Historical Development and Governance: The most eventful era of the history of the School Psychology Programs at The University
of Memphis has been after 1975, and it is closely tied to the histories of the Department
of Psychology and the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. While school-clinical
psychology offerings and an MA degree program were available during the period 1960-1975,
the present jointly sponsored MA/EdS program (Department of Psychology and College
of Education, Health and Human Sciences) was formally initiated in 1976. It was an
outgrowth of changes in the requirements for Tennessee State Department of Education
certification (now licensure) of school psychologists in Tennessee (circa 1975) and
the need for a revised school psychology program at what was then called Memphis State
University. The revised program, a 45 semester hour MA degree, was developed by a
School Psychology Coordinating Committee (SPCC), established at the request of the
Vice President for Academic Affairs. The SPCC continues to function as the policy-making
body for the jointly sponsored MA/EdS program. The new MA program was the first instance
of a school psychology specific degree, and the hiring of faculty in the area of school
psychology. Dr. Thomas Fagan, the first bona fide school psychologist faculty member,
was hired for the 1976-1977 school year. Dr. Bruce Bracken joined the faculty in 1986
and left in 1999. Dr. Wendy Naumann served from 1998-2001. Dr. Randy Floyd joined
the program in 2001, Dr. Robin Phaneuf served from 2002-2006 and Dr. Laura Casey served
in her position on an interim basis in 2006-2007 as a visiting assistant professor.
Dr. Elizabeth Meisinger joined the faculty in 2007-2008. Drs. Fagan, Floyd, and Meisinger
constitute the core program faculty and are supported by faculty in other areas of
the Psychology Department, the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, and
local practitioners who assist in field supervision.
Administered from the Psychology Department, the jointly sponsored MA/EdS program
is indirectly overseen by the Dean of Education and the Chair of the Psychology Department.
The MA/EdS program is governed by a 10-member School Psychology Coordinating Committee
(4 faculty from Psychology, 4 faculty from the College of Education, Health and Human
Sciences, and 2 students). All policies and curricula related to this program are
the responsibility of the committee and are implemented by the program coordinator.
The Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, serves as the program's primary contact in
the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. The SPCC developed a set of policy
statements for the program as well as the original 45 semester hour Master's degree
in 1975-1976. The current 67 semester hour combined MA/EdS degree curriculum was initiated
in 1982. The PhD program was initiated in 1991 but is governed by the policies of
the Psychology Department's PhD major. Program curricula and requirements for the
different programs (MA/EdS and PhD) are determined entirely by the SPCC and by the
Psychology Department, respectively. The MA/EdS program has been accredited by NCATE
since the 1970s and first received NCATE/NASP approval in 1988. This approval has
been retained and is active through December, 2012.