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Community Service Project Grant

The NJPAF administers grants to higher education institutions and organization sites that both provide psychological services to those who cannot afford them, and programs that train doctoral students to work with these underserved populations

In addition to supporting the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) mission, the mission of the Foundation promotes the psychological health of the diverse people of New Jersey. We raise funds that we use to support training sites and graduate students through grants and awards in support of our commitment to diversity, public health, and assisting our most vulnerable community members. 

We invite applications from program administrators across the state of New Jersey, with the goal of identifying and supporting model programs, who serve underserved populations, from each county. Program Directors/Project Coordinators are encouraged to complete applications annually for upcoming academic years by May 20th. Please email Jennifer Cooper with questions.

Approved Community Service Project Grant program administrators and students will be expected to fulfill certain reporting criteria, demonstrating supervision and participation with regard to the intention of the grant. Examples of student reporting are highlighted quarterly in issues of the NJPA Foundation Flash and will be outlined in grant approval letters. Expectation descriptions and timelines are available upon request for programs considering application.

2021-2022 Academic Year Community Service Project Grants

Felician University Doctorate in Counseling Psychology
The Doctor of Counseling Psychology (PsyD) Program prepares graduates to become entry-level health service psychologists, as well as license-eligible psychologists, in the State of New Jersey. The training model of the PsyD Program follows the scholar/practitioner model. This training focuses on developing the skills needed to function as a psychologist and an independent practitioner. In addition, students will develop skills preparing them to be active consumers of the most current research. Further, they will be able to integrate evidence-based treatments into their skill set as a practitioner. The program was granted APA Accreditation on Contingency on May 4th, 2021. The program requires 73 credits with Master’s degree or 88 credits with Bachelor’s degree for graduation, which includes successful defense of a dissertation and one full year of pre-doctoral internship.
Program Director: Nouriman Ghahary, PhD














Felician University Graduate Psychology- PsyD program
This grant will continue and expand the work of the previous community service grant (2020-2021). It will focus on helping participants in the counseling program at the Franciscan Development Center of North Jersey, who are typically from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups in Hudson County, NJ. Participants will be instructed in self-care strategies, in particular mindfulness focused therapy to help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. The program will be a manualized treatment model that is derived from ACT principles.
Program Director: Daniel Mahoney, EdD




Regional Diagnostic & Treatment Center (RDTC) General Track Externship Program
The mission of the RDTC is to provide a sensitive and caring setting for children and their families in which they can receive professional, compassionate, trauma-informed & culturally competent forensic evaluations and therapeutic services. The RDTC provides psychological treatment and forensic assessment services for an at-risk, underserved population of children and families who have experienced child abuse and maltreatment. The RDTC, which is located within Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC), is one of New Jersey’s four state-designated, legislatively mandated centers providing this type of specialized service in the State of New Jersey. The RDTC serves the economically and culturally diverse population that resides in Essex County. The RDTC is contracted with the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P) to provide forensic psychosocial and medical evaluations when child sexual abuse and/or physical abuse is suspected and when psychological and medical screenings are needed for children recently placed in foster care. Our center also offers treatment services, which are trauma-informed, and include a multitude service types including group, individual, and family therapy using multiple orientations (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy).
Program Director: Karyn C. Smarz, PhD








Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Rutgers University - DBT-RU
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy program at Rutgers University (DBT-RU) provides comprehensive DBT services to individuals ages 13 and up in the community with borderline personality disorder. Services are provided on a sliding scale to accommodate under-resourced individuals who need treatment.
Program Director: Shireen L. Rizvi, PhD, ABPP



Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology; Tourette Syndrome Clinic
The Tourette Syndrome Clinic was developed in partnership between Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) and the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS). The Rutgers-NJCTS Therapeutic program is offered through the Psychological Services Clinic at GSAPP, which provides a variety of psychological services to the public. There are an estimated 7,000 people in New Jersey believed to have full-blown TS and very few resources available to assist them. Through this partnership with NJCTS, we created specialized treatment programs to address the needs of individuals with Tourette Syndrome and their families. While providing a unique, hands-on learning experience for advanced graduate students, we also strive to increase awareness of TS in the professional community. The doctoral student clinicians in the clinic are an enthusiastic team of students from the doctoral programs in clinical and school psychology at Rutgers University. The high quality of the Rutgers programs, along with the intensive level of training and supervision provided, allows the students to become experts in the evaluation and treatment of Tourette Syndrome and its co-occurring disorders. The students are the future practitioners for individuals with TS, a specialized area of psychological care with alarmingly few experienced practitioners accessible to the community. The students’ ability to provide relief and assistance to families in need has built the reputation of the TS Program, allowing it to become a premier location in New Jersey for the behavioral treatment of TS-related issues. The Rutgers GSAPP-NJCTS Tourette Syndrome Program offers individual and family therapy for individuals affected by Tourette Syndrome, emphasizing evidence-based treatments for TS and related conditions. All of our therapists are trained in Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), which includes Habit Reversal Training (HRT), as well as cognitive behavioral approaches for common comorbid conditions such as ADHD, OCD, ASD, and anxiety and mood disorders. Individual and family therapy may also include supportive, psychoeducational, and skill-building interventions (e.g., social skills training). In addition to individual and family therapy, we offer socio-emotional skills groups for school-aged children and teens. Finally, the Rutgers-NJCTS Tourette Syndrome Program also offers a variety of additional supportive services including diagnostic evaluation, consultation on TS and associated disorders for practitioners, physicians, educators and students, assistance with referrals for physicians, and access to additional resources and services for the TS community. Our latest new project involves piloting a social and support group for Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students with tics called “Students with Tics” during the spring and fall 2021 semesters.
Program Director: Amanda Ferriola, PsyD






Rutgers University; Rutgers Data-Driven Coaching Program for Reading and Behavior Needs in Elementary Schools
The Rutgers Data-Driven Instructional Coaching Program for Reading and Behavior provides students research-based training for improving K-5 grade students, paraprofessionals, and teachers in traditionally underserved communities throughout New Jersey (i.e., Newark, Plainfield, Long Branch, etc.). The program is twofold, focusing on the implementation of: (1) evidence-based behavior interventions for student at risk for or with externalizing behavior disorders and (2) evidence-based reading interventions for students with early reading difficulties within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework. Graduate students will be extensively trained and supervised in implementing behavior and reading screeners, assessment, and innovative coaching models that enhance teacher and paraprofessional implementation of research-based interventions to meet student skill/behavior needs. Specifically students will be training on the administration and scoring of broad range of psychometrically validated assessments, such as Woodcock Johnson IV Tests of Reading Mastery, DIBELS 8 edition (reading), and direct observation methods such the Behavior Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS) and the Classroom Strategies Assessment System (CSAS). Students will also be extensively trained on two unique coaching approaches: Behavior Support Coaching for Paraprofessionals (BSC-P) and Data-Driven Instructional Coaching Model (DDICM) for early reading difficulties. Both coaching approaches have undergone large-scale validation in randomized controlled trials by faculty at Rutgers University.
Program Director: Linda Reddy, PhD       


















New Jersey Couples Clinic at Rutgers
The NJ Couples Clinic at Rutgers has been in operation since 2013 when we began training doctoral graduate students in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. We provide multiple levels of training to members of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, from one-day workshops, to weekly training sessions where students can pick up a case when ready and attend a 2-hour weekly group supervision held each Friday, to a full practicum experience. Our practicum students have a more intensive level of commitment, seeing up to three couple cases at a time, learning to do intakes and couple assessments, assisting in weekend couple workshops (pre and hopefully post-COVID), and serving as group discussion leaders for undergraduates learning about establishing healthy relationships. We draw our couples from the community, and serve a very diverse group of clients. Because our services are on a low sliding scale, as low as $5-10 for those who are in financial distress, we tend to attract couples from a wide range of backgrounds. Good couple therapy from those specifically trained to do it is not easy to come by; it is a specialty whose practitioners often charge high rates and are not in-network with affordable insurance plans. We serve many couples who would otherwise not have access to couple treatment. We believe that intervening in the couple relationship can be one of the most efficient, time-effective, and broadly impactful interventions, with the potential to help the individuals involved as well as their children and broader social networks. Our relational bonds are at the heart of health and well-being.
Program Director: Karen Skean, PsyD






Trinitas Regional Medical Center
Trinitas Regional Medical Center (TRMC) is a major center for comprehensive health services for those who live and work in central New Jersey. Offering 531 beds, Trinitas is distinguished by no less than ten Centers of Excellence, which includes behavioral health services. The Department of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry offers one of the most comprehensive services in the state for the psychiatric treatment of children and adults, including every level of mental health and substance abuse care for both children and adults. TRMC is a Catholic teaching medical center sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in partnership with Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation. The Child and Adolescent Outpatient Unit (COPU) offers a full array of psychiatric and behavioral health services for children and adolescents (ages 3.5-18 years old) and their family members. The goals of the program are to improve communication; promote problem solving/crisis resolution; improve behavior; therapeutically stabilize significantly impaired youth; and collaborate with school, pediatricians, and outside collateral support systems to stabilize and facilitate family harmony. The COPU offers psychological evaluations, individual/family therapy, group therapy, and psychiatric evaluations and medication management. A multidisciplinary team of culturally competent professionals work together to provide services in English and Spanish: board certified psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed social workers, and licensed professional counselors. The COPU includes a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program that provides individual/family therapy, multi-family DBT skills groups, phone coaching, and DBT consultation team.
Program Director: Atara Hiller, PsyD


Da Sel


Youth Development Clinic; Youth Development Program Externship Program
The Youth Development Clinic provides services to children in schools and community-based settings, as well as in our outpatient clinic in downtown Newark, New Jersey. We counsel those with significant behavioral and emotional needs, working to stabilize their behaviors and foster learning. We also provide consultation to school staff to support and manage students and effectively maximize their educational attainment with minimal disruptions to the classroom. Clients range from infants to children and youth up to age 18 and their family members and/or caregivers. Nearly all of these children come from low-income families. Increasingly, we work with families and children who are new to the United States and who represent many ethnicities and speak various languages. They often face tremendous obstacles in healthy living and learning.
Program Director: Mark Kitizie, PsyD



Atana Ramsundar










Click here to see the past 2020-2021 Funded Programs

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