2018-2019 Catalog

Publication date June 2018

Educational Specialist in School Psychology

The emphasis of this program is to prepare school psychologists who are effective teacher, parent, and school consultants. Along with consultation, graduate students are trained to provide effective interventions. The program also emphasizes a pupil services model which addresses the educational and mental health needs of all children, from early childhood through high school. The school psychology knowledge base includes areas of professional school psychology, educational psychology, psychological foundations, educational foundations, and mental health. To provide psychological services in educational settings, graduates of the School Psychology Program must also have considerable knowledge of curriculum, special education, and pupil services.

Another unique aspect of the UWL School Psychology Program is that graduate students are placed in local schools as early and as intensively as possible. During their second, third, and fourth semesters, students are at local school practicum sites two days per week. From the beginning of practica experiences, students are involved in actual casework. Over the next three semesters, they progress to near independent functioning in all school psychological practices. At practicum placements, students are under the direct supervision of experienced school psychologists. University practicum supervisors also observe practicum students at their school practicum sites. On campus, faculty and students meet individually and in small groups to review cases and activities students are working on at their practicum sites. During these school practica, students develop professional skills in assessment, consultation, intervention, counseling, and case management. Many of the core courses require projects which are completed in the schools during practica. By the end of these practica, students will have more than 700 hours of school experience. After completing all coursework at the university, students complete a 1200 hour internship at sites of their choosing.

Since the inception of the School Psychology Program, 100% of the students who have completed the program requirements have secured employment as school psychologists. Some graduates also go on to positions in educational administration or related fields.

To practice as a licensed school psychologist, students must complete the Educational Specialist degree, which includes completing the Master of Science in Education in school psychology degree first. UWL offers both degrees through the School Psychology Program.

Complete the following requirements for an Education Specialist degree in school psychology:

  1. Complete a minimum of 60 graduate credits (includes capstone project and credits completed for the Master of Science in Education degree), with at least two thirds of these at the 700/800 level.
  2. Complete capstone project requirements within seven years of beginning the program.
  3. Obtain a passing score (set by the National Association of School Psychology for NCSP certification) on the National School Psychology Examination or a passing score on the comprehensive examinations written by UWL psychology and school psychology faculty. The UWL written comprehensive examinations cover the same areas assessed by the National School Psychology Examination. The areas are: data-based decision making, research-based academic practices, research-based behavioral and mental health practices, consultation and collaboration, applied psychological foundations, and ethical, legal, and professional foundations. UWL comprehensive examinations are offered during the spring semester of each year. Students must pass either the National School Psychology Examination or the UWL comprehensive exams before being allowed to begin an internship, to obtain a school psychology position, or to apply for an initial school psychology licensure.
  4. Complete a professional portfolio that demonstrates achieved competence for each of the 10 NASP training standards.


Psychological foundations (6 credits)

Students are expected to enter the graduate school psychology program with a good understanding of psychological principles. This can be achieved through:

  1. Completing an undergraduate psychology major,
  2. Completing psychology content classes through elective course offerings, or
  3. Remedial activities within specific graduate school psychology courses.

Regardless of background, students are required to have an undergraduate statistics course.

PSY 717Behavior Disorders in Children3
PSY 725Research and Program Evaluation in Schools3
or electives approved by the school psychology program director
Total Credits6

Educational foundations (12 credits)

Complete one course in each of the following areas. Course work completed at the undergraduate level need not be repeated. At least six credits must be completed at the graduate level.

SPE 401/501Introduction to Exceptional Individuals3
EDS 712Critical Issues in Reading for School Psychologists3
EFN 705Human Relations in School and Society3
SPE 715Special Education and the Law3
Or electives approved by the school psychology program director
Total Credits12

Core professional training (49 credits)

Complete each of the following courses.

PSY 756Early Childhood Assessment 13
PSY 759Assessment of Personality and Emotional/Behavioral Disorders 13
SPY 700School Psychology: Role and Function3
SPY 751Core Instruction and Classroom Management Practices3
SPY 752Academic and Behavioral Interventions3
SPY 757Psychoeducational Assessment I 13
SPY 758Psychoeducational Assessment II3
SPY 761Orientation to Supervised Practicum in School Psychology1
SPY 762Supervised Practicum in School Psychology I 13
SPY 763Supervised Practicum in School Psychology II 13
SPY 764Supervised Practicum in School Psychology III 13
SPY 772Counseling and Therapy Methods3
SPY 773Advanced Counseling and Therapy Methods3
SPY 775Behavioral Assessment and Management3
SPY 776Psychological Consultation and Collaboration3
SPY 797Internship in School Psychology6
Total Credits49

Capstone project requirements

Select one of the following options:
Option 1:
Specialist Thesis Proposal
Specialist Thesis
Option 2:
Research/Specialist Project
Case Conceptualization Project

Licensure, practicum, internship, and capstone project requirements

Initial Educator Licensure in Wisconsin is granted after completion of all Education Specialist (EDS) degree requirements, excepting the school psychology internship and the capstone project. Students are eligible for Professional Educator Licensure in Wisconsin upon completion of the EDS degree, which includes the internship capstone project. Students who complete only the master's degree are not eligible for licensure as a school psychologist.

Students must complete three semesters of a supervised school psychology practicum. During practicum experiences students develop school psychology professional knowledge, skills, and behavior. Core professional skills, as well as professional behavior, are critical to effective school psychology functioning. Thus, only students who have successfully completed all prerequisite course work (no incompletes) are allowed to enroll for practica. In addition, appropriate professional behavior and personal effectiveness are required for continued enrollment in practica and the program.

Internships must be in a school setting, total 1,200 hours, and be supervised by a certified school psychologist and a UW-L school psychology instructor. A site visit from the university supervisor is required each semester. All interns must pay all actual costs associated with each semester's site visit, including travel, lodging, and meals.

To complete the capstone project requirements, students complete either

  1. A research/specialist project and a case conceptualization project or
  2. A thesis proposal and thesis.

While students are expected to complete this requirement prior to internship, if a student has not successfully completed all elements of the capstone, the student must register for graduate credits until the project components are successfully completed.

For additional school psychology program policies, students should refer to the "School Psychology Graduate Student Handbook" available in the School Psychology Office, 341 Graff Main Hall.

Graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses).
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval at least two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see the Office of Graduate Studies.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)
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