A school psychology internship is a collaboration between the student’s training program and the field site to provide real world context in which to practice skills learned in the classroom and to learn new information that can only be obtained on the job. The intern, even at the beginning of the school year, can do “real work” for the district: special education student qualification, re-evaluations, cognitive/intelligence assessments, observation and report writing. Through these experiences, the intern learns not only the application of practical skills but the attitudes, values and problem-solving strategies of a school psychologist. All internship work must be done under the supervision of an experienced school psychologist; the intern is not yet able to function on their own, in their own buildings or with their own caseload. Internships in Washington follow the guidelines of the National Association of School Psychologists and consist of a minimum 1200 hour experience that is the culmination of classroom instruction and follows a practicum experience.
Interns must receive an average of at least two hours of field-based supervision per full-time week from a credentialed school psychologist who has a minimum of three years of full-time experience. Both the site supervisor and the intern must agree in writing on the responsibilities of the training program and internship site for providing supervision, support, and evaluation. As the year progresses, interns transition from the role of a learner/student into a fully functioning school psychologist.
Internships generally start before the school year begins and end in the last weeks of the school year. It is considered a full-time placement.
School districts find multiple benefits from establishing and maintaining internship programs including:
Most school districts become internship site by advertising their internship openings in the spring. Districts will hold interview for each internship spot. Sites that offer paid internship attract the most applicants.
If you are interested in becoming an internship site, please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will send your request out to the program directors of our state school psychology programs.