Authors: Haley Potts, MA; Lauren Kois, PhD
Abstract: Background: Students with forensic/correctional interests seek out related doctoral internship sites, though often without clear, updated information on what these sites desire of applicants. Aim: To clarify student experiences and qualities most valued by these internships. Method: We identified internship sites reporting “forensic/correctional experience” via a public internship directory (N = 164). We gathered site information from directory pages and sent an online survey to the sites’ internship directors. Results: Internship directors (n = 57) preferred students with primarily generalist (rather than forensic) training. Applicant characteristics (e.g., flexibility and professionalism) were most impactful, followed by intervention and assessment experiences (especially cognitive-behavioral therapy and intelligence and personality testing). Cultural competency was deemed more important and research experience less important than in previous studies of general internships. Conclusions: Results are largely consistent with previous surveys, though some observed changes in training directors’ expectations appear to reflect changes in the field at large. Recommendations: Students with forensic/correctional interests should primarily seek generalist experiences with supplementary forensic training. Training should focus on fostering flexibility, openness, professionalism, and cultural competency as well as cognitive behavioral intervention, intelligence testing, and personality assessment.