A School Psychologist is a mental health professional, with broad and specialized training in both psychology and education, who provides psychological services using data-based problem-solving processes. As stated by our professional organization, the national Association of School Psychologists (NASP):
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 partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community (NASP, 2017).
A school psychologist is certified to provide school psychological services. They bring skills in problem-solving, assessment, consultation, individualized academic and therapeutic interventions, primary prevention, and systems-level change to the schools and the larger community. School psychologists are sensitive to and appreciative of the diversity and maintain the highest standards of practice with a keen awareness of the legal and ethical implications of their work.
Quote from: http://www.nasponline.org/about_sp/whatis.aspx
As a NASP-Approved program, student preparation includes training across all NASP Standards. Preparation includes training in psychological and psychoeducational evaluations,
written and oral communication of assessment results, developing individual educational
and behavioral interventions, making recommendations for remedial action, participation
in regular and special education programs, consultation, individual counseling, group
counseling, crisis intervention, program evaluation, research and other related activities.
Our program offers two graduate degree programs. Successful completion of both degree programs prepares students for eligibility for state certification as a school psychologist as well as national certification (N.C.S.P.). The Master of Science Degree in School Psychology is achieved after one full year of study (including full-time summer study). The Sixth Year Professional Diploma (a Specialist level credential) follows the Master’s program and includes one year of full-time coursework followed by a year-long internship. Graduates of the two programs will be prepared for employment as school psychologists in public schools or other related organizations and agencies.
The Master’s Program is designed to be accessible to working students and classes will generally be offered on nights and/or weekends. Some classes will also contain web-based components of training. The Sixth Year Program also includes late afternoon, evening, and weekend coursework along with practica fieldwork during the school day. Currently students must complete the program on a full-time basis.
The full-time roadmap for completion of the M.S. Degree and Sixth Year Certification in School Psychology in 3 years is also available for download.
All school psychologists must meet certification requirements as defined by the State Department of Education. The Master's and Sixth Year programs are designed to meet the requirements for certification as a school psychologist in Connecticut as well as national certification (N.C.S.P.).
The objectives of the School Psychology Program are based upon the Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services, the Principles for Professional Ethics, and the Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists as developed by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) (2010). Graduates of the Master of Science & Sixth Year in School Psychology Program at Southern Connecticut State University will:
- Demonstrate a foundation in the knowledge bases for both psychology and education.
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills in data-based decision-making as a means to effective problem-solving, evaluation and accountability. Demonstrate skills in research and program evaluation to allow them to help bring the latest in educational and psychological research to schools and to help schools determine the effectiveness of services.
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills in school consultation and collaboration and the ability to communicate and work with others in a team-based approach to meeting the needs of children, youth, families and systems.
- Demonstrate knowledge in varied aspects of effective teaching and instructional methods, school curriculum, factors influencing learning and cognitive development, and the skills to develop appropriate academic interventions based on this knowledge.
- Demonstrate knowledge in varied aspects of mental health, social and emotional development and behavior, and the skills to develop appropriate social, emotional and behavioral interventions based on this knowledge.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the varied systems within and outside of schools in which students operate and the skills to work with and within these systems to create and maintain effective and supportive learning environments. This includes an understanding of the key role of families and family systems as well as knowledge and appreciation for all aspects of diversity in students, their families and fellow educators and mental health professionals, and skills to work to ensure safe and affirming schools for all.
- Demonstrate knowledge of primary prevention, risk and resiliency factors and the skills to develop and provide effective prevention, treatment and crisis intervention services.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the field and history of school psychology and the legal, ethical and professional standards of the profession and the skills to implement these standards through the use of effective technology, communication and interpersonal skills.