School Psychology Ed.S.

Students pursuing the Ed.S. prepare to practice as school psychologists in public schools and related educational settings. We’ve designed the curriculum to ensure that our students acquire and demonstrate substantial understanding and competence in the psychological and educational foundations of school psychology, psychometrics, assessment, and research methods, school-based intervention strategies, and the practices, ethics, law, policy, and roles of school psychologists. Further, school psychology students become proficient in decision-making and accountability practices grounded in data, consultation and collaboration in the school setting, and providing service at the student and the school systems level. The Ed.S. degree is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

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Course of Study

Program Handbook

The University of Massachusetts School Psychology Program courses are organized within seven basic domains: (a) Psychological & Educational Foundations, (b) Psychometrics, Assessment, & Research, (c) Methods of School-Based Intervention, (d) Professional School Psychology, (e) Applications of Research Skills, (f) Practicum Experiences, and (g) Internship Experiences. A minimum of 69 graduate credits is required. 

Course Description Credits
  First Year Fall  
EDUC 708 School Psychology Cognitive Assessment 3
EDUC 741 Principles and Practices of School Psychology 3
EDUC 677 Foundations in Bilingual and Multicultural Education 3
EDUC 632 Principles of Educational and Psychological Testing 3
EDUC 594M Child and Adolescent Development for the Helping Profession 3
EDUC 698A Practicum in School Psychology Assessment 1
  First Year Spring  
EDUC 775 Historical Foundations and Contemporary Theories of Psychology and Education 3
EDUC 685 Developmental Psychopathology 3
EDUC 694A Practicum in School Psychology: Educational Assessment 3
EDUC 705 Assessment in School Psychology: Educational Assessment 3
EDUC 532 Applied Behavior Analysis in Applied Settings 3
  Second Year Fall  
EDUC 698Q School Psychology Practicum  
EDUC 794I Prevention and Intervention for Achievement Problems in Schools 3
EDUC 762 School Psychology Social and Behavioral Assessment 3
EDUC 694A Practicum in School Psychology Assessment   
EDUC 663  Experimental Single Case Research Designs for Educators and Helping Professionals 3
EDUC 669 Policy and Legal Perspectives in Special Education 3
  Second Year Spring  
EDUC 698Q School Psychology Practicum  
EDUC 628 Prevention and Intervention for Mental Health Problems in Schools 3
EDUC 702 School Based Consultation 3
EDUC 871 Design and Evaluation of Educational Programs 3
EDUC 715SP Physiological Bases of Human Behavior, Affect, and Learning 3
  Third Year Fall   
EDUC 765 Pre-Professional Internship in School Psychology 1,200 hours total for the year
  Third Year Spring  
EDUC 765 Pre-Professional Internship in School Psychology 1,200 hours total for the year

 

Goals and Outcomes of the Educational Specialist Program

I. Professional Dispositions.

Students' professional activities are expected to conform to the ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct outlined by the American Psychological Association (2002) and the National Association of School Psychologists (2010). In addition, students' professional activities are expected to be characterized by:  

  1. A democratic attitude that respects the worth, uniqueness, and potential for growth and development of all individuals.
  2. A genuine respect for individual and cultural diversity relative to the practice of professional psychology.
  3. Ethical behavior, and respect for the confidentiality of privileged information.
  4. Personal stability, including productive work habits that display motivation, independence, and adaptability in which responsibilities are discharged in a cooperative and conscientious fashion.
  5. Commitment to continuing professional growth to include openness to constructive feedback, seeking out supervision and involvement in professional associations for school psychologists.

II. Academic Knowledge.

The curriculum plan is designed to ensure that students acquire and demonstrate substantial understanding and competence in the following areas:

A.  Psychological and Educational Foundations of School Psychology. To achieve this goal students are exposed to the current body of knowledge in the following areas:

  1. History and systems of psychology and education
  2. Foundations of social and cultural diversity
  3. Individual differences
  4. Biological bases of human behavior
  5. Human development

B. Psychometrics, Assessment and Research. In order to achieve this goal, students are exposed to the current body of knowledge in the following areas:

  1. Theories and methods of measurement and assessment.
  2. Planning, administration, scoring and interpretation of tests and assessments
  3. Applied research and evaluation

C. Methods of School-based Intervention. In order to achieve this goal, students are exposed to the current body of knowledge in the following areas:

  1. Prevention and Intervention Methods for Academic Outcomes
  2. Prevention and Intervention Methods for Social and Behavioral Outcomes

D. Professional School Psychology. In order to achieve this goal, students are exposed to the current body of knowledge in the following areas:

  1. Principles and practices of school psychology
  2. Professional ethics for school psychologists
  3. Law and policy and guidelines related to the practice of school psychologists
  4. Roles and functions of school psychologists
  5. Roles of interdisciplinary teams.

III. Practitioner Competencies.

Graduate students are expected to integrate foundational knowledge and clinical skills the are essential to competent practice of School Psychologists as delineated in NASP’s Comprehensive and Integrated Services Model. Guided by knowledge in the principles of human development and diversity, research and program evaluation and legal, ethical and professional practice, students are expected to demonstrate a high level of proficiency and competence in each of the following areas:

  • Data-Based Decision-Making and Accountability
  1. Able to obtain pertinent information through behavior observation, interviews, school records, and community resources that enhance the effectiveness of remedial programs and other intervention strategies.
  2. Possess the understanding and ability to administer, score, and interpret tests of intelligence, achievement, developmental level, personality and social functioning designed for individuals of different ages, exceptionalities, and cultural backgrounds.
  3. Integrate a variety of data (which may include tests of cognitive functioning; norm and/or criterion-referenced individual measures of academic performance, curriculum-based assessment, adaptive behavior, motor functioning, and communication skills; interview and observational data, and measures of personal, social, and emotional functioning) into a concise, meaningful, organized, and educationally relevant psychological report.
  4. Able to monitor the effectiveness of intervention strategies or educational programs.
  5. Employ group test data in aiding curriculum planning and development.
  6. Design and conduct research studies to aid administrative decision-making.
  7. Design, implement, and evaluate single-subject and/or single classroom studies.
  • Consultation and Collaboration
  1. Serve as an effective consultant to teachers and other educational personnel on matters related to the education and mental health of children to insure the most appropriate education program.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles and research related to the individual differences and diverse characteristics of children, families and schools to include multiple perspectives in decisions that benefit all students.
  3. Function as a member of an interdisciplinary team in student evaluation, placement, and planning for individual educational needs.
  4. Function as a member of various committees within the school in such areas as pupil services, special education curriculum planning, and instructional methodology.
  5. Significantly contribute to the design and implementation of preventive programs.
  6. Knowledgeable of, and can effectively employ, external referral services or agencies.
  • Student Level Services
  1. Possess the understanding and ability to initiate and maintain differentiated referral systems designed to allow the identification of preschool and school-age children and youth in need of psychological services.
  2. Use knowledge of research and evidence-based practices to support recommendations that will improve the academic, emotional and behavioral outcomes for individual students.
  3. Consult and collaborate with the variety of school stakeholders, students and families to support the implementation of services that will improve outcomes for individual students.
  4. Able to employ assessment data in implementing effective intervention strategies designed to enhance the academic and social development of referred students.
  5. Possess the understanding and ability to assist in educational programming designed for children of different ages and exceptionalities including the intellectually gifted.
  6. Design and implement effective behavioral change strategies for individuals and/or groups.
  7. Knowledgeable and effective in individual and group counseling techniques including techniques designed for young children.
  • Systems Level Services
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of school systems and structures that promote learning, social development and mental health for all children.
  2. Support the use of data for making system-level decisions about learning environments that promote learning.
  3. Collaborate with others to develop systems and practices that maintain and create effective supportive learning environments for all children.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of principles and research regarding risk and resiliency factors that hinder and promote learning, emotional and behavioral outcomes.
  5. Collaborate with others to promote services that enhance mental health, safety and physical well-being of all children.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the systems that are in place to prepare, respond and recover from crises that may affect students in their school settings.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of principles and research related to strengths, needs and cultures of the various families that we serve.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of evidence-based strategies that support all families to promote the learning, socialization and mental health of their children.
  9. Facilitate family and school partnerships.
  10. Effectively communicate and collaborate with the diverse students and families that are served by the school community.

Admissions

Applications to the School Psychology doctoral program can be submitted through the Graduate School. The School Psychology faculty and the Department of Student Development are committed to practices of affirmative action and equal educational opportunity in admissions decisions.

Application Timeline

The School Psychology Program has a once-a-year admissions policy. Following initial review of applications by program faculty in February, select applicants are invited to interview with program faculty. Interviews are conducted on campus on two days in March. Those applicants who cannot attend an on-campus interview may request a phone or Skype interview.Students are notified concerning the status of their application in mid-March. Students are required to respond to the program’s offer of admission by April 15.

Prerequisites 

General prerequisites for graduate study in the program include undergraduate and/or previous graduate preparation in psychology, education, or related disciplines. Additional training and experience in special education, communication disorders, sociology, anthropology, or human development is desirable but not mandatory. The application of previous graduate coursework to the fulfillment of various requirements is decided by the student’s advisory committee in accordance with university policy.

Required Materials 

Additional information can be provided by applicants with the most common being GRE test results (although these are not required of the School Psychology program) and a sample of professional writing. Personal statements are rated with respect to perceived match with program goals and orientation and faculty training interests.

Contact

Inquires about the school psychology programs should be sent to schoolpsychology@umass.edu.

Questions about our APA-accreditation should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
apaacred@apa.org
www.apa.org/ed/accreditation