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School Psychologists

What is a School Psychologist?

 

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.

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.

Graduate preparation develops knowledge and skills in:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Assessment
  • Progress 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

What Do School Psychologists Do?

School psychologists provide direct support and interventions to students, consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, complete special education evaluations, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services.

 

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