Who are School Psychologists?
School Psychologists assist multi-disciplinary evaluation teams determine a child’s eligibility to receive special education services.
What Training Do School Psychologists Receive?
School psychologists receive specialized advanced graduate preparation that includes coursework and practical experiences relevant to both psychology and education. School psychologists typically complete either a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) or a doctoral degree (at least 90 graduate semester hours), both of which include a year-long 1200 hour supervised internship (see an Overview of Differences Among Degrees in School Psychology). Graduate preparation develops knowledge and skills in:
- Data collection and analysis
- AssessmentProgress monitoring
- School-wide practices to promote learning
- Resilience and risk factors
- Consultation and collaboration
- Academic/learning interventions
- Mental health interventions
- Behavioral interventions
- Instructional support
- Prevention and intervention services
- Special education services
- Crisis preparedness, response, and recovery
- Family-school-community collaboration
- Diversity in development and learning
- Research and program evaluation
- Professional ethics, school law, and systems
School psychologists must be credentialed by the state in which they work. They also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB). The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) sets standards for graduate preparation, credentialing, professional practice and ethics.
In May 2020, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) adopted the NASP 2020 Professional Standards, including the Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services, also known as the NASP Practice Model. The 2020 NASP Practice Model represents NASP’s official policy regarding the delivery of school psychological services. The 2020 NASP Practice Model builds on the success of the 2010 model in advancing the consistent implementation of school psychological services to help ensure their maximum effectiveness, efficiency, and quality in schools nationwide.
School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists can make a positive, lasting difference in children’s lives. They are a vital part of the effort to unlock each child’s potential for success.