1 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 1 Specialist in School Psychology Louisiana State University in Shreveport Student Handbook Spring 2010 Specialist in School Psychology Program Department of Psychology Louisiana State University in Shreveport, One University Place, Shreveport, Louisiana 71115
2 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 2 INTRODUCTION This handbook is designed to help you understand program requirements, plan your program of study, and monitor your progress through the program. This handbook presents the philosophy, goals, objectives, and assessment methods utilized by the program. It outlines course work, practicum and internship requirements, and describes the comprehensive exam. The information contained in this handbook supercedes more general information for graduate students contained in the Louisiana State University in Shreveport Catalog and LSUS Graduate Student Handbook. You need to be familiar with all three documents while making program decisions. Every effort has been made to ensure that this handbook is current and accurate; however, this handbook is not a substitute for frequent, regular faculty advisement. You are strongly encouraged to make use of faculty guidance throughout your graduate career. You should familiarize yourself with this handbook by reading it in its entirety no later than the second week of your first semester. After reading the handbook, please print, sign the affirmation sheet documenting that you have read and are familiar with this entire handbook, and give the signed affirmation to the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) Program Director. Specialist in School Psychology Program Core Faculty Kevin Jones, Ph.D., Program Director Rebecca Nolan, Ph.D. Michael Welch, SSP Katherine Wickstrom, Ph.D. School Psychology Training Committee Program Core Faculty and the following members: Yong Dai, Ph.D. Gary Jones, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Psychology, ex officio Mary Margaret Lusk, Ph.D. Meredith Nelson, Ph.D., MSCP Program Director Barzanna White, Ph.D., School Psychologist, Caddo Parish School Board Barbara Felsher, M. Ed., Pupil Appraisal Director, Caddo Parish School Board Patricia Stanley, Ph.D.
3 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION... 2 OVERVIEW AND TRAINING MODEL... 5 SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING COMMITTEE... 7 ADMISSION... 7 TIME LIMITS AND RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS... 9 PROGRAM ADVISEMENT... 9 ASSISTANTSHIPS... 9 MODEL PROGRAM OF STUDY GRADE POLICY COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION PRAXIS II SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY EXAM FIELD EXPERIENCES: PRACTICA AND INTERNSHIP SSP PROGRAM PERFORMANCE-BASED ASSESSMENT PLAN GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS PROGRAM AND DEPARTMENT FACULTY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT APPENDIX A: COURSE/DOMAIN ARTICULATION APPENDIX B: COMPREHENSIVE EXAM RUBRIC APPENDIX C: PSYC 710 FIELD ACTIVITIES CHECKLIST APPENDIX D: PSYC 754 PACTICUM II GUIDE FOR STUDENTS AND FIELD SUPERVISORS APPENDIX E: CASE STUDY EVALUATION RUBRIC APPENDIX F: INTERNSHIP TRAINING AGREEMENT APPENDIX G: INTERN COMPETENCY EVALUATION APPENDIX H: STUDENT ASSESSMENT RECORD APPENDIX I: PROFESSIONAL WORK CHARACTERISTICS EVALUATION FORM APPENDIX J: SAMPLE ANNUAL STUDENT REVIEW LETTER APPENDIX K: PORTFOLIO EVLAUATION RUBRIC... 39
4 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 4 Certification of Handbook Receipt I hereby certify that I have received, fully read, and have completely reviewed all parts of the Specialist in School Psychology Program Handbook (this document). Please print this page, sign this sheet in the space below, and give it to the SSP Program Director within the first two weeks of your matriculation. Student Signature Date: SSP Program Director Date:
5 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 5 OVERVIEW AND TRAINING MODEL Program Overview This handbook is intended to provide you, a candidate in the Specialist in School Psychology Program at LSUS, with all information needed to work successfully toward your state (and national) certification as a school psychologist. The SSP program at LSUS is a three-year, 72-hour full-time course of academic study, practicum experiences, and internship leading to certification as a school psychologist. During the first year, candidates develop content knowledge and applied foundations. During the second year, candidates develop advanced content knowledge and apply skills in practicum settings. During this period, the program augments classroom training with closely supervised field experiences in which students engage in various elements of professional practice. The final year is spent in a full-time (1,200 hours) internship in an approved setting. During internship, both on-site and university-based supervisors closely monitor candidate performance as they continue to develop entry-level applied skills. The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools ( SACS ) accredits LSUS to award baccalaureate and master s level degrees. The College of Business, Education, and Human Development is recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Specialist in School Psychology Program is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Upon graduation, you will qualify for certification as a school psychologist in Louisiana. In addition, students who achieve a passing score on the NTS Praxis II examination in School Psychology qualify for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential and reciprocal certification across many other states. Training Model American educators face diverse and significant challenges meeting the academic and developmental needs of all their students. More and more, school psychologists are called upon to participate in developing solutions to meet these challenges. As a result, school psychology training is changing to accommodate a more proactive role for school psychologists. Today, school psychologists increasingly provide indirect services such as the evaluation of individual, group, or class-wide interventions, designing prevention or crisis management plans, conducting research and program evaluation, and other activities related to strengthening school-wide service delivery for all children. In the appropriate context, school psychologists may also engage in more traditional, direct services such as individualized assessment and counseling. Education policy increasingly requires the application of scientific principles to academic programs and instruction. Data-based decision making permeates all professional services, and school psychologists emphasize empirically based accountability when approaching decisions related to problem identification, problem analysis, progress monitoring, and problem certification. The Specialist in School Psychology Program at Louisiana State University Shreveport is organized to prepare entry-level school psychologists who demonstrate competency in all domains recommended in both the Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs (NASP, 2000) and School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice II (Ysseldyke, Dawson, Lehr, Reschly, Reynolds, &Telzrow, 1997).
6 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 6 Domains of Training A Data-Based Decision Making model features eleven important domains of competency for which a school psychologist should be prepared. As described in Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs in School Psychology (2000) and School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice II (1997), these domains include the following: 1. Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability 2. Consultation and Collaboration 3. Effective Instruction and Development of Cognitive/Academic Skills 4. Socialization and Development of Life Skills 5. Student Diversity in Development and Learning 6. School and Systems Organization, Policy Development, and Climate 7. Prevention, Crisis Intervention, and Mental Health 8. Home/School/Community Collaboration 9. Research and Program Evaluation 10. School Psychology Practice and Development 11. Information Technology The articulation of these domains of training and practice onto the program curricula is provided in Appendix A. Program Goals The mission of the SSP program within the LSUS College of Business, Education, and Human Development is cultivating responsible professionals who are committed to diversity, critical thinking, and pedagogy. Based on these domains, the School Psychology Training Committee has established the following training goals. At the completion of the Specialist in School Psychology degree, graduates must be able to: a. Define current problem areas, strengths, and needs through assessment, and measure the results of decisions based on those evaluations. b. Facilitate communication and collaboration among students, school personnel, community professionals, agencies, and families/schools. c. Assist in the development of achievable academic goals for students and provide teachers with appropriate methods of reaching those goals. d. Understand child development and psychopathology in order to implement interventions for children with a wide variety of needs and disorders.
7 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 7 e. Work with a variety of people of differing abilities and with a diversity of ethnic, racial, experiential, and linguistic backgrounds. f. Understand the school as a system and work with individuals to assist in maintaining them as safe and caring places for the community. g. Work with school personnel, students, parents, and community in crisis prevention. h. Have knowledge of family influences that effect children s wellness, learning, and achievement. i. Have knowledge of current literature on various aspects of education and child development; be able to translate research into practice; and understand research design and statistics to evaluate measurable outcomes for student, educators, and families, as well as to enable investigations relevant to their own work. j. Meet all ethical, professional, and legal standards to enhance the quality of their services, and protect the rights of all parties. k. Utilize information sources and technology relevant to the work of school psychologists. The articulation of these goals into the program curricula is also provided in Appendix A. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING COMMITTEE The School Psychology Training Committee (SPTC), under the direction of the SSP Program Director, is responsible for the development, guidance, and growth of the Specialist in School Psychology Training Program and each student enrolled in the program. This interdisciplinary committee, composed of core program faculty, department faculty, and community-based practitioners, serves both advisory and administrative functions. The Program Director and SPTC are charged by the Department of Psychology to formulate policy recommendations for departmental approval. This model has been selected to ensure that the vision, mission, and goals of the School Psychology Program reflect the overall vision, mission, and goals of the profession, the Department of Psychology, the College of Business, Education, and Human Development, and the University. Typical advisory duties of the Director and the Committee may include, but are not limited to: (a) student recruitment, (b) program development including review and revision of curriculum, (c) review of student progress, and (d) administrative program policy. These duties also include deciding candidacy issues, advising students, conducting student evaluations, evaluating student progress or remediation, performing program evaluation, conducting program level due process hearings, and enforcing program administrative policy. The SPTC provides a forum for concerns of faculty and field supervisors regarding student performance and progress toward the fulfillment of requirements to become an effectively functioning entry-level school psychologist. Finally, the faculty members on the SPTC are committed to supporting on-going professional development for regional practitioners through collaborative planning and execution of training plans with regional educational leaders. ADMISSION Admission to the Specialist in School Psychology Program is a two-part, two-application process. Applicants must apply to both the Office of Graduate Studies (http://www.lsus.edu/graduate) and to the
8 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 8 Specialist in School Psychology Program (http://www.lsus/edu/ehd/ssp). You are encouraged to submit both applications simultaneously to the Office of Graduate Studies and the Department of Psychology. When the Dean of Graduate Studies notifies the SSP Program Director that you have met the LSUS minimum admission criteria and have been admitted to graduate studies at LSUS, the SSP Program Director shall initiate a review of your program application for possible acceptance into the SSP Program. Acceptance by the LSUS Office of Graduate Studies does not mean that you have been admitted to the SSP program. You may be admitted to the SSP program only after the program director and training committee recommend your admission. The Program Director will notify you regarding the admission decision and provide instructions for initial advising. All application materials (program application, professional references, and GRE scores) must be received prior to June 30 for entry in the fall semester. Although spring and summer entry into the program of study is possible, only a limited number of courses can be taken and the program of study will exceed three years. Applications missing any materials by the June 30 deadline will be considered incomplete. It should be noted that although the June 30 is the final deadline set by LSUS Graduate Studies, the program begins reviewing applications and strives to complete admission decisions by April 15. It is critical to finalize your application as early as possible, as only 8-10 candidates are admitted per year. Admission to Graduate Study Graduates of colleges or universities accredited by the proper regional accrediting association may apply for admission to graduate study at LSU Shreveport. Admission is restricted to include only those students whose records indicate they can successfully undertake graduate work in the proposed area. Admission criteria are described in the University Catalog. Admission to graduate studies does not automatically admit you to the SSP program. You must also process a program application and receive an admission decision from the SSP program. In general, only students formally admitted to the graduate program are eligible to enroll in SSP graduate courses. Applications and inquiries regarding admission to Graduate Studies should be addressed to: Office of Admissions and Records LSU Shreveport One University Place Shreveport, Louisiana Office Phone: (318) Admission to Specialist in School Psychology Program The School Psychology Training Committee will consider program applications from individuals admitted to graduate studies at LSUS and who meet the minimum SSP program admission requirements. The committee notifies the Dean of Graduate Studies of those students accepted into the SSP program. Application forms are available in the Psychology Department Office, via request to the program director or can be obtained online at Completed applications should be addressed to: Specialist in School Psychology Program Director Department of Psychology Louisiana State University in Shreveport One University Place Shreveport, Louisiana Office Phone: (318)
9 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 9 In addition to the requirements for admission to graduate studies, which includes an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 point scale), the program requires a combined verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 800. GRE scores must be no older than five years at the date of application. Individuals with older scores or whose scores do not meet the minimum requirement are encouraged to retake the exam. Applicants may be required to undergo and pay for a legal background investigation prior to being admitted into the program. A similar check is a routine part of school employment procedures and a significant problem in legal history will in most cases preclude employment. In addition, a face-to-face or phone interview is a part of the application process. Students who have completed graduate work at another institution must meet all stated minimum application requirements. Graduate students may be permitted to apply up to 12 hours of transfer credit at the discretion of the School Psychology Training Committee and the Chairman of the Psychology Department. Finally, admission to another area of graduate study at LSUS does not guarantee that a student may transfer into the SSP program, and such transfers will be evaluated using the same procedure as someone applying for the first time. TIME LIMITS AND RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS The SSP degree requires a minimum of three years of full-time study beyond the baccalaureate degree. Generally, two years of that commitment are in full-time academic coursework and one year in a minimum 1200-hour program-approved internship experience. It is the University s policy that all work credited toward the degree must have begun no earlier than eight years prior to completion of the degree requirements. Extension of time limits may be granted only on conditions beyond the control of the student and after appeal to the program and the LSUS Graduate Council. A formal request outlining the conditions upon which the extension of time is made should be addressed to the Dean of Graduate Studies. Although the University sets no minimum number of hours enrolled per term, aside from financial-aid requirements, the School Psychology Training Committee expects students to maintain full-time enrollment of 12 semester hours per regular semester and 6 hours during summer terms. All students are expected to affiliate with program faculty, other students, and the profession through service opportunities, memberships in associations, attendance at conferences, and research. PROGRAM ADVISEMENT The Director of the School Psychology Program serves as your program advisor to handle your actual course and semester advisement, create your advisement record, and release you for registration. The Program Director will ensure that you have the information needed to make informed decisions about your program of study and career matters. You must consult your advisor each term prior to registration and before making any adjustments to your program of study. Of course, our entire program faculty is interested in your progress and welfare, and you are encouraged to visit with any faculty member to discuss specific professional or personal issues. ASSISTANTSHIPS A limited number of full and part-time assistantships are available to students who are enrolled full-time in the Specialist in School Psychology Program. In exchange for working 20 hours per week, full-time
10 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 10 assistantships receive full tuition remission on approved courses, as well as a stipend. In exchange for working 10 hours per week, part-time assistantships receive a maximum of 6 hours of tuition remission on approved courses, as well as a modified stipend. Applications for assistantships may be obtained from the Psychology Department office or online at the Program web site. Assistantships are awarded per semester, and candidates interested in continuing their assistantship must submit a new application prior to each semester. Assistantships are renewed based on student performance and fulfillment of expectations. Under no circumstances should a graduate assistant assume that they will maintain their position from one semester to the next, or from Year One to Year Two in the program. MODEL PROGRAM OF STUDY The model curriculum for fall entry, full-time enrollment is listed by year and term of study below. Year One Fall PSYC 710 Introduction to School Psychology 3 hrs PSYC 716 Intermediate Statistics 3 hrs PSYC 751 Psychological Assessment I 3 hrs PSYC 755 Applied Behavior Analysis 3 hrs Year One Spring PSYC 609 Psychology of Exceptionality 3 hrs PSYC 718 Introduction to Methodology and Research Design 3 hrs PSYC 723 Counseling Methods & Techniques 3 hrs PSYC 752 Psychological Assessment II 3 hrs Year One Summer PSYC 601 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 3 hrs PSYC 706 Principles and Theories of Learning 3 hrs Year Two Fall PSYC 732 Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling 3 hrs PSYC 749 Alternative Assessment Techniques and Interventions 3 hrs PSYC 753 Psychological Assessment Practicum I 3 hrs PSYC 760 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention 3 hrs Year Two Spring PSYC 695 Behavioral Pediatrics 3 hrs PSYC 719 Physiological Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience 3 hrs PSYC 754 Psychological Assessment Practicum II 3 hrs PSYC 780 Consultation in Human Development Settings 3 hrs Summer PSYC 691 Applied Field Experience 3 hrs PSYC 748 Ethics and Law for School Psychologists 3 hrs Year Three Fall PSYC 788 Internship in School Psychology I 6 hrs Spring PSYC 789 Internship in School Psychology II 6 hrs Total 72 hrs
11 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 11 Part-time Enrollment: Part-time enrollment for candidates who enter the program during spring is limited to three presequence introductory courses: PSYC 601, PSYC 609, and PSYC 723. Prerequisites: Prerequisites for admission into the program are (a) a Psychology Degree from an accredited institution or (b) twelve hours of psychology courses, including psychological statistics. Courses that are remedial or taken to meet prerequisite requirements for the following curriculum do not receive credit in the program. GRADE POLICY The School Psychology Training Committee expects you to maintain a minimum of a 3.00 grade point average in graduate courses at all times. In graduate school, a grade of C is considered to be below an acceptable level of performance (e.g., unacceptable). Students are allowed no more than one grade of C in graduate classes. A second grade of C in graduate coursework requires remediation, which will consist of repeating the course and obtaining a grade of B or higher. A third grade of C in all graduate coursework, including courses that are retaken, will result in automatic dismissal from both the program and the University. Any grade of D or lower in graduate coursework will also result in dismissal from the program and University. This policy is different for the assessment sequence: PSYC 751, 752, 753, 754, and 788/789. If you receive a grade of C in any of these courses, you will be required to repeat that course before moving on to the next course in the sequence. If you earn a grade of C in either of the internship courses (PSYC 788 or 789), you are required to retake the entire internship sequence. If a grade of C or lower is earned in any course that is retaken, you will be dismissed from the program. You will be placed on probation if you earn a C in any graduate level coursework. You may also be placed on probation at any time if the School Psychology Training Committee determines that your development of professional work characteristics does not meet expectations. Students placed on probation must obtain a 3.00 GPA during the next regular term (fall or spring) semester and meet expectations in all areas of professional work characteristics, and well as meet any specific conditions and remediation specified in writing when you are placed on probation. The terms of probation will be reviewed by the SPTC at the beginning of every semester to evaluate whether the terms of the probation have been met and resolved or if the probation will be continued. Failure to resolve the terms of probation in the opinion of the SPTC will result in dismissal from the program. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION You must pass a Comprehensive Examination prior to entering into Internship training. The comprehensive exam is scheduled during the spring term of Year Two, typically on the Monday following spring break. You will receive notification of the examination date, format, and learning objectives by November of the prior semester. The Comprehensive Examination is a written exam that may consist of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions covering coursework in the content areas listed below.
12 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 12 Data-Based Decision Making Research-based Academic Practices Research-based Behavioral and Mental Health Practices Consultation and Collaboration Applied Psychological Foundations Ethical, Legal and Professional Foundations Problem identification Assessment/Problem analysis Assessment considerations for special populations Research, statistics, and program evaluation Effective instruction Issues related to academic success/failure Academic interventions Primary, secondary, and tertiary preventative strategies School-based intervention skills/techniques Crisis prevention/intervention/response Child and adolescent psychopathology Models and methods of consultation School and system organization and policy development Home/school/community collaboration Knowledge of general psychological principles, theories, and major research findings Knowledge of measurement theory and principles Ethical principles and standards for practice Legal issues related to the practice of school psychology Professional Foundations Each domain area is evaluated blindly by three faculty members in the Department of Psychology who taught the courses most closely associated with the domain. A question is considered passed when a majority of readers score it a "pass." Each response is evaluated for (a) adequacy of the knowledge base, (b) familiarity and use of research findings, (c) order and logic of thinking and presentation, and (d) synthesis and integration of material and ideas. The scoring rubric used by the committee is provided in Appendix B. Final decisions concerning successful completion of the exam are made by the School Psychology Training Committee based on the pass/fail recommendations of the instructors reading the responses to the questions. If a candidate does not pass one or more areas of the comprehensive exam, he or she will retake that/those area(s) upon re-examination, which is scheduled approximately one month following the first administration. The re-examination is an alternate form of the original examination, and is scored in an identical manner. If a candidate does not pass all areas of the exam during the second administration, he or she will not be allowed to enroll in internship during the subsequent academic year. Upon successful completion of the exam, students are eligible and must apply for provisional certification as a school psychologist in preparation for their internship. PRAXIS II SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY EXAM No later than the spring semester of your internship year, you are required to take the PRAXIS School Psychologist Exam (0401). Information on exam content, scheduling, and registration is available at A passing score is required for completion of the SSP degree at LSU Shreveport, and is also required for national certification. You will not graduate and receive your diploma until you have included an official record of passing the Praxis II to the PSYC 788/789 university supervisor.
13 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 13 FIELD EXPERIENCES: PRACTICA AND INTERNSHIP Practica and internship experiences are designed to provide structured and supervised periods of professional growth during which domain knowledge is applied to practical situations to develop skilled entry-level school psychology practitioners. Practicum experiences begin with the first course (PSYC 710) and occur throughout the program. All field experiences occur in educational settings under appropriate university and field supervision. All students are advised of, and must strictly adhere to, APA/NASP legal and ethical practices before engaging in practicum activities for each course. Liability Insurance Prior to beginning practicum and internship courses (PSYC 754, 788, 789), candidates must secure professional liability insurance. Failure to do so will preclude participation in these courses. Candidates must carry professional liability insurance during the internship placement. Candidate insurance may be obtained through professional associations (e.g., National Association of School Psychologists) at a very reasonable cost. Application information may be obtained from the program director. PSYC Introduction to School Psychology Year One During this first year course, students complete a 20-hour observational practicum. This experience familiarizes students with the organization/environment of the schools, the roles of the personnel who work in or are associated with the schools, the problem-solving process, basic information gathering, and a brief overview of the evaluation process. Students are also introduced to the diversity of student populations and shown how technology is utilized in school psychological practice. These experiences are integrated into the course material in PSYC 710 so that students get an overall perspective of the practice of school psychology. A list of expected activities is provided in Appendix C. PSYC 753 Psychological Assessment Practicum I Year Two PSYC 753 is a closely supervised intervention experience that is conducted in one or more local school or clinical settings. Students are required to demonstrate the ability to administer, score, and interpret a variety of assessment and intervention strategies. The total time commitment is 60 contact hours. In order to register for PSYC 753, you must earn a B or higher in both PSYC 751 and PSYC 752. PSYC Psychological Assessment Practicum II PSYC 754 is a school-based 200-hour practicum experience that allows students to apply their academic knowledge to professional skills development. Working with direct supervision from a certified school psychologist and a licensed university trainer, students perform a variety of tasks (see Appendix D) selected to increase their readiness to work as entry-level school psychologists. Students engage in experiences that foster skilled performance of a) administrative and consultative activities, b) intervention and assessment tasks, c) application of technology, and d) written and oral communication with other professionals, parents, and others. Experiences include work with culturally diverse populations and individuals representing the range of educational exceptionalities. During this practicum, you will coordinate and delivery comprehensive intervention services for one academic case and one behavior case. These cases will be evaluated by the instructor using a
14 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 14 standardized rubric adapted from the NASP Report on Case Study Evaluation Rubric (see Appendix E). These case studies are an important indication of your preparation, and a passing score is necessary for proceeding to internship. Field supervisors, in concert with university trainers, carefully scaffold each student s experiences fostering skill development within a system of professional services. Students are permitted greater autonomy as they demonstrate proficiency. In order to register for PSYC 754, you must earn a B or higher in PSYC 753. Candidates are evaluated at the conclusion of the school-based practicum by their field supervisors. The PSYC 754 Practicum Supervisor Evaluation is derived directly from NASP domains of professional practice. A candidate must demonstrate entry-level skills in all domains (i.e., prepared to enter employment as an intern school psychologist) in order to proceed to internship. PSYC 788/789 - Internship Year Three The internship is the culminating experience for the candidate for the Specialist in School Psychology degree. It is a 1200 hour, full-time training experience, at least 600 hours of which is completed in a public school setting, providing an opportunity to become a competent entry level school psychologist practitioner. All students must complete internship in an approved public school setting or a nationally accredited internship consortium. During internship, students utilize the skills acquired during their classroom training and previous field experiences in a supervised period of professional development. Evidence of mastery is the demonstration of a high level of competence in areas that include, but are not limited to, individual assessment, individual and group counseling, consultation, behavioral and educational intervention, in-service training, and research. The internship experience typically includes both elementary and secondary levels, and both general and special education settings. Approved Internship Site Requirements An intern is a trainee as well as a service provider. Internship requires a commitment by both the administration and the pupil appraisal staff of the employing school system. This commitment implies recognition of the unique status of interns and the obligation to provide you with a setting that supports the training process. All internship sites must be approved by the SPTC and program director. Requirements for an approved internship site include the following: 1. The internship site will ensure that students are afforded the opportunity to meet the prescribed 1200 hours of training. This requirement is documented in the internship agreement letter. 2. The internship site must provide sufficient exposure to a varied student population of general and special education students to guarantee the interns exposure to a wide variety of educational, psychological, and behavioral problems. In addition, the internship site must provide exposure to a culturally and socio-economically diverse student population. 3. The internship site must provide direct and personal supervision by a field supervisor. A minimum of two hours per week of face-to-face supervision must be provided by a state credentialed school psychologist in a school setting or an appropriately credentialed
15 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 15 psychologist in a non-school setting. Field-based supervisors shall not be responsible for more than two interns simultaneously and shall be given release time by their employer to conduct this supervision. It is the responsibility of both the intern and the supervisor to assure that the internship experience will be conducted in accordance with the ethical and legal standards of the profession. 4. The employing school system and the intern must enter into a written contractual agreement (see Appendix F). Normally the length of the contract is one academic year, a minimum of nine months, and involves a minimum of 1200 formal contractual internship hours. Any continued employment of the individual by the system is at the discretion of both parties once the internship is completed. 5. The intern is expected to attend an annual conference of a professional school psychology association, usually the state or national association meeting, and to be given the opportunity to participate in other relevant professional development activities. 6. The intern must be reimbursed for travel and other related expenses consistent with system policies for school psychologists. The school system must insure that the intern has access to adequate office, clerical, and professional supplies, and to the equipment essential to work effectively as a school psychology intern. 7. The internship site must be approved by the SPTC. Students apply directly to school systems for internship positions during the fall, spring, or summer of their second year, and it is the student s responsibility to interview only for internship positions that have been pre-approved by the SPTC. These internship positions may be in Louisiana or other states. The School Psychology Training Committee, the Director of the School Psychology program, and the Internship Supervisor will assist the student in locating sites. The Department of Psychology maintains a listing of all parishes in the state of Louisiana requesting interns and this information is available on a web-based page for school psychology students. Under no circumstances should you initiate formal contact with a school district or prospective internship site without prior consultation and permission from the Internship Supervisor or program director. General objectives for the school psychology internship include the following: 1. The intern will demonstrate knowledge of school system organization, operation, and administrative structure. 2. The intern will become familiar with the variety of roles and functions demonstrated by the school psychologist in both educational and non-educational settings. In addition, the intern will become familiar with the roles of other multi-disciplinary team members. 3. The intern will demonstrate knowledge of and the ability to utilize available community resources. 4. The intern will demonstrate skills in psychological, educational, and behavioral assessment, and related intervention strategies. 5. The intern will demonstrate effective communication and consultation skills, as well as the ability to engage in multidisciplinary team efforts.
16 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook The intern will demonstrate adequate individual and group counseling skills. 7. The intern will demonstrate the ability to engage in research relevant to the field of school psychology, and the ability to provide in-service training within the school setting. 8. The intern will demonstrate an awareness of ethical and legal issues in school psychology. 9. The intern will demonstrate the ability to act as a liaison between the school, community, and home. 10. The intern will successfully interact with a diverse range of school personnel, children, and parents. Pursuant to the above goals, a written internship plan is developed for each intern through the cooperative efforts of the intern and the field supervisor with input from the university supervisor. The plan includes (a) goals and objectives for the internship, (b) specific ways of accomplishing the goals and objectives, and (c) realistic methods of evaluating both the intern's progress, and the effectiveness of the plan. The internship plan is not considered a static document, but rather, a dynamic method of documenting ongoing experiences. Candidates are evaluated three times per year by their field supervisors. The Internship Supervisor Evaluation (see Appendix G) is derived directly from NASP domains of professional practice. SSP PROGRAM PERFORMANCE-BASED ASSESSMENT PLAN The School Psychology Training Committee has established multiple methods for periodic assessment of student learning and performance progress. The program emphasizes both formative and summative assessment. Our assessment plan is guided by the Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs in School Psychology (NASP, 2000), section IV, and NASP's Guidelines for Performance Based Assessment and Program Accountability and Development (2006). The goal of the assessment plan is to help the School Psychology Training Committee select, train, and graduate professional school psychologists who possess both the knowledge and practical skills needed to work in a broad variety of school and education settings and to make programmatic adjustments if the data indicate a need for modification or change. Such periodic assessment also provides you with formative feedback on your work products, which will assist you in further refining your applied skills. Student Assessment Student assessment is a continuous process that begins with your application to the program and continues through your first years working in the profession. Formal student assessment occurs at five portals: 1) Program Entry, 2) Pre-Practicum Foundations, 3) Pre-Internship, 4) Internship, and 5) Program Completion. All students are required to maintain a personal portfolio, which contains evidence of their developing knowledge and skills. Required and suggested contents of this portfolio are described for each domain of professional practice in Appendix H.
17 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 17 Program Entry The initial assessment of every student takes place upon program entry. At this time, the School Psychology Training Committee will review your application and make recommendations for admission. Documents considered in this review include your application, previous transcripts (course content and GPA), GRE Scores, recommendation letters, personal interviews, and the results of a background investigation. Admission is typically limited to the top 8 to 10 students meeting criterion in the current University Catalog and Specialist in School Psychology Program Handbook. Upon admission to the program you will place a copy of your program application, transcripts, GRE scores, and acceptance letter in your individual folio. Pre-Practicum Pre-practicum assessment takes place at the beginning of the second year during fall semester. At this point, you have typically completed one year of coursework in theoretical and conceptual foundations. This review evaluates your academic performance and knowledge. The assessment is based upon your course grades and course embedded assessments such as exams, quizzes, papers, presentations, and faculty observations from classroom performance. It is important that you maintain copies of all research papers and presentations so these artifacts can be included in your professional portfolio. You will be provided with formal, written feedback on your progress in the program prior to any practica. The SPTC will meet and discuss your current performance in terms of academic competencies and the development of professional dispositions. Academic performance will be evaluated in terms of your cumulative GPA in the program. Also, the SPTC will formally evaluate your development of professional dispositions. Appendix I displays the program s evaluation form for monitoring your progress toward development of professional dispositions. Written feedback will be provided to you in a letter from the program director (see sample letter in Appendix J). Students who satisfactorily complete all theoreticalfoundational courses and do not demonstrate any significant concerns in professional dispositions may proceed into practicum field courses in the spring of their second year. Pre-Internship Pre-Internship assessment takes place at the end of the second year during the spring term, and upon completion of the Comprehensive Exam. This review is based on your individual portfolio products corresponding to this period of training, including course products, field-based casework, practicum activity log, practicum supervisor evaluations, and comprehensive exam outcomes. When you have satisfactorily completed all applied courses, demonstrated intermediate skills on assigned case studies, and successfully completed comprehensive exams, you are then permitted to proceed with interviews to obtain an internship beginning the fall of your third year. A copy of your notification of successful completion of the comprehensive examination and a copy of your state-supplied provisional school psychologist certification are required in the folio before entry into internship experiences. Internship Assessment takes place throughout your 1200-hour internship experience during the third year. Your internship performance is evaluated, in part, through your field supervisor s ratings and
18 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 18 comments on each domain of professional practice, your meeting expected deadlines for major internship requirements, as well as required comprehensive case studies. The university supervisor also makes a site visit to each intern and supervisor in the local area at least twice a year. Program Completion Research Project. During or prior to your internship experience, you will complete either an approved research project under the guidance of your faculty internship supervisor, or a thesis under the guidance of your committee chair. If the research project option is selected, the School Psychology Training Committee must review the final paper six weeks prior to graduation and rate it as either (a) below criteria, (b) meeting criteria, or (c) exceeding criterion. Any paper rated below criterion must be revised and rated as at least meets criterion in order to graduate. Praxis Examination: Students must also complete and report passing scores on the Praxis II School Psychology Examination. Student scores on the Praxis II exam are included in their folio. Once these items are assessed as satisfactory, the student may be recommended for graduation. Portfolio Evaluation: A cumulative collection of evidence demonstrating your competencies will be reviewed by the School Psychology Training Committee once per year. Throughout your training, you will assemble evidence within each NASP domain that the competency area has been assessed (i.e., performance indicators you have developed or were used by supervisors), and attained (quantitative or qualitative evidence of competency). Your portfolio will include the best evidence that you are competent in all domains of professional practice. The best evidence for each domain will change from semester to semester, so your professional portfolio will also change. For example, a class paper on treating behavior disorders may be the best evidence of Domain 4: Socialization and Development of Life Skills early in the program, but an effective case study during practicum may represent the best evidence by the end of your second year. The portfolio scoring rubric used by the School Psychology Training Committee at each annual review, including the final review at the conclusion of internship, is provided in Appendix K. Faculty/Program Assessment The School Psychology Training Committee believes in the importance of assessing not only the quality and performance of the students in the program, but also the effectiveness of faculty members, field supervisors, and program outcomes. As a result, the program provides the following methods for assessment in those areas. Student Exit Interview Graduate students complete an exit interview upon the completion of their second year in the training program and before their internship. Students are invited to meet with the Chair of the Psychology Department. During this meeting, students are asked for their opinion concerning the quality of the program in a number of areas including:
19 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 19 (1) Advising (2) Course requirements (3) Practicum Experiences (4) Faculty (5) Facilities and resources Students are also asked to provide feedback on those courses and areas of the program they feel were highly effective, the areas in need of improvement, and areas where their greatest needs in graduate school were, or were not, met. General feedback from the exit interviews are compiled in an appropriate format by the Department Chair and provided to the Program Director and SPTC prior to the next academic year. Survey of graduates On the completion of their internship year and again after three years of practice in the field, graduates of the program are asked to complete surveys concerning the effectiveness of the training program in meeting the demands made upon them by the educational or other system in which they work. Included in this survey are questions concerning the appropriateness of course work and practicum experiences, the usefulness of required courses, suggestions on courses that need revision, and opinions on how the program could be improved to meet student s needs. Survey of Pupil Appraisal Directors After three years in the field, pupil appraisal directors who have employed our graduates are asked to complete a survey concerning the effectiveness of our graduates in meeting the demands of the system in which they are working. Included in this survey are questions concerning graduate s abilities to assess skills and abilities, appropriate application of interventions, skill in consultation with school personnel including wellness, and crisis intervention and planning, knowledge of current literature and research, and ability to work with a diverse population of students. GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS You must meet all the requirements of a graduate degree outlined in the issue of the University Catalog corresponding to your year of first matriculation. Any catalog in force during your residence at the University may be elected, provided the residence is continuous. If your residence is interrupted for 12 consecutive months, you may not elect a catalog earlier than your point of re-entry. In addition to the graduation requirements outlined in the LSUS University Catalog, you must: ( 1) successfully pass all required coursework, (2) pass your Comprehensive Exam, (3) pass the PRAXIS II Exam, (4) meet all stated program expectations, (5) be in good standing (resolve any probationary status), (6) demonstrate entry-level ratings by intern field supervisors during internship, and (7) achieve an overall effective evaluation of your portfolio before you will be nominated for graduation.
20 LSUS Specialist in School Psychology Program Student Handbook 20 PROGRAM AND DEPARTMENT FACULTY The School Psychology Program faculty is comprised of four school psychologists, three terminally degreed, all dedicated to program and student development. Practicum and Internship field supervisors are all certified school psychologists and/or are appropriately certified or licensed for the setting in which they work. A brief biographical sketch of each core SSP faculty is provided below. Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and director of the School Psychology Program. Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. (School Psychology) from Louisiana State University in December, His teaching responsibilities include psychological assessment, applied behavior analysis, child exceptionality, and several practicum courses. Dr. Jones research interests primarily involve innovative strategies for assessing children with ADHD and learning disabilities, including response-to-intervention (RTI) service delivery models. Rebecca F. Nolan, Ph.D., M.P, received an M.S. in Psychometrics from the University of Louisiana in Monroe and later a PhD from Texas A&M University in College Station with an emphasis in School Psychology. In 2002, she received a post-doctoral M.S. in Clinical Psychopharmacology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Courses currently taught in the SSP program are Child and Adolescent Abnormal Psychology and Personality Assessment. Dr. Nolan s research interests include depression, self-esteem, and use of medication in the treatment of mental health problems. Michael Welch, S.S.P., N.C.S.P., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. Mr. Welch received his S.S.P. from Louisiana State University Shreveport in He has diverse professional experiences as a school psychologist in Louisiana and Department of Defense schools, and as a member of a multidisciplinary child-study team at a large teaching hospital. He is a member of the National Certification Board of the National Association of School Psychologists. Mr. Welch s research and service interests include preventing academic failure through problem solving service delivery models and improving supports for positive behavior in schools. Katherine Wickstrom, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Wickstrom received her Ph.D. (School Psychology) from Louisiana State University in December, Her teaching responsibilities include behavioral assessment and intervention, ethics and law, introduction to school psychology, and the internship sequence. Dr. Wickstrom s research interests primarily involve behavioral consultation and school-wide service delivery models. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT The School Psychology Training Committee encourages your participation in professional organizations. Applications for membership in relevant organizations can be obtained from their respective websites. Participation in professional organizations offers you opportunities to meet members of your new profession, learn about the broad variety of skills and services our profession offers, keep current with the latest news, develop professional skills, and attend an annual conference.
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