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School Psychology FAQs

Why study School Psychology?

School Psychology was ranked 1st for Social Service jobs and 14th in general in 2013 by U.S. News. Click here to learn more.

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What is a school psychologist?

School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to collaborate with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching, and how students learn. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.
The training requirements to become a school psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours, including a year-long internship.  Training emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior, and motivation. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which services are provided. The National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB) also nationally certifies school psychologists. (Answer adapted from the NASP web site).

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What is the school psychology Ed.S. program?

The school psychology Ed.S. program is a 60 unit (plus 6 prerequisite units) course of study, including 4 units of practicum and 6 units of fieldwork,  that prepares individuals to receive a California Pupil Personnel Services credential in school psychology, and offers those who complete the program an Educational Specialist Degree. It is more advanced than a master's degree which is typically based on a minimum of 30 units.

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What is the difference between the CSULB Educational Specialist Degree and Education Specialist Credential?

The Education Specialist Credential is a credential program offered at CSULB to train post-baccalaureate candidates to provide services and support to students with disabilities. In California, this credential is known as ‘Education Specialist Credential’; outside of California, the credential is known as ‘Special Education Credential.’ Upon completion, students are recommended to receive the Education Specialist Credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Education Specialist Credential program is not a degree granting program. If students are interested in obtaining a graduate degree in Special Education, please go tohttps://www.ced.csulb.edu/programs/master-science-special-education-degree-program

The Educational Specialist Degree program (Ed.S.) is a graduate degree-granting program in School Psychology. In addition to receiving the Ed.S. degree, students who complete the program are recommended to receive the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Students completing this program are employed in PreK-12 education to provide direct and indirect psychological and academic support to students.

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What are the requirements for admission to the school psychology program?

https://www.ced.csulb.edu/programs/school-psychology/applying-school-psychology-program

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Where do I get an application for the Ed.S. in School Psychology?

Due to state budget cuts to the CSU, the College is unable to provide paper copies of application materials for prospective and current students. The Information and Application packets for all of the Master's programs and advanced credential programs are available in Adobe PDF Format. If you have special circumstances that prevent you from downloading an application, please contact the Graduate Studies Office at 562-985-8476.

Please remember to also submit a graduate application to the University, available at csumentor.

All program applications and required documents must be sent in as one completed packet to:

Graduate Studies Office, College of Education, CSULB, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long  Beach, CA 90840-2201.

Please do not submit items separately.  Applications may be submitted in person or via U.S. mail, but must arrive at the Graduate Studies Office by the stated deadline. If a deadline falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted the subsequent Monday.

Applications may downloaded at http://www.ced.csulb.edu/documents/master-arts-education-option-educational-psychology-school-psychology-pps-credential

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Do I need to take the GRE?

Students applying to the Educational Specialist School Psychology program must take the GRE. A combined score of 300 on the new GRE (or 1000 if taken before September 2011) on quantitative and verbal subtests is a minimum requirement. You do NOT need to take the GRE, however, if you have a master's degree.

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How many applications do you accept?

Admission to the school psychology Ed.S. program is very competitive. We typically receive 70-100 applicants. Approximately 30-40 of those will be offered an interview, and 22 of those interviewed will be offered admission to the program.

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Will the coursework I completed at another university count towards completing the School Psychology program?

https://www.ced.csulb.edu/faqs/791/General%20Information#faq1993

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How long will it take me to complete the School Psychology Program?

On average, students complete the program in 3 years. This includes three years of full time coursework (9-14 credits per semester) and one year of full-time internship. Due to course sequencing and required fieldwork hours, the program cannot be completed in less than 3 years.

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I have a school psychology credential from another state. How do I get a credential in California?

Contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Professional Services Division at 1900 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95814-4213. The CSULB school psychology program only recommends graduates of our program to CTC for the PPS credential in school psychology.

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What if I move out of state after completing the program? Will I be eligible for a school psychology credential in another state?

Generally, yes. Each state has their own licensure requirements, but most graduates of the CSULB program meet requirements of other states. Students are encouraged to pursue the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). This credential can facilitate obtaining licensure in other states.

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I have already earned a master’s degree in a behavioral science from an accredited university and only need the PPS Credential in School Psychology. Can I apply to the program as a credential only student?

No. We no longer offer a credential only program. All prospective students apply and, if accepted, enroll in the Ed.S degree program in school psychology and complete a culminating degree activity: thesis or comprehensive exams. For students holding a master's degree in a behavioral science, up to 18 units, not including prerequisite courses, may be waived upon approved course equivalencies.

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Am I required to complete the School Psychology Program in full if i already have a masters degree from an accredited university?

This depends on the nature of your previous coursework. A maximum of 9 units are transferable to the program, not including prerequisite courses. If you have an earned master’s degree in a behavioral science from an accredited university, you may transfer 9 additional units as a specialization. All students, regardless of having an earned master’s degree upon entering the program are required to complete a culminating activity (e.g., thesis or comprehensive exam).

To obtain a general idea of courses that may be equivalent to our prerequisite and/or core courses, please review the official catalog description of the course you took at another university and compare it to the CSULB official catalog description of the course you wish to waive. If the descriptions are similar, it may be equivalent. Please note, however, that there is no guarantee that a course taken at another university will meet our course requirement.

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How do I obtain course waivers for classes I’ve taken at another university?

A maximum of 9 units are transferrable to the program, not including prerequisite courses. If you have an earned master’s degree in a behavioral science from an accredited university, you may transfer 9 additional units as a specialization. All students, regardless of having an earned master’s degree upon entering the program are required to complete a culminating activity (e.g., thesis or comprehensive exam).

To obtain a general idea of courses that may be equivalent to our prerequisite and/or core courses, please review the official catalog description of the course you took at another university and compare it to the CSULB official catalog description of the course you wish to waive. If the descriptions are similar, it may be equivalent. Please note, however, that there is no guarantee that a course taken at another university will meet our course requirement.

After you are offered admission to the program, you will meet with an advisor who will advise you regarding potential course equivalencies and how to start the course equivalency process. The steps for that process can be found here: https://www.ced.csulb.edu/graduate/petition-course-equivalency

The documents will be routed to the instructor who teaches the specific class in which you are seeking equivalency. He/she will assess whether the course taken at another university meets the objectives of the CSULB course.  The process may take several weeks, so we advise students to submit petitions as soon as possible.

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Do I need to be accepted into the school psychology program to begin taking school psychology courses?

No. Some required courses, as well as prerequisite courses, are available to non-program students (e.g., EDP 301/302, 405, 419, 520) and may be completed through Open University in the College of Continuing and Professional Education. Go to http://www.ccpe.csulb.edu/OpenUniversity/ for more information.

However, most school psychology courses are open to admitted school psychology students only. Check the University Catalog for information regarding course prerequisites and instructor approval.

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Do I need to complete the pre-requisite courses prior to being accepted into the School Psychology program?

No. Students typically complete the pre-requisites during the summer prior to their first fall in the program, or during their first year.

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What is the difference between fieldwork and internship?

Our program and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) require students to complete a minimum of 1,200 hours of school psychology fieldwork. In their last year in the program, students may be eligible to apply for an internship credential. The internship credential is awarded by CTC and is generally required by districts who are offering a paid internship. In short, all graduates of the program complete a fieldwork experience; some hold internship credentials and others do not.

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Do I need to take the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement Placement Examination (GPE)?”

Beginning Fall 2013, graduate students who have previously (1) received degrees from accredited colleges and universities in the United States; or (2) received degrees from accredited non-US institutions located in a country where English is a primary language of communication; or (3) attained a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing test of the GRE or GMAT are exempt from the Graduate  Writing Proficiency Exam (GPE). No further action is required by these students.

Beginning with graduate admissions for Fall 2013, Enrollment Services will determine at the time of admission whether students are exempt from the GPE and will indicate their exempt status on the student’s Test Score Summary in MyCSULB.

Information on the GPA can be found at http://web.csulb.edu/divisions/students/testing/wpe/

 

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What is the School Psychology program looking for in a student?

The CSULB school psychology program is committed to diversity. There is no single prototypical student. Rather, faculty seek a diverse group of students whose unique experiences add to the curriculum and instruction of the program. Public school experience, bilingualism, and/or experience with cultural and language minority youth are a definite asset to an applicant. A strong academic record such as good grades and GRE scores, and experience conducting research in educational settings will also increase your chances of being admitted to the program.

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What other requirements should I know about for the Ed.S. in School Psychology?

Certificate of Clearance

Students must obtain a Certificate of Clearance prior to completing any fieldwork assignments. Certificates of Clearance are issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) to credential program candidates. Title 5 regulations require that an application for Certificate of Clearance be filed to determine whether or not a candidate meets the state standards for character and fitness to be an educator in California's public schools. Students who currently hold a credential in California are exempt from this requirement. However, proof of holding a current credential is required.

 

California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

All students must take the CBEST in their first year of the program, and obtain passing scores prior to internship. Proof of passing must be on-file at the Credential Center (ED1-42). For more information on the CBEST, please go to http://www.cbest.nesinc.com/

 

Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE)

School Psychology students must pass the CSULB Writing Proficiency Exam, or receive an exemption, prior to advancing to candidacy.

Beginning Fall 2013, graduate students who have previously (1) received degrees from accredited colleges and universities in the United States; or (2) received degrees from accredited non-US institutions located in a country where English is a primary language of communication; or (3) attained a score of 4 or higher on the analytical writing test of the GRE or GMAT are exempt from the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). No further action is required by these students.

Beginning with graduate admissions for Fall 2013, Enrollment Services will determine at the time of admission whether students are exempt from the WPE and will indicate their exempt status on the student’s Test Score Summary in MyCSULB.

 

NCSP Praxis Exam

All School Psychology students must take the National School Psychology Examination (Praxis Test #0401 from ETS) prior to completing the program. Students must ensure that their scores (Overall Score and Test Category Scores) are forwarded by ETS to program faculty and the Credential Center.

Students who opt to take comprehensive exams as their culminating degree activity must obtain a passing score of 165 on the Praxis exam to successfully meet the requirements of the culminating activity. Students who opt to complete a thesis as their culminating degree activity must sit for the Praxis, but are not required to obtain a passing score of 165 to successfully meet the requirements of the culminating activity.

A passing score on the Praxis allows candidates to obtain certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). For additional information regarding the National School Psychology Examination, please go to http://www.ets.org/praxis/nasp/requirements. Recommendations, references, and study tips may be found on the National Association of School Psychologists’ website at http://www.nasponline.org/certification/etsinfo.aspx.

 

Grades

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in good standing in the program. Failure to do so may place the student on academic probation.

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Whom do I contact for more information about the School Psychology program?

E-mail questions to our Graduate Assistant, Victoria Quinto at victoriajquinto@gmail.com or attend one of the monthly informational meetings.  Dates, times, and location are posted at http://www.ced.csulb.edu/edpac/academic/school-psych.

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