The School of Education (SOE) at the University of Washington, Tacoma (UWT) is currently seeking approval from the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) for a new Education Specialist (EdS) degree program in School Psychology. An Education Specialist degree is a graduate degree that falls between a masters and a doctorate.
What is a school psychologist?
School psychologists provide direct and indirect psychological, behavioral, and academic support to students and their families. They use their training and skills to collaborate with families, educators, and mental health professionals within school systems to provide comprehensive and appropriate support to students. School psychologists are often seen as leaders within their schools because of their wealth of experience and range of services offered.
Some of the services school psychologists provide in school settings include:
- Assess diverse learning needs through classroom observation, collection of information from parents and teachers, and direct assessment with students
- Make recommendations for culturally appropriate interventions and supports
- Provide social and behavior support through assessment of needs (including functional behavior assessment [FBA]), collaboration with school staff, and individual and group counseling for students
- Lead or serve on committees focused on social-emotional learning (SEL), positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS), response to intervention (RTI) and other schoolwide teams
- Connect students and their families to community resources
- Collect and analyze school-wide data to improve service delivery of social, behavioral, emotional, and academic programs
Click here to see what the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has to say about the job of a school psychologist.
Graduates of EdS programs in School Psychology typically find employment in Pre K-12 settings, but may also work in universities, private or charter schools, and mental health settings. The need for school psychology programs and school psychologists are substantial and predicted to increase at both the national and regional level. U.S. News & World Report lists the occupation of School Psychologist as #2 on the listing of Best Social Service Jobs in 2020 with the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggesting job growth of 14.7% between 2018-2028 (estimate of 23,800 new jobs).
This program has met full approval from the UW Graduate School, and it will also seek accreditation from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). If approved, by the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), graduates from the program are expected to meet the requirements for initial certification (Educational Staff Associate) as a school psychologist in the state of Washington. The UW Tacoma School Psychology program will be housed within the School of Education. Best College Reviews included UW Tacoma on a list of the 50 most diverse colleges in the nation.
About the UWT EdS in School Psychology Program
The UWT EdS in School Psychology program plans to offer students both a full-time option (3 full years: first year focusing on foundational courses, second year focusing on discipline-specific practicum-based experiences, and third year in a full-time, 1200-hour, school-based internship) and a part-time option (course plan to be determined based on scheduling needs).
The UWT EdS in School Psychology program will develop school psychologists who value diversity and facilitate the empowerment of students, teachers, colleagues, and families at all levels of service delivery. Housed within the established equity framework for the UWT SOE, the EdS School Psychology program is built on a progressive framework of systems of prevention, equity, and mental health. The program prepares school psychologists to be effective scientist-practitioners and systems change agents in their schools. The philosophical orientation of the program will draw from modern evidence-based practices including Social Emotional Learning, multi-tiered systems of support, and culturally appropriate assessment and evaluation.
Graduate students in this school psychology program will have the benefit of taking discipline-specific courses in a small cohort while taking foundational courses with a diverse group of UWT students enrolled in other educational and psychological disciplines (e.g., teachers, social workers, higher education advisors).
- Social, Emotional, & Behavioral Assessment
- Trauma Informed Practices & Crisis Response
- Systems of Prevention & Strategic Supports
- Cognitive Assessment of Children & Adolescents
The School Psychology program is anticipated to consist of 98 credits (quarter-hours), including practicum and internship. Students in the program receive education and training in the 10 NASP domains, per the 2020 NASP practice model:
- Data-Based Decision Making & Accountability
- Consultation & Collaboration
- Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills
- Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills
- School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
- Preventive and Responsive Services
- Family–School Collaboration Services
- Diversity in Development and Learning
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice
Have questions? Contact Dr. Laura Feuerborn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information