In the Field

Criteria School Internships Community 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 internship 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!

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 coursework 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.

Internship Criteria

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 regarding 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 coursework, practica, and field experiences and occurs after the substantial completion of all coursework 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 arranging 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.

School Internships

Students are assigned to school districts for their school internship. At the internship, students work closely with the school psychology supervisor, who is a New York state licensed psychologist, and who involves the student in all the daily experiences which take place within the schools. Students work with children from the elementary through the high school years doing diagnostic testing and counseling and learning about the many functions of the professional school psychologist. The school psychology interns are also involved in supervised consultation activities to help them acquire this needed skill. The school psychology interns are evaluated twice per year. Field supervisors send written reports to the University to give feedback on student progress.

The school Internship is central to the student's doctoral training. The objective of the internship is to develop skills and competence in professional work with individuals and groups. The special and unique environment of the school setting is best appreciated by continuous and substantial on-site work over a period of one year under the direct supervision of a professional school psychologist. Students learn through direct observation, modeling, skill practice, corrective feedback, and the didactic offerings of their supervisors.


OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP

There are several specific objectives which we hope to meet in having students as interns within the schools. These include:

  • Acquisition of knowledge of the organization of psychological services delivery in the schools, and the relation of these services to the school and community.
  • Development of competence in diagnostic assessment of the individual child.
  • Familiarity with the functions and operation of the Committee on Special Education and of the Board of Education within the school district.
  • Building of consultation skills, which help the psychologist empower teachers, administrators, and parents to develop a favorable environment for the child's academic learning, self-awareness, and social skills.
  • Skill in interviewing and counseling.
  • Familiarity with standardized group assessments, which are regularly carried out within the schools.
  • Skill in school program planning, development, and evaluation.

Supervision: Students receive at least two hours of direct supervision per week by the supervising school psychologist, who shall have no more than two interns under their supervision at one time. Students should also have access to unscheduled supervision at any time when the situation demands it.

Evaluation: As previously noted, there will be a formal written evaluation of student progress twice during the school year. In addition, supervisors will have access to PsyD faculty who are involved with school internship experience so that training issues can be discussed on an ongoing basis.


RECENT SCHOOL INTERNSHIP PLACEMENTS

Name of Setting Location Supervisor Student Intern
Farmingdale Schools Farmingdale Stephen Kearney, PhD  Matt Brady
Long Beach Schools Long Beach Mary Tatem, PsyD Megan Cunningham
Commack Schools Commack John Kelly, PhD Katherine Henderson
Valley Stream Schools Valley Stream Susan Nissen, PhD Eugene Lubliner
Rockville Centre Schools Rockville Centre Janine Rose, PhD Mary Milonnet
Herricks Schools Herricks Steven Shatz, PsyD Alexis Provetto

Community Internships

Community internship placements involve such agencies as community mental health centers, psychiatric centers, geriatric centers, developmental centers, police departments, etc. The placements are selected so that they provide students with a broad spectrum of psychological training under the guidance of licensed psychologists who have specialized training in their particular area. Placements often provide a broad training model, although emphasis on behavioral and cognitive behavioral interventions are usually preferred. We only place students in situations where we feel that psychology operates as an independent discipline and preference is given to those placements which will pay students for their internship experience.

Students are sent for interviews to the placements and if they are accepted, an Internship Agreement is sent to the internship agency. This agreement explains the respective responsibilities of the internship agencies and the University. As with the school internship, evaluation forms are sent to the agency twice each year, at midyear and at the end of the training experience. Supervisors are encouraged to evaluate students and to show the students the evaluation form prior to returning it to the University. This process ensures that formal feedback to the students is provided on at least two occasions. Community internships pay on average approximately $7,000 yearly for a three-day-per-week placement.

Both community and school internship placements are closely monitored by the Psychology Department and students are asked to evaluate the nature and quality of their experience at their internships. This process ensures that we are able to provide the most valuable experiences to our students and it also helps the internship placements to maintain a standard of excellence in training.

On the following pages you will find the Internship Evaluation Form which is completed by your supervisor(s) and another form used for students to evaluate their community placements.


OBJECTIVES OF THE COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP

  • Acquisition of knowledge of specific approaches to community service or to mental health service delivery
  • Developing an awareness of the daily operation of the health delivery system and of its organization
  • Developing interviewing, counseling, and therapy skills for individuals and families
  • Developing consultation skills, which permit the practitioner to work with the organization, family, and individual
  • Developing a knowledge of program planning development, and evaluation
  • Developing skill in using particular psychodiagnostic measures and tools

As with the school internship, the community internship entails a minimum of two hours of supervision per week by a licensed psychologist. At least one hour per week must be individual face-to-face supervision. The other hour can be group supervision. Community internships must also adhere to the criteria for internship placements as detailed above.


RECENT COMMUNITY INTERNSHIP PLACEMENTS

Name of Setting Supervisor Student Interns
Hofstra Counseling Service John Guthman, PhD Dawn Opitz
South Nassau Communities Hospital Rosemary O'Regan, PhD Yesinia Flores & Jessie Poveromo
Holliswood Hospital Marc Lazarus, PhD Victoria Roger & Sara Girard
NY Cognitive Therapy & Wellness Ctr. Jen Lancaste, PhD & Michael Besio, PsyD Kerri Lombardo, & Kathleen Ozimkowski
Coney Island Hospital Howard Eismen, PhD Kahtleen O'Keefe
Long Island Counseling Center Claude-Aline Charles, PsyD Michelle Richards
Melillo Center for Mental Health Inc. Daniel Vogrin, PhD Nikki Gustavson & Sebastian Saylor