In the Field - Internships
The internship is Extended and Diversified, as differentiated from the traditional full-time one-year internship in one agency. The internship is extended in that it covers a two-year period. It is diversified in that each student spends three days per week in the Schools and three days per week in Mental Health Centers or other Community Agencies during that two year period. This is in addition to practica associated with courses. Thus, by the time of graduation, students will have been exposed to a variety of school and community experiences and will have acquired well developed intervention and consultation skills.
The value of an extended internship is that it occurs while the student is still taking courses in the Program. It thus provides an opportunity to evaluate field placements in the light of the experiences of other students in different settings, and to discuss practices in the field in light of the theory and practice being taught in the classroom. The integration of classroom and "real world" experience provides a well rounded yet intensive learning opportunity for our students.
In the last seven years, all students have obtained internships placements. Students in school internships have not been paid while all of those who are in their community internships are paid. Internships conform to Council of Directors of School Psychology Doctoral Level Internship Guidelines (CDSPP). Students have not been placed in Association of Psychology Post-Doctoral and Internship Center (APPIC) sites nor in APA accredited internships. Students who enter the program with advanced degrees in school psychology will complete a full year of internship in a community setting. Those who enter without advanced degrees and those whose advanced degrees are not in school psychology will complete a three day per week internship in the schools in the third year of the program and a three day per week internship in a community setting in the fourth year of the program.
IMPORTANT NOTE !!!
In order to complete the internship, it is expected that advanced level students who are currently working will take a leave of absence from their full time employment. It is not possible to complete internships and course work while being employed on a full-time basis. We expect doctoral candidates to arrange their outside commitments in such a way that these obligations do not interfere with their professional training in psychology.
The criteria for internship are defined by both the New York State Education Department and the American Psychological Association. This information is detailed below and will hopefully serve to clear up any confusion you might have with regard to how we, and the organizations that accredit us, conceptualize an internship placement.
An internship is an organized training program which, in contrast to supervised experience (e.g., practica) or on-the-job training, is designed to provide the intern with a planned programmed sequence of training experience. The internship is the culminating training experience prior to the granting of the doctoral degree. It follows a programmed sequence of course work, practica, and field experiences and occurs after the substantial completion of all course work leading to the degree. The primary focus and purpose of internships is to assure breadth and quality of training.
The internship is designed to meet the needs of the graduate student and should provide an extension of education and supervised training from the university program. The psychology internship must include a range of activities such as consultation, assessment, intervention, supervision, program development and evaluation, and research which are designed to meet the health and psychological needs of the clients.
The internship agency employs a clearly designated doctoral-level psychologist, who is currently licensed/certified by the State Regulatory Board for Psychology at the independent practice level of psychology, who is responsible for the integrity and the quality of the internship program and is present at the training facility for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Intern supervision must be provided by a licensed psychologist. It may also be provided by other certified personnel in the psychological services unit, but the licensed psychologist assumes 100% responsibility of the supervision provided by staff members of the internship agency or by affiliates of that agency. The psychological service unit providing the internship training includes at least two full-time equivalent, licensed, doctoral-level psychologist supervisors.
The internship includes at least two hours per week of regularly scheduled, formal, face-to-face individual supervision with the specific intent of dealing with the psychological services rendered directly by the intern. The supervisor must provide at least one hour per week of supervision, but may delegate the other hour per week of supervision to appropriately certified members of the psychological services unit.
The intern must have regularly scheduled, supervised and documented training activities with other psychology interns. The internship must have two or more full-time equivalent interns. However, agencies with the capacity of only one intern may meet the spirit of this criterion, the socialization of doctoral-level psychology interns, by having regularly scheduled and documented training activities with interns at other internship sites, with other psychology interns in the immediate geographic areas or, when internship sites are at a significant distance from each other, by making arrangements for regularly scheduled meetings of interns for several hours on a monthly basis.
Reports by the intern to consumers, other agency or school personnel, or other relevant publics, must be cosigned by the licensed psychologist supervisor responsible for the intern. The trainee has a title such as "intern," "resident," "fellow," or other designation of trainee status and not be referred to as "psychologist" at this level of their training.