Educational Specialist in School Psychology: On-Campus

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, social justice, and mental health. To provide psychological services in educational settings, graduates of the School Psychology On-Campus Program must also have considerable knowledge of curriculum, special education, and pupil services.

Another unique aspect of UWL's 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 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.

Candidates who complete all requirements for the on-campus Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in school psychology may continue into the on-campus Education Specialist (Ed.S.) part of the School Psychology Program. Candidates must meet the following requirements, in addition to meeting UWL graduate degree requirements, to earn an Education Specialist degree in school psychology and be endorsed for a WI school psychology license:

  1. Complete the M.S.Ed. in school psychology degree and program requirements.
  2. 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.
  3. Demonstrate content knowledge by earning a passing score on the Praxis II School Psychology content exam (test #5402), or if a passing score has not been earned after two attempts, earn a passing score on comprehensive exams. Candidates must earn a passing score on the Praxis II exam or comprehensive exams prior to their internship year.
  4. Complete capstone project requirements or a thesis within seven years of beginning the program.
  5. Complete a professional portfolio that demonstrates achieved competence for each of the 10 Domains of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Practice Model.

Curriculum for Educational Specialist

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.

SPY 717Child and Adolescent Mental Health for School Psychologists3
SPY 725Research and Program Evaluation in Schools3
or electives approved by the School Psychology Program Director
Total Credits6

Educational foundations (6 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.

EFN 705Human Relations in School and Society3
SPE 715Special Education and the Law3
Or electives approved by the school psychology program director
Total Credits6

Core professional training (24 credits)

Complete each of the following courses.

SPY 756Early Childhood Assessment 13
SPY 758Psychoeducational Assessment II3
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 797Internship in School Psychology6
Total Credits24

Capstone/thesis project requirements (4-6 credits)

Select one of the following options:
Option 1 (minimum six credits): Thesis
Specialist Thesis Proposal
Specialist Thesis
Option 2 (minimum four credits): Capstone activity
Research/Specialist Project
Case Conceptualization Project
Total Credits: 4-6

Licensure, practicum, internship, and capstone/thesis project requirements

Candidates are endorsed for an Initial Educator License in Wisconsin after completion of all Ed.S. degree requirements, excepting the school psychology internship and the capstone project. Students are endorsed for a Professional Educator License in Wisconsin upon completion of the Ed.S. degree, which includes the internship and capstone project. Students who complete only the M.S.Ed. degree are not eligible for licensure as a school psychologist.

Students must complete two semesters of a supervised school psychology practicum at the Ed.S. level. 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 UWL 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.

University 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, with the exception of students enrolled in the Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Ed.D. (SAA Ed.D.) graduate program. SAA Ed.D. students must complete all degree requirements within ten years from the time of initial enrollment in the graduate program.
  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). Some UWL graduate programs require more than 30 graduate credits. Please review the individual program requirements listed in the catalog for the exact number of credits required.
  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 Graduate Studies for editorial review and approval by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. The recommended initial submission date for review is two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. 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 Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see Graduate & Extended Learning.
  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.)