Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center for Effective Schools

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Doctoral Internship

The Devereux Center for Effective Schools, a division of the Institute of Clinical and Professional Training and Research, is one of several doctoral internship sites at Devereux.


The Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES) is an applied research and technical assistance center specializing in bringing evidence-based practices to schools and districts through training, consultation, and model program development. Although the Devereux CES operates primarily in urban public school settings, consulting opportunities are also available in alternative education settings. The Devereux CES adopts an integrated three-tiered (universal, secondary, tertiary) approach to prevention and intervention. 

At the universal level, targeting all students in the school, programs are designed to assist school-based teams in developing strategies to prevent or minimize the occurrence of problem behavior while improving academic performance. Training and technical assistance activities focus on developing school-wide interventions (e.g., schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports [SWPBIS], response-to-intervention [RtI], school-based parent training), class-wide interventions (e.g., behavior and instructional management strategies) and strategies for non-classroom settings within the school (e.g., The Lunchroom Behavior Game).

At the secondary level, targeting students at risk for behavioral and academic difficulties, training and technical assistance activities include assisting teams in the implementation of efficient, function-based strategies to prevent worsening problem behavior and academic performance (e.g., check-in/check-out, academic interventions).

At the tertiary level, the focus is on building capacity to effectively impact students with severe and chronic behavior and/or learning difficulties through in-class consultation and technical assistance.

All programs emphasize evidence-based practice. Formative evaluation and high fidelity implementation are cornerstones of service delivery. 

Training Opportunities:

The Devereux CES provides interns with a unique, non-traditional training opportunity in school psychology. The intern will work as part of a team to serve primary, intermediate and high school level teams on initiatives that range from developing and maintaining systems of SWPBIS and RtI to individual student/teacher consultation.  Other responsibilities include the provision of clinical services such as academic and behavioral assessment and intervention, teacher and parent training, and research.  Additionally, there are opportunities to develop skills in grant writing, although not a required component of the internship.

Specific Skills Sought in Interns:

The Devereux Center for Effective Schools offers an excellent nontraditional training opportunity for doctoral candidates in school or clinical psychology who have a strong knowledge base in applied behavior analysis and research design, and experience in behavioral assessment, intervention, and consultation.  An interest in working with students with behavior disorders, educators, and parents in an urban setting is required.  Knowledge of the basic tenets of SWPBIS is preferred. The focus of training is on empirically-based service delivery for prevention and intervention at the individual and systems levels.  This intern site adheres to a positive behavior support/ applied behavior analysis theoretical orientation.

Current Training Faculty:

Primary Supervising Psychologist: Lisa Thomas, Ph.D., NCSP
Education: Ph.D., School Psychology, Lehigh University
Primary Areas of Interest: Disruptive behavior disorders, systems-level consultation and interventions (SWPBIS & RTI), school-based academic and behavioral assessment and interventions, and parent education training

Secondary Supervising Psychologist: Janna sanders, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Education: Ph.D., School Psychology, Oklahoma State University
Primary Areas of Interest: preventing student skill deficits through effective implementation of evidence-based programs in underserved schools; developing universal, targeted and intensive behavioral and academic support systems within early childhood education and public school settings, with an emphasis on supporting the delivery of evidence-based prevention programs

See a list of our previous CES interns and their post-internship positions