Modifying School Psychology Practica Experiences to Better Serve Students During COVID – 19

Author(s)

Jacqueline Jimenez, Ariana Antles, Samantha Hamilton

Faculty Mentor(s)

Richard Marsicano (Other)

Abstract

The long-term academic, behavioral, and social impacts of COVID-19 on school-aged children won’t be fully understood for many years; however, the effects on university training programs’ pedagogy were immediate. The CWU School Psychology Program (CWUSPP) uses classroom-based learning and applied experiences–called practica–to train SPs in order to help students succeed. Practica experiences are integral to training and are opportunities that mutually benefit university trainees and school aged-students by providing all parties the opportunity to practice and continue to build their respective skills while under the supervision of university and school-based experts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CWUSPP was forced to address certain issues such as the number of practicum opportunities available to graduate students, the inability to prepare practica experiences ahead of time, and has contributed to newfound difficulties such as how to apply practicum experiences that are appropriate and valuable to all levels of graduate students. Throughout the 2020-21 academic year, anecdotal data suggest COVID-19 has affected local school districts and students by upending the traditional, predictable, full-day schedule from an all-in person learning method to either online or hybrid models of learning. In turn, this has contributed to a loss of instruction which may have led and/or lead to academic challenges. Additionally, already existing inequities, such as access to technology, were exacerbated. This poster will address how SP grad students, faculty, and school officials amended practica experiences during the 2020-21 academic year to meet the ever-changing needs of all school-based and university-based students during COVID-19.

Keywords: Practicum, COVID-19, Modifications

Presentation

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