In its assessment of the Senior Learning Community (SLC) program, the Psychology department found that students were not making as many connections between theory and practice when they were doing independent research studies as when they were doing practica in professional/work settings. In addition to revising and emphasizing the element of reflection in the SLC courses, the department eliminated the independent research option from the SLC and provided for more communication between juniors and seniors about practica placements so that all juniors became better prepared for the SLC. After the change, students reported positively about making connections between the senior capstone course (theory), the Reflective Tutorial course, the reflective practical experience, and learning about careers related to Psychology. Hearing from other students about their practica, and doing work in a psychology related field placement helped students with their professional preparation in ways related to their academic program. They were able to develop their sense of becoming professionals as they worked in various community settings (see Figure 1 in link).
For more information about the Senior Learning Community in Psychology, see Nolan, L. J., & Jenkins, S. M. (2012). Transitioning students out of college: The senior LC in Psychology at Wagner College. In Buch, K. & Barron, K. (Eds.) New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Discipline-Centered Learning Communities: Creating Connections among Students and Faculty within a Major. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.