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Clinical Psychology Externship

Assessment Track

The River School and Potomac River Clinic will accept applications for two externs to begin in late August 2024 through mid-June 2025. Externs will work 16 hours, two days per week, including either Thursday or Friday (required). The extern will work closely with the program directors and be part of a multidisciplinary team.

Extern responsibilities and activities include:

  • Conducting comprehensive cognitive and psychoeducational evaluations (3 months – 9 years of age)
  • Obtaining experience using a variety of cognitive, developmental and achievement assessment measures
  • Gaining experience in child observations in a clinical and educational setting
  • Planning and leading social skills groups with elementary-age students
  • Participating in/facilitating support groups for parents of children with hearing differences
  • Interacting with our multidisciplinary team (Educators, Speech and Language Therapists, Audiologists, and more) within an educational and clinical setting
  • Classroom consultation and push-in support
  • Opportunities to participate in research

Externs are required to:

  • Provide proof of vaccination for influenza and COVID-19

To apply email to Dr. Dorothy White the following documents by February 4, 2024: 

  • letter of interest
  • CV with a list of relevant coursework
  • one sample report
  • two letters of recommendation

Questions? Email Dr. White or call 202.337.3554

Elizabeth Adams Costa, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Director of Psychological Services

Dorothy A. White, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

The River School/River REACH Clinic/Potomac River Clinic
4880 Macarthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007


Program Description

The River School provides educational experiences for children and their families by uniting the best practices of early childhood education and auditory-verbal learning, while promoting clinical research and training in child development, early behavioral and language development, and the impact of cochlear implantation on the developing brain. The population served at the school includes infants and children from birth through the fifth grade with congenital or acquired hearing differences in a fully inclusive environment with typically developing peers as role models for language and play.

The River School externship experience provides graduate students with opportunities to immerse in the practice of early childhood intervention, education, and oral/deaf education. Training in child language and child development are cornerstones of the externship experience. The training experience, regarding understanding individual child development, is obtained through observation and the assessment and documentation of basic biological, psychological, behavioral, cognitive, and social needs of children. The application of theory and consulting with teachers and other professionals for intervention are also exercised. Research is an important part of The River School and is an optional part of the externship training experience. For students interested, multiple studies are currently undergoing data collection and analysis.

At The River School, we function as a clinical/educational environment with a multidisciplinary team of experts including an occupational therapist, speech and language pathologists, special educators, psychologists, and clinical researchers, thus providing learning experiences for the extern in a professionally dynamic environment. The externship experience will also include involvement in the planning and implementation of our Parent Infant Program (PIP), and training and experience in therapeutic modalities including PCIT. The total externship experience is grounded in professionalism with respect to ethical standards, principles, and practice. The philosophy of our externship program is to prepare students to function not only as highly trained professionals with skills applicable to a variety of settings, but also as members of a multidisciplinary treatment team providing services to children and their families.

Interventions in Early Childhood Development:

  • Behavioral Assessment/Behavior Plan Development
  • Case Review and Case Presentation
  • Child Advocacy/Family support activities
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Classroom consultation and support
  • Participation in the Parent-Infant Program

Developmental Assessment of Young Children:

  • Chart and history review
  • Evaluation of development, educational skills, functional abilities, and behavior
  • Cognitive assessment and psychoeducational assessment
  • Report preparation
  • Participation in multidisciplinary team meetings to report and interpret findings
  • Participation in parent feedback sessions

Individual supervision will be provided for 2 hours per week (minimum), in addition to in-milieu supervision on an ongoing day-to-day basis over the course of the  academic year. Opportunities for participation in didactic training will also be provided.

Initial coursework in theories of child development and assessment is assumed, as well as interest in training in a developmental setting that combines early childhood education with research, assessment and intervention.

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