School Psychology Students
What is a School Psychologist?
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.
School Psychologists collaborate with School Counselors and Social Workers to ensure mental health services are delivered effectively to all children who need them. MASP has coordinated with the School Social Workers Association of Missouri and Missouri School Counselor Association to help define the roles of these mental health providers in an ideal situation:
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems.
The National Association of School Psychologists sets ethical and training standards for practice and service delivery.
A nicely organized site, http://www.school-psychologists.com/, describes the requirements and certifications for becoming a school psychologist or school psychological examiner in the state of Missouri.
For Undergraduates or Prospective Grad Students
Looking to become a School Psychologist? Missouri has an APA approved and NASP approved doctoral program, a NASP approved educational specialist program as well as a non-NASP approved multicultural educational specialist program.
University of Missouri – Columbia
MIZZOU's School Psychology Program prepares graduates to work with children, youth, families, and educators to promote effective functioning in the areas of learning, behavior, and mental health. Operating from a problem solving framework, our focus is on preparing data-based decision makers capable of intervening to address both individual- and systems-level challenges. Students develop professional competencies in assessment, intervention, consultation, and research/evaluation.
University of Missouri – Saint Louis
The UMSL School Psychology Program provides specialized training in the provision of academic and social-emotional and behavior interventions via a problem-solving approach. In addition, the program’s emphases on data-based decision making, multicultural diversity, program development and evaluation, and facilitation of organizational change prepare future practitioners who can provide an array of effective student- and systems-level school psychological services.
Webster University (located in Saint Louis)
At Webster University school psychologists are prepared to provide culturally-informed comprehensive services in schools; these serves include that of crisis interventionist, prevention and problem-solving specialist, consultant on social-emotional and academic learning, psychoeducational assessment expert, advocate for children's rights and social justice, community outreach coordinator, applied researcher, and children's mental health expert. All courses in the school psychology program help students to apply the knowledge they acquire to professional practice.
Ed.S. vs. Ph.D.
Have you ever wondered what the differences are between specialist and doctoral degrees? Rest assured you are not alone! It is important to become familiar with the career opportunities, advantages, and disadvantages associated with each degree, since this information can assist in guiding your program and degree decision process.
Specialist programs are shorter in duration than doctoral programs, and many students have fieldwork or practicum opportunities in the schools during the first year of coursework. Schools psychologists with specialist degrees are well respected in the field and comprise the majority of currently employed school psychologists in the nation.