The programs adhere to the scientist-practitioner model that assumes that the effective practice of school psychology is based on knowledge gained from established methods of scientific inquiry. Emphasis is on the preparation of competent practitioners who are also skilled and dedicated researchers who will contribute to the knowledge base in school psychology.
The faculty is committed to a learning environment that stresses an organized and explicit curriculum with clear expectations; however, there is also a strong commitment to informal student-faculty interactions that further encourages the student’s professional development and identification with the field. In addition, the program is designed to acquaint students with the diversity of theories and practices of school psychology, allowing the student sufficient intellectual freedom to experiment with different delivery systems and various theoretical bases.
The atmosphere is intended to foster informal student-faculty interaction, critical debate, and respect for theoretical diversity of practice, thus creating a more intense and exciting learning experience. It is believed that such a philosophy encourages and reinforces the student’s creativity and intellectual risk-taking that are fundamental in the further development of the professional practice of school psychology.
The objectives of both the master’s/sixth-year and doctoral programs are to ensure that each student exhibits the following personal characteristics, academic knowledge, and practitioner competencies that fully qualify him/her as a professional.