Psy 298 and NUR 298
Experiential Learning Contract
(USE THIS CONTRACT FOR ALL NURSING AND PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS)
What is your major________________________
Do you want credit in Nursing or Psychology___________________
(Circle which contract you are completing. Compeer 1 – first time in Compeer, Compeer 2 second Compeer course)
Compeer 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
TITLE OF INTERNSHIP / CONTRACT:
An Experiential Look at Mental Illness
Psy 298 and NUR 298
DESCRIPTION OF EXPERIENCE:
John K Conboy,Psy.D.
Professor of Psychology
Sharon Sousa, Ed.D., APRN, BC
Associate Professor of Nursing
An Experiential Look at Mental Illness is a team taught course designed to familiarize you with the day to day issues confronting people suffering from major mental illness. The course is designed to fill the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth requirements for 1 credit of Experiential Learning and is offered in conjunction with the local chapter of Compeer. Compeer is a nationally recognized organization that matches trained, sensitive volunteers to adults, adolescents and children with mental illness in one-to-one friendship relationships. The relationships do not have any purpose except to offer friendship. You will not be in a psychotherapy relationship, social service relationship, nursing relationship or other professional helping relationship. Your only task is to offer normalizing friendship to a person who probably has limited experience with friendship.
You will spend several hours in training and attend a monthly meeting with other volunteers. A weekly report is required as well as a paper at the end of the semester detailing your experience and learning. The course is graded “Credit” or “No Credit”. You must possess a valid driver’s license and you must pass a Criminal Offense Record Investigation (CORI) before final acceptance into the course.
Compeer volunteers will be paired with same sex persons and you will spend a few hours weekly with the Compeer partner. You may elect to spend your time in a wide variety of recreational activities as long as they are appropriate to the needs of both partners. There are obvious specific limits to the choice of activity. Alcohol or drug use and sexual or romantic relationships are prohibited. Activities that exacerbate the partner’s mental health problems or place the partner at risk for possible deterioration are also prohibited.
Some Compeer partners will have serious mental illness. The most likely diagnosis of participants will be schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder or major depression. Compeer partners may have a variety of serious problems that could make the volunteer experience difficult. They may have social or personal hygiene problems and they may have trouble maintaining a friendship relationship. Most will be unemployed and have a long history of involvement with mental health and social service agencies. In short, friendship with a Compeer partner will be personally challenging and very different from friendships on a college campus. Volunteers must be prepared for this special challenge and respectful of the vulnerabilities of the Compeer partner.
The Compeer director and the faculty members will conduct training concerning major mental illness, the problems of the seriously mentally ill and the Compeer relationship. They will also conduct the monthly discussion group. If you have questions or concerns at other times, you are encouraged to contact the director or the faculty members as outlined on the syllabus.
The objective of the course is to give students an appreciation of the serious problems of the people with major mental illness. The course will also offer insight into the workings of mental health and social service agencies. Students will learn about their personal skills and feelings concerning people with serious mental illness. The most important objective is for students to offer simple friendship to people who have few friends.
The Compeer director and the faculty members will offer training and supervision. Attendance at monthly meetings and training is required. Students are encouraged to contact the director or the faculty if questions or issues arise.
EVALUATION AND FINAL PAPER:
A final paper detailing your learning and experience is required. Papers will be 1 or 2 typewritten pages and written in an informal style. Grades will be either Credit or No Credit. Students will make entries into the course web page as directed. Frequency and adequacy of the entries will help determine the final grade.
You should expect to spend a total of 3 hours weekly (45/semester), which includes training, traveling to site, weekly reports, and other Compeer activities, for one academic credit.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVANCED PLACEMENT
INDICATE CONTRACT (Circle) ------ Compeer 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Compeer 2 additional requirements:
The duties and objectives of the course are identical except that in Experiential Look at Mental Illness II there are 3 additional responsibilities. These are:
1). When completing the reflections section of the web page, students should address specific aspects of the course that will assist future Compeer volunteers in adjusting to their Compeer role. In addition reflections should address aspects of the course or Compeer experience that could be improved.
2.) Students will be required to present some of their experience in Compeer 1 to new Compeer volunteers. Presentations will be informal and usually occur in the beginning of the semester during the training period for Compeer 1.
3.) Students will be required to act as mentors for new Compeer volunteers. Each student in Experiential Look at Mental Illness II will be assigned to be the mentor of students taking Experiential Look at Mental Illness I. Mentoring relationships include advising new volunteers, discussing previous experiences in Compeer 1, and being available to listen to concerns of the new volunteers.
In all other ways the two courses are identical.
Compeer 3, 4, 5 additional requirements
The duties and objectives of the course are identical to Compeer 1&2 with the addition of the following responsibilities:
1). When completing the reflections section of the web page, students should address specific aspects of the course that will assist future Compeer volunteers in adjusting to their Compeer role. In addition reflections should address aspects of the course or Compeer experience that could be improved. Compeer 3,4 and 5 students are expected to take leadership roles in improving the compeer experience. These may include (but are not limited to) assisting the Compeer coordinator in liaison work with community residences and community mental health professionals.
2.) All Compeer students are required to present some of their experience in Compeer to new Compeer volunteers. Presentations will be informal and usually occur in the beginning of the semester during the training period for Compeer. Compeer 3,4 and 5 students will be expected to support new Compeer volunteers in adjusting to their role by assisting the professor and the Compeer coordinator in teaching new volunteers.
3.) Students in Compeer 2-5 are required to act as mentors for new Compeer volunteers. Each student in Experiential Look at Mental Illness 3,4 and 5 will be assigned to be the mentor of students taking Experiential Look at Mental Illness I. Mentoring relationships include advising new volunteers, discussing previous experiences in Compeer 1, and being available to listen to concerns of the new volunteers. Advanced Compeer volunteers are expected to share knowledge of mental illness and the local social service network.
In all other ways the Compeer 3, 4 and 5 are identical to previous Compeer courses.
SIGNATURES (Each signature MUST be the same as what appears on the Registration form.):
NURSING DEPARTMENT CHAIRPERSON:
PSYCHOLOGY MAJOR CHAIRPERSON:
STUDENT'S COLLEGE DEAN: (only if TOTAL credits earned through experiential learning/internship exceeds six ):