Practica and Field Experience
One of the unique features of the School Psychology program is that along with academic course work, students participate in extensive practica and other field experiences under the direction of school psychology faculty members and community-based supervisors. These supervisors provide a variety of services to local school systems and other agencies in the Midlands of South Carolina, thereby serving the community as well as providing supervised applied training experience.
Many of the field practicum courses are completed in local schools (Columbia and surrounding communities). The School Psychology program has had an excellent relationship with school districts and agencies in the state since its inception. The local schools provide a broad range of training options based on school size, SES level, rural-urban, racial/ethnic composition, and developmental diversity.
Within a 20-minute drive of the university are schools with more than 75% African-American population, schools of military dependents, rural schools, and ESL students. The majority of practicum activities are carried out in these local schools under the supervision of university faculty and field supervisors. These schools also provide research opportunities and assistantship sites.
Additionally, students have access to numerous practicum and assistantship sites related to mental health and social service delivery, including child and adolescent in-patient and out-patient programs, community mental health centers, juvenile justice facilities, residential programs for autistic children, shelters for homeless children, and community-based programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Since the University of South Carolina is located in the state capitol, nearly every state agency relevant to the training of school psychologists is located in the city (e.g., Department of Education, Department of Mental Health, Department of Disability and Developmental Disabilities), many within walking distance of the campus. The School Psychology program also enjoys a collegial, working relationship with the USC School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.
All School Psychology students take courses with USC Clinical-Community students through the Department of Psychology Psychological Services Center (PSC). The PSC offers outpatient services to children, adolescents, and adults in the Columbia and surrounding communities.
- USC Psychological Services Center
- Richland County School District 1, 2, 5
- Lexington County School District 1, 2, 3
- Kershaw County School District
- Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital
- Greenwood Genetics Center
- Pine Grove School
- Developmental Pediatric Clinic-USC School of Medicine
- Infectious Diseases Clinic-USC School of Medicine
- Department of Disabilities & Special Needs/Carolina Autism Evaluation Center
- South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
- Lexington Area Mental Health Center
- Rape Crisis Network
- The Nurturing Center
- Palmetto Richland Hospital - Children's Immunology and Brain Tumor Clinic
Institute for Families in Society
The internship is a full-time field experience supervised by a school district, child guidance center, hospital, mental health agency, consortium, or other approved setting which provides opportunities for practice and supervision of the major professional functions of the school psychogist. The internship is taken after completion of course work and practica, and is designed to enhance professional attitudes, responsibility, communication skills, critical judgment, and technical skills.
Internships provide experience in basic school psychological skills, such as assessment, consultation, direct and indirect intervention, staff development, and educational programming. The internship also emphasizes the use of advanced skills in dealing with severe individual and small-group problems, as well as problem identification and problem solving at the systems level. The internship experience is also designed to foster leadership skills in the creative use of existing resources and development of new resources which will enable schools to provide more appropriate educational services to children and youth.
Some students elect to complete their internships with school districts in the Columbia area. Others have secured internships in APA-approved programs.
- The Kennedy Kreiger Institute (MD
- Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (TX)
- Virginia Beach Public Schools (VA)
- Cherry Creek School District (CO)
- Lewiston Independent School District (TX)
- Georgetown University School of Medicine Child Development Center (DC)
- University of Tennessee Professional Psychology Internship Consortium
- Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology
- Louisiana School Psychology Internship Consortium
- Richland I School District/Montcrief Hospital Developmental Clinic (SC)
- Richland II/USC School of Medicine (SC)
- Sarah A. Reed Children's Center (PA)
- Children's Hospital of Orange County (CA)
- Cobb County Schools (GA)
- University of Kansas Professional Psychology Internship
- Austin Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology (TX)
- Richland County School District No. 1 (SC)
- Richland County School District No. 2 (SC)
- Illinois School Psychologists' Consortium
- St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital/Columbia University