Education | Practicum in School Psychology
P595 | 6010 | Dr. Jack Cummings


COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The second semester, first year practicum is designed to support your
learning in P592, Academic Assessment and Intervention, and to begin
self-reflection on the tensions inherent in a scientist-practitioner
model. Working with teachers, parents, and students requires
effective skills in comprehensive assessment that is linked to
interventions.  Thus, the goal of this practicum is in part to
support your activities in P592 during your second semester.

As you begin to move into a more active role as a psychologist, it is
important to reflect on and analyze your experiences. Our goal
through self-reflection in this practicum is to learn how we can
maintain a vision of high quality services and take steps to improve
the quality of psychological services for all students.

Thus, in addition to discussion of specific practicum experiences for
each student in class, we will conduct general discussions in two
specific areas. First, we will analyze various ethical situations
that arise in real world settings.  Second, we will discuss
challenges and opportunities of diversity. Practicum will be an
opportunity to discuss novel situations that are typically not
covered in the book.

OBJECTIVES:

1 Demonstrate knowledge and skill in a variety of tools for academic
assessment, including standardized academic assessment, review of
records, interview, and observation, as assigned in P592.

2 Link interventions to assessment outcomes, design monitoring
procedures to determine the effectiveness of interventions, and use
digital tools to support implementation of interventions.

3 Gain a fuller understanding, and be able to describe the roles of
school psychologists in practice, including some of the day-to-day
issues that school psychologists face.

4 Refine your appreciation for: the culture of the schools; an
awareness of how cultures differ from district to district or school
to school; and the types of professional behaviors that facilitate
the provision of high quality services.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

1.  Spend an average of one day per week in public school setting,
for a total of a minimum of 100 during the semester.  You are
expected to arrange a regular weekly time for conducting work as
assigned by your site-based supervising psychologist. You will be
expected to shadow a school psychologist and assist with classroom
observation, development of functional assessments, observe
conferences, and assist the psychologist in other ways that the
psychologist requests.  Again, you are responsible for arranging a
schedule that meets the needs of the psychologist.  Remember we are
guests of the school corporation.

2.  Maintain a narrative log of your reflections on your experiences
at the practicum site.  Reflections will be entered in the In Touch
Forum of ONCOURSE.  You should update your log on a weekly basis.
Since you will have the opportunity to read the reflections of your
peers, you should react to points they make, especially points that
react to your experiences.  This is an opportunity to have a group
discussion in the virtual sense and to gain insights from others¡¦
experiences, perceptions, and insights.   This forum and your log
entries will only be open to P595 class members and your instructor.

3.  Keep a practicum activity log which documents the date, time, and
brief description of all activities associated with practicum
experiences.  This includes class meetings, readings, assessment
activities, participation in meetings, school observations, shadow
activities with psychologist, and teacher interviews.  Use your
calendar and the Excel file to keep track of your hours.

4.  Attendance at all practicum class meetings and participation in
class discussions and activities are expected.  In particular, you
will be expected to share your experiences at your practicum site in
class.  Through sharing your experiences with the class, the hope is
that we will be able to come to a better understanding of them.

5.  Two complete assessments and corresponding treatment plans based
on children at your practicum site are required.  The link between
assessment and intervention will be an important connection to make
in your report.

Grading Policy
Grades will be assigned based on your participation in, and ability
to integrate classroom discussion, readings, activities, and field
experiences.  You will be individually evaluated based on:

a) completion of practicum hours in professional manner with
evaluative feedback from site supervisor (75 points);

b) attendance and participation in class discussions (10 points); and

c)  Oncourse entries (15 points).

A (94-100), A- (90-93), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+(77-79),
C (<76)


Activities Connected with P592, Spring Semester

You are expected to be on site for an average of one day a week. In
general, we would hope that you begin by shadowing your supervising
psychologist in a range of activities, and progress to actual
administration, scoring, and interpretation of academic measures, and
where possible, assisting with academic interventions. You will not
yet be expected to engage in socio-emotional assessment, personality
inventories, consultation, or behavioral intervention, since they
have not been part of your preparation in the first year of the
program (although individual exceptions may be made, depending on
individual background).

The following are the minima we would like to see you exposed to
during your practicum experience this semester.  If you have other
experiences you would like to engage in related to academic
assessment and intervention, please negotiate with your field
supervisor and your university supervisor (P595, Instructor). If you
have any questions about your placement, or feel that you and your
supervisor are not in accord on your roles and responsibilities,
please contact me or raise the issue in class as soon as possible.

Instruments you will be asked to use this semester:
ƒÏ Wechsler Individual Achievement Test ¡V II (WIAT-II)
ƒÏ Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement B Third Edition (WJ-III)
ƒÏ Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS)

Students will be required to write reports (P592) for each psycho-
educational case that will include the following:

ƒÏ Classroom observation
ƒÏ Interview parent and/or teacher, depending on what is needed for
the procedure
ƒÏ Review of student¡¦s cumulative record
ƒÏ Review of student¡¦s prior special education records, if any
ƒÏ Develop intervention plan
ƒÏ Attend child study team meeting(s) (i.e.,  SAT, TAT, IAT)
ƒÏ Attend Case Conference

Schedule

Jan 14 ¡V Overview of practicum expectations,
Visual representation of assessment and intervention data

Jan 21 ¡V Critique professor¡¦s WIAT-II administration,
Class generated questions about WIAT-II
Practice WIAT-II administrations with classmates

Jan 26 - No class

Feb 2 ¡V WJ-III class generated questions,
Critique professor¡¦s WJ-III administration,
Practice WJ-III administrations with classmates

Feb 9- Article 7 ¡V LD criteria,
IDEA - LD criteria
LD criteria as interpreted in local public school

Feb 16 - No class

Feb 23 ¡V Best practices and the challenge of the ¡§real world¡¨
Experiences drawn from practicum logs

Mar 1 - No class

Mar 8 - TBA

Mar 22 ¡V Evaluate ethical dilemmas with specific attention to issues
that your site supervisors have encountered

Mar 29 ¡V NASP

Apr 5 ¡V Electronic resources incorporated into everyday practice in
the schools,
URL¡¦s as part of the psychological report

Apr 12 - No class

Apr 19 ¡V Futures

Apr 26/28 - Case presentations,
Class evaluation

Ethical situations (cite specific APA and NASP ethical principles
that would guide your decision making process and describe in
concrete terms what steps you would take to handle each situation)

1. On internship your supervisor requires you to use an outdated
intervention with documented problems, i.e., despite great face
validity study after study has failed to show any positive change
associated with the intervention.  In fact there are known negative
effects that accompany the intervention.  It is the policy of the
school to use the outdated intervention.

2. You are in the teachers¡¦ lounge and overhear a conversation about
a student you worked with the day before.  You are asked about your
findings.

3. You are the site supervisor for a practicum student who is your
age.  The student asks you for a date.