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The professional in school psychology is educated in the major disciplines of education and psychology. He or she is equipped to undertake and manage processes and problems related to the education and development of children within schools. A major portion of his or her training concerns the interaction of the child with the social institution of the school. Because of this special orientation, the school psychologist has to be well grounded in the philosophy and methods of education and must achieve a high level of understanding of psychological processes such as learning, personality, and social competence.
The school psychologist is an applied psychologist who brings skills, instrumentation, and techniques to bear on learning and behavioral problems in the school setting. He or she must be prepared to:
- Intervene constructively when acute and chronic behavior problems occur.
- Consult effectively with change agents in the child’s life (i.e., parents or guardians, administrators, and teachers).
- Participate in the assessment of individual learning problems.
- Participate in education program planning and management.
- Provide information to promote effective use of the resources of agencies outside the school setting.
- Administer programs of psychological services in the educational setting.
- Design and carry out action and situational research requiring knowledge of the school and of the learner in interaction in such a setting.
Program Academic Regulations
The Ed.S. degree is the second major component (in addition to the master’s degree) of the combined Master’s/Ed.S. program in School Psychology. At times, students may enroll concurrently in some courses from the master’s degree and some courses from the Ed.S. degree to meet the requirements of the combined program. In addition to the areas of knowledge covered under the master’s level of training, the specialist program has some advanced focus on emotional and behavioral development of the child’s psychoeducational functions, study in the field of learning disorders, school-based intervention and consultation. Counseling and consultation skills will be employed, with opportunities for utilizing advanced consultation methods in the school setting. The combined Master’s/Ed.S. program meets the State of Georgia renewable certification requirements and requires a minimum of 36 semester hours for a master’s degree in this major and an additional 42 semester hours to qualify for certification recommendation. A two term internship in a public school setting is required as part of the coursework for the Ed.S. degree and is required for successful completion of the combined Master’s/Ed.S. program.
The M.Ed./Ed.S. School Psychology program is not designed for part-time students. Each semester students are expected to enroll in 12-14 semester credits. Students may distribute their coursework to a maximum of four years rather than the usual three. However, they must maintain continuous enrollment of at least 9 credits per semester during this period (i.e., full time enrollment). The usual period of study in the M.Ed./Ed.S School Psychology program including internship, is three years. Some coursework can be completed during the summers. Under highly unusual circumstances (e.g., medical emergencies) the program faculty will consider requests to extend completion of the program beyond 4 years. Under unusual circumstances, students can apply for a one year leave of absence from the program. Should a student drop out of the program prior to completion, reapplication for admission is necessary. There is no guarantee the student will be readmitted to the program. If a student deviates from a normal schedule, then there is the possibility that the course may not be available in semesters other than those which they are scheduled.
All school psychology students must complete CPS 6040 , CPS 7490 , CPS 7495 , CPS 7510 , CPS 7515 , CPS 7520 , CPS 7570 , CPS 8440 , CPS 8570 with grades of “B” or higher. A grade lower than a “B” requires repetition of the course. A student cannot repeat a course more than once. Unless otherwise indicated, students may not register for any other CPS course until they have completed CPS 6040 with a grade of “B” or higher.
Students seeking certification from the State of Georgia Professional Standards Commission are required to pass the GACE Program Admission Assessment (or provide an exemption) and GACE Content Assessment in School Psychology.
Evaluation of a student’s performance is continuous and involves consideration of the student’s academic performance as well as the student’s performance in laboratory, practicum, and internship classes. A student may be withdrawn from a course and/or the program if the welfare of the student’s clientele or prospective clientele or the functioning of a school or agency is, in the judgment of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services faculty, in jeopardy as a result of the student’s behavior. Students in this program are expected to follow the latest version of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Principles for Professional Ethics.
Successful completion of CPS 8680 - Internship in School Psychology satisfies the Comprehensive Examination requirement for this program.