About School Psychology
Who Are School Psychologists?*
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work. They also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB). The National Association of School Psychologists sets ethical and training standards for practice and service delivery.
What Do School Psychologists Do?*
School Psychologists Work With Students to:
- Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems
- Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning
- Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism
- Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds
School Psychologists Work With Students and Their Families to:
- Identify and address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success
- Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
- Support students’ social, emotional, and behavioral health
- Teach parenting skills and enhance home–school collaboration
- Make referrals and help coordinate community support services
School Psychologists Work With Teachers to:
- Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning
- Design and implement student progress monitoring systems
- Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions
- Support effective individualized instruction
- Create positive classroom environments
- Motivate all students to engage in learning
School Psychologists Work With Administrators to:
- Collect and analyze data related to school improvement, student outcomes, and accountability requirements
- Implement school-wide prevention programs that help maintain positive school climates conducive to learning
- Promote school policies and practices that ensure the safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment
- Respond to crises by providing leadership, direct services, and coordination with needed community services
- Design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming
School Psychologists Work With Community Providers to:
- Coordinate the delivery of services to students and their families in and outside of school
- Help students transition to and from school and community learning environments, such as residential treatment or juvenile justice programs
Where are school psychologists employed?
About 85% are employed in public school districts. Others find employment in residential centers, correctional schools, private schools, state departments of education, clinics and hospitals, colleges and universities, independent and group private practice.
What can I expect as a starting salary?
Starting salaries vary by location. As public school employees, school psychologists generally work 10 month contracts, and have health care, retirement and other benefits. The national salary average was around $64,000 based on a NASP survey of practitioners in 2009-2010.
Where can I get more information?
- The SUNY College at Plattsburgh School Psychology Graduate Program at web.plattsburgh.edu/academics/psychology/graduateprogram/
- The NASP Career Center at http://nasponline-jobs.careerwebsite.com
- The National Association of School Psychologists’ website at www.nasponline.org
Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
If you would like more information about the school psychology graduate program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact
Dr. Laci Charette
Phone: (518) 564-3385
Toll-free Phone: (800) 441-7215
Fax: (518) 564-3397