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School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching and successful learning. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists can provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today. The graduate-level training of school psychologists emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior and motivation.
To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and / or licensed by the state in which services are provided. School psychologists also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB).
School psychologists tailor their services to the particular needs of each child and each situation. School psychologists use many different approaches, but most provide these core services:
Use a wide variety of techniques at an individual, group, and systems level to evaluate:
Develop programs on topics such as:
The majority of school psychologists are employed in public and private school systems. However, school psychologists practice in a variety of settings including:
All children and adolescents face problems from time to time. They may:
School psychologists are there to help parents, educators, and the community understand and solve these problems. School psychologists:
The following example situations show you how school psychologists typically approach a problem so you will know what to expect.
Tommy's parents were concerned about his slow reading. They worried he might fall behind and lose confidence. At school the teacher noticed that Tommy understood the work when it was presented orally but he relied on classmates to help him do written work. The school psychologist worked with Tommy's parents and teachers to develop a plan to improve his reading and writing. The plan worked and Tommy's reading and confidence improved. By dealing with learning problems early on, school psychologists can help prevent further difficulties.
The teacher noticed that Cara, an able student, stopped participating in class discussions and had trouble paying attention. The school psychologist was asked to explore why Cara's behavior had changed so much. After learning that her parents were getting a divorce, the school psychologist provided counseling for Cara and offered recommendations to her parents during this difficult period. Cara's behavior and self-esteem improved, and she felt more confident about her continuing relationship with her parents. School psychologists can be trusted to deal in confidence with sensitive personal and family matters.
David was a high school sophomore who frequently skipped classes. He was disruptive in class and had been suspended several times for fighting. After building a relationship with David, the school psychologist helped him learn simple relaxation and anger control techniques. David's mother and teacher worked together on a plan developed by the school psychologist to provide consistent limits and open communication. Changes in school and home environments can improve the quality of life for children and family members.
Source:The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)4340 East West Highway, Suite 402Bethesda, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s school psychologists are called upon to provide a broad range of services that support the healthy development of all students. The school psychologist is charged with making ethical and moral decisions in professional practice. The basis for leadership in this decision making is a clear dedication to child advocacy, the ability to take responsibility for the consequences of individual actions, and the moral courage to make decisions that will lead to appropriate interventions for all students.
In order to support students’ development, school psychologists work with other professionals and parents in the school environment. School psychologists use a variety of formal and informal assessment procedures to gather data for decision making related to educational programming for students. They design developmental, preventive, and remedial interventions for children and adolescents. They consult and collaborate with teachers, parents, and multi-disciplinary teams to solve problems and design programs to enhance the growth of all students.
Today’s schools face daunting challenges. School psychologists are at the forefront in trying to fulfill the complex demands of:
The state of Washington, like many other states in the country, faces a serious shortage of school psychologists at a time when the need for their services and skills in schools is greater than ever. Seattle University’s School Psychology Program prepares students with the knowledge, ethical dispositions, and skills to perform broad roles in schools. The program is grounded in a belief in the dignity and worth of every individual, with a focus on diversity, ethics and social justice. The program prepares graduates to play an active role as change agents in schools. It has been preparing school psychologists for 20 years, and has placed virtually all of its graduates in school psychology positions.
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