OVERVIEW OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY PRACTICUM
This is a three semester sequence, beginning in the second semester of student's first year of doctoral studies. It continues throughout the Fall and Spring semesters of second year of coursework for a total of three semesters.
Students register for 150 hours for practicum which includes 30 hours of Advanced Supervision conducted at GSAPP, Rutgers University. Students are responsible for tracking all of their hours and activities so that both GSAPP and their practicum supervisors can review these hours.
The overarching goal is to familiarize student with the CST and role of school psychologist. Exposure to non-CST roles for school psychologists is possible, but must occur in conjunction to the CST role, in order to meet NJ Dept. of Ed certification requirements.
Students are advised that practicum sites are NOT responsible for providing specific practicum experiences to meet GSAPP course requirements (for example, testing, consultation cases). However, the ability to utilize real-world cases and experiences certainly enhances student’s ability to learn and most students prefer obtaining certain experiences in their practicum, if possible, because it enhances meaningfulness for them.
First Semester of Program Courses:
- Cognitive Assessment (WJ, WISC are emphasized w/secondary emphasis on WIPPSI and WAIS, SB)
- Observation and Interview (students learn basic clinical interviewing skills with children)
- Introduction to School Psychology (students learn NJAC 6A:14)
- Adult Psychopathology (DSM-focused)
- Human Development
- Theoretical Foundations (CBT, psychodynamic, and systems)
Second Semester of Courses:
- Behavioral Assessment (BASC, Vineland, Connors, FBA)
- Personality Assessment (ASEBA, CDI, Beck Youth Inventory, Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale, Trauma Symptom Checklist, Projective Drawings, Sentence Completion, Storytelling (TAT, CAT, Roberts-II, TEMAS)
- Child Psychopathology (DSM-focused)
- Theoretical Foundations
Related Goals of First Semester of Practicum
- Learn about the culture of a district through some time spent observing school psychologists/supervisor and other CST personnel in meetings, conducting testing, writing IEPs, etc.
However, observation should not be the sole activity of the first semester, given the coursework students have had
- Conduct (either in-part, or whole, depending upon appropriateness of case) 1-2 cognitive assessments
- Conduct (either in part, or whole) 1-2 social-emotional assessments involving behavioral/objective and projective assessments
- Conduct 1 FBA
- Observe at least 4 CST meetings such as: eligibility meetings, initial identification meetings, IEP revisions, etc.
- Observe 1-2 I&RS meeting/s
- Individual and/or group counseling, as appropriate
Second Year Coursework:
- Consultation Methods (Behavioral consultation)
- Diversity (Counseling case)
- Community Psychology
- Psychological Interventions (Evidence Based-School Based Interventions)
- Advanced Statistics
- Psychoeducational Foundations of Learning Disabilities (LD testing case)
Related Goals of Second Year of Practicum:
- In depth exposure to and participation in CST process, as appropriate: for example, eligibility meetings, IEP writing (at least in part), giving feedback to parents, manifestation determination, out of district visits
- Carry 3-4 psychological testing cases which include cognitive testing and social-emotional-behavioral assessment (either in part or the entire case, as deemed appropriate by supervisor)
- If permitted by district LDTC, conduct 1 psychoeducational evaluation (learning/achievement evaluation) during Spring semester of second year
- Conduct an evidence-based intervention, such as individual/group counseling, classroom-based program (at least 2 cases)
- Exposure to crisis intervention
- Behavioral observation and/or FBA
- Provide teacher consultation
- Participate in I&RS and/or subsequent intervention activities
Responsibilities of Supervisor:
- Weekly supervision at dedicated time (1 hour)
- Co-develop and approve Practicum Contract
- Contact School Psychology Practicum Coordinator regarding any concerns about student’s performance
- Review, with student, their log of practicum hours and activities
- At the end of each semester, complete on-line evaluation of student using GSAPP School Psychology Practicum Competency ratings (see Handbook):
- First semester: (January-June) In May, prior to end of semester, complete on-line End of Year evaluation and review with student
- Second semester (September-December) In December, prior to end of semester, complete on-line Mid-Year evaluation and review with student
- Third semester (January-June): In May, prior to end of semester, complete on-line End of Year evaluation and review with student
Responsibilities of Student:
- Completion of 120 hours of practicum per semester
- Completion of 30 hours of Supervision at GSAPP. ALL students in practicum are required to be registered for and participate in Group Supervision at GSAPP.
- Documentation of all practicum hours and activities using either School Psychology Practicum Log (see final page of Handbook )or time2track, which is recommended for those students who may apply for APPIC internships.
- Schedule in advance with supervisor, including any changes. Attendance is based on SCHOOL DISTRICT calendar, not Rutgers calendar. Practicum continues into June with students maintaining an ethical obligation not to abandon clients. Appropriate termination of services should be developed with practicum supervisor.
- Professional demeanor including appropriate attire, responsiveness to supervision, promptness, and use of technology(cell phones, laptops) is expected at all times
- At end of practicum, complete the on-line School Psychology Student Practicum Evaluation Form