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School Psychology M.S./Ph.D. Program Graduate Programs

Since the foundation of American public education, a societal emphasis has been placed on schools to provide a better future for children through a life-long educative process. In their professional roles, school psychologists are sensitive to the needs of a culturally diverse community, value the importance of children to the future of society, and advocate on the behalf of children. As an integral part of human services available to children, adolescents, adults, and families, school psychologists function across multiple settings with a focus on educational institutions. School psychologists focus on the natural ecologies of children, youth, families, learners, and persons involved in schooling and the process of schooling in multiple settings. Because of the training in both education and psychology, school psychologists are in a unique position to coordinate educational, psychological, and behavioral health services to learners in school and related settings. The curriculum of our program is an integrated course of study in areas of education and psychology that contribute to the preparation of school psychologists, in addition to a core of school psychology courses.

The overarching philosophy of the School Psychology program draws on an ecological, empirically-based model that focuses on the multiple systems in which children exist. This philosophy recognizes the complex interaction of person variables within and across multiple systems. This philosophy also acknowledges that the manner in which problems are defined influences the subsequent use of assessment and intervention strategies. Training in the School program reflects the scientist–practitioner model that balances knowledge and competencies in both research and practice. Students draw upon the scientific literature to make decisions regarding practice with a focus on evidence-based services. All students are taught to use a scientific, problem-solving model to make clinical decisions by operationalizing problems, identifying appropriate data collection techniques, analyzing and interpreting data collected, utilizing the findings to determine the target variables for intervention, intervening, and evaluating the effects of the interventions. Students are also trained in design and statistical techniques to become producers of scientific knowledge for the practice of school psychology.

The overall goal of the doctoral program is for students to complete the requirements of the program, obtain credentialing for school-based practice, and become licensed for independent practice as psychologists and health service providers. Students are trained to develop skills as case managers, clinicians in comprehensive school and mental health settings, and supervisors of others who provide educational and psychological services to children, adolescents, and families. In addition, the doctoral program seeks to prepare school psychologists whose contributions will be research and academic careers, perhaps as future trainers of school psychologists and future leaders in the field of school psychology.

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Last Updated: 4/26/13