Psychology Internship Handbook
The School Psychology program would like to begin by congratulate you on attaining a School Psychology internship! We are confident that you will do an excellent job and represent the UHV School Psychology program well. In order to make sure that you have all that you need to ensure that you feel confident and competent in your intern experience, the School Psychology program has put together this internship guide. The purpose of this guide is not to provide all the answers, but to provide a brief orientation to each aspect of internship. This guide was also meant to help calm your nerves about internship. The advice and statements are tricks of the trade that may be encountered as a practitioner working in the schools. Enclosed in this guide are also the forms and documents you will need to successfully complete the internship process. We hope this survival guide provides you with helpful insight into the excitement of an internship in School Psychology!
Elise Hendricker, Ph.D., LSSP, LP
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Program Director, School Psychology
Shannon Viola Ph.D., LSSP, LP
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Interns are required to obtain 1200 clock hours of assigned work ordinarily to be completed in not less than two semesters, 4 to 5 days per week. The beginning and ending dates of the internship and the intern’s working schedule are to be agreed upon by the student, onsite supervisor, and coordinator, but ordinarily encompass one school year (August to June). This length of time ensures sufficient time to benefit from errors and practice, time for supervising relationships to develop and become productive, and to become involved with and knowledgeable about the placement site as an organization.
For students to graduate successfully in May, 1200 hours must be completed and documented by the end of the UHV Spring Semester so that a final course grade can be awarded. If 1200 hours are not completed by the end of the Spring Semester, the student will be awarded an Incomplete and will not be allowed to graduate until the end of the Summer Semester, which may delay the licensure process. Throughout the internship, the channels of communication shall remain open between the university, school district site, and the student, as the university must remain concerned with not only the student’s well-being, but with that of the site and its clients, and with the university itself.
Memorandum of Agreement for Internship:
Prior to beginning the school psychology internship and collecting hours, A Memorandum of Agreement for Internship must be signed by the student, the school site LSSP supervisor, and the University of Houston-Victoria school psychology internship coordinator. Students may not start accruing internship hours until the Memorandum of Agreement is signed and agreed upon by all parties.
According to the Acts and Rules of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, students are exempt from TSBEP credentials or contract filing but must use a title indicating training status as a School Psychology Intern while delivering psychological services in the schools.
Supervision within the public schools may only be provided by a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, who has a minimum of three years of experience providing psychological services within the public school system without supervision. To qualify, a licensee must be able to show proof of their license, credential, or authority to provide unsupervised school psychological services in the jurisdiction where those services were provided, along with documentation from the public school(s) evidencing delivery of those services. Supervisors may also have other licensure and qualifications in addition to the Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (e.g., Licensed Psychologist or Nationally Certified School Psychologist). Students who are interested in obtaining an additional license as a Licensed Psychological Associate after graduation must have a supervisor who also has a Licensed Psychologist credential.
A supervisor must provide an LSSP Intern with at least two hours of supervision per week, with no more than half (or a maximum of 1 hour per week) being group supervision. A supervisor may reduce the amount of weekly supervision on a proportional basis for trainees working less than full-time.
UHV School Psychology students will also meet with the Internship Coordinator regularly during the PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship course. However, these university-based supervision hours are additional hours of supervision beyond the field requirements and cannot be substituted for field supervision.
The University School Psychology Internship Coordinator will monitor student performance and quality of opportunities that are provided to the intern on behalf of the school district. At a minimum, the Internship Coordinator will meet with each supervisor twice per semester to monitor student performance (typically middle and end of the semester). The university school psychology internship coordinator is not an employee of the internship agency and therefore will not directly supervise student cases. While cases may be discussed during class to promote learning and critical thinking skills, any final determinations of cases are made by the site supervisor. The coordinator is available for support via phone and email.
Professional Liability Insurance:
Students must obtain professional liability insurance and show proof of insurance to the University Internship Coordinator prior to beginning their school psychology internship.
All internship hours are on-site in the school district. Trainings and in-services used for hours must be approved by the University Internship Coordinator. Weekly class meetings can also be counted towards the hours requirement.
Students must submit a typed log of activities performed during their 1200 hours of internship. An Excel spreadsheet is available on Blackboard for students to code their hours. The log must be signed by their LSSP supervisor in the school district and will be turned in at specific checkpoints throughout the year (typically middle and end of each semester). The University Internship Coordinator will monitor hour completion and the quality and breadth of experiences obtained by the intern.
School Psychology students must register for the school psychology internship (PSYC 6305) 2 consecutive semesters (once in the Fall semester and once in the Spring semester) for the 6 semester credit hours of internship required for graduation.
Grades are assigned by the Internship Coordinator who also serves as the university course instructor. Grades for the school psychology internship classes will be assigned when the 1200 hours of internship and all other requirements as outlined by the course syllabus are completed. All requirements should be completed in May at the conclusion of the UHV Spring Semester. Students who do not complete requirements by this timeline will receive an Incomplete until all requirements are complete, which will delay graduation and subsequent licensure.
Students will adhere to school district policies with respect to dress code, procedures, working hours, etc. Students are bound by the NASP Ethics Code and relevant Texas laws governing the practice of psychology.
Evaluation of Student Skills:
Students will be formally evaluated by their field-based supervisors at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters using the UHV Internship Evaluation Form found in this handbook. It is expected that all skills on the evaluation form will be mastered by the completion of internship. At the end of the Fall semester, any student that receives an average score of 2 or lower on any domain will be placed on remediation to address areas for improvement. At the end of the Spring semester, any student that receives an average score of 2 or lower on any domain will be given additional optional activities to improve these skill areas. Any domain that is given an average score of 2 or lower will be documented by the Internship Supervisor and this information will be shared with future employers through recommendation letters in an effort to remediate these skills during the LSSP Trainee year.
Other Intern Responsibilities:
All responsibilities required of students in the School Psychology program apply to students on internship. Interns are required to attend required professional development opportunities within the School Psychology program; however, interns are exempt from these campus-based events if they reside more than 200 miles from both university campuses (Katy and Victoria). If a student resides within 200 miles of one campus (for example, Victoria only), the student must attend all professional development activities that are held at that particular campus.
NASP Domains of Practice Portfolio
In accordance with the NASP Domains of Practice, each intern will complete a competency-based portfolio to highlight how their internship experiences and other coursework has fulfilled each competency outlined by NASP as necessary for the success of school psychology training. Students will complete these portfolios throughout the internship year with the assistance of the University Internship Coordinator.
To receive a satisfactory grade for the fall semester, students must submit artifacts covering a minimum of 5 domains that are rated as Satisfactory by the Internship Coordinator. To receive a satisfactory grade for the spring semester, the remaining 5 domains must be completed to a satisfactory level, indicating that all interns have submitted artifacts from internship showing their competency in all NASP domains.
Throughout the internship year, it is the student’s responsibility to monitor their progress on their portfolio and seek out needed opportunities to complete the portfolio requirements. The completion of the portfolio will assist students in applying for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential immediately upon graduation.
Below is a list of each NASP Domain and the required and recommended activities that align with each domain. Students must submit a minimum of one artifact from each domain that was completed during the internship year at the completion of the internship experience. Specific activities and artifacts that are required during internship are listed below. Rubrics that will be utilized to evaluate the quality of artifacts in highlighting the intern’s competency and skills will be discussed during PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship.
Data-Based Decision-Making and Accountability. School psychologists have knowledge of varied models and methods of assessment and data collection methods for identifying strengths and needs, developing effective services and programs, and measuring progress and outcomes. As part of a systematic and comprehensive process of effective decision making and problem solving that permeates all aspects of service delivery, school psychologists demonstrate skills to use psychological and educational assessment, data collection strategies, and technology resources and apply results to design, implement, and evaluate response to services and programs.
Required Artifacts for Domain 1:
- Assessment reports for special education eligibility: Interns are required to do a minimum of 10 comprehensive evaluation reports for varying referral questions, including psychological evaluations (to consider Emotional Disturbance or Other Health Impairment for ADHD), Autism evaluations, Learning Disability evaluations, Intellectual Disability evaluations, and Early Childhood evaluations. Interns should complete the evaluation and participate in the ARD/IEP meeting to share results with parents and school staff.
Consultation and Collaboration: School psychologists have knowledge of varied methods of consultation, collaboration, and communication applicable to individuals, families, groups, and systems and used to promote effective implementation of services. As part of a systematic and comprehensive process of effective decision making and problem solving that permeates all aspects of service delivery, school psychologists demonstrate skills to consult, collaborate, and communicate effectively with others during design, implementation, and evaluation of services and programs.
Required Artifacts for Domain 2:
- Functional Behavioral Assessments: Students should complete at least 1 Functional Behavioral Assessment to determine target student behaviors, hypothesized function of target behaviors and recommendations for behavioral intervention.
- Interns should submit a minimum of 1 summary report of collaboration on a school-based project that includes goals, objectives and outcomes (e.g., school wide bullying intervention, classroom wide intervention)
Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills: School psychologists have knowledge of biological, cultural, and social influences on academic skills; human learning, cognitive, and developmental processes; and evidence- based curriculum and instructional strategies. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to use assessment and data-collection methods and to implement and evaluate services that support cognitive and academic skills.
Required Artifacts for Domain 3:
- Interns must complete a minimum of 1 academic case study. The case study should target a student that has an academic deficit in reading, math or writing skills. Interns must report baseline data, areas of weakness that the child exhibits based on multiple sources of data, develop goals and objectives, implement evidence-based academic intervention programming, and utilize progress monitoring measures to determine student progress towards goals. Intervention data (minimum of 8 weeks and at least 1 data point collected per week) must be submitted and graphed visually, demonstrating positive, measurable impact of the intervention on the academic development of the K-12 student. Students are strongly encouraged to submit raw data (CBM probes, behavior contracts, point sheets etc.) along with other case study components.
Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life
Skills: School psychologists have knowledge of biological, cultural, developmental, and social influences on behavior and mental health; behavioral and emotional impacts on learning and life skills; and evidence-based strategies to promote social–emotional functioning and mental health. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to use assessment and data-collection methods and to implement and evaluate services that support socialization, learning, and mental health.
Required Artifacts for Domain 4:
- Interns must complete a minimum of 1 behavioral case study. The case study should target a student that has a behavioral deficit in the school environment which is adversely impacting academic performance. Interns must report baseline data, areas of weakness that the child exhibits based on multiple sources of data, develop goals and objectives, implement evidence-based behavioral intervention programming, and utilize progress monitoring measures to determine student progress towards goals. Intervention data (minimum of 8 weeks and at least 1 data point collected per week) must be submitted and graphed visually, demonstrating positive, measurable impact of the intervention on the behavioral development of the K-12 student. Students are strongly encouraged to submit raw data (CBM probes, behavior contracts, point sheets etc.) along with other case study components.
- Interns must hold an active counseling caseload, which should consist of a minimum of 3 individual counseling cases and 1 group counseling case. Interns must utilize evidence-based interventions within counseling meetings and monitor progress toward student IEP goals. Interns will need to submit a summary report documenting their work for each of the three individual and one group counseling case.
School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning: School psychologists have knowledge of school and systems structure, organization, and theory; general and special education; technology resources; and evidence-based school practices that promote academic outcomes, learning, social development, and mental health. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to develop and implement practices and strategies to create and maintain effective and supportive learning environments for children and others.
Example Activities for Domain 5:
- Involvement in school-wide interventions to improve academic, behavioral or social outcomes
- Work with the school system on policy development or implementation
- Work on school committees that deal with school climate or school safety
- Involvement in building/district needs assessment or academic screening
Required Artifacts for Domain 5:
- Interns must turn in a summary report detailing involvement in one of the activities listed above. Summary reports should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages outlining the work that was completed in this domain. Additional documents (meeting notes, PowerPoint slides, etc.) should also be submitted but do not take the place of the summary report.
Preventive and Responsive Services: School psychologists have knowledge of principles and research related to resilience and risk factors in learning and mental health, services in schools and communities to support multi-tiered prevention, and evidence-based strategies for effective crisis response. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to promote services that enhance learning, mental health, safety, and physical well-being through protective and adaptive factors and to implement effective crisis preparation, response, and recovery.
Required Artifacts for Domain 6:
- Interns are required to be active participants in school crisis preparedness and response efforts. At a minimum, interns are expected to give one presentation to school staff members on a topic related to crisis intervention and response (for example, suicide prevention awareness, working with students who are suicidal or homicidal, postvention after a suicide or death). Documentation of the presentation (PowerPoint slides, meeting agenda, meeting sign in-sheet etc.) should be submitted.
- Interns should be actively involved in risk assessment and threat assessment and should engage in at least one type of each assessment if the opportunity presents itself. Interns should be part of the district crisis team and respond to any school or district crises that present themselves.
- Interns will need to submit summary reports detailing their involvement in a minimum of two activities listed above. Summary reports should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages outlining the work that was completed in this domain. Additional documents (meeting notes, PowerPoint slides, etc.) can also be submitted but do not take the place of the summary report.
Family–School Collaboration Services: School psychologists have knowledge of principles and research related to family systems, strengths, needs, and culture; evidence-based strategies to support family influences on children’s learning, socialization, and mental health; and methods to develop collaboration between families and schools. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to design, implement, and evaluate services that respond to culture and context and facilitate family and school partnership/interactions with community agencies for enhancement of academic and social–behavioral outcomes for children.
Example Activities for Domain 7:
- Coordination of services across home, school and community
- Family-based services, such as parenting training that may be offered by the district
- Presentations or outreach to families that increase engagement
- Interventions that incorporate home or community stakeholders
Required Artifacts for Domain 7:
- Interns will need to submit summary reports detailing their involvement in a minimum of two activities listed above. Summary reports should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages outlining the work that was completed in this domain. Additional documents (meeting notes, PowerPoint slides etc.) can also be submitted but do not take the place of the summary report.
Diversity in Development and Learning: School psychologists have
knowledge of individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other diverse characteristics; principles and research related to diversity factors for children, families, and schools, including factors related to culture, context, and individual and role differences; and evidence-based strategies to enhance services and address potential influences related to diversity. School psychologists demonstrate skills to provide professional services that promote effective functioning for individuals, families, and schools with diverse characteristics, cultures, and backgrounds and across multiple contexts, with recognition that an understanding and respect for diversity in development and learning and advocacy for social justice are foundations of all aspects of service delivery.
Required Artifacts for Domain 8:
- Interns should complete a minimum of 1 assessment where cultural diversity plays a large role in understanding and conceptualizing the student’s needs (e.g., English Language Learners, immigrant families, linguistic differences, gender diversity). The report should outline how diversity was attended to during the process of the assessment and recommendations should be tailored to the student’s unique needs.
Research and Program Evaluation: School psychologists have knowledge of research design, statistics, measurement, varied data collection and analysis techniques, and program evaluation methods sufficient for understanding research and interpreting data in applied settings. School psychologists demonstrate skills to evaluate and apply research as a foundation for service delivery and, in collaboration with others, use various techniques and technology resources for data collection, measurement, analysis, and program evaluation to support effective practices at the individual, group, and/or systems levels.
Required Artifacts for Domain 9:
- Interns will need to submit a summary report detailing their involvement in utilizing and analyzing data to improve school-based practices and policies (e.g., PBIS teams, RTI teams, measuring outcomes of school-based programs). Summary reports should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages outlining the work that was completed in this domain. Additional documents (meeting notes, PowerPoint slides etc.) can also be submitted but do not take the place of the summary report.
Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice: School psychologists have knowledge of the history and foundations of school psychology; multiple service models and methods; ethical, legal, and professional standards; and other factors related to professional identity and effective practice as school psychologists. School psychologists demonstrate skills to provide services consistent with ethical, legal, and professional standards; engage in responsive ethical and professional decision-making; collaborate with other professionals; and apply professional work characteristics needed for effective practice as school psychologists, including respect for human diversity and social justice, communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, responsibility, adaptability, initiative, dependability, and technology skills.
Example/Required Artifacts for Domain 10:
- Interns will need to be engaged in opportunities for further training related to their clinical skills and ethical practice (e.g., district, regional, or state trainings). Interns will need to submit summary reports detailing their involvement including relevant training materials (e.g., handouts, certificate of completion, etc.). Summary reports should be a minimum of two double-spaced pages outlining the work that was completed in this domain.
Being an LSSP Intern
What to Expect…
Welcome to the exciting life of being an LSSP intern! As an LSSP intern, your duties and responsibilities are largely dependent upon your site supervisor, but should include the following: (1) individual or group counseling, (2) psychological and psycho-educational assessment, (3) consultation with school personnel and with parents, (4) IEP and BIP development (5) conducting functional behavioral assessments (FBA), (6) Participation in Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD)/IEP meetings for special education consideration, (7) Assistance in crisis intervention and, (8) Any other duties specified by your site supervisor. Depending on your site you may be assigned several schools, one specific school, or float throughout your district. Having a specific office to yourself is somewhat of a luxury and not necessarily the norm. You may have a centralized office in the special education department or an office at a school. Many times, when managing multiple campuses, you may have to be creative in your testing location, depending on what is available at the campus (e.g., small closets can easily opt as a testing space). Either way, be cordial and thankful for the support of each campus.
Get in the Game: Know your Staff
Be proactive with getting to know your campus administration. Be sure to introduce yourself to your campus principal and Assistant principals. It’s equally important to introduce yourself to teachers and school staff. It may be helpful to compose an introduction letter indicating who you are and what you do as an LSSP intern (with the approval of your site supervisor). The first week typically entails meeting school administration, setting up your office, attending support staff trainings, and meeting your students at your campus. It’s usually a good idea if you have a counseling caseload to meet with your students individually once you receive your campus client roster.
Documentation is essential for an LSSP. It’s a great idea to create a working file for each student on your roster. It is helpful to also identify on the front of the folder what special education services each student has. Some students have found it helpful to have an Excel spreadsheet with a tab for each campus to maintain an active list of assessments, consultations and counseling cases at each school. Be sure to write case notes relative to the given IEP goals worked on with each student during counseling sessions and maintain it in the students’ working files.
**Evaluation and report timelines are imperative, so be sure to get the dates of consent to determine accurate timelines for completion of evaluations and arrangement of ARD/IEP meetings.
Please be sure to maintain weekly documentation of your activities and hours on the Excel spreadsheet provided on the course Blackboard site. Interns should be prepared to review your logs with your site supervisor at least twice per semester (typically middle and end of the semester) and to document your time for later LSSP licensure. Logs that are turned in will need to be signed by your school-based supervisor.
Tips for Success
First, while you have taken substantial courses in the school psychology program, please listen to your site supervisor and your administrators-they know the district protocol, so be wise and use their expertise to learn. Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask them for help if you are at a loss for what to do. In unexpected situations, remember to stay calm. School staff may panic in unexpected situations, but remain calm. If you are calm, they will be calm and more confident of your abilities.
Second, your site values you enough to entrust you with their family of students. Hence, as a part of your campus team, take ownership of your clients. Get to know your students and think about what is best suitable for them as individuals. Be a team player, as you work with your school personnel to best serve your students, by appreciating the knowledge that your school staff brings to the table. Communication is key, which means both listening and explaining your plans to others.
Finally, be confident. You have made it to this point and you are exceptionally bright. You were made for this journey and you will do an excellent job! Be confident but not arrogant. Many times school personnel can be reluctant to listen to an intern that presents unsure of him/herself and appears timid in their decision-making. Learning to strike a balance between these two will be one of the most important lessons you will learn this year. One of the most important things about your internship in the schools is that you are part of a team. You are now an LSSP intern and you have an important role to fill. During this process, expect to receive feedback on your performance from your site supervisor, your administration, and from teachers whom with you work. So now that you are fully an intern, relax and approach internship with a team attitude. Take care of your clients, but reach out to your administrators and teachers as a resource.
More Practical Advice
Efficiency. One of the hardest and most important aspects of internship is learning how to become an efficient LSSP Intern. The key to efficiency is organization. Maintain organization of your working files, protocols, and district documentation by creating alphabetized file folders. It is also very helpful to have a travel file bag or box with protocols, blank IEP & BIP forms, etc.
Make a to-do list each day. When completing evaluations, keep a running to do list of what is needed for each client as you begin your psychological evaluations, as you may have multiple evaluations at one time.
Plan ahead. Determine what you will work on for each day. It’s important to discuss your plans with your site supervisor for feedback and to stay on track relative to timelines. After completing evaluations, it’s usually helpful to be proactive in meeting with the parent to explain your results prior to the ARD/IEP meeting (check with your site supervisor to get approval).
Be Prepared. Review the student’s file before attending an ARD/IEP meeting, as you may be asked questions about the student, or your thoughts on the student’s needs. It is also helpful to make copies of most recent reports and most recent ARD/IEP minutes and place it in a working file for the ARD/IEP, in order to have on-hand information about the student. Also, after completing evaluations, be sure to bring to ARD/IEP meetings a copy for parents in a pocket or file folder, accompanied by a supportive disability handout if the child meets an area of eligibility. Be sure to also make a copy of your BIP, and IEPs. You can never have too much preparation!
NASP Best Practice Guidelines for School Psychology Internships
- Principles,Conceptualization, and Management of the Internship
- The internship is conceptualized as a culminating training experience in which the primary focus is on providing high quality experiences, attainment of comprehensive school psychology competencies, and integration and application of the full range of domains of school psychology.
- The internship supervisor, school psychology faculty, and intern adhere to NASP Principles for Professional Ethics (2010b).
- The internship site, university program, and intern have a written agreement that includes a clear statement of the expectations and responsibilities of each party (including total hours and duties to be performed by the intern), benefits and support to be provided by the internship site, and the process by which interns are to be supervised and evaluated.
- If the site solicits direct applications from prospective interns, it provides information about the site and the internship application and selection process. It notifies applicants whether or not they have been selected in a timely manner.
- The site uses a title, such as “school psychology intern,” that designates the training status of the intern. Psychological reports or similar professional reports to consumers, other professionals, or other audiences must be signed by the credentialed intern supervisor.
- In states in which provisional certification or an intern certificate is required for internship, the site makes the training program and intern aware of such requirements and assists the preparing program and intern as necessary in applying for or securing such credential.
- Depth, Breadth, and Focus of the Internship
- The internship for specialist level interns includes at least 1,200 hours, and the internship for doctoral interns includes at least 1,500 hours completed on a full-time basis over 1 academic year or on a half-time basis over 2 years.
- At least 600 hours of the internship occur in a “school setting” as defined in NASP standards. Non-school settings that serve children, youth, and families may serve as appropriate internship sites as long as the intern has already completed or has the opportunity to complete at least 600 hours of supervised experience in a school setting. Virtual schools are not considered suitable training environments for a school psychology internship.
- The internship site provides opportunities for a range of school psychological services consistent with the NASP Standards for graduate preparation of school psychologists (2010c) and NASP Model for comprehensive and integrated school psychological services (2010a).
- The internship site provides the intern with the opportunities and supervision needed to integrate domains of knowledge and apply professional skills in school psychology in delivering a comprehensive range of services evidenced by direct, measurable, positive impact on children, families, schools, and other consumers.
- Most of the intern’s time is spent providing direct and indirect psychological services to children, youth, and/or families. In order to ensure breadth of training, activities in no single major function predominates the intern’s time.
- The internship site endeavors to provide opportunities to work with children and adolescents of varying ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and with varying abilities and disabilities, characteristics, and needs.
- In assigning duties to the intern, the internship site recognizes and supports the internship as an educational experience. An intern to student ratio that is less than NASP guidelines for credentialed, full-time school psychologists (1 to 500-700) is expected, with the actual assignments based on such factors as the needs of students to be served, the intern’s expertise and prior experience, and the intensity of intern supervision and support.
- Supervision, Mentoring, and Collaboration
- Professional field supervision of each intern is provided by a credentialed school psychologist or, in a non-school setting, by a psychologist credentialed for that setting. Field supervision may be shared with other appropriately credentialed personnel in the unit, but the credentialed school psychologist or psychologist provides the preponderance of direct supervision and assumes full responsibility for the supervision provided.
- The intern field supervisor has at least three years of full-time experience as a credentialed school psychologist or psychologist and is employed as a regular employee or consultant by the district or agency.
- Unless supervisors have been assigned a significant portion of their time to devote to supervising interns, each supervisor is assigned to no more than two interns at any one time. Intern supervision is taken into account when determining supervisor workload.
- The internship includes an average of at least 2 hours of supervision per full-time week. The preponderance of field supervision is provided on at least a weekly, individual, face-to-face basis, with structured mentoring and evaluation that focus on development of the intern’s competencies. Supervision time may be adjusted proportionately for less than a full-time week or schedule.
- The university program assigns to each intern a faculty supervisor with training in school psychology who maintains regular communication with the intern and field supervisor. Such communication may occur through face-to-face meetings and/or faculty supervisor visits to the internship site (if geographically feasible), telephone or video conferencing, e-mails, and other means.
- Interns have the opportunity to develop an affiliation with colleagues and the field through regularly scheduled training activities with (a) other interns at the site, (b) interns at other sites in the immediate area, and/or (c) school psychologists at the site and/or in the immediate area.
- The university school psychology program provides field supervisors with information and support for supervision as well as documentation needed to verify supervision activities for such purposes as continuing professional development.
- Intern Evaluation, Feedback, and Support
- The internship field supervisor provides the intern and university program formative and summative evaluations of intern performance that are systematic and comprehensive, and ensure that interns demonstrate professional work characteristics and attain competencies needed for effective practice as school psychologists.
- The internship site in collaboration with the university program has a process for addressing possible serious concerns regarding an intern’s performance that protects the rights of clients to receive quality services, assures adequate feedback and opportunities for improvement to the intern, and provides due process protection in cases of possible termination of the internship.
- The internship site provides expense reimbursement, a safe and secure work environment, adequate office space, and support services for the intern consistent with that afforded agency school psychologists* and the organizational principles in the NASP Practice Model (2010a). Sites are strongly encouraged to provide interns a stipend that recognizes their graduate level of training and the value of services they provide.
- The internship site affords interns opportunities for continuing professional development comparable to those provided to school psychologists in the district/agency.
- Upon conclusion of the internship, the field supervisor verifies both the completion of required internship hours and activities and the quality of intern performance. Verification of the satisfactory internship completion is the responsibility of the intern’s graduate program.
National Association of School Psychologists (2010a). Model for comprehensive and integrated school psychological services. Bethesda, MD: Author.
National Association of School Psychologists (2010b). Principles for professional ethics. Bethesda, MD: Author.
National Association of School Psychologists (2010c). Standards for graduate preparation of school psychologists. Bethesda, MD: Author.
Acknowledgement is given to the 2010 Standards Revision Task Force for developing these guidelines. Please cite this document as:
National Association of School Psychologists. (2014). Best Practices Guidelines for School Psychology Internships. Bethesda, MD: Author.