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Psychology Practicum Program for Doctoral Level Students - 30001183
National Security Agency | Fort Meade, Maryland
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Job Description

About the Practicum Program

The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is the psychological treatment division of the National Security Agency (NSA).  It offers services to all employees and their spouses.  EAS is an ideal setting for practicum students to gain relevant experience working with a wide variety of presenting concerns and a broad range of diagnoses.  The EAS clientele also offers the opportunity to work with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and to work with both military personnel and civilians.  The 9-12 month practicum placement is designed for two doctoral students in psychology who are interested in developing their clinical skills and building their knowledge base.  The practical application of this knowledge is in the treatment of a diverse workforce within the federal government's Intelligence Community.

The 9-12 month practicum placement requires approximately 20 hours per week and includes clinical, administrative and supervisory activities/responsibilities. Practicum students are responsible for ensuring that their hours meet criteria for their respective programs.  The following is a tentative outline of weekly activities.

1. Individual Therapy (7-10 hours per week).  Clients will generally be seen once a week or bi-weekly with a ten-session limit. Practicum students will be provided with a private office at EAS in which they will see clients.  Practicum students will conduct therapy 7-10 hours per week and may have up to twice the number of clients on their caseloads.
2. Supervision of Therapy Cases (1-2 hours per week).  Each practicum student will have a licensed clinical psychologist serving as his or her direct clinical supervisor for therapy cases. An ongoing therapy session will be observed by the direct supervisor at least once per semester. Additionally, a multi-disciplinary consultation team will be made available to the practicum student in formal and informal ways in order to provide an opportunity for the practicum student to be exposed to various treatment modalities and theoretical orientations.
3. Intake evaluation (variable).  Practicum students will conduct an intake evaluation with clients prior to starting therapy. Initially, the practicum student will observe staff conducting intakes and will then be observed at least one time by the direct supervisor before taking on a full caseload.
4.                Administrative Responsibilities (at least two hours per week). Practicum students are responsible for maintain all documentation of their clinical work on an electronic medical record and doing so in a timely manner. They are also responsible for oversight of their electronic calendars.
5. Urgent Care Coverage/Crisis Intervention (variable, optional).  Practicum students will be given the opportunity to shadow a licensed professions as they provide urgent care coverage to the Agency.
6. Clinical Meeting (1.5 hours per week; Wednesdays 1:00 - 2:30PM).  Practicum students meet with the clinical staff to present cases and to discuss particular problems or issues related to their work with clients.  At least twice a year, they will deliver a formal case presentation to the clinical staff on a client which poses a particular challenge for the student.
7. Workplace Consultations/Corporate Outreach (variable).  Practicum students will participate in at least one workplace consultation/outreach activity for the workforce. They will shadow a staff member conducting the consultation/outreach before co-leading with a staff member.
8. Quality Improvement Project (at least one hour per month).  Practicum students will be tasked with a quality improvement project. This project, facilitated by a staff member, may be brief and time-limited or last the entire year depending on the selection/assignment; it may be conducted alone or in cooperation with other members of their student cohort.
9. Seminar (2 hours per month; Wednesday 12-1 PM).   Practicum students will attend a seminar, which is conducted by various staff members and visiting clinicians/professionals. It will focus on the presenters' areas of expertise, with particular emphasis given to addressing said area within an Intelligence Community working from a time limited model. Examples of seminar topics have included: workplace consultations, substance abuse, collaboration within a work environment, and worklife issues. Readings for the seminar, when assigned, are provided in advance. Practicum students will also present their own area of interest and/or research/clinical experience.
10. Information Tours (variable). Practicum students will be provided opportunities to visit various Intelligence Community offices (internal and external to NSA) to broaden their exposure to and understanding of specialized operations.
11.              Process/Journal Group (one hour per month). Practicum students will meet with training program leadership to process professional growth and development, as well as to discuss ongoing concerns. This opportunity for reflection and exploration is conducted with little structured guidance.
12.               Evaluation and Feedback. Feedback on progress will be provided in individual supervision, as well as more formally throughout each semester. Practicum students are evaluation based on their ability to establish rapport with clients, integrate theory and practice, intervene effectively with clients, as well as on professionalism, attention to administrative detail, and general workplace cooperation/comportment.

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2019 program are accepted 01 November 2018 - 15 January 2019 with a rolling interview and acceptance process.
Qualification Criteria

- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be eligible to be granted a security clearance
- Must be within the third year or higher of an APA-accredited counseling or clinical psychology doctoral degree program
- Must be available for the entire 9-12 month program
- Must be available for an operational interview and other applicable processing between January and May 2019

Applicants will be processed for a security clearance, and will be required to pass a psychological exam, lifestyle and counterintelligence polygraph, drug screening test, and complete a comprehensive history form that documents foreign travel, education background and employment history, among other areas.
Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule

The NSA practicum/internship is a paid position.  Students will earn a competitive salary commensurate with their education level.


Practicum students will receive the following benefits:

- Annual leave, sick leave and paid federal holidays (if they fall on the student's designated work day)
- Participation in agency-wide extracurricular programs

Students are  hired on a temporary appointment, and are not eligible for health insurance, life insurance, or Thrift Savings Plan benefits. Practicum students will not be expected to relocate and will not be provided with funding for travel or housing.
How To Apply - External
How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online at www.IntelligenceCareers.gov on or before 15 January 2019. Applications received after the deadline, as well as incomplete packages, will not be considered.

To be considered for the Psychology Training Opportunity, submit a complete application package that includes:

- Online Application
- Current CV
- A cover letter addressing experience and interest in the above described practicum placement
- Official graduate transcript(s)
- Two letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with your clinical work


Transcripts may be issued directly by the Registrar, or issued to you by the Registrar, then sent with your application materials. Only originals via post, photocopies of originals via post, scanned copies of originals via email (PDF format only) will be accepted. If your Registrar is capable of directly sending electronic transcripts, please have them sent directly to you and then email the transcript as an attachment. Please do not send html transcripts accessible via a website or text versions thereof.

IMPORTANT: You must apply online at www.IntelligenceCareers.gov.  All other required documentation (listed above) must be emailed to EAS_STP@nsa.gov by the application deadline.


If you have questions about the Intern Program, please email Summer_Interns@nsa.gov or call 410-854-4726.

U.S. Citizenship is required for all applicants.  Reasonable accommodations provided to applicants with disabilities during the application and hiring process where appropriate.  NSA is an equal opportunity employer and abides by applicable employment laws and regulations.  All applicants and employees are subject to random drug testing in accordance with Executive Order 12564.  Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a security background investigation and polygraph.

This position is a Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) position in the Excepted Service under 10 U.S.C. 1601. DoD Components with DCIPS positions apply Veterans' Preference to eligible candidates as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 USC, in accordance with the procedures provided in DoD Instruction 1400.25, Volume 2005, DCIPS Employment and Placement. If you are a veteran claiming veterans' preference, as defined by Section 2108 of Title 5 U.S.C., you may be asked to submit documents verifying your eligibility.
DCIPS Disclaimer
The National Security Agency (NSA) is part of the DoD Intelligence Community Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS).  All positions in the NSA are in the Excepted Services under 10 United States Codes (USC) 1601 appointment authority.

About National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a world leader in Signals Intelligence. We carry out some of the nation’s most important and sensitive intelligence activities to secure information superiority for America and its allies. 

We have two primary missions. Our Information Assurance mission is the defense: it protects U.S. information by preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to our information systems. Our Signals Intelligence mission is the offense: collecting foreign signals and producing intelligence to give U.S. policy makers and warfighters the decision advantage. NSA also enables network warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organizations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

At the nation’s top cryptologic organization, we employ the best and the brightest, who use their intelligence to solve some of the nation’s most difficult challenges. We are also the largest employer of mathematicians in the country, as well as one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research.