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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 analysisAssessmentProgress monitoringSchool-wide practices to promote learningResilience and risk factorsConsultation and collaborationAcademic/learning interventionsMental health interventionsBehavioral interventionsInstructional supportPrevention and intervention servicesSpecial education servicesCrisis preparedness, response, and recoveryFamily-school-community collaborationDiversity in development and learningResearch and program evaluationProfessional ethics, school law, and systemsSchool 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. The NASP Practice Model (2010) outlines the comprehensive services that school psychologists are encouraged to provide.

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.

School Psychologists assist multi-disciplinary evaluation teams determine a child’s eligibility to receive special education services. School-age children are eligibility based on the following information:

According to 34 CFR § 300.8 (related to a Child with a disability), the 13 categories are:

  • Intellectual Disability
  • Hearing impairment
  • Speech or language impairment,
  • Visual impairment (including blindness)
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Autism
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Deafness
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Multiple disabilities