Alfred University is known for its emphasis on field experience. Practica are associated with most of the major core courses, and give students an opportunity to understand the complexities of school systems, practice applied skills, and become familiar with the role of the school psychologist. In the course of training, students gain experience at all educational levels in schools with diverse pupil populations relative to cultural-ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and economic levels.
In the Schools - every semester
- First and second semesters: Students are placed in a local public school one day per week for their first year field placement experience. They learn the roles of the school psychologist and practice the skills they are learning in classes. An on-site supervisor and School Psychology faculty member coordinate this fieldwork. The student is visited and observed at the school, and there is communication between supervisors to further each student's progress.
- Third semester: Students return to their field placement school to complete projects associated with their Consultation and Prevention course.
- Fourth semester: Students participate in a supervised practicum in a local school district, during which they are involved in planning, conducting, and evaluating academic interventions (associated with the Practicum in Academic Interventions course).
In the Child and Family Services Center
Second year students complete a two-semester practicum at the Child and Family Services Center (CFSC), which is both a training clinic and outpatient mental health clinic run by our division. Students may provide assessment, counseling, play therapy, family therapy, and group therapy to individuals and families from the underserved rural communities surrounding Alfred. If appropriate, students also provide consultation at clients' schools.
The CFSC contains state-of-the-art digital recording and observation capabilities. All treatment rooms are equipped with microphones and video cameras that are wired to a control room which contains monitors through which faculty supervisors and students can observe sessions in real time. Live supervision utilizes wireless netbook communication or a telephone intercom system between the faculty supervisor and student. Sessions can also be digitally recorded and archived so that faculty supervisors and students may review sessions in order to improve skills. Students engage in collaborative problem-solving with their peers and faculty supervisor, and stay well informed about cases through direct observation, videotapes, and group supervision. Learn more about the Child and Family Services Center.
During the Internship
The final year of the program consists of a full-time internship in a public school system.
This experience is the culmination of the student's classroom learning and previous fieldwork and allows the student to perform the duties of a school psychologist under the supervision of an on-site school psychologist and a School Psychology faculty member.
Most of our students complete their internships within New York State, but students may choose to seek internships in any state. During their internship, students return to campus three times per year for seminars and group supervision activities. Students generally receive a stipend from the school in which they intern.