Practicum Placements for M.A. Students

M.A. students are required to do either a research thesis or a practicum (some choose to do both). Ph.D. students have the option of doing a practicum during their program. Practica involve working at an external site that is of interest to, and arranged by, the student to get hands on experience working with and/or on child and family policy or advocacy. The following is a non-exhaustive list of online directories and previous sites that students have gone to for their practicum experience in recent years.


Practicum Sites:

American Institutes for Research

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world.

Susan Lampham, Vice President,


American Psychological Association (APA) (Faculty contact: Dr. Curby)

Amanda Clinton, Office of International Affairs,

Rena Subotnik, Center for Psychology in Schools and Education,


AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation (Faculty contact: Dr. Curby)

Implementing applied research in preschools; Supporting data analysis and reporting for preschools (quarterly reports; curricular alignment)

Abby Carlson, Director of Research and Impact,


Arlington County


Center for Applied Linguistics

AL's experienced staff conduct research, develop language assessments and instructional materials, provide professional development and technical assistance services, offer online courses, and disseminate information and resources related to language and culture.

Washington, DC

Donna Christian, Senior Fellow,

Center for Community Resilience (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Kristen Hayes


Center for Educational Improvement (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Dr. Christine Mason


Chevy Chase Counseling and Assessment Associates (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Teresa Giral


Child Trends

Child Trends is the nation’s leading research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives of children and youth, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Bethesda, MD

Manica Ramos, Senior Research Scientist,


Children’s Defense Fund

We work with Congress and the federal government to advocate for federal policies that improve children’s lives.


Children’s National Hospital

Contact Terry Spearman, Manager, Child Life Services

Child Life Department Phone: 202-476-8939


Family Compass

Duties: research of interventions in various areas, conduct studies of outcomes of interventions

Reston, VA

Moshe Shtuhl, Founder & Director


Federal Internships


Federal Department of Education

See "Student Volunteer Trainees"

Contact Dr. Amy Sussman (


Greenbox ABA (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Barbara Kaminski, PhD:


Infant-toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church

Fairfax, VA

Debbie Billodeaux:


INOVA Fairfax Hospital


Jewish Community Center Northern Virginia – Preschool (Faculty contact: Dr. Curby)

Fairfax, VA

Amit Hickman, Center Director,


The National Association for the Education of Young Children

Washington, DC

Marilou Hyson, PhD


National Head Start Association

Research internship: perform research and literature reviews, attend and report on research-related events, learn about early childhood assessments, assist staff with projects, maintain library of reports and journal articles.

Alexandria, VA


New Pathways

Social work / case management / foster care follow-up

Baltimore, MD


Parenting Playgroups, Inc. (Faculty contact: Dr. Curby)

Comprehensive, interactive, & research-based parenting course; rewarding teaching experience!


Rainstorms to Rainbows (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Amy Cannava


Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia

Leadership on (a) studies that identify information needs in KY, TN, VA, WV and (b) studies of short duration that relate to the goals of No Child Left Behind.


SRCD Washington Policy office (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Mary Ann McCabe, Director, Office for Policy and Communications,



Improving lives through research

Debra Rog


Worldmaker International (Faculty contact: Dr. Winsler)

Dr. Mollie Marti


WRMA Incorporated (Faculty contact: Dr. Curby)

Innovative solutions to create better futures for vulnerable populations

Nicole Fettig, Sr. Research Associate,


Wolf Trap

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is the official partner to the National Park Service in providing concert and performance programming within the Park.


Zero-to-Three (Faculty contact: Dr. Curby)

Our mission is to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.