What Is the Curriculum of a School Psychology Degree Program?

School psychology degree programs are available at the graduate level and feature both classroom and internship portions. A thesis and practica are also common requirements. Read on to learn more about the courses you might take in a school psychology program. Schools offering Educational Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Curriculum for a School Psychology Degree Program

School psychology degree programs are offered at the graduate level and train students to recognize and resolve social, educational and learning problems of students in elementary and high schools. The National Association of School Psychologists reports that there are several types of doctoral degrees available in school psychology. An Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) is necessary to become a practicing school psychologist and takes three years of full-time study to earn. The first two years of these programs consist of classroom training, while the third year is a full-time internship under the supervision of a trained school psychologist. Some programs require students to complete and defend a thesis or case study.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Licensure State licensure is required in all 50 States; requirements vary from state to state
Work Environment School setting, clinical setting, office setting
Possible Careers Child study team director, consulting psychologist, school psychologist
Key Skills Communications skills, interpersonal skills, complex problem solving, patience, active listening

Courses

An Ed.S program in school psychology covers educational and psychological foundations, intervention and assessment, research theory and school psychology. Students learn psychological and educational theories, as well as how to understand and apply research. Some subjects you might study in this program include:

  • Ethical and legal issues in psychology
  • Special needs assessment
  • Cultural diversity
  • Theories of learning
  • Behavioral assessment and intervention
  • Intelligence assessment
  • Mental disorder diagnosis and treatment
  • Group counseling

Internships

The final year of a school psychology Ed.S. program includes an internship. Interns meet regularly with the school psychologists and faculty they are training under. While interning, students work with student-patients with all types of socioeconomic backgrounds, learning levels and emotional needs. During this internship, students are responsible for psychological evaluations, parent and teacher consulting and student counseling.

Other Requirements

In addition to coursework and an internship, school psychology programs often include some type of research project or thesis, as well as practica. Depending on the program, the thesis may be done during the first semester. The practica come before the internship and give students some experience in a school setting. There may be a basic practicum followed by more advanced ones.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that clinical, counseling and school psychologists will experience 14% job growth over the 2016-2026 decade (www.bls.gov). Although this rate is faster than average, the BLS notes that possessing a specialist degree in school psychology improves job prospects. The average wage for clinical, counseling and school psychologists employed by elementary and secondary schools was $78,970 as of May 2018, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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