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Clinical Psychology @ Queens College

Externship Training

The clinical externship is an integral part of the  Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Queens College was developed to provide students with the opportunity to apply didactic and theoretical training in assessment and intervention in “real-life” clinical settings. Students with the required academic prerequisites complete a sequence of supervised clinical experiences that begins with applied Clinical Psychology training and experience in our on-campus Queens College Psychological Center (QCPC) where the chief activities will include assessment and the application of evidence-based intervention techniques, followed by training in Clinical Neuropsychology, where the primary activity will be neuropsychological assessment and evaluation. Students are required to complete two years of externship; a third year is recommended but not required. For externship purposes, a 'year' means 16 hours/week for three consecutive semesters (e.g. summer, fall, and spring).

A. Requirements for beginning externships

  1. Students may not begin externships until they have taken all of the following courses: Psychodiagnostics I: Interviewing and Assessment of Intelligence and Personality; Psychodiagnostics II: Applied Assessment, Consultation, and Supervision; Psychopathology; Psychometric Methods; Systems of Psychotherapy; Ethics/Legal Issues for Psychologists, Professional Issues in Clinical Psychology and Diversity Issues/Clinical Psychology.
  2. Students may not register for externships for course credit beyond their 45th credit unless they have passed the first doctoral examination.
  3. Students taking externships must have practice and liability insurance, which may be purchased from APA as a student member, at http://www.apa.org/membership/.
  4. Students must be familiar with the Law, Rules, and Regulations of NYS Department of Education for licensure as a Psychologist in New York State.
  5. Students must complete the NYS Mandated Training Related to Child Abuse. A list of approved providers can be found at the NYS website.

B. Externship assignments

First year Clinical Psychology externship

  1. During the first year of externship training, which begins in June of the second year, all students are assigned to the QCPC which provides some training in testing, assessment and consultation, but preferentially focuses on Intervention techniques (e.g., individual and group psychotherapy).  The primary goal of training will be for the student to develop competencies in the following areas: building rapport, conducting an intake interview, making and implementing treatment plans, recording client/patient progress and evaluating outcome, and dealing with termination issues, if applicable. All students get experience both with child and adult cases, and are supervised by Program core clinical faculty members, who are all licensed, doctoral-level psychologists. 
  2. The first year of externship consists of a total of 16 hours per week of supervised clinical training.  Note that some of this work may be conducted “off-site” (e.g., report writing, background reading) and it is important for the student to discuss the workload expectations with Clinic Director, Dr. Yvette Caro.  Externs are typically supervised for adult cases by Dr. Caro and for child cases by Dr. Anil Chacko, although other core clinical faculty may also serve as supervisors.
  3. The first three semesters of externship are taken for course credit.  As the first year of externship training usually begins in the summer before the student's third year in the program, students register for both 70341 and 70342 in the fall, and for 70343 in the spring of the third year. 

Second, Clinical Neuropsychology, and subsequent, years of externship.  

  1. For the second year of externship, students will apply to sites that provide training in Clinical Neuropsychology, where the primary goal of training will be for the student to develop competencies in the following areas: conducting a neuropsychological intake interview, devising and administering an assessment battery addressing the referral question(s), report writing and providing feedback to patients and family members, if applicable. Students should plan to submit applications on January 15 for externships that begin in June or September of that same calendar year.
  2. All students will be required to work at a site that is approved by the Clinical committee.  The supervisor must be a licensed, doctoral-level psychologist. Students will be provided with a list of approved externship sites and must submit a ranking that may include a program faculty member’s site.  Students who are assigned to a faculty member’s site will not be authorized to apply to other sites or to refuse a placement with a program faculty member. 
  3. Externships taken in the second year receive a total of six course credits; three in the fall semester (70344) and three in the spring semester (70345). 
  4. Externships taken after the first two years will take place in sites approved by the Clinical committee and may include training in either intervention or assessment techniques, depending on the student’s desire or need for additional training.   No course credit is awarded for the completion of externships beyond the second externship training experience, but successful completion is noted on the student’s transcript. 

Externship sites and oversight/evaluation

  1. Students who would like to take an externship or practicum at a site not approved by the Program would need to have the site seek such approval.  This approval must be obtained before the student commits to working at the site.
  2. At the end of each semester of training (at least two times per year), externship supervisors will be asked to complete an evaluation of the extern’s performance.  Areas of evaluation are related to Program training objectives and include knowledge and application of diagnostic testing and therapeutic techniques, ethical behavior and appropriate interactions with clients/patients and professional staff.
  3. Students are required to submit written records at the end of each semester that document contact hours, supervision hours, support hours and number of reports written, if applicable. The reports must include the supervisor’s signature documenting this activity and the report will serve as documentation of the student’s externship experience. 
  4. Students must also complete a site evaluation form at the end of the semester (two times per year)