Stephen F. Austin State University

Doctoral Internship

About Us

The SFA Charter School Doctoral Psychology Internship Program is a training program based upon collaboration between the Human Services Department of Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) and the SFA Charter School. It is designed to prepare each intern to competently assume the role of a professional psychologist who is able to independently provide exemplary services to schools and the greater community. The SFA Charter School, located in Nacogdoches County, is the sponsoring agency in which the internship training program occurs. The Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School Doctoral Psychology Internship is exclusively affiliated with the school psychology doctoral program at Stephen F. Austin State University, meaning the internship program only accepts interns enrolled in and approved for internship by the school psychology doctoral program at SFASU.

Mission

The Stephen F. Austin Charter School is based on the twin goals of improving public education and enhancing educator preparation. The mission of the SFA Charter School is to create a learning environment that provides a researched based model curriculum and supports student development of autonomy, openness, problem solving, and integrity through constructivist inquiry based curriculum. The school also serves as a Field Based Center for the James I. Perkins College of Education and provides "hands-on" and observational experiences with children for university students in teacher preparation instructional programs.

The mission of the SFA Charter School doctoral Internship Program is to prepare each intern to competently assume the role of a professional psychologist who is able to independently provide exemplary services to schools and the greater community. There are seven broad goals of this training program:

  1. The intern will demonstrate competence in the psychological evaluation, diagnoses, and in the formal report of evaluation results of school-aged children.
  2. The intern will demonstrate competence in developing and implementing prevention techniques and interventions, including a variety of approaches to counseling students and families.
  3. The intern will demonstrate competence in collaboration, consultation, relationship building with a wide variety of individuals and organizations.
  4. The intern will demonstrate competence in scholarly activities, including involvement in school-based research.
  5. The intern will demonstrate knowledge, competence, and sensitivity in understanding, interacting, collaborating, evaluating, counseling, consulting, advising, and implementing interventions and programs with colleagues, students, and families from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities; with minority populations; and with students from special circumstances.
  6. The intern will demonstrate competence in presenting himself or herself as a knowledgeable psychological service professional.
  7. The intern will demonstrate competence in the skills related to successful functioning as a school psychologist.

The internship program was first implemented during the 2014-15 school year and continues to be improved through the collaboration of the School Psychology Program Director, Human Services Department Chair, the internship Director of Training and Clinical Supervisors, the Elementary Educational Department Chair, the Doctoral Training Committee, and the SFA Charter School Principal. While not yet accredited by APA, the program's structure, goals, and curriculum are designed to meet APPIC and APA standards. The program adheres to the guidelines set out by the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP).

Training Domains, Goals, Objectives, and Competencies

Six major domains of training are defined for the doctoral internship program. Interns are prepared for the practice of professional psychology by developing and demonstrating competence in the domains of:

  1. Evaluation, Diagnoses, and Reporting Results
  2. Prevention, Intervention, and Responsive Services
  3. Consultation, Collaboration, and Supervision
  4. Scholarly Inquiry
  5. Multicultural Awareness and Competency
  6. Professional, Legal, and Ethical Responsibility

Best practices govern the focus on each of the domains. The link between research and practice in each training domain is regularly examined through professional reading, didactic seminars, professional dialog, case conferences, group and individual supervision and other training activities.

Application and Selection Process

Stephen F. Austin Charter School in Nacogdoches, Texas offers a doctoral school psychology internship program for eligible doctoral candidates from the doctoral program at Stephen F. Austin State University. The internship runs from August through June with a stipend of $18,000. Applicants are required to submit an application for consideration in April.
Deadline for applications: March 1st by 5 PM.

The submission of the following will be required:

Application materials must be submitted in a packet to Crystal Evans, the program administrative assistant, by April 7th at 5PM. Limited stipends may be available however, enrollees in EPS 695 will be first considered in the allocation of any funds available. The selection committee reviews all applications and selects applicants for interview. All applicants will be emailed about their interview status by April 1st. Selected applicants will be invited for a required on-site interview in April 15th.

Stephen F. Austin State University is fully committed to the national and state goal of affording equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship, and veteran status. The university's fundamental policy will be to provide equal employment opportunity in all of its operations and in all areas of employment practices and to assure that there shall be no discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, citizenship, and veteran status. Additionally, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The university policy extends to recruiting, hiring, training, compensation, overtime, job classifications, work conditions, promotions, transfers, employee treatment, suspensions, terminations, layoffs, return from layoffs, tuition aid, recreational programs, and all other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

Internship Structure

The internship program begins each year in August. The internship is a 10 month, 1750 hour, psychology training program. Interns should expect to work at least 40 hours each week, but no more than 45 hours per week. The Texas State Board of Examiners allows internships in academic settings to be completed in no fewer than 10 months for professional licensure as a psychologist in the state of Texas.

The internship consists of 1750 hours of specifically selected training and experience. Once orientation is completed, interns will spend as much as 45% of some weeks in direct client contact, easily meeting the requirements of at least 25% (a minimum of 375 hours) of the intern's time being in direct client contact, as is required by APA and TSBEP standards. Although the SFA Charter School doctoral training program is conducted within a public school district, the doctoral internship training provides an array of training that is general to the professional practice of psychology.

As is required by APA, the SFA Charter School doctoral internship program in psychology provides a sequenced training program, rather than simply supervised experience or on-the-job training. The internship is a post-practicum training experience that is rooted in best practice. Before interns can be accepted to the program, they must provide, from their university, documentation of internship preparedness. The internship requirements must be completed prior to intern graduation.

The training curriculum is developed to meet the training goals of the internship program. Under supervision, a doctoral intern will provide a range of psychological services to children and families, including prevention, evaluation, consultation, classroom intervention, training, counseling, behavior intervention, and crisis intervention services. Interns will provide evaluation and intervention services to students having a variety of needs and diagnoses. Special efforts are made to provide interns with experience in working with low incidence disorders. Throughout the internship, interns are exposed to both special education and regular education programs.