Applied Experiences

A strength of our program is the availability of opportunities to participate in projects that give students real world experience outside the classroom. In addition to a required internship, several classes consist of applied projects, as well as other available projects that are provided to help students gain real world work experience while in the program. These experiences are irreplaceable and allow our students to have an outstanding résumé and increased employability directly out of completing their Masters.

Every semester our students are involved in applied projects with client businesses/organizations. Job Analysis and Performance Appraisal, Research Methods, Organizational Change and Development, and Advanced Training and Development are among the classes that often have semester-long applied projects. Typically, the students operate as an actual professional consulting team working for a real world client on these projects. Students have participated in applied experiences with a variety of companies including Goodwill, UnitedWay, Pearl Drum, Pillsbury, Nissan, Gaylord Entertainment, Bridgestone/Firestone, State Farm Insurance, General Electric, Army Research Institute, and a variety of others.

Required Internship

A major applied experience in the program is the required internship. Each student is able to work with a company using the knowledge and skills they have learned in the program. Past students have had internships with Nissan, General Electric, Bridgestone, State Farm Insurance, Gaylord Entertainment, FedEx and many more organizations. This experience is irreplaceable and is often a key to success in gaining employment after graduation.

Course Projects

Several of the courses students take have built in applied projects where students can not only learn about the different techniques and approaches of I/O Psychology but to also apply it to real world experiences. Some examples of projects that have been done in the past are: residence hall training needs analysis, performance appraisal rater training for the Murfreesboro Police Department, selection validation for First Tennessee Bank, organizational assessments, and various other projects.

Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE)

The Center for Organizational and Human Resource Effectiveness (COHRE) is a unique resource for expanding students' opportunities to work on consulting projects beyond the classroom. COHRE was formed in 2004 by I/O faculty to serve as a professional consulting firm. COHRE provides a high-profile avenue for creating consulting partnerships between the business world and the students and faculty of our program. COHRE was born of our commitment to stay out front as preeminent among I/O Master's programs. This is truly an unparalleled resource unique to our I/O Master's program.

Past Experiences

Students participated in a job analysis project with the Murfreesboro Fire Department. I/O students assisted by researching ways that Fire Department jobs could be redesigned. Some students examined the physical ability test used by the department for the selection of personnel. A content validation was completed based on information obtained in interviews, surveys, and statistics. Suggestions were provided to the Department based on the results.

One project completed by our students with CA One Services Nashville involved conducting an organizational assessment and developing strategic planning recommendations. A particularly interesting aspect of this organization was its highly diverse workforce, with employees from multiple nationalities and ethnic/cultural backgrounds. Critical incident-based interviews with employees at all organizational levels, and a review of recent survey findings, were the primary methods utilized.

Students completed a project with the Pillsbury company. Students worked on problem solving processes with a team of employees from the plant. The project involved collecting needs assessment data for the design of training, creation of a training video and delivery of the training.