The mission of student supervision in pupil services
A critical stage in the professional development of students in school counseling and school psychology programs involves direct experience and mentoring in the field. These supervised opportunities allow students to both observe experienced professionals in the role and to begin applying theory to practice.It is this critical field experience component that bridges the development of the student to professional, ready to begin more independent practice.
The role of the site-based supervisor plays an important role in preparing future professionals in the fields of school psychology and school counseling. At once model and mentor to practicum students/interns, the role and relationship you help to establish with the student will be key in shaping the experience they have while working together with you.
Part of the purpose of this module is to provide you, as a site-based supervisor, with information and food for thought as you develop your own game plan for how to approach the mentor/mentee relationship.The better prepared and thoughtful you are going into the experience, the better your own experience, as well as the student's, will be.
The roles and relationships between student, site, and university
- Enroll in required field-based coursework via individual program plan.
- Meet with field-based supervisor as early as possible to establish a start date and initial expectations from the site.
- Become oriented to your school/agency the first few days by means of observations, inquiries, and participation in various activities.
- Comply with all of your district/institutional rules and regulations in a professional manner regarding:
- confidentiality/privileged communication,
- school/office hours,
- building codes,
- dress/grooming, and
- attendance/absence (absences and notifications should be coordinated with supervisor).
- Comply with all Ethical Codes of Conduct and other relevant professional standards (e.g., NASP, APA, ASCA).
- In coordination with fiend and university supervisors, develop an individual practicum/internship plan, as required by program requirements.
- Plan and maintain a regular schedule in cooperation with your field supervisor/mentor, the staff, and the administration in your school district.
- Plan activities, discuss problems and consult with your field supervisor/mentor on a regular basis.
- Keep field supervisors/mentors, school administrators, and your university supervisor informed of problems or unique situations in a timely fashion.
- Complete and submit all required logs and paperwork in a timely fashion each semester.
- Complete all required practicum/internship hours and course requirements, as set forth by individual program requirements.
Field Supervisor Responsibilities
- Be fully and appropriately certified/licensed as a school psychologist/school counselor in their current state of employment.
- Have three years of experience as a school psychologist/school counselor.
- Read and review the University provided practicum/field experience handbook. (see module 4 for UW-Stout field experience handbooks)
- Mentor and facilitate the introduction of the practicum student/intern to the administrators and staff of the school district or agency.
- Monitor and facilitate the practicum's knowledge of, and compliance with, all established district or agency rules and regulations.
- Verify the experiences documented by the practicum student/intern.
- Provide opportunities for practicum student/intern to observe and/or participate in professionally relevant experiences each week.
- Encourage the practicum student/intern to attend and become active in local, state, and national school psychology associations.
- Ensure that the student's assigned responsibilities are appropriate in scope and number for their skill development.
- Early practicum students (ex. Practicum I school psychology students) will participate in more shadowing and observation, to begin with, and build into more independent experiences as the semester progresses
- More advanced practicum students (ex. Practicum II school psychology students) and interns will engage in more independently oriented activities, with supervision and oversight from the field based supervisor.
- Evaluate the performance of the practicum student/intern on a semester basis (see specific handbook for more detailed evaluation information). These evaluations are to be shared with the practicum student/intern; and, when completed, submitted to the university supervisor.
University Supervisor Responsibilities
- Recognize and respect the philosophy, objectives, and organizational pattern of the field site or employing agency of the practicum student/intern.
- Provide information and be a resource to the practicum student/intern, the field supervisor, and the associated district/agency about practicum requirements.
- Acquaint the field supervisor with the philosophy, objectives, and organization of the University of Wisconsin-Stout's School Psychology program.
- Monitor the progress of the practicum student/intern via site visits and/or arranged meetings. University supervisor is also available to the field based supervisor as an on-going resource for information and problem-solving.
- Consult with the field based supervisor and/or practicum student/intern as requested, concerning problems of professional practice.
- Establish and maintain good relationships with the host school and employing district or agency.
- Provide supervision, support, and evaluation of the practicum student/intern's performance, including participation in the Practicum Seminar meetings.
Developing a supervisory relationship and setting goals:
Establishing a positive and successful relationship between practicum student/intern and supervisor takes planning and forethought. The better prepared all participants are for the experience, the smoother and more successful it should go.The following suggestions are offered as food for thought as you prepare for the supervisory experience:
- Meet with your selected practicum student/intern prior to the official start date, in order to meet in person, familiarize each other with initial thoughts and expectations, establish start date, weekly schedule, etc.
- Talk about scheduling, and set out supervisory expectations about attendance and notification for absences, expectations for making up time, etc. Best practice suggests that clearly defined expectations from the start can go a long way in minimizing difficulties throughout the experience.
- Encourage practicum student/intern to begin as early in the term as possible, and consider student for participation in any professional development opportunities that might be offered through the district (ie., August PD days, start of the year activities/training opportunities, etc.)
- Engage practicum student/intern in an open and honest discussion about their expectations and needs as they begin the field experience with you. Some students tend to be more eager and excited, while others may be nervous. Try to establish expectations and a culture of high expectations in a way that provides proper support to ease their nerves.
- Establish a standard schedule to the extent possible, around times to meet for supervision, participation in meetings (ie., "Wed. mornings are SAT meeting days), and/or other activities that might lend themselves to "set, scheduled" opportunities
- Work together with the practicum student/intern to develop a plan, in accordance with their individual field experience requirements, in order to familiarize yourself with their goals, and to facilitate opportunities as they are available in your unique site. Work with the student to understand the kinds of opportunities that are more or less likely to occur in your setting.
- Consider the kinds of activities, observations, and opportunities for participation that your practicum student/intern can engage in as they are with you each week. Work with them to problem solve and develop a plan for filling their time productively during "down times" or less structured times in their day (prime them on how to review records, or summarize CBM data, etc.) so that they are able to independently and appropriately find activities to engage in.
- Familiarize yourselves together, evaluation and paperwork requirements early in the experience, and schedule time for completion and review of mid- and end of term evaluations. Schedule a time to review practicum student/intern logs throughout the experience, in order to encourage them to keep a timely and accurate accounting of their time.