There is a dual emphasis in this scholar-practitioner program. First, students are expected to achieve core competencies in the delivery of professional psychological services to either children or adults with a wide range of behavioral and emotional difficulties and levels of functioning, within a public facility, targeting high need, underserved populations. Second, students are provided with opportunities to develop and expand upon particular interests and specializations. The core competencies as well as the specialized areas of expertise are based upon empirical and scholarly work in the science of psychology. We align most closely with scholar-practitioner graduate programs, though we also value and support the strengths and contributions of students coming from scientist-practitioner programs. Our own program follows a scholar-practitioner model, as we emphasize the practice of psychology in the context of empiricism, by modeling and teaching the critical consumption of up-to-date research, as well as by researching interventions and measuring outcomes to guide more effective service delivery and instruction.
Students are expected to enter the program from their graduate training with core skills in assessment, treatment, and research design, as well as with nascent specialty interests as reflected in their choices of practicum, volunteer, work, professional, and research and scholarly activities. However, we recognize that there is a substantial range in the skills that students bring from their doctoral programs, and our commitment is to insure that all students leave the internship with the necessary core skills for independent practice.
The model of training used to achieve the above objectives is based on the following principles.
- The internship program contains core requirements that are seen as essential to the development of professional competency in providing psychological services to clients with a wide range of difficulties and levels of functioning in the identified developmental age range, with particular focus on services for underserved people from non-dominant ethnic and racial groups.
- The intern's program is individualized to fit his or her needs and interests. Even within required rotations, there is flexibility that allows students to make choices.
- The intern's caseload is designed to maximize learning. Interns carry a moderate number of clients with an emphasis on the quality of care rather than volume, at the same time as meeting pre-licensure requirements.
- The intern is provided with plentiful and diversified supervision.
- The program has a strong didactic component and offers a wide variety of seminars that integrate theory, empirical research, and scholarly inquiry with clinical practice.
- Interns are encouraged to feel they are part of a professional community that respects their work, fosters clinical and research skills, and enhances personal development.
- Interns learn to evaluate the service delivery system and to design and implement system-level interventions that improve the quality of services.
- Interns learn to work collaboratively and cooperatively with each other, engaging in joint projects, mutual support, and peer feedback and supervision.