Two practica courses are required for the Ed.S. degree that provide students with supervised experiences to meet the objectives of acquiring expertise, learning job expectations, and observing assessment and interventions. Practica courses are distinct from and prior to Internship. The Practicum I (SPS 6946) and Practicum II classes are each taken for 3 hours of credit during the first and second semester of the second year. Students are required to schedule a meeting with their advisor, ensure that the annual advisor evaluation is completed, and receive advisor approval before beginning their practica experiences (see evaluation form on subsequent page).
Students are placed in their practica by the course instructor. Students may be placed in one of several Central Florida school districts. Please be aware every effort was made to assign students to a desired location, but each placement is made in light of the limited number of available sites. Practicum placement procedures vary from site to site. Students must abide by the differing guidelines. All sites should require students to complete a security clearance, which may include, but not be limited to a background screening and fingerprinting.
All practica experiences are conducted under the careful supervision of, and are systematically evaluated by, the Program faculty members and site supervisors. Practica experiences are conducted in a manner consistent with the legal and ethical guidelines of NASP. Practica experiences are conducted in settings supportive of the Program objectives, including local education agencies, university clinics and teaching hospitals. Other experiences may be available to students such as the UCF Community Counseling and Research Center, the Creative School for Children on campus, the UCF Communication Disorders Clinic, and centers in the Orlando area serving special needs children.
School psychology students must demonstrate competence in their major field. The school psychology major comprehensive exam is taken after the completion of coursework and with the approval of the student's advisor. The exam is administered once each Spring semester and students must register to take the exam at least three weeks prior to the exam date. The exam consists of a series of written, essay questions covering the required coursework in the Ed.S. Program. Questions are prepared by faculty in the areas in which required courses are taken. Students are provided a study guide during their second year of matriculation in the Program. The examination is administered over a 1-day period. The comprehensive examination may be taken only twice.
- Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability
- Consultation and Collaboration
- Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills
- Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills
- School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
- Preventive and Responsive Services
- Family School Collaboration Services
- Diversity in Development and Learning
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice
- Information Technology
Each student in the School Psychology Program is required to write a research report for six (6) hours credit. The research report will be a report of either an historical, survey, descriptive, or experimental research study. The research report may be an original contribution or replication of significant research as judged by the program faculty advisor. The special problem may involve action research, curriculum development/interventions, or other projects approved by the program faculty advisor. Every effort is made to ensure that this experience is a positive and productive learning activity. Guidelines and examples are provided for students throughout the program of study.
The school psychology internship is an opportunity to integrate academic and practical aspects of the school psychology program with the daily activities of a public school psychology department. The University of Central Florida interns will be placed in various environments for five days a week for approximately 1,200 hours during one school year. The intern will be under the direct and continuing supervision of a School Psychologist certified by the Florida Department of Education. Procedures will follow the Ethical Principles of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Florida Association of School Psychologists (FASP). Interns will assume full responsibility for being thoroughly familiar with ethical principles and for adhering to them at all times. Interns will also comply with pertinent local, state, and federal legislation, regulations, and guidelines relevant to the practice of school psychology.
- Providing direct and continuing supervision by a School Psychologist
- Providing the intern with necessary documents to follow all legislation, guidelines, and regulations relevant to schoolchildren at the national, state and local levels.
- Providing the intern with direct feedback regarding her/his progress, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Providing a written evaluation of the intern to the university supervisor and signing the internship verification form.