Four 1-credit practicum experiences precede the culminating internship. During each experience, the student is expected to develop specific skills relative to the associated coursework (e.g., data-based decision making based on standardized and curriculum-based assessment, behavioral assessment, and consultation) in the field under the supervision of the course instructor. Under supervision of the course instructor, the student is expected to locate sites and subjects and seek the approval of the site, individual and/or guardian. The course instructor will provide assistance in this process as needed.
At times, practicum experiences may extend beyond the semester of registration. A grade of “S” will be used to denote satisfactory progress until all fieldwork requirements are met. Fieldwork and projects must be completed within 6 weeks of the close of the semester. All three 1-credit practicum experiences also must be finished with a minimum grade of “B” prior to registering for internship.
This is a culminating experience consisting of 1200-clock hours. The internship occurs on a full-time basis over a period of one year or on a part-time basis over two consecutive years. Interns are expected to perform all of the roles and functions of a professional school psychologist. As the intern progresses in the experience, greater levels of independence in practice are expected. Internship sites are selected in conjunction with program faculty.
NASP guidelines mandate that the 1200-hour internship must be completed under the following stipulations so as to assure a comprehensive experience.
- An intern shall work a minimum of 2.5 days per week over two consecutive years.
- A minimum of 600 hours must be completed in a school setting. Up to 600 hours may be served in a non-school setting that is related to the practice of school psychology.
The internship is a collaboration between the university training program and the field site. Written guidelines for internship placement are submitted to prospective field supervisors. These guidelines stipulate program requirements concerning program, student and field supervisor responsibilities.
The field supervisor must have a minimum of three years of experience as a school psychologist and demonstrate a commitment to providing quality supervision. A letter of agreement including the field supervisor’s name will be forwarded from the program to the appropriate site administrators and/or their designees in which adherence to these guidelines are indicated. The acceptance of this written agreement indicates the commitment of the field supervisor to adhere to program requirements. This agreement must be secured prior to the start of the internship. An intern in a school setting is to be provided on an average of at least two hours per week of field-based supervision by a certified school psychologist. A part-time intern must receive one hour of supervision per week.
Assessments of skills are based upon multiple performance-based measures (e.g., the student’s professional portfolio, evaluations completed by the student, field and university supervisor). In addition, students will be expected to take the PRAXIS exam in school psychology and report the scores to Rider University.
The university supervisor also provides verbal and written feedback to interns on a regular basis via individual and/or group supervision. Regularly scheduled seminars are conducted across the semester. Through ongoing communication between the field and university supervisor, supervisory activities are coordinated and individualized. The university supervisor conducts a minimum of one site visit per semester.
Rider University maintains appropriate liability insurance coverage on all interns accepted by schools and agencies for the internship. Coverage begins on the first day of the semester and remains in place until a final grade is achieved in the specific course (e.g. EDPS 590 or 591).