2017-18 Catalog

Publication date June 2017

PSY - School Psychology Program - Educational Specialist

Education Specialist and Master of Science in Education
School Psychology Program
Director: Jocelyn Newton
341P Graff Main Hall; 608.785.6889
Email: jnewton@uwlax.edu


The UW-La Crosse School Psychology Program offers an Education Specialist degree. The degree requires two years of full-time study, one summer of study, a one-year internship during the third year, completion of a capstone project, and the passing of either the national school psychology test or the UW-L comprehensive examinations. Successful completion of all program requirements for the 71-73 semester credits leads to licensure as a School Psychologist in Wisconsin and most other states. Students earn a 31-credit Master of Science in Education degree before completing the remaining Education Specialist degree requirements.

The UW-La Crosse School Psychology Program is part of the Department of Psychology and the College of Liberal Studies. The program is approved by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), and has full approval from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Upon completion of all program requirements, students are eligible for certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Graduates of the program are employed in public schools or in educational agencies that serve public schools.

The School Psychology Program prepares graduate students for licensure as school psychologists through academic course work, 700 hours of supervised school practica, and a one-year, 1,200 hour school internship. The school psychology knowledge base includes areas of professional school psychology, educational psychology, psychological foundations, educational foundations, and mental health.

The School Psychology Program adheres to state and national training standards for school psychology. Graduate students must develop professional competencies for each of the 10 DPI/NASP training standards: data-based decision making and accountability; consultation and collaboration; interventions and instructions support to develop social academic skills; interventions and mental health services to develop social and life services; diversity in development and learning; school-wide practices to promote learning; preventative and responsive services; family-school collaboration services; research and program evaluation; and legal, ethical, and professional practice. Over the course of their UW-L training, graduate students will maintain an evolving portfolio that documents professional growth and achieved competence in each of the 10 areas. In addition, students will be evaluated each semester in professional behavior competencies that reflect dispositions in the field.

The emphasis of this program is to train school psychologists who are effective teacher, parent, and school consultants by providing extensive hands-on experiences in a mentor relationship. The program also emphasizes a pupil services model that addresses the educational and mental health needs of all children, from early childhood through high school.

Graduate students are placed in local schools as early and as intensively as possible. During their second, third, and fourth semesters, students spend two days per week working in local schools under the direct supervision of experienced school psychologists. During these school practica, students develop professional skills in assessment, consultation, intervention, counseling, case management, and in each of the NASP standards. Many of the core courses require projects that are completed in the schools during practica.

An information and application packet can be obtained online through the School Psychology Program or by writing the School Psychology Program Director, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601, or by sending an e-mail to schoolpsych@uwlax.edu. In addition to meeting all the requirements established for general graduate admissions, students must also meet School Psychology Program requirements before admission to the program. These additional requirements include: three letters of recommendation; scores from the GRE verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections; a score from the GRE Psychology subject test (recommended to non-psychology majors); a writing sample; résumé of educational and work experience; a statement of purpose; and a Personal Potential Index (PPI) report through ETS. Students are also expected to participate in an on campus interview as a component of the selection process.

The following is the graduate faculty and staff as of the publication date of this catalog. This list will not be updated again until the next catalog is published in June.


Betty V. DeBoer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Robert J. Dixon, Ph.D., NCSP, LP

Ryan McKelley, Ph.D.

Jocelyn H. Newton, Ph.D., NCSP

Assistant Professors

Daniel M. Hyson, Ph.D., NCSP

Suthakaran Veerasamy, Ph.D.

Administrative Support

Teresa Znidarsich

Psychology Courses

PSY 403/503 Cr.3

Advanced Psychopathology

This course focuses on selected topics in the area of clinical and abnormal psychology and is designed to provide in-depth knowledge of advanced current issues in the field. It helps prepare undergraduate or graduate students for the field of human services by offering additional information beyond that conveyed in the abnormal psychology course on the diagnosis and treatment of a number of psychological disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 204. Offered Occasionally.

PSY 410/510 Cr.3

Advanced Developmental Psychology

An in-depth study of important topics in developmental psychology. Relevant theories and recent research in social development, cognitive development, moral development, language development, and emotional development will be evaluated. Prerequisite: PSY 210 or PSY 212; PSY 321 or PSY 331; STAT 145. Offered Occasionally.

PSY 420/520 Cr.3

Advanced Research Methods

An advanced course in the quantitative and logical aspects of statistical analysis, interpretation and design of behavioral science research and experimentation. Major emphasis is on the conceptual rather than the computational aspects of quantitative methods. Recommended for those planning graduate work in psychology or related fields. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 210; PSY 321 or PSY 331, STAT 145. Offered Spring.

PSY 426/526 Cr.3

Addictive Behaviors

Study of the personality characteristics of individuals experiencing substance abuse, dependency, and compulsive behaviors such as eating disorders and gambling. The focus will be on abuse as a maladaptive response to the demands of life. Special topics will include consumptive patterns, level of dependence, neurological status, assessment, and contemporary treatment techniques. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 204; PSY 210 or PSY 212. Offered Occasionally.

PSY 434/534 Cr.3

Clinical Neuropsychology

This course examines the relationship between brain functioning and cognition, behavior, and emotion. The course covers neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neuropsychological assessment. The history, rationale, goals, and procedures of neuropsychological assessment will be explored alongside the role that neuropsychologists play in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with disorders (e.g. dementia, stroke, or traumatic brain injury). Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 321 or PSY 331 or BIO 312. Offered Annually.

PSY 435/535 Cr.3

Cognitive Processes

This course examines theories, models, and related experimental research concerning human mental processes. Topics include acquisition of information, memory, decision-making, problem solving, and language. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 321 or PSY 331. Offered Annually.

PSY 436/536 Cr.3

Psychology of Language

An introductory course in psycholinguistics concerned with the comprehension, production and acquisition of language. Other topics include: language and thought, reading, writing, bilingualism, figurative language, metalinguistic skills, and the neuro-psychology of language. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 321 or PSY 331. Offered Annually.

PSY 441/541 Cr.3

Advanced Social Psychology

The course will provide coverage of methodology and statistics most frequently encountered in social psychology and cover topics both of classic and current interest such as stereotypes and prejudice, medical social psychology, environmental psychology, social interdependence, leadership, and power. Prerequisite: PSY 100, PSY 241, PSY 331, PSY 332; SOC 330; STAT 145. Offered Occasionally.

PSY 451/551 Cr.3

Psychological Measurement

Principles and procedures for the psychological measurement of human differences. This course examines the development, quantitative interpretation, uses, distinctive and desired characteristics of tests of intelligence, aptitudes, achievement, occupational interests and personality. Prerequisite: PSY 100; PSY 321 or PSY 331. Offered Fall, Spring.

PSY 710 Cr.2-3

Educational Psychology: Human Development

This course explores human development with an emphasis on issues that are relevant to establishing effective conditions for successful learning in school contexts. Major topics include developmental theories and issues, and cognitive, language and social-emotional development. In addition, individual differences, multiple influences on developmental processes, multicultural and gender issues and the role of early experiences are examined. Repeatable for credit - maximum three. Prerequisite: admission to a program leading to certification in a school related profession, and an undergraduate course in developmental psychology (e.g., lifespan, child or adolescent). Offered Fall.

PSY 717 Cr.3

Behavior Disorders in Children

Psychological aspects of behavioral disorders in children. Includes the study of etiology, symptoms and treatment of behavior disorders in children. Consent of instructor. Offered Summer.

PSY 725 Cr.3

Research & Program Evaluation in Schools

This course is designed to increase competencies in understanding and applying educational research and provide skills to successfully participate in school wide evaluation and improvement efforts. Prerequisite: STAT 145 or equivalent. Offered Summer.

PSY 756 Cr.3

Early Childhood Assessment

This course will provide an in-depth review of best practices of formal and informal assessment techniques in early childhood. Such techniques will be discussed in context to the four major functions of assessment: screening, diagnosis/eligibility, program planning, and program evaluation. The course will focus on procedural considerations in assessing cognition, motor skills, communication, play, socialization, behavior, and adaptive skills in early childhood. Issues of test development, standardization, reliability, validity, and report writing will also be explored. The challenges of assessing young children and meeting the ongoing needs of the child and family will be addressed. Prerequisite: Graduate status. Consent of instructor. Offered Fall.

PSY 759 Cr.3

Assessment of Personality and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Models of personality assessment. Reliability, validity and applications of personality, cognitive and behavioral measures. Planning, collecting and integrating data. Outlining and writing reports. Emphasis on assessing behavioral and emotional problems in children and youth. Prerequisite: SPY 757 and SPY 775. Offered Spring.

PSY 770 Cr.2-3

Educational Psychology: Learning and Instruction

Consideration of psychological principles, concepts, processes, and interpretations of human learning and cognition and related empirical evidence. Emphasis is given to those most relevant to establishing effective conditions for instruction and learning in schools Prerequisite: admission to a program leading to certification in a school-related occupation. Offered Occasionally.

PSY 795 Cr.1-3

Directed Study in Psychology

Directed readings or presentation of psychological material not available in formal departmental courses. Repeatable for credit - maximum four. Offered Occasionally.

School Psychology Courses

SPY 700 Cr.3

School Psychology: Role and Function

This course covers the roles and functions of school psychologists. Students will learn the history and foundations of their profession; various service models and methods; public policy development applicable to services to children and families; and ethical, professional, and legal standards. Students will also learn the skills needed to work with individuals of diverse characteristics. Prerequisite: admission to the School Psychology Program. Offered Fall.

SPY 751 Cr.3

Core Instruction and Classroom Management Practices

This course is designed to introduce various aspects of good teaching practices to enable school psychologists to consult with teachers to assist student growth. Specific topics include: learning theories, effective instructional practices, and classroom management practices. Prerequisite: admission to the School Psychology Program. Offered Fall.

SPY 752 Cr.3

Academic & Behavioral Interventions

Students will learn methods of systematic data collection and how to translate assessment results into empirically-based interventions. Students will also learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of appropriate cognitive, behavioral, and academic interventions for children with different abilities and needs. Prerequisite: SPY 700. Offered Spring.

SPY 757 Cr.3

Psychoeducational Assessment I

After a review of the history of psychological assessment, students will be introduced to theories of intelligence. After learning general assessment and testing practices, students will develop specific competencies in the administration and interpretation of current major individual intellectual, cognitive and achievement measures. The course also includes an introduction to test scoring and report writing software. Lect. 2; Lab. 4. Prerequisite: PSY 451/551 or concurrent enrollment in PSY 551; admission to School Psychology Program. Offered Fall.

SPY 758 Cr.3

Psychoeducational Assessment II

This course further develops student skills in psychoeducational assessment. Students will be introduced to additional measures of cognitive ability, and learn advanced interpretation skills. Students will learn various theoretical models and methods of cognitive assessment within the response-to-intervention framework, as well as assessment procedures for students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Prerequisite: SPY 757. Offered Spring.

SPY 761 Cr.1

Orientation to Supervised Practicum in School Psychology

This class covers basic knowledge that will prepare the student for Supervised Practicum in School Psychology I (SPY 762). The skills include: orientation to the school setting, information on legal and ethical requirements, and the initiation of professional skills and accountability. Prerequisite: SPY 757. Offered Winter.

SPY 762 Cr.3

Supervised Practicum in School Psychology I

This is a 200-hour, supervised field experience in the application of school psychology professional skills in a school setting. The applied skills include: data-based decision-making; assessing behavioral, intellectual, cognitive, and academic functioning; and designing and implementing cognitive, academic, and behavioral interventions. Prerequisite: SPY 757; acceptance into the School Psychology Program. Offered Spring.

SPY 763 Cr.3

Supervised Practicum in School Psychology II

This is a 250-hour, supervised field experience in the application of school psychology professional skills in a school setting. The applied skills include data-based decision-making, psychoeducational assessment, counseling, and consultation. Prerequisite: SPY 762. Offered Fall.

SPY 764 Cr.3

Supervised Practicum in School Psychology III

This is a 250-hour, supervised field experience in the application of school psychology professional skills in a school setting. The applied skills include: data-based decision-making; assessing behavioral, intellectual, cognitive, and academic functioning; and in collaboration with others, designing and implementing cognitive, academic, adaptive, social, and behavioral interventions for students of varying abilities, disabilities, strengths, and needs. Prerequisite: SPY 763. Offered Spring.

SPY 772 Cr.3

Counseling & Therapy Methods

Focus on an integrative framework for major theoretical views and methods for use in counseling and therapy. Includes lab and field supervised experiences in individual and group therapy. Offered Fall.

SPY 773 Cr.3

Advanced Counseling & Therapy Methods

This course is designed to expand on previous therapeutic methods and skills through participating in additional helping relationships in a school setting. Students will be expected to advance their clinical skills by exploring practical and ethical components of critical incidents in schools. Special emphasis will be placed on designing, facilitating, and evaluating group counseling experiences across development stages. Prerequisites: SPY 772; enrollment in School Psychology Program. Offered Spring.

SPY 775 Cr.3

Behavioral Assessment and Management

Students will learn functional behavioral assessment, behavior management techniques, and how to design effective behavioral interventions. Specific topics include interviewing, systematic data collection, and measuring progress and outcomes. Offered Fall.

SPY 776 Cr.3

Psychological Consultation & Collaboration

This course emphasizes theory, research, and applications of psychological consultation and collaboration in a school setting. Students will acquire skills for consulting and collaborating with teachers, parents, and related professionals. Additional topics include organizational systems, organizational development, pupil services, prevention, crisis intervention, home/school/community collaboration, program assessment, and needs assessment. Prerequisite: admission to the School Psychology Program or the Special Education Program. Offered Spring.

SPY 795 Cr.1-3

Directed Studies

Directed readings or presentation of material not available in formal departmental courses. Repeatable for credit - maximum three. Offered Occasionally.

SPY 796 Cr.1-3

Professional Topics and Practices in School Psychology

Contemporary topics emphasizing current research, developments and issues in school psychology. Repeatable for credit. Offered Occasionally.

SPY 797 Cr.3-6

Internship in School Psychology

An intense and diverse professional experience in school psychology for a minimum of 600 hours for 3 credits under the supervision of an experienced school psychologist and a university supervisor and within training guidelines defined by the training program. Activities include assessment, interventions, consulting, counseling, pupil services, and applied projects. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: completion of all other SPY course work except for SPY 801; a passing score on the national school psychology examination or UW-La Crosse comprehensive examinations. Students must have earned grade of "B" or better in SPY 803. Offered Fall, Spring.

SPY 800 Cr.1-3

Specialist Thesis Proposal

This course is designed to help students complete a thesis proposal and the initial stages of writing a thesis. Topics include resource utilization, ethical issues, protection of human subjects, proposal development, research design, data analysis, scientific writing, and APA-style writing. Repeatable for credit - maximum six. Prerequisite: SPY 700; PSY 725 (may be taken concurrently). Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

SPY 801 Cr.1-6

Specialist Thesis

Students complete an independent research project and thesis under the direction of three graduate faculty members. Topics must be in an area related to school psychology and be approved by the student’s thesis committee. A minimum of six thesis credits is required. A maximum of six credits applicable to degree. Repeatable for credit - maximum 10. Prerequisite: SPY 800 and consent of instructor. Students must register for at least one credit of SPY 801 each semester, beginning the first semester of their third year and continuing until thesis is approved. Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

SPY 802 Cr.1-3

Research/Specialist Project

This is one of two components of the capstone requirement for the education specialist degree. Students complete a project on an approved topic related to School Psychology. Students may opt to complete: (a) a research project culminating a poster/presentation at an appropriate conference or outlet or (b) a comprehensive research proposal with an extensive literature review and defend to a committee. Prerequisite: PSY 725 (may be taken concurrently). Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.

SPY 803 Cr.1

Case Conceptualization Project

This course is one of two components of the capstone requirement for the education specialist degree. Students will present to a committee a written and oral case defending methodology and outcome of a child evaluated in a school setting. Prerequisite: SPY 764 (may be taken concurrently) and approval of the program director. Consent of department. Offered Spring, Summer.

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