PRACTICA are defined as field practice (either through internal practica housed at GSAPP or external practica at other sites) pursued under the intensive on-site supervision of practitioner supervisors. The practicum experience will vary according to the student's training level, the course work taken, and the experiences available at the particular site. Practica are designed to provide you with the opportunity to practice what has been and is being learned through course work, as well as an opportunity to learn directly from experienced field supervisors. Students can learn about possible clinical practica through the annual Practicum Fair. Clinical and School students are approved for these positions by the GSAPP Coordinator of Practicum Placements.
School-based practica are arranged for school psychology students by the School Psychology Practicum/Internship Coordinator.Clinical practicum: Clinical practicum sites are approved through a process directed by the GSAPP Coordinator of Practicum Placements. This process includes a review of practicum’s training mission, training resources, provision of didactic experiences and supervision, quality of peer socialization, and practicum setting. A site visit is also a component of the practicum approval. If a student wishes to propose to complete a practicum at a site that is not currently approved, the student must initiate a formal application process through the Coordinator of Practicum Placements. This process must be initiated well in advanced (2-3 months), and approval must be granted, before the student is permitted to apply to the practicum. Students in both the Clinical and School programs may be eligible for practicum in clinical sites provided they meet the requirements of that setting.
School-Based & School Related Practica: These sites include both public and private schools at all grade levels from Pre-K through university. Approval of school-based and school-related settings occurs through the School Psychology Practicum/Internship Coordinator. This process includes a review of the practicum's training mission, training resources, provision of didactic experiences and supervision, quality of peer socialization, and adherence to relevant state laws regarding the practice of school psychology. A site visit is also a component of the practicum approval. If a student wishes to propose to complete a practicum at a site that is not currently approved, the student must initiate a formal application process through the School Psychology Practicum/Internship Coordinator. Additional school related settings serve youth and in so doing, have some impact on a child’s educational performance. Settings such as school-based clinics, outpatient mental health centers, community organizations, therapeutic programs, out-of-district placements, and university counseling centers are examples of such settings.
The designation of a site as appropriate for school and/or clinical students is made by the GSAPP Coordinator of Practicum Placements and the School Psychology Practicum/Internship Coordinator.
Clinical & School Practicum Sites: Once a student has been matched with a practicum site, but before initiating any practicum activities, the student must: 1) Confirm they have a practicum using the online Confirmation Form in order to gain access to the practicum contract, and 2) complete a Practicum contract jointly signed by the student and practicum supervisor. Details of each student's practicum activities, goals, and conditions of the practicum arrangements are described in a Practicum Contract developed with the supervisor at the outset of the practicum. This contract clarifies the working basis of the practicum agreement between the supervisor and the student. It is in the interest of both the supervisor and student that the contract states in some detail what the practicum experience will be and what responsibilities each will have. Your practicum contract should include:
- A description of the site--type of organization, services offered, clientele, etc.
- A description of the activities in which you will be involved--testing, group therapy, consultation, staff meetings, supervision, presentations, etc. This ought to reflect your supervisor's expectations as well as the student's.
- Your goals for the year--skills, knowledge, proficiencies sought, etc. Students should consult with supervisors to ensure that their expectations are likely to be met.
- An explicit agreement about the nature of clinical supervision. Students must receive a minimum of one-hour face-to-face supervision for each 8-hour day spent at the practicum site. The supervisor must agree to submit two written evaluations of your work; one in December and one in May. Beyond these formal requirements the structure and the content of the process of supervision can be created in such a way that student and supervisor make the most of their time together. Things to consider: will supervision be process-oriented, didactic, formal, over lunch? Will tapes, videos, reviews of psychological testing and reports, observation of testing or role-plays be involved? Will there be an opportunity to integrate course material and questions into the supervision?
Students are required to keep track of their practicum hours, supervisors, site, types of clients, etc. from their first practicum onwards. School students are now required to keep a log each semester of practicum activities and submit it at the end of each semester. This will make the internship application process much easier. Both Clinical and School students may use time2track to log their hours and activities. School students may also use the NASP Excel Form. School students must submit their log to the School Practicum/Internship Coordinator (hard copy only) at the end of semester in order to obtain a grade. Clinical program students will need to present summarized practicum hours to the Clinical Department Chair as part of the APPIC internship application process.
Students with specific needs or interests (working with particular clients, or settings) should let the Practicum Coordinator know in writing.
It may be possible for advanced PsyD students to waive some of the practicum requirements.