APPIC Program Code Number 124511

This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.

The Internship Training Program at the Student Counseling Services has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1980, and the center has been fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) since 1966. As members of APPIC (Association of Predoctoral & Postdoctoral Internship Centers), we adhere to guidelines for interns and training sites. The Student Counseling Service has a proud history of providing for the mental health needs of Iowa State University students for almost seventy years, making it one of the first established counseling centers in the nation.

Please direct inquiries regarding internship program accreditation status to:

American Psychological Association
Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 1st Street., NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail:

Please submit questions concerning internships to:

Margaret Cowles, PhD
Training Director
Student Counseling Services, Iowa State University
2223 Student Services Building, 3rd Floor
Ames, IA 50011-2223
(515) 294-5056

“Psychologists are recognized as Health Service Providers if they are duly trained and experienced in the delivery of preventive, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention services relative to the psychological and physical health of consumers based on: 1) having completed scientific and professional training resulting in a doctoral degree in psychology; 2) having completed an internship and supervised experience in health care settings; and 3) having been licensed as psychologists at the independent practice level” (APA,1996; APA, 2011).  The Student Counseling Service at Iowa State University adheres to the principles of the Health Service Psychology Education Collaborative (2013, August 5).

Student Counseling Service supports the educational mission of Iowa State University by helping students enhance their academic and personal well-being. We actively promote emotional and social development through preventive, remedial, and advocacy interventions. We believe that training future professional psychologists creates an essential vitality in our agency and enhances the quality of our service to clients. All staff participate enthusiastically and actively in training appropriate to our specialties and experience. Therefore, while providing excellent services to clients, we maintain a very strong commitment to training.

Our philosophy of training is grounded in the practitioner-scholar mode, emphasizing “learning by doing” while consulting empirical literature and conducting research in the clinical setting (Stoltenberg, Kashubeck-West, Biever, Patterson, & Welch, 2000). We offer an interactive process-oriented learning experience coupled with presentations of up-to-date research and theory. Interns practice and develop the multiple roles of a counseling center psychologist including individual and group therapy, training and supervision, assessment, research, and outreach/consultation. We are primarily preparing interns for practitioner careers in counseling centers and private practice, and secondarily for faculty positions.

Our aim is to prepare doctoral interns in clinical or counseling psychology to become entry-level Health Service Psychologists through participation in a year-long counseling center internship program.  This is done by providing training, learning opportunities, and feedback/evaluation with the goal of reaching competency in nine essential areas:

1. RESEARCH (Integration of Science and Practice)









The general staff orientation reflects the counseling psychology philosophy, which is characterized by a developmental perspective and proactive approach (Fretz & Simon, 1992). Likewise, with training, we offer a broad range of supervision and training experiences to fit the individual and shared developmental needs of the interns. To meet the shared needs of interns, group training experiences are sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. To meet the individual needs of interns, we grant interns considerable individual choice in determining their training priorities. We ask interns to indicate areas of known strengths as well as areas needing further refinement. Interns are then encouraged to make choices regarding their numerous training opportunities and responsibilities (for example: types of groups, outreaches, and choice of special emphasis areas). We tailor our training experience for each intern to develop a strong foundation for an emerging professional identity.

Woven throughout the training program is an appreciation for the diversity of all people. We continually examine our awareness of the rich diversity among ourselves and within the university community. Training and professional development opportunities help us explore how we react to racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, physical, age, and other differences.

We believe that the greatest growth is facilitated via reciprocal and ongoing feedback in a supportive climate. We expect interns to openly share their successes and challenges in their work with clients and on projects. Interns work together as a group, providing each other with supportive and challenging feedback. Staff members are also expected to share clinical and other work and be open to intern feedback. Clinical supervisors attend to many levels of the intern’s development – adjustment to the agency, clinical skills, career development, and “use of self” as an instrument of change. Supervisors consult with each other and the training director to relate insights into trainee needs to offer the right balance of support and challenge.

Staff members strive to provide a collegial atmosphere in which interns are offered many opportunities to provide leadership. Interns work collaboratively with staff members and campus agencies to provide a variety of counseling and consultative services. As the year progresses, interns may assume increasingly independent roles in service provision. Ultimately, we seek to facilitate skill acquisition and professional maturity resulting in persons capable of self-regulated, ethical, and sophisticated work as psychologists.

Minimum Requirements

Required Activities:  As a part of their generalist training, psychology interns are required to conduct individual psychotherapy, psychological assessments, intake interviews, crisis consultation and intervention, group therapy, supervision of practicum student or Graduate Assistant trainees, and attend didactic training seminars throughout the internship year. In addition to these activities, psychology interns are expected to complete the following projects: (1) Case Presentation, (2) Psychology Intern Outreach Project, and (3) Capstone Professional Development Presentation. 

(1) Case Presentation:  During the winter session, psychology interns will complete one case presentation.  The case focuses on an integrative approach in therapy, including relevant diagnostic instruments, case conceptualizations using the psychology intern’s theoretical orientation, DSM-5-TR diagnosis, and demonstration of the ethical and culturally competent provision of psychological care. Psychology interns present the case in a format that they would use as a candidate during a job interview.  Psychology interns receive feedback from clinical staff regarding strengths and areas for growth.   

(2) Psychology Intern Outreach Project:  In addition to engaging in requested SCS outreach activities, psychology interns will develop an outreach project for SCS and present it to the campus community. The project should be linked to one of the psychology intern’s areas of interest and involve the participation of at least one campus partner. This project is meant to contribute to the agency as well as further the psychology interns’ development of collaboration and outreach skills in a meaningful way.   

The objective is to develop intentional collaboration across campus increasing SCS visibility and programming in an accessible, creative format. This project can include service to an underrepresented/underserved population of interest. The project can be an outreach presentation (including if your proposal is accepted to speak at ISCORE and/or the ISU Health and Wellness Symposium), the creation and dissemination of psychoeducation materials (i.e., slides presented on screens around campus, new TAO paths, video materials, social media campaigns) around campus.  

Topics may be within the intern’s SEA and focus on an activity/topic relevant to SCS and the campus community. Students will receive support from the Outreach Director, their primary supervisor, and/or their SEA supervisor depending on the identified project to build and submit their projects for staff feedback and approval at the end of the first semester of the internship. The second half of the internship will be focused on executing the project.  


  1. Interns must demonstrate the ability to identify the needs/opportunities for expansion of services SCS’s services.   
  2. Interns must be able to create a project based on evidence-based theories/ techniques, using proper and recent research to support their work. 
  3. Interns must demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with campus partners while developing and executing their projects.  
  4. Interns must demonstrate sensitivity to cultural diversity and build a project that should be responsive to sexual/relational orientation, gender identity, racial, cultural, disability, and ethnic diversity among students and reach students who are less likely to use traditional counseling services. 

(3) Capstone Professional Development Presentation:  Each psychology intern will be required to make one professional topical presentation as a part of SCS’s professional development for the staff.  The topical presentation provides an opportunity for the intern to introduce a topic of interest and/or expertise to the staff.  The presentation will be scheduled during the month of June and/or July. 

Topical presentations have included such topics as an intern’s research (e.g., dissertation or other research activities) or areas of personal expertise (e.g., self-esteem, sleep disorders).  The possible topic(s) for the presentation need to be discussed with the intern’s primary supervisor and/or the Training Director prior to the presentation.  The intern’s primary supervisor and/or the Training Director needs to approve the proposed topic. 

Those in attendance at the topical presentation will be clinical staff members, postdoctoral fellows, and interns. The intern has one hour for the presentation and is responsible for structuring the presentation. The structure of the presentation includes: 

  • Introduction of the topic 
  • Rationale for selection of topic 
  • Additional information 
  • Relevancy of the topic to the profession 
  • Latest research 
  • References 
  • An opportunity for staff discussion 

Required Performance Level: 

The “Supervisor’s Evaluation of Intern” is a comprehensive evaluation that assesses a psychology intern’s competency across all areas of the internship. By the end of the training year, a psychology intern is expected to be at an intermediate level of competency which represents a readiness for practice.  

A full-time, 2,000-hour internship employment must be completed. 

500 Direct Service Hours: Direct service includes individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultation with clients or concerned family members/staff/faculty, providing supervision, and conducting psychological assessments. 

Successful completion of one case presentation.

Successful completion of Outreach Expectations including Outreach Project. 

Successful completion of one Capstone Professional Development Presentation.