Disaster Practicum


The Practicum in Disaster Studies is the capstone experience of the Disaster Studies minor, and is a requirement of all Disaster Studies minors. Currently, there are two options for students to complete this requirement:


Traditional Course

Students who take this course will be enrolled in a once a week, evening class and one day a week performing fieldwork at an internship site.

Placements for Disaster Practicum interns are offered at:

  • The American Red Cross of Orange County
  • The American Red Cross of the Mid-Hudson Valley
  • Orange County Office of Emergency Management 
  • Ulster County Office of Emergency Management 
  • Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County

Students have also completed their practicum placements at sites such as Voices of September 11th, Suffolk County Emergency Management, American Red Cross of Greater New York, and American Red Cross of Albany.

In some instances, a student may prefer to intern at an alternative organization. If you have a suggestion for an alternative site you would like to intern at, please contact the IDMH Graduate Assistant, idmh@newpaltz.edu, for consultation.


Travel Course

The Disaster Studies minor has expanded the Practicum requirement to include an on-site disaster relief option. In Summer of 2018, students traveled to Puerto Rico for two weeks to engage in rebuilding and recovery following the destruction of Hurricane Maria. In Summer of 2019, students traveled to Coastal Bend, Texas to assist in the recovery of Hurricane Harvey as well as an additional trip back to Puerto Rico to coninue recovery efforts there. For Summer of 2020, students will travel on a two week deployment to Great Abaco in The Bahamas to assist with recovery efforts relating to Hurricane Dorian. Due to the nature of this course option, there is an additional associated travel cost. Check out our IDMH Stories page to see what our student's have thought of their experiences doing on-site disaster recovery work. Also go to our Facebook page to view photos and videos from these experiences and to keep up with our new deployments and projects.



Financial Assistance 

There are two sources of financial assistance for practicum students:

CAS Internship Stipend
Provded by the Career Resource Center, the goal of the CAS Internship Stipend Program is to provide SUNY New Paltz students with the opportunity to gain valuable experiential education without sacrificing needed income. CAS Internship Stipend funds offer monetary support for undergraduates who secure internship opportunities to investigate career options, further develop career-related skills, and link classroom learning to the world of work. These funds enable students to participate in career-related experiences, regardless of financial constraints

Anthony Brigandi Scholarship
The Anthony Brigandi Scholarship creates a travel scholarship for students studying in SUNY New Paltz’s Institute of Disaster Mental Health. It is intended to provide students the opportunity to supply direct disaster services to disaster survivors while working on site in impacted communities.