Specialist in School Psychology > Practicum

The Graduate Programs in School Psychology have long-standing relationships with Unit 5 (McLean County) and District 87 (Bloomington) public schools and member schools of the Woodford County Special Education District, Tri-County Special Education District, and Livingston County Special Services. School psychology trainees are assigned to elementary schools during their first year of graduate study. Trainees also have an opportunity to work in elementary, junior high, and high schools as fieldwork and practicum settings.

Trainees are assigned to a local Head Start classroom for the first year of graduate study.

The Graduate Programs in School Psychology utilizes Illinois State's laboratory schools (Thomas Metcalf School and University High School) for training purposes. The laboratory schools enroll children as young as three years of age through grade 12. Trainees have an opportunity to observe effective teaching practices, conduct psychoeducational evaluations, consult with teachers, provide counseling services to students and parents, and develop preventative mental health programs and classroom-based interventions (e.g., social skills training groups for all children at a particular grade level).

The department provides autism services through The Autism Place (TAP), which is funded by grants, donations, and the University. Autism services include parent and teacher consultation, individualized intervention services in both clinic and home settings for children with autism spectrum disorder, social skills groups, and specialized services for early childhood-age children. Trainees are assigned to The Autism Place for two hours per week during their first year. Trainees also receive supervised experiences at The Autism Place during their second-year psychosocial practicum.

Psychological Services Center

The Psychological Services Center (PSC) is operated by the Department of Psychology for training, research, and services. The PSC is located on the fourth floor of Fairchild Hall. This space consists of a suite of rooms including five interviewing and/or testing rooms, a large well-equipped playroom, a conference room with reference materials, and a library of tests and testing equipment. PSC services are available to the public at a lower cost than in the private sector. PSC clients represent a range of educational, social, and emotional problems of children and their families. Services include psychological assessments, individual, family and group therapy, home intervention programs, and consultations with educational, medical, and other agencies involved with children. The PSC services are:

The Academic Intervention Connotation Services (AICS) provides academic assessment and intervention services for students who demonstrate difficulty with basic academic skills such as reading, mathematics, spelling, and writing. AICS also provides consultation services to parents and teachers of students who are struggling academically. Consultations and workshops to schools and school districts on various topics are also available.

Two types of child and adolescent intervention services are offered: clinic-based and classroom-based intervention. Clinic-based intervention involves individual counseling for students with troubling behaviors or concerns. These students are referred for treatment by a parent, school representative, physician, social service agency, or as a result of an evaluation by the PSC. Classroom-based intervention involves addressing a focal concern within a classroom group. Typically, topics covered are social/communication skills with classmates or compliance with teacher directions. Occasionally, there is a tragedy such as a sudden death that impacts a large number of students and is best addressed in a group setting. All classroom-based interventions are delivered either by a school psychology trainee clinician, a teacher together with a PSC graduate clinician, or a teacher in consultation with a PSC graduate clinician.

The Child and Adolescent Assessment Service provides psychological assessment for children and adolescents who are experiencing learning and/or adjustment problems. Also, assessment and parent/school consultation services are provided for children and adolescents gifted with advanced development. Diagnostic assessment/testing determines current functioning levels in the areas of cognitive-intellectual skills, academic achievement, learning processes or how the student learns best, and social-emotional adjustment. Assessment results are interpreted to the parents and to the student, if age-appropriate, at a private conference with the psychology trainee clinician and his or her faculty supervisor.

The College Learning Assessment Service offers standardized testing for college students with a history of learning disabilities and students who have concerns about have learning disabilities. The value of testing is that results often clarify for students exactly what, if any, diagnosable learning disabilities they might have. Plans can then be made to adjust the student's learning techniques and, if indicated, to seek assistance in the learning process.

The Multidisciplinary Psychoeducational Assessment Service (MPAS) provides diagnostic psychoeducational assessments for children and adolescents who are exhibiting more than one functional area of concern. For example, a student may have any combination of difficulties in learning, motor, speech, hearing and/or other areas. Performance in one area is often affected by difficulties in another. Therefore, completing a comprehensive evaluation can be most helpful in gaining an integrated understanding of how multiple variables may be impacting a student's performance. Treatment plans and goals can then be specially tailored.

The MPAS is a consortium of disciplines that individually assess clients and shares information. Typically, a psychoeducational assessment e is a part of all comprehensive evaluations. In addition, certain other disciplines such as Special Education, Speech, Audiology, Nursing, and/or Social Work will also conduct specialized evaluations, as indicated according to the combination of concerns a student exhibits.