A: The program takes 3 years to complete. The first year includes primarily classroom-based courses. The second year includes some classroom-based courses and practicum, which requires about 10 hours/week in a field placement. The final year is a full-time internship. Because of the field schedule, the program cannot be completed in less than 3 years, although students can choose to go part-time and finish in 4-6 years. Return to top
A: Each class session is between 3-4 hours long and meets once per week. Most students take 3-4 courses per quarter and are thus on campus 3-4 nights a week. Courses are offered starting at 4pm or at 6pm, Monday-Thursday only. Course start times vary; the start time depends on the specific course. Students take courses all four quarters each year (fall, winter, spring, and summer). During their third year, students will be working full time in a school district. Most School Psychology students complete their internships at schools in the greater Seattle area. Some of our current interns are working at districts such as Bellevue, Edmonds, Bainbridge, Renton, and Lakewood. opportunities to intern at a school outside the state of Washington exist for interested students who need to complete their degree in another location. Return to top
A: Although students do take summer courses, there is a 6-week break between summer and fall quarters. There is also a 3-week break between fall and winter quarters. Return to top
A: No. Applicants from any academic or professional background are welcome. We do require that all applicants have at least one year of work experience, paid or volunteer, with kids ages preschool to early college. This builds a skill set that is crucial in the program, and also demonstrates a commitment and interest in working with kids. Return to top
A: We accept applications at any time; however, decisions are not made until after the deadline passes. Return to top
A: If you already have a related master's degree, you are eligible to have up to 30 credits waived from the program. If you would like an estimate of how many credits may be waived for you, please contact one of the School Psychology faculty members and they will respond to you with an unofficial estimate of how many credits may be waived. The official review would occur following admission. Return to top
A: We require the degree for all post-baccalaureate applicants. For post-master's applicants who received a 3.25 GPA or higher in their master's degree, the GRE is waived. We require the general test. Return to top
A: 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). Return to top
A: 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:
A: 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 402
Bethesda, MD 20814