Our training approach incorporates the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. Our students learn how to work on teams in delivering services, and how to draw upon the rich resources of professionals from related disciplines.
A cornerstone of Northeastern University and our program is practice-oriented education. We train students to become highly skilled scientific practitioners and lifelong learners, who employ the scientific, problem-solving method to evaluate their own practice. Real world projects and work experiences are integrated into coursework and fieldwork. Students complete practicum and internship fieldwork requirements in local area schools. The faculty have developed a rich network of collaborative school psychologists who serve as excellent field supervisors. Faculty assist with placing students at school fieldwork sites in and around the Boston Metropolitian area. During the third year internship students document their mastery of the training goals through comprehensive case studies.
Northeastern University is known as a student-centered institution, and this student-centered philosophy is prominent in our school psychology program. We view ongoing support and feedback as critical for students’ learning and professional development. We strive to be accessible to students. Faculty members take pride in mentoring and advising students. In addition, students are actively involved in a peer-mentoring program, whereby advanced students provide guidance to first year students. Students collaborate with faculty on research projects, journal articles, book chapters, and state and national presentations.
Our students have a strong professional identity and social conscience. The department has a very active student chapter of the school psychology division of the American Psychological Association (Student Affiliates in School Psychology-SASP). This student chapter plans educational workshops, conferences, and social activities. Many of our alumni have assumed leadership roles in state and national organizations. In addition, they consider themselves advocates for the needs of children.
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:
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 5 and a maximum of 10. 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.
Our practicum students have already taken the following courses:
During the practicum year students will take the following courses:
*Denotes courses that have requirements conducted within the practicum.
For the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Assessment course, students must complete a socioemotional 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).
For the Counseling Children and Adolescents course sequence, students (a) must be able to counsel an individual and group for the semester and (b) write two comprehensive case summaries (“treatment plans”) for each (See Portfolio Guidelines for details of the requirement).
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:
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.
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.
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.
In accordance with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE) requirements for certification / licensure in school psychology, students are required to attain a minimum of 1200 hours of field experience during their internship in school psychology.
Students may elect to conduct their internship in another state. They should check with the state’s Department of Education to determine state licensure/certification requirements.
In order for students from the Northeastern University School Psychology Program to be eligible to begin their internship, they must complete the following milestones in the program:
Internship supervision and mentoring should be provided by a credentialed school psychologist with a minimum of three years of experience. Internship supervision consists of a minimum of two hour per week, in a face-to-face format.
Internship students are enrolled in a seminar course during the internship year. A university supervisor, who is a certified school psychologist, instructs this course. For internship within Massachusetts, the university supervisor maintains contact with the field supervisor through three site visits. At the end of the internship year, the field supervisor and university supervisor determine if the student has progressed adequately in the major competency areas.
Total number of assessments: Maximum 25
During the internship year, students are required to produce five case studies that illustrate their competencies in (a) professional identity and professional behavior, (b) assessment, (c) intervention / prevention, (d) program evaluation and applied research, (e) culture and diversity, (f) ethical and legal issues, and (g) communication and information technology. These case reports are:
• Consultation – Behavioral Problem
• Consultation – Academic Problem
• Individual or Group Counseling Case
• Prevention/Promoting Learning School-Wide
• Comprehensive Psychoeducational Assessment
In recognition of the valuable guidance and supervision which is given to internship 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 internship student. The voucher must be requested by a letter on school / agency stationery.