A school psychologist works as an advocate for children by identifying individual strengths and weaknesses and contributing to the development of interventions targeting key skills. Schools psychologists bring about change by working closely with children, parents, teachers, and school administrators in order to develop an educational program that meets children's specific needs.
This program is designed so you can earn your MS in School Psychology (30 credits) and then seamlessly move into the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) program (41 credits). If you already have a master's degree in a related field (such as mental health counseling or special education), you may be accepted directly into the specialist program. Your advisor will work with you to develop a customized course sequence.
A Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree will give you the educational requirements and expertise to become credentialed as a school psychologist and work with individuals from birth to age 21. Some of our students enter the program immediately after their undergraduate studies, while others are current teachers or mental health professionals looking for a career change.
Most school psychologists work in a public school setting, and may be assigned to several schools. This career provides a great deal of variety on a daily basis. Activities include providing psychological evaluations, conducting individual and group counseling sessions with children, and measuring the success of programs. School Psychologists also develop academic and behavioral interventions for classrooms and in times of crisis.
After you have gained experience as a certified school psychologist, additional career paths will be available to you, include private practice, school administration, community college teaching, and undergraduate university adjunct teaching.
Most positions in this field are autonomous jobs that allow you the freedom to devise your own schedule; as a result, school psychologists must be motivated and self-reliant.
Critical Shortage Area
This is a critical shortage area nationwide; there simply aren't enough school psychologists to go around, and states are eager to encourage more students to enter the profession. As a result, the state in which you are employed may help you pay back your student loans. (Please check with your intended state of residence after graduation for more information.) In addition to this potential loan forgiveness incentive, all students who enroll in the Barry University School Psychology Program will receive a 20% tuition reduction.
Working as a School Psychologist
As a school psychologist you will be a highly respected member of the school system. Many school psychologists follow the schedule of the school district for which they work; in most cases, this means a nine-month contract with the freedom to pursue your own endeavors during the summer and school holidays. Other school psychologists choose to work in school districts where they are offered twelve-month contracts.