The clinical field placement is a vital component of Loyola's doctoral program. First and second year students will complete a full-year externship at the Loyola Clinic under the supervision of Loyola faculty. Third and fourth year students complete full year clinical field placements each year at outside institutions and/or placements. All clinical placements are arranged through and approved by the director of clinical training (DCT) and the director of doctoral field education.
Expected Sequence of Learning Experiences
The exact nature of the learning experiences for the doctoral student varies, depending on the field placement site, the population served, the prior experience of the student, and the interests of the supervisor and student. It is expected that all students receive a level of training appropriate for doctoral students and for their particular program year. As stated previously, all first- and second-year students complete their externships at the Loyola Clinic in either the Multidisciplinary Assessment Center (MAC), the Adult track or the Child track under supervision of department faculty.
The first-year externship experience is comprised of significant amounts of observation, followed by a progression toward "hands-on" testing and in-take experiences. The goals of the externship are to develop significant knowledge and technical skill in administering and scoring cognitive and personality tests. During this year, students also develop more refined preferences regarding their applied areas of interest.
Over the course of the second and third years, students will be expected to expand both their assessment and therapy experiences to include more test interpretation, case conceptualization, integrative writing and case presentations, and working with diverse populations in diverse settings. Furthermore, they will develop their preferences regarding applied areas of interest as well as professional and ethical values and attitudes.
In the fourth year of training, students are expected to refine their knowledge and skills. During this year, they will be functioning at a higher level of autonomy regarding writing, case conceptualization, and case presentation, and will be utilizing supervision at a more advanced level. They will be expected to recognize any of the applied areas listed below in which they need additional training. By the end of the fourth year, they will have a clearer sense of the setting and/or population with which they would like to work, and are expected to be at an appropriate level of knowledge and skill to begin their internship.
First-year students complete a minimum of 150 hours of field placement throughout the academic year (approximately 5 hours per week). During the second year, students complete a minimum of 400 hours over the course of twelve months. During the third and fourth years, the field placement requires a minimum of 480 hours per year (usually about 16 hours per week for 30 weeks each year, although some sites arrange for more hours or weeks). Therefore, the total minimum number of field placement hours is 1510. Students who enter the program in the second year of the curriculum complete a minimum of 1360 hours.
Students are expected to spend an average of one-half of their total field placement hours in direct service to clients, including individual counseling or therapy, psychological assessment, group therapy, and crisis intervention. This may also include direct observation and outreach and consultation. The remaining hours are devoted to supervision, attendance at meetings, case conferences, seminars, etc., and preparation of reports or records. The weekly schedule of hours, as well as specific dates for beginning and ending the field work, is arranged by mutual agreement between the student and the field site supervisor or site training director.
Over the course of their field training, students must meet certain requirements for assessment and therapy experience. Students are also expected to gain experience in the knowledge and skills of supervision, consultation, education and management. Included in their experiences, students must gain knowledge and skills in working with diverse populations and in diverse settings. The means by which students meet these requirements will vary.
Learn more about required clinical experiences.
Selections of Sites
All field placement sites for Psy.D. students have been carefully chosen by the department. Students must complete their field placements at these approved sites. The psychology department maintains files on all sites, including the name of the contact person or site supervisor, the nature of the services and client population at the site, the training experiences offered, special requirements or application procedures for students, and vitae of the site supervisors. Site supervisors and/or training directors are asked to provide the department with this information and to notify the director of clinical training and/or the director of doctoral field education of any relevant changes.
Third and fourth year Psy.D. students will apply to field placement sites that are appropriate to their professional interests and level of experience and training, under the guidance of the director of doctoral field education. Applications to individual sites will be completed in accordance with deadlines and procedures specified by the site. The final selection of students for placement will be made by the staff at the site.
Once a student has been selected for placement, the site supervisor will submit a letter of acceptance to the director of clinical training, stating that the student has been accepted for field placement for a specific semester or year. The letter should also describe the activities of the student, state the number of hours in placement, and identify the primary supervisor. This letter must be received prior to beginning the field placement. Once this letter is received, the student is covered by Loyola University's professional liability insurance for student trainees.
The professional supervision provided to doctoral students is a vital element in their field placement training to prepare them for future independent clinical work. The individual who serves as the student's supervisor at the field placement will be a licensed psychologist. A copy of the vitae of the supervisor must be on file with the psychology department at Loyola University. In keeping with the Maryland Board of Examiners' rules governing supervision of Psychology Associates, students should receive one hour of individual supervision for every five hours of therapy, and one hour of supervision for every full psychological evaluation completed.
In conjunction with receiving supervision from the site supervisor, students will participate in weekly professional supervision on campus, conducted by faculty clinicians. It is a group supervision format, focusing on issues of professional development and case presentations.
Students will be required to keep careful records of their field placement experience in a Monthly Activity Log and an Excel database then click on practicum hours spread sheet in text), which will document the number of hours spent in various activities at the site (assessments, therapy, in-service training, supervision, etc.), the tests administered in assessments, and demographic information on clients. The completed log forms are signed by the student and the supervisor and submitted to the director of doctoral field education at the end of each month along with a disk-copy of the Excel database. This information will be useful when preparing for internships in the fifth year of the program.
In certain cases, field placement sites may offer stipends to students during their training. The payment of stipends to doctoral students in field placement will be determined by the site administrators according to their usual policies.
If students are already employed in mental health settings, they may not use their current employment responsibilities to satisfy field placement requirements. In rare cases, students may be permitted to complete their field placement at their place of employment, with the approval of the director of clinical training. Such an arrangement may be approved only if the required field training hours extend over and above the employment hours, and the responsibilities and supervision meet the intent and goals of doctoral student training.
Evaluation of Student
A pass/fail or letter grade is given for the clinical placement each semester. A grade will not be assigned until the student has completed the required number of training hours and all required paperwork has been received (monthly logs, Excel database, supervisor’s evaluation, student evaluation of placement).
All site supervisors will complete an evaluation of students in field placement at the end of each semester using the Professional Assessment Review (PAR) form. This form will be forwarded to the supervisor approximately four weeks prior to the end of the semester. Students will also complete the Self-Evaluation form. It is recommended that the supervisor review the evaluation with the student as part of the supervision. The PAR evaluation is then forwarded to the program manager approximately one week prior to the end of the semester, and will become part of the student's routine Professional Assessment Review, which is completed each semester by the student's program advisor and the Department.
Evaluation of Site
At the end of each semester, students are required to complete an evaluation of their training experience, including the quality of training and supervision received and recommendations for future training at the site. hese evaluations are to be forwarded to the director of doctoral field education. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the director of clinical training and/or the director of doctoral field education of any concerns pertaining to his or her training at the site.
For more information contact:
Traci Martino, M.S., Director, Program Operations
*Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979