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Department of School Psychology

at the National College of Education at National Louis University

ul 5.29.13

About NLU School Psychology Practica

From the very first quarter of School Psychology training through an end-of-training internship, NLU students are working in schools and community organizations for parent training. Among the many reasons for continuous field-based experiences is to gain knowledge of how things are done, to learn what is working and what is not working in the interests of teachers, students, and families, and to provide students with real life opportunities to practice.

Year 1 practicum (SPY 560-562) is a 1-credit experience per term, repeated 2 additional terms. This practicum is linked explicitly to 3 courses so that students can get hands on experiences and opportunities to use the skills they are learning, observe what school psychologists do in actual practice,  and see how schools operate in providing instruction and behavior support. Students complete many class assignments in their practicum school. Expectations are a 4-8 hours per week.

Year 2 practicum (SPY 565) is a 3-credit experience per term, repeated 2 additional terms. This practicum is a 2-day per week expectation where students work under the supervision of approved school psychologist supervisors and receive a minimum of 2.5 hours  of weekly university-based supervision. Students have the opportunity to practice skills they learned in their first year and expand the tools and skills they are learning in their second year.

Year 1 and 2 Practicum Goals

  1. Practice skills students are learning in their courses and create “real life” situations in which to do and learn things.
  2. Identify discrepancies in practice “systems regularities” and “best practices”
  3. Disrupt students’ beliefs about professional practice, expand their perspectives about human development, educational services and systems, and improve their self-analysis and critical thinking skills.
  4. Instill hope that as a professional, students can facilitate healthy development and prevent problems for ALL STUDENTS by helping them learn more about what they need to learn and know.
  5. Attempt to give students a system(s) for sorting what works from what is believed to work.

Year 1 and 2 Practicum Big Ideas

  1. Having a model of service delivery that is based on explicit assumptions and values as well as procedures creates more effective practice.
  2. Most of us think of effective practice as knowing “what to do” and “when,” yet too often fail to ask why or whether it is likely to work.
  3. There is a body of knowledge about development relevant to learning.  Some things work better than others.  Some things purported to work rarely work.
  4. Development is an interaction of within-person and environmental variables (ecological).  However, typical practice emphasizes primarily within-the-person causes (and solutions) to problems.
  5. We achieve improvements in the human conditions most often by managing the environment and context and by evaluating the unique effects of our solutions.

Year 3 Doctoral practicum is a 2-credit experience per term, repeated 2 additional terms. This practicum is a minimum of 8 hours per week of direct service, with an additional 1 hour of on-site supervision. Students meet with their  university supervision at least twice per month. Direct service hours may be flexible depending on the nature of the practicum responsibilities.

 Year 3 Practicum Big Ideas

  1. Students anchor, integrate, and deepen the learning of the first 2 years of the program. They begin to identify a focus in line with the national professional standards and training guidelines.
  2. Students begin to identify and harvest professional relationships within the domain of specialization.
  3. At this level of practice, students are involved in initiatives that require systemic integration of personnel and/or projects.
  4. Students begin to exercise leadership skills within the working environment.
  5. Students engage in district, state and nation-wide conversations on policy and practice.
  6. Students cultivate professional voice with the ability to articulate, debate and revise professional values and beliefs as they collaborate with other professionals.

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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