About the Program
The School Psychology program requires a minimum of 70 graduate credit hours to receive the Education Specialist degree. Our National Association of School Psychologists-approved program is grounded in a scientist-practitioner model of professional preparation and prepares students to become culturally responsive school psychologists ready to serve all children from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds in various educational and mental health systems. This is accomplished by analyzing children's learning, behavior, and functioning from an ecological perspective to inform interventions that promote child and school success. School psychologists rely on scientific inquiry, data-based decision-making and social justice advocacy to solve problems encountered in professional practice and to evaluate the effectiveness of their professional services.
The program is committed to social justice by protecting the educational rights, opportunities and wellbeing of all children, especially those whose needs have been ignored or whose intersecting identities have been obscured. We are committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse student body to promote cultural diversity in the profession and to aid in the critical shortage of school psychologists locally and nationally.
Using a culturally responsive and problem-solving framework, students are trained in a variety of competencies, including:
- Assessment and Data-Based Decision Making. School psychologists use reliable and valid assessment data to determine students’ eligibility for services, to monitor student progress and outcomes, and to address students’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs.
- Prevention and Intervention. School psychologists use evidence-based practices in providing educational and mental health supports for children, which include positive behavioral interventions, social-skills training, crisis counseling, and multi-tiered systems of support.
- Consultation and Collaboration. School psychologists use effective communication skills when collaborating with parents and teachers on improving student behavior and learning.
- Research and Evaluation. School psychologists use knowledge of single-case research design, measurement, applied behavioral analytic techniques, and other data collection methods to understand research and interpret data in applied settings.
- Diversity in Development and Learning. School psychologists use culturally responsive practices to promote effective functioning for individuals, families, and schools with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and cultures.
- Legal and Ethical Professional Practice. School psychologists use ethical decision-making and apply professional work characteristics needed for effective service delivery, which include respect for human diversity, social justice, and advocacy.