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Standard 26: Culminating Field Experience

During the culminating field experience, candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate the full range of skills acquired during formal training, and to acquire additional knowledge and skills most appropriately gained through supervised professional experience. Under the supervision of a credentialed school psychologist, candidates provide direct and indirect services to pupils, parents, and school staff in all areas of training.

Note: This culminating field experience is called an "internship" when the candidate is granted an Internship Credential issued from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and receives a salary from a school district.

A minimum of twelve hundred (1,200) clock hours of field experience is required according to the following standards and guidelines:

1. The field experience is typically completed within one (1) academic year but shall be completed within no more than two (2) consecutive academic years.

2. The field experience must include eight hundred (800) clock hours in a preschool-grade 12 school setting providing direct and indirect services to pupils.

3. Up to four hundred (400) hours of field experience may be acquired in other settings. Other acceptable field experiences may be acquired in (a) private, state- approved educational programs; (b) other appropriate mental health related program settings involved in the education of pupils; or (c) relevant educational research or evaluation activities.

4. Supervision and principle responsibility for the field experience typically is the responsibility of the off-campus educational agency, although training program faculty provides indirect supervision.

5. A field-based professional holding a current and valid Pupil Personnel Services Credential authorizing service as a school psychologist provides intern supervision. The primary supervisor must have at least the equivalent of two (2) years of full-time experience as a school psychologist. A field experience placement site is approved by the candidate's credential-granting institution and provides experiences that are consistent with the credential granting institution's training objectives. In those few instances when an appropriate field experience site is located outside of California, the field experience site supervisor must be a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, or a graduate of a program approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

6. A written plan for the field (or intern) experience is prepared and agreed upon by representatives of the local educational agency, the field (or intern) supervisor(s), training program supervisory staff. The field experience plan is completed early in the field experience and periodically reviewed and revised. The plan identifies the field experience objectives, describes appropriate experiences for the achievement of the objectives across settings, and outlines the evaluation plan for determining the achievement of each objective. The plan also delineates the responsibilities of both the university and the local supervisory personnel.

7. Candidates receive academic credit for the field experience, and the experience is recognized primarily as a training activity with appropriate supervision by the cooperating school district. On-campus course work is reduced in proportion to the demands of the field experience.

The four basic field experience settings for school psychologists include (a) preschool, (b) elementary, (c) middle school or junior high, and (d) high school. It is expected that candidates will complete a total of 450 clock hours of practica and 1,200 clock hours of culminating field experience (called "internship" when completed for pay using an Internship Credential). Although candidates are encouraged to obtain diverse field experiences, it is recognized that many candidates will accrue most of their 1,650 clock hours of field experience in one primary setting. To ensure that candidates have a breadth of field experience, candidates are required to complete a minimum of 200 clock hours across a second, third, or fourth field experience setting. These 200 hours can be accrued in both practica and the culminating field experience (internship) settings combined.

1. Full-time Internship Experience

Candidates consistently participate in a field experience on a full-time basis over one year, or part-time over two years, accounting for a minimum of 1200 clock hours (with eight hundred (800) clock hours spent in a preschool to grade 12 school setting) providing direct and indirect services to pupils.

Psychology 267 - Internship in School Psychology
*Program Handbook – page 30-31

2. Range of Services

The school setting(s) for the field experience provide for access to pupils across a broad age range, other pupil personnel services personnel functioning within a team framework, a full range of services for all pupils, and services for those pupils who have both high and low incidence disabilities.

Psychology 267 - Internship in School Psychology

The institution has made sure that field experience placements provide a broad and multifaceted experience and provide interns the opportunity to engage in the full range of activities expected of a school psychologist. These activities include but are not limited to:

  o developing and implementing prevention as well as intervention programs for individuals and groups of pupils;
  o consultation (with school staff and parents);
  o counseling, (individual, group, class, and crisis with pupils and parents);
  o screening and assessment;
  o opportunities for interdisciplinary team membership;
  o opportunities to assess the effectiveness of instructional and behavioral interventions for individuals and groups of pupils;
  o opportunities to work with pupils from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; and
  o opportunities for professional development (professional conferences and in- service training).

Psychology 267 - Internship in School Psychology

3. Internship Plan

The candidate's plan for the field experience is specific and clearly written, describing the objectives, the evaluation plan and supervisory responsibilities of both field and university personnel.

Psychology 267 - Internship in School Psychology
*Program Handbook – Internship Agreement – Appendix J, pg. 73

4. Field Supervision

Interns consistently receive a minimum of two hours of supervision each week (prorated for part-time placements).

Psychology 267 - Internship in School Psychology (Appendix 18)
*Program Handbook – Internship logs – Appendix L

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