Unique Collaboration through COVID-19 Times

Brian Leung FB e1597084355513 300x263 - Unique Collaboration through COVID-19 TimesBrian Leung, Ph.D., director of LMU School of Education’s school psychology program, recently spearheaded a group of 24 university school psychology faculty from across California, to collaborate in an extraordinary way to support training of school psychology students. This unique collaboration aimed to yield new training materials and strategies for school psychology candidates and field supervisors across California during COVID-19.

“This began with my wanting to have better fieldwork material for our LMU school psychology candidates, so I put out the word, thinking that maybe three or four people would respond,” said Leung, who was surprised when 24 people responded. “Apparently, everyone was looking for help in planning fieldwork for next year.”

Since K-12 schools will be online this fall, approaches to support educator clinical experience needed to be revised. Leung collaborated with school psychology faculty from both public and private California universities and colleges in small groups to develop fieldwork material for year 2 (practicum) and year 3 (internship).

Leung created 5 workgroups which developed materials for school psychology candidates and field supervisors that included practical strategies, forms, calendars, and annotated alternative activities based on the 10 Domains of the National Practice Model for School Psychologists. Overall, the strategies align with the domains of practice from the national accrediting agency for school psychologists (NASP).

The collaboration was recently completed and material from all 5 groups was shared on a Google doc so they are easily accessible. Each faculty will tailor the resource materials to their own program. The groups will meet again to tweak their working materials and following any additional review, their plan is to share the materials and strategies with colleagues in other states. “No doubt everyone is struggling to know how best to support school psychology fieldwork and we want to help,” said Leung.

Last, Leung noted that this type cross-state collaboration has never occurred before due to geographical limitations; but with COVID-19 restrictions, virtual meetings became common and made this collaboration possible.  This is definitely a silver lining that will benefit our school psychology students and ultimately the profession.