Penn State students create an online psychology club

First-of-its-kind club unites students from far-flung locations

University Park, Pa. -- Renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud had one and now so do Penn State psychology students -- a psychology club, that is. However, unlike Freud’s weekly gatherings at his apartment, Penn State’s Psychology Club only meets online.

Psychology Club Adviser Brian F. Redmond has searched online and has found many psychology clubs that meet face-to-face and some that have an online component, but he says “the World Campus Psychology Club is the first fully online psychology club in the world.”

Students enrolled in the online psychology bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs offered by the College of the Liberal Arts through Penn State World Campus used Penn State’s student clubs guide to start their club. They elected officers in spring 2009 and held their first events last fall. The club has about 100 members in the United States, Europe, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Club President Debra Mynar said the club is “a way for students to build relationships with other students and faculty members.” Mynar, a business administrator for an office equipment company, said she wasn’t able to connect with many students as a commuting community college student. She didn’t want that to happen when she enrolled at Penn State and thought an online club would be an ideal solution.

Penn State’s club, like other such clubs, brings students together. These clubs also keep students updated on what’s happening in the profession, which requires a master’s degree or doctorate for many positions. Earning an undergraduate psychology degree is often just a first step.

And the future for the psychology profession looks promising, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects an 11 percent growth in employment for clinical, counseling and school psychologists through 2011, a 26 percent growth rate in the industrial-organizational psychology field and a 14 percent growth rate for all other psychologists.

“The club is a mechanism for student-directed dissemination of information on the psychology fields and psychology careers,” said Rich Carlson, associate head and professor of psychology, and the club's first guest speaker. “It also gives some students an opportunity to take leadership roles.”

To date, the Psychology Club has organized online events, using video conferencing, to meet with faculty and staff members about the psychology programs, graduate education options, internships and career advice. More events are planned, including a career services session. The club also uses Second Life and Facebook, as well as its Mind Over Matters newsletter, to keep members informed.

First offered in 2008, the online psychology programs are continuing to evolve. This year, students have an opportunity for an internship with a psychology-based agency. Carlson said, “The internship can be a job preview for students and give them a chance to apply what they are learning.” A senior capstone project also is available.

For information about the Psychology Club, contact Brian Redmond at or 814-863-0409. For more information about the online bachelor’s degrees, visit online.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 60 of Penn State’s most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University’s 25th campus serving more than 9,600 students in all 50 states and 62 countries. For more information, visit online. Penn State World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.



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Last Updated March 09, 2010