Our program uses the competencies developed by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA) as guides and evaluation tools. Interns improve their skills through general experience and individualized growth plans that they create in consultation with their supervisor.
Intern activities and assignments are determined based on the intern’s personal goals, and areas of competence that are determined appropriate for further development by their supervisor. We consider it equally important that interns become well-rounded practitioners, and that they develop areas of specialty. As such, regular check-ins take place during supervision, and interns play an important role in determining their cases and assignments. Intern experiences are guided closely by individualized growth plans that they develop in consultation with their supervisor. Cases, projects, or tasks are individually assigned to ensure opportunities for experience in each area.
During each quarter of the school year, the training focus shifts. Although these changes in activities are not clear cut and there is much overlap, the needs of the interns, and the students and families they serve, create several different phases of training. At the conclusion of the school year, interns move to a rotation at an inpatient psychiatric hospital, where they learn more intensive clinical interventions and therapies than are typically used in the school setting, and are focused on treatment of severe mental health concerns and children in crisis.
The first 8-10 weeks of the year are focused on learning state regulations, eligibility requirements, response to intervention processes, and developing rapport and strong relationships with building staff through consultation. During the second quarter, interns work closely with their teams on evaluations and assessments, as well as continuing work on intervention supports. During the third quarter, interns are encouraged to take on more challenging cases, working with students with severe behavior, complex mental health needs, or other low-incidence concerns. They are also encouraged to share expertise with the district and community through trainings and presentations. In the fourth quarter of the school year, the focus shifts to wrapping up cases and further developing areas of expertise. Interns are encouraged to consider what unique skills or training they have, and how they want to shape their career paths.
During the summer months, our interns are exposed to a very different setting during their rotation in a clinical setting. We offer training for June and July at either Crittenton Children's Hospital, or the Child Study Clinic at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Interns gain further training in treatment and assessment of severe mental health problems or developmental concerns such as autism. They also increase their knowledge of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Interns provide therapy and consultation during the summer rotations, and work with a team of highly trained clinicians in a medical model.