Realities of Practicum Training---A Survey of Practicum Site Coordinators

CE Credit: 2

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Length: 110 minutes

Session offered by Division 12.

Practicum training continues to be one of the least understood aspects of education and training in professional psychology, despite the fact that it has become increasingly vital to our profession. Major national trends that have served to focus our attention on the importance of practicum training include the competency movement, proposed changes to the sequence of training leading to licensure, and associated changes in licensing regulations in many states. These trends serve to direct our attention to the importance of practicum training as a critical foundation for eventual professional competence.

The current survey is the second of a two phase collaborative project between the APA BEA and the Association of Psychology Training Clinics that was designed to provide an in-depth snapshot of current practicum training. In phase one of the current survey series (Hatcher, Grus & Wise, 2010), the academic training directors of APA accredited professional psychology doctoral programs were asked to identify up to five commonly used practicum sites. In phase 2, these sites were contacted and asked to respond to an extensive series of questions that focused on the administrative aspects of practicum training, supervision and evaluation. Qualitative questions were designed to elicit the benefits experienced in addition to the stresses and strains reported by external practicum sites as they strive to offer high quality training while managing the real-world challenges of primary service obligations in the midst of a recession.

The four presentations will focus on where external practicum training occurs, who provides supervision, how the training is structured on a variety of dimensions, how students are evaluated and how communication occurs with academic training programs. Of particular interest will be our consideration of the concerns expressed by practicum site coordinators with an eye towards how we might enhance this critical aspect of professional training.

Learning Objective 1
Summarize the findings of a national survey of practicum sites related to how training is coordinated with academic training programs.

Learning Objective 2
Discuss the benefits and challenges reported by practicum site coordinators as they manage training and service needs in a variety of practicum settings.

Presenters: Catherine L. Grus, PhD; Luli Emmons, PhD; Robert L. Hatcher, PhD; Lorraine Mangione, PhD; Erica H. Wise, PhD (Chair)

Supplementary Materials

  • Bibliography_PracSiteSurvey
  • Bibliography_PracSiteSurvey
  • PracticumSurvey_combined_FINAL