“Being a school psychologist means providing equitable education for all students and supporting their social, emotional, and academic needs.” — Wendy Scott, EdS, NCSP School Psychologist, Vista, CA
3 If you want to… Help children reach their potential Promote children’s mental health Work collaboratively with others Develop interpersonal and communication skills Have a variety of career options then …
4 School Psychology could be the career for you!
What is a School Psychologist?
6 School Psychologists understand that all children learn when given: Adequate supports and resources Recognition of their individual needs Connection to and trust in adults Opportunities to achieve Acceptance and encouragement Cooperation between school and home
7 School Psychologists link mental health to learning and behavior to promote: High academic achievement Positive social skills and behavior Healthy relationships and connectedness Tolerance and respect for others Competence, self-esteem, and resiliency
8 When Do Children Need A School Psychologist? Learning difficulties Behavior concerns Attention problems Problems at home or with peers Fears about war, violence, terrorism Depression and other mental health issues Coping with crisis and trauma Poverty, violence, or life changing events Advocacy of their learning and mental health needs
9 What Is the Role of a School Psychologist? Assessment Consultation for student and systems-level change Prevention Intervention Staff, parent, and student education Research and program development Mental health care Advocacy
10 Assessment School psychologists work with children, parents and staff to help determine a child’s: Academic skills Instructional level Learning aptitudes, strengths, and weaknesses Personality and emotional development Social skills and behavioral concerns Learning environment School climate Special education eligibility
11 Consultation: Child-Centered School psychologists: Provide knowledge to help improve student learning and mental health outcomes Implement and manage academic and behavioral interventions Help teachers, parents, and other professionals understand a child’s development and learning Meet or communicate with others involved with a child to determine the best way of managing or improving a particular concern
12 Consultation: Consultee-Centered School psychologists: Collaborate with teachers to help them identify classroom-based problems and implement data-based interventions Support implementation of effective instruction and behavior management at the classroom level Assist parents to develop skills to help their children succeed at home and in school Collaborate with the principal and other school personnel to identify systemic concerns and promote systems-level change
13 Prevention School psychologists: Implement programs to build positive connections between students and adults Support early identification of potential academic skill deficits and/or learning difficulties Design and implement programs for at-risk children Foster tolerance and appreciation of diversity Create safe, supportive learning environments
14 Intervention School psychologists: Work directly with children, teachers, administrators, and families Develop individualized classroom, and school- wide interventions for learning and adjustment Design and implement crisis response plans Provide counseling, social skills training, academic, and behavioral interventions Develop strategies for modifying instruction to optimize student progress
15 Education School psychologists provide teachers and parents training in: Teaching and learning strategies and interventions Parenting and disciplining techniques Classroom and behavior management techniques Working with exceptional students Strategies to address substance abuse, risky behaviors, or mental illnesses that affect students Crisis prevention and response
16 Research and Program Development School psychologists: Recommend and implement evidence- based programs and strategies Conduct school-based research to inform practice Evaluate effectiveness of programs and interventions independently and as part of a school-based consultation team Contribute to school-wide reform and restructuring
17 Mental Health School psychologists: Deliver school-based mental health services such as group, individual and crisis counseling Coordinate with community resources and health care providers to provide students with complete seamless services Partner with parents and teachers to create healthy school environments Promote mental health in the school setting
18 Advocacy NASP and state professional associations are dedicated to advocacy. School psychologists encourage and sponsor: Appropriate education placements Education reform Legislative involvement Community services and programs Funding for adequate resources Employment of highly qualified school personnel
“I enjoy building trusting and caring relationships with students, which I strongly believe promotes learning and positive choices in their future.” — Claudia Gomez School Psychologist, Huntington Beach, CA
20 Where Do School Psychologists Work? Public and private schools Private practice Colleges and universities Community mental health centers Institutional/residential facilities Pediatric clinics and hospitals Criminal justice system Public agencies
21 Who Are Today’s School Psychologists? 74% are women 47.5% are over 50 years of age Employed: »83.1% work in public schools »5.2% work in private schools »6.5% work in universities »4.1% work in independent practice »7.0% work in other (Curtis et al., 2006)
22 Ethnicity of School Psychologists Ethnicity% White/Caucasian 92.6 Hispanic/Latino 3.0 Black/African-American 1.9 Asian-American/Pacific Islander 0.9 American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.8 Other.8 Source: NASP membership survey
23 Ethnicity of the U.S. Population Ethnicity% White/Caucasian 70.7 Hispanic/Latino 12.5 Black/African-American 12.3 Asian-American/Pacific Islander 3.6 American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.9 Source: 2000 U.S. Census
24 Linguistic Diversity 17.9% of the U.S. population over the age of five speaks a language other than English at home Approximately 11% of the U.S. population is foreign born For example, more than 90 foreign languages are spoken by students in the Los Angeles Unified School District in California.
25 Demographic Variation 26-61% of the population in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, and D.C. is African American 25-42% of the population in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas is Hispanic Only 5% of school psychologists are African American or Hispanic (Curtis et al., 2006) Source: 2000 U.S. Census
“ As a Diné (Navajo) school psychologist, I am working back in my ancestral homeland with my people, using my cultural knowledge and indigenous language to provide a diverse service delivery. I am making a difference by being accessible.” — Elvina Charley, EdS School Psychologist, Chinle, AZ
27 Career Opportunities Pending retirements have lead to shortage of qualified practitioners Current shortage of qualified university faculty in school psychology Wide gap between ethnicity of practicing school psychologists and students served Serious need for more ethnic and linguistic diversity in the field
28 A Great Career Choice Work with children who need you Help parents and educators Enjoy a flexible school schedule Have a variety of responsibilities Receive training in useful skills Choose from a variety of work settings Have confidence in the stability of your position
29 Rise to the Challenge! Children in difficult situations need solutions to difficult problems Parents need ideas for managing children’s behavior and mental health Teachers need help working with students’ varied educational needs and behaviors Society needs mentally healthy, well- educated children
“I wanted a career that focused on youth advocacy in the schools but would allow me to integrate my passion for cultural awareness, equity and diversity into the school community.” — Cristina Noel School Psychologist, Dartmouth, MA
So how do I become a School Psychologist?
32 Undergraduate Training Must complete a Bachelor’s degree Consider an education, psychology or related field Take courses in »Child development »General and child psychology »Statistics, measurement, and research »Philosophy and theory of education »Instruction and curriculum »Special education
33 Graduate Training Education Specialist »In most states, certification as a school psychologist requires training at the specialist level. »Specialist-level training includes 60 graduate semester credits in school psychology »Specialist-level degrees can be identified by several acronyms including; Educational Specialist (EdS), Masters (MA, MS, MEd) and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS/CAS) etc. - or - Doctorate (PhD, PsyD or EdD)
34 Graduate Training- Program Length Specialist-level: 3-4 years (60+ semester credit hours) of full-time training including a 1200-hour internship* Doctorate: 5+ years or more (90+ semester credit hours) of full-time training including a minimum 1500-hour internship*, and dissertation »*At least (600) hours of the internship must be completed in a school setting.
35 Graduate Coursework Learning theory Psychological assessment and intervention Consultation skills Diversity and multiculturalism Normal and abnormal development School organizational systems Counseling theory and practice Statistics and research Applied behavior analysis
36 Choosing a Graduate Program Specialist vs. Doctoral degree NASP approval/alignment and/or APA accreditation Size of cohort and location of program Department of Education or Psychology Theoretical orientation Specialties (e.g., early childhood, low incidence, urban, rural, bilingual etc.) Research opportunities Financial support (assistantships/fellowships)
37 Applying to a Graduate Program GRE: Graduate Record Exam »Some programs may require the GRE—Psychology Undergraduate transcripts Letters of recommendation Personal statement(s) Practice or research interests
“School psychology is a career that uniquely offers daily challenges and rewards, all within a collaborative setting.” — Allison Nebbergall, Graduate Student University of Maryland –College Park
40 Job Outlook? Excellent both at present and long-term! Not enough graduates to meet demand Retirement will soon open many positions School Psychology was named one of the “best careers” for 2008 by US News and World Report psychologist-executive-summary.html
41 What types of salaries do School Psychologists receive? Median salaries range from $47, to $67,070.00, while top salaries can exceed $100,000. Mean per diem salary for practitioners at the specialist level is $ and $ at the doctoral level. »However, many school systems do not make salary distinctions between doctoral and non-doctoral school psychologists. Salaries for school psychologists vary by state and region. (Curtis et al., 2007)
42 FAQ: How does a School Psychologist differ from a school counselor? School CounselorSchool Psychologist At least 2 yrs grad schoolAt least 3 yrs grad school Trained in ed./counselingTrained in ed./psychology Individual and group counseling addressing a variety of issues, career planning, and course scheduling Assessment, consultation, behavioral/academic intervention, crisis prevention/intervention, individual /group counseling, and program evaluation Employed in public schools and university advisement centers Employed in public/private schools, private practice, mental health centers, and universities
43 FAQ: How does a school psychologist differ from a child psychologist? School psychologists focus on how social emotional issues, family problems, neurological factors, and mental illness affect learning Child clinical psychologists: Usually work in a hospital, mental health center, private clinic, or university setting Are not typically trained in education, instruction, or classroom management Do not focus primarily on the multiple factors that affect learning
“In School Psychology I found a way to indulge my interest in schools, psychology, sociology, leadership, and team work.” — Ryan Estrellado School Psychologist, Chula Vista, CA
45 References/Resources Curtis, M. J., Lopez, A.D., Batsche, G. M., & Smith, J. C. (2006, March). School psychology 2005: A national perspective. Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, Anaheim, CA. Curtis, M. J., Lopez, A. D., Batsche, G. M., Minch, D., & Abshier, D. (2007, March). Status report on school psychology: A national perspective. Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, New York City. Fagan, T. K., & Wise, P. S. (2007). School psychology: Past, present, and future 3 rd Ed. Bethesda: NASP. Hosp, J. L., & Reschly, D. J. (2002). Regional differences in school psychology practice. School Psychology Review, 31, Thomas, A. & Grimes, J. (2008). Best practices in school psychology V. Bethesda: NASP.
For more information, contact: National Association of School Psychologists (301)