Northeastern University School Psychology

September 5, 2016

Department of Applied

Pre-Practicum: As its name denotes, the pre-practicum occurs prior to the practicum and is 75 hours in duration. The pre-practicum can be completed at the end of the first year of the program or at the beginning of the second year. The purpose of the pre-practicum is for students to gain observational experiences and to learn about the school ecology.

Practicum: Students complete 525 hours of field experience in school psychology during the first 2 years, including 75 hours of course-based practicum in the first year and 450 hours (roughly 2 days/week) of field-based practicum in the second year,

During the field-based practicum, students are expected to demonstrate their skills in the following core areas of school psychology:

  • Professional Identity and Professional Behavior
  • Assessment
  • Counseling
  • Consultation and Collaboration Prevention
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Ethical and Legal Issues Program Evaluation and Applied Research
  • Communication and Information Technology

In regard to the assessment requirements, students should complete at least two comprehensive psycho-educational assessments, and their total number of assessments should be between a minimum of 7 and a maximum of 13. The comprehensive assessments should include multiple reliable and valid methods that assess multiple domains of functioning, and the choice of instruments should be derived from the presenting concerns / referral questions. More detailed guidance can be found in the portfolio guidelines.

Course Work:

Our practicum students have already taken the following courses:

  • Clinical Skills in Counseling
  • Seminar in School Psychology
  • Introduction to Assessment
  • Learning Principles
  • Infant, Child & Adol. Development
  • Cognitive Assessment
  • Child & Adol. Psychopathology
  • Culture & Diversity
  • Behavior Management
  • Pre-Practicum
  • Neuropsychological & Ecological Perspectives on Cog. Assessment
  • Family, School, and Community Systems

During the practicum year students will take the following courses:
Fall Semester

  • Personality Assessment*
  • Curriculum Based Assessment*
  • Research, Evaluation & Data
  • Analysis  Consultation*

Spring Semester

  • Learning Problems: Educ., Bio. & Ecological Perspectives
  • School-Based Counseling*
  • Consultation*
  • Practicum Seminar

*Denotes courses that have requirements conducted within the practicum.

For the Personality Assessment course, students need to complete a comprehensive assessment including (a) systematic direct observations (b) teacher, student, and parent interviews, and (c) broad and narrow band rating scales.

For the Curriculum Based Assessment course, students need to (a) conduct a class-wide reading screening and, (b) based on the data, identify a student for a reading intervention, which they will then implement. They also need to identify and assess two students with academic difficulties (i.e., math, spelling, writing).

Consultation and School-Based Counseling occur in the spring.

For the School-Based Counseling course, students (a) need to be able to counsel an individual or group for several weeks and (b) write a series of reports based on the case.

For the Consultation course, students (a) need to identify a teacher who would be willing to meet four times and (b) implement strategies in the classroom.

In addition to the above requirements, students must meet the following requirements for the portfolio:

  • Counsel three individuals and 1 group
  • Provide consultation to at least two school staff members or parents
  • Plan and implement an intervention designed to prevent problems
  • Be familiar with and conform to the ethical standards established by the National Association of School Psychologists and the American Psychological Association
  • Demonstrate multicultural competencies in all aspects of their practicum

Field Supervision:

Field supervisors, who provide practicum supervision and mentoring, must have a Massachusetts educator’s licensure (certification) as a school psychologist and a minimum of three years of experience as a school psychologist. Practicum supervision consists of a minimum of one hour per week, in a face-to-face format.

University Supervision:

Practicum students are enrolled in a seminar course during the practicum year. A university supervisor, who is a certified school psychologist, instructs this course. The university supervisor maintains contact with the field supervisor through two site visits and phone calls when necessary. At the end of the practicum year, the field supervisor and university supervisor determine if the student has progressed adequately in core areas and is ready for internship.

Course Vouchers for Supervisors:

In recognition of the valuable guidance and supervision, which is given to practicum students, the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University makes available tuition vouchers for field supervisors. A voucher for one course at Northeastern University is available for each NU practicum student.

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Department of Psychology at Northeastern University
Department of Psychology at Northeastern University