School psychology doctoral students could soon have access to more APA-accredited school-based internships to choose from, thanks to a grant program launched last
year by APA’s Div. 16 (School Psychology).
The Grant Program for School Psychology Internships
provides seed money to develop partnerships between
universities and school-based internship programs that
will eventually seek Association of Psychology Postdoctoral
and Internship Centers (APPIC) membership and APA
accreditation. It awarded its first seven grants — of up to
$10,000 each — in March (see sidebar).
Div. 16 developed the program with additional funding from
the National Association of School Psychologists, the Council
of Directors of School Psychology and the Trainers of School
The goal is to help address a lack of APA-accredited school-based internships for school psychology doctoral students,
says Tammy Hughes, PhD, a school psychology professor
at Duquesne University and a member of APA’s Council of
Representatives for Div. 16.
“Working in a school building under the legal constraints
around general and special education are very unique,” Hughes
says. “You won’t get that same experience in an internship
housed only at a hospital, prison or other community mental
Increasing the number of APA-accredited school-based
internships will also allow more school psychology students
to pursue licensure, which is important down the line if
psychologists want to work outside the schools.
Most school psychologists currently work in K– 12 school
settings, which typically requires that the psychologist only
gain state certification or licensure as a school psychologist,
not a license to practice independent psychology. But getting a
professional psychology license provides school psychologists
with more career flexibility, says Ara Schmitt, PhD, who directs
the school psychology program at Duquesne University.
“If you ever want to obtain a license to practice psychology
outside of the schools, you have to have a licensed doctoral
supervisor for internship, and that’s what’s lacking in most
school-based psychology internships today,” Schmitt says.
Teaming up for students
In particular, the grant program wants applications from
university-school district partnerships since they provide a
team approach to addressing the internship shortage for school
psychology students, says Linda Reddy, PhD, past president of
Div. 16, who proposed and launched the grant program during
She sees such partnerships as important since psychologists
By Amy Novotney
in higher education are already experts in demonstrating
ground for school
A grant program is boosting the number of
school-based, APA-accredited internship slots.