Students can do an independent study with individual professors. You can read about various faculty's research interests on the Psychology website and decide who you might like to work with. Then, you contact those professors to see if they are taking any independent study students the following semester. Each professor handles Psyc 485 differently in terms of requirements, tasks, etc., so it is best to meet with them to discuss what your experiences and requirements would be. If you are approved, you sign a contract and the Main Office registers you.
I require 3 hours of work for each credit hour if Psych 485 is taken in the fall or spring semesters. So, if you take a full 3 credits you would work in the lab 9 hours a week. Readings are assigned along with short papers throughout the semester (your lab hours can be used to complete these assignments). In the summer, I require 2 hours of work for each credit hour. Thus, a full 3 credits in the summer would require 12 hours of work a week.
I do collaborative research with Dr. Michelle Demaray in the area of social support. We work with several elementary and middle schools collecting data regarding the support children and adolescents perceive from people in their lives and how that support is related to outcomes such as behavior, social-emotional factors, and academic performance. Your work in the lab regarding this area might include reading articles related to this work, collecting survey and records data in the schools, and entering data.
I also do research on alternative ways to assess students' academic performance. CBM is a set of reliable, efficient assessment tools that can help educators monitor students' progress in basic academic skills. Your work in the lab regarding this area may include scoring CBM writing samples, helping to create CBM reading and math probes, reading articles in this area, and entering data.