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Advanced Practicum (Q&A)


Advanced Practicum- Questions for Faculty

Advanced Practicum- Questions for Prior Students

What are the requirements for school-based hours to be eligible for NCSP? Can we start these prior to internship?

To be eligible for the National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP) credential, you must successfully complete a minimum of 1200 hours (9 months) of internship in school psychology, of which at least 600 hours must be in a school setting. In terms of licensure as a psychologist, completion of the doctoral degree does not automatically lead to licensure. States have varying requirements for postdoctoral hours. Students typically accrue school-based hours during their 3rd year school-based internship. You should talk with your advisor and the 4th practicum coordinator if you are interested in working on these school-based hours during your 4th year also.

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What will 4th Year Practicum class be like?

This class will involve weekly class meetings. Class will involve learning about supervision, and recieving supervision through case conceputalization. You should speak with the course instructor to work toward developing a placement.

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Should we be looking for particular types of experiences in the Advanced Practicum?

In order to answer this question, you really need to give close attention and consideration to your long-term professional goals and aspirations. As you developmentally progress through the program, we would like you to continue to increase the breadth and quality of your experiences. Moreover, your experiences and work should clearly link to the vision that you have for yourself upon graduation.

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When is this placement established? How much of this arrangement do we do on our own?

Placements are typically explored during the spring semester of your 3rd year in collaboration with the course instructor. It is noted that these placements are typically secured after successful completion of comprehensive examinations. Students are encouraged to think about the types of experiences they seek from this advanced practicum opportunity. This typically involves consideration of your long-term goals and the types of settings you may seek out as a part of your internship year. The program continues to work on developing potential practicum placements. Your initiative and persistence in working closely with the advanced practicum coordinator to secure this placement will work to your benefit.

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What are some of the placements that the program has used in previous years?

  • Capital Area Community Services Head Start (Lansing, MI)
  • Community Mental Health (Lansing, MI)
  • Pinerest Treatment Facility (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Turning Point Youth Center (St. Johns, MI)
  • St. Vincent Catholic Charities (Lansing, MI)
  • MSU Psychiatry Clinic (East Lansing, MI)
  • Sparrow Hospital (Lansing, MI)
  • University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Ann Arbor, MI)

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How did you find your sites? What were you looking for?

  1. Plan long-term goals; potential sites should link to these
  2. Decide on location
  3. Explore internship opportunities in this area as a potential way to identify practicum site (via and explore previous sites the program has used.
  4. If no sites in your area, work to create your own via contacting agency directors and/or psychologists in those setting
  5. Work closely with course instructor to develop this placement
  6. There are a lot of wonderful sites out there. Attempt to make the best possible decision based on your future goals. Remember: There is always more to learn and professional development is a lifelong endeavor.

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What have been the most important skills you have gained during the 4th year?

Students as a group talked about the diversification of roles and responsibilities during this 4th year practicum. Self-advocacy was noted by many as being one of the most important skills needed during the 4th year practicum.

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How was the supervision experience?

This was largely a function of the characteristics of the setting. Some placements are not ordinarily linked to school psychological services while others involve supervisors with training in other disciplines. This alternative perspective on our role, as well as an interdisciplinary perspective on improving children's well being and success is very valuable. Key to a good supervisory situation is to be clear about what you want in terms of experiences and feedback.

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What skill areas have you been able to focus on?

The response to this question varied by site but typically involved some aspect of assessment, consultation, and intervention activity that was markedly different from previous experiences. Others had additional exposure to things like policy, organizational change, multidisciplinary teaming, and diverse populations.

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How do we get a diverse experience or one that is different from our previous practica?

First, start with an understanding of what it is that you want in terms of goals. Examine your current skill level and look for places that you seek additional growth or refinement. Then match these areas to sites that are likely to afford you the opportunity to meet these goals.

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