor

Grade Scale

"A" will start at 80%, "B" will start at 70% and "C" will start at 60%.  Further details will be provided in class.

Course Overview

Academic Deliverables (60%)

  • Oral Presentation: You will give a one-hour presentation on your work placement. Areas covered may include but are not limited to:
    • description of the agency, the purpose of the agency, your role, how that role contributes to the day-to-day working of the agency, your interactions with clients, how the agency fits within the mosaic of social services, and the social, financial and organizational structure of the agency.
  • Written Paper:  You will write a paper (APA Format, 15 text pages, minimum 15 references) on larger issues related to our work placement, generally entitled “Why does your organization need to exist?” You will write and submit an outline, first draft, and final draft, due at different times during the semester. The final draft will be due near the end of the final exam period.
  • Reflective Journal:  You will keep a Reflective Journal as you move through the semester and are expected to write a minimum of one entry per week.  Some of the Journal will reflect on your interactions at the workplace (What is your role? How effective were you? Did your interaction assist the clients? What did you discover about the clients, and about yourself? Do the agency’s formal aims match its day-to-day implementation?  How has this experience helped shape your future aims?). Other Journal entries will come from the class experience (What is Community Psychology?  How do the agencies that class members work at fit within the community?   How do you and the community at large view them? What are the values of and problems for not-for-profit agencies?   How do practical and academic experiences mesh and complement one another?). A self-evaluation will be the final Journal entry.
    • Journals will be collected for informal evaluation and feedback halfway through the semester and then due near the end of the exam period.

NOTE: How the 60% is divided amongst these three components will be decided during the first class meeting via a group discussion.


Student Performance Evaluation and Monitor Visit (20%)

  • Your volunteer or paid work placement needs to be with an organization that is approved by the Applied Study Instructor and Dr. Mather.
  • Commitment to the organization for at least 96 hours over the semester (approx. 8 hours per week).
  • Information to discuss with your Employer:
    • Discuss the position (paid or volunteer) description.  
    • Ask if they agree to support your Applied Studies course by reviewing and approving the Work Placement Application. This application will be sent to your employer by email to verify, sign, and provide additional safety information.
    • A Monitor visit is a meeting between the Applied Studies instructor, the student, and the employer to discuss your experience, skills development, areas of improvement and development (approx. 45 minutes).
    • Your employer needs to submit a final performance evaluation at the end of the semester.


Monthly Reflective Reports (20%)

By submitting your monthly reports, you create an opportunity to set learning objectives for your work placement and academic goals as well as to reflect upon their progression based on feedback from your Applied Studies Instructor.  

  • Monthly Report #1
    • Learning Reflection template found in 
    • Reflect on previous courses & experiences that helped prepare you for the course
    • Set learning objectives and how you plan to achieve them
    • List any additional workplace supervisors (optional)
    • 300-word reflection: Reflect on the progress you have made towards your learning objectives and discuss the value of your work experience(s) and their value to your professional and academic development
  • Monthly Report #2 and #3
    • Minimum 750 words in length (2-5 pages)
    • Reflection on your progression toward the Learning Objectives
    • Demonstrate analysis of skill development (provide examples)
    • Makes connections between academic training and practical experience (demonstrate with examples)

Registration Process

Log into MyExperience and book an appointment with an Applied Studies Instructor


  1. Sign in as a “student” by using your ULethbridge credentials (username and password).  
  2. Go to “Book Appointments”. 
  3. In the “Applied Studies” tab, there is an appointment module. Select “Book by Appointment Type” and then select the type that works best for you (“Applied Studies Inquiry”).  
  4. The next available appointments are displayed on the right side of the screen. Please, select the best time that works for you.   
  5. You should receive a confirmation email shortly after. 

Search for a work placement (paid or volunteer) that aligns with the theme of Community Psych. You can explore opportunities on the Student Job Board, Faculty discussions and recommended positions, or self-initiate placements. Aim for a minimum of 96 hours of work within a semester. 

Potential Placements: 
  • Southern Alberta Self-Help Association (SASHA)
  • Lethbridge Family Services (LFS)
    • Lethbridge Immigrant Services
    • DaCapo Digital Services
  • Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society
  • Opokaa'sin Early Intervention Society
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Crisis Centre
  • University of Lethbridge
    • Career Services
    • International Centre
  • Schizophrenia Society
  • Alzheimer Society
  • Salvation Army
  • Lethbridge YWCA
  • Red Cross
  • Family Centre

Engage in a conversation with an Academic Advisor to ensure that the Applied Studies course fits into your program planning guide. They can provide guidance on how the course aligns with your degree requirements and academic goals.

You are required to submit two application forms for approval prior to being registered by the Applied Studies Office.

Application Deadline: January 5, 2024


Work Placement Application

Secure an employment/volunteer opportunity that will provide 120 hours (ex. 10 hrs/week for 12 weeks) minimum that relates to your field of study. The employer needs to support you in the Applied Studies course and be willing to complete evaluations and participate in a site visit (virtual or in-person).  Share information about Supervising an Applied Study to help explain this support.

You will fill out the application to be approved by your employer and verify the information.  Confirmations and course registration will be sent out once both application forms are completed.

Unsuccessful applications will need to be resubmitted.

To help with your application, please feel free to use this Word document to collect information.

Practice Form

Course Proposal Application

Secure a University of Lethbridge Professor as your Academic Supervisor for your Disciplinary Credit course.  Discuss the course proposal and the Academic Plan with them prior to submitting.  The Course Proposal is needed for registration, while the Academic Plan can be submitted in the first six weeks of the course.  Share information about Supervising an Applied Study to help explain how they can support your course.

It is essential to seek out a subject matter expert: someone whose research agenda is related to the general thesis you will explore as part of your academic plan. Work with your Applied Studies Instructor to plan a proposal well in advance of the course registration deadline to develop a request. This will include an academically relevant theory and/or principle that you want to connect to a professional environment.  Good planning and organization are key to a successful request! 

Consult with your Academic Supervisor and Applied Studies Instructor about the Course Proposal prior to submitting it.  Fill out the application and then a copy will be sent to your Academic Supervisor and the Department/Area Chair for approval.  Confirmations and course registration will be sent out once both application forms are completed.

Unsuccessful applications will need to be resubmitted.

Practice form