Outreach and Education Externship
The Outreach and Education Externship is a specialized professional training opportunity for masters and doctoral students in the design, implementation, and evaluation of psychoeducational interventions provided to a college student population. Outreach Externs gain experience facilitating group workshops and individual interventions related to a variety of life skills within the primary areas of self-care and wellness, performance enhancement, relationships and emotional intelligence, and suicide prevention. Utilizing an apprenticeship model, Outreach Externs learn many skills by initially observing and/or assisting senior CAPS staff as they develop and conduct psychoeducational workshops, then by subsequently assuming primary responsibility for conducting the workshop independently or with another facilitator.
Outreach Externs provide psychoeducational interventions for Northwestern students at three levels: community-, group-, and individual-levels. At the community-level, Outreach Externs provide presentations on various psychological and health issues at the request of a particular group or organization on-campus. Additionally, externs may reach out to certain groups to design and facilitate a workshop that meets their specific needs. Outreach Externs also design promotional (e.g., brochures) and self-help (e.g., written information, links to online resources, videos) materials for the CAPS website and social media to market programs and provide additional outreach. For group-level interventions, a major component of the externship is the facilitation of evidence-based biopsychological stress reduction exercises (e.g., mindfulness, biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral techniques) at the CAPS Stress Management Clinic (SMC). Outreach Externs also provide these interventions on an individual basis at the CAPS Drop-In Stress Management Resource Center. In addition to working at the SMC, Outreach Externs facilitate group life-skills workshops at CAPS on topics such as healthy relationships, sleep, performance enhancement, body image, and resilience. Lastly, Outreach Externs become Certified Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Instructors and provide suicide prevention training to Northwestern students, faculty, and staff.