Dear Prospective Applicant:
Welcome to our site! Thank you for considering our internship training program. We realize that applying for internships can be exciting, yet concomitantly overwhelming and stressful (especially during a global pandemic). Currently, our staff and interns are operating within a hybrid schedule (part remote and part on-site). While this is subject to change, at any time, depending upon state and university regulations related to COVID-19, presently we anticipate resuming on-site work in the new year (See tab below for more COVID-19 information).
We hope the information provided within our website will enable you to glean the information you need in order to make the best decision for yourself. We are deeply committed to training culturally-informed psychologists who approach their work with cultural humility. This priority is woven into the fabric of our Training Program and our Center. It is reflected in the diversity of staff we hire, the lens through which we consider clinical cases, and the way we integrate diversity into all aspects of training. Our trainings go far beyond scholarly learning, we also encompass meaningful dialogues, culture-sharing, self-reflection, and experiential learning. Of note, our campus is rich with diversity; therefore, interns routinely have the opportunity to work with diverse clients, including those with cultural complexity and intersecting identities. You might be interested to know that we:
- Are designated as a “Hispanic Serving Institution”
- Are 2nd in the nation for awarding bachelor's degrees to Latinx students (CSUN Today, 2021)
- Are ranked 6th in the nation, in the category of "most transformative colleges" (Money Magazine, 2020)
- Are ranked 7th in the nation for creating social and economic mobility (CollegeNET's Social Mobility Index, 2021)
- Have a large international student population, representing 107countries
- Were identified as 1 of the "Five great colleges for Members of the Deaf Community" (Best Colleges, College Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students)
- Received 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index (2022) Campus Pride is a national nonprofit organization that works to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities
I would like to underscore several features of our program, that set us apart from other programs. These include our video group supervision, the supervision interns provide to Peer Educators, the quality and depth of the supervision we provide, our expansive group therapy program, and our in-depth crisis training. Other areas that may be of interest: how we manage COVID-19, affordability, and our training environment. For more information on each, see the tabs below.
I wish you the best throughout the remainder of this stressful process.
I would like to mention that relatively speaking Northridge is more affordable than many other locations in the greater Los Angeles Area. The campus is well-placed in a nice area where interns have been able to secure safe, affordable housing. Finally, for any “foodies,” rest assured that there are many tasty restaurants within blocks of campus.
Founded in 1958, California State University, Northridge (CSUN), is located in the San Fernando Valley, a region in the greater Los Angeles area. CSUN is considered to be an urban campus. As one of the 23 campuses that make-up the California State University system, CSUN is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the nation, enrolling just under 39,000 students. CSUN is a liberal arts institution which also has a strong emphasis on science, technology, and innovation. CSUN has nine colleges and offers bachelor's degrees in 65 disciplines, master's degrees in 74 fields, and doctorates in educational leadership and physical therapy, as well as 17 credential programs. CSUN employs over 2,000 faculty members.
The client population served at CSUN's University Counseling Services (UCS) is made up of regularly enrolled CSUN students, representing many aspects of human diversity, including those pertaining to age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, ability, and socioeconomic status. Approximately 55% of CSUN students identify as Latinx.
Worthy of note, CSUN has been officially designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). CSUN is considered to be the 2nd best university for serving the deaf and hard-of-hearing and is home to the National Center on Deafness (NCOD). CSUN is an ability affirmative campus committed to creating an accessible environment for all students and employees. Approximately 70% of CSUN's entering first year students identify as first-generation college students. Approximately 81% of CSUN's first year students receive financial aid. Though the exact numbers are unknown, a sizable number of CSUN students suffer "food insecurity." The campus offers food pantries to address this issue.
Finally, it should be mentioned that CSUN puts a heavy emphasis on creating a sustainable campus community.
UCS: Role, Mission, and Staff
University Counseling Services (UCS) serves as the community mental health center for the roughly 39,000 students at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). UCS is a departmental unit within the Division of Student Affairs. UCS operates under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
UCS supports the missions of the University and the Division of Student Affairs by enhancing student well-being and academic success through the provision of a range of high-quality mental health services as well as campus community outreach intended to de-stigmatize mental health and encourage help-seeking behavior. Our diverse team of mental health professionals, peer education staff, and administrative support staff is committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment that is affirming of individual and cultural diversity, and promotes inclusion. In addition, we provide professional development (e.g., training, supervision, mentorship, etc.) for trainees including doctoral interns, social work interns, and psychiatry residents, as well as student peer educators. Students seek services at UCS for a wide array of presenting concerns, ranging from normative developmental issues (transitions, identity, etc.) to relationship problems (romantic, family, friends, roommates, work, professors), anxiety, depression, abuse, trauma, substance abuse, disordered eating, autism, and psychosis.
In addition to clinical services, UCS also makes contributions to the campus community through the provision of psychoeducational programs and workshops as well as facilitation of Healing Spaces. These efforts are intended to highlight mental health and wellness practices, increase knowledge and helping skills amongst our campus community members, and contribute to the creation of a community of care on our campus.
UCS provides extensive campus-based outreach and consultation. UCS interns and staff provide presentations and workshops to various classes, departments, and groups, including prevention and psychoeducation. We also provide mental health consultation to students, faculty, and staff. Our three (3) Peer Education Programs (The BLUES Project, JADE, and Project DATE) provide prevention programming to classrooms, student clubs and organizations, and various campus communities (e.g., Residential Life, fraternities and sororities, etc.). Over the course of the year, our Peer Programs host numerous mental health awareness days, such as Beat the Blues Week, Your Journey Matters, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Sexual Assault Awareness Week, and It’s On Us. Interns are required to participate in several of the outreach and consultation activities that UCS provides to the university community. Moreover, interns are directly involved in our peer education programs, providing training to advanced peer educators as well as para-professional supervision of Peers and student assistants.
UCS is comprised of a team of multidisciplinary professional staff including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage and family counselors, and a college counseling and student services professional. Additionally, we have a diverse team of administrative staff. Our staff represent many communities, including LGBTQIA+, ethnic and racial, and differently-abled; we also have diversity in age and gender. Several members of our staff are multilingual. Our staff adhere to a broad range of theoretical perspectives, including: Interpersonal, Humanistic, ACT, DBT, EMDR, Short-Term Dynamic, Family Systems, Feminist, Integrative, Mindfulness-focused, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic, Relational, Solution-Focused, and Strength-Based, and integrative. At UCS, interns function as professionals-in-training and are considered an integral part of our staff.
UCS is home to several interdisciplinary, mental health training programs. These include our APA-Accredited Doctoral Psychology Internship in Health Service Psychology; our Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Health Service Psychology; our Social Work Internship (for CSUN MSW students), and our Psychiatry Residency Program (which provides a fourth-year rotation for psychiatric residents). In addition to our formal training programs, we train paraprofessional (student) Peer Educators who participate in one of our three Peer Programs (The BLUES Project, JADE, and Project D.A.T.E.). We provide assistantships for CSUN graduate students in College Counseling and Student Service who help coordinate these programs.