Educational Psychology

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School Psychology: Program Goals & Competencies

The School Psychology faculty accept two broad aims of school psychological practice: (1) improving student competence and (2) building the capacity of systems to address the needs of children and youth. To this end, the program draws on competencies outlined by the American Psychological Association (APA) and further informed by guiding principles in school psychology (Ysseldyke et al., 2006). Accordingly, all program graduates are expected to develop the following competencies as part of their training for practice of school psychology and health service psychology under APA’s Standards of Accreditation, delineated in 9 goal areas:

  1. Research
    • Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to formulate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., critical literature reviews, dissertation, efficacy studies, clinical case studies, theoretical papers, program evaluation projects, program development projects) that are of sufficient quality and rigor to have the potential to contribute to the scientific, psychological, or professional knowledge base.
    • Conduct research or other scholarly activities.
    • Critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activity via professional publication and presentation at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.
  2. Ethical and legal standards
    • Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with each of the following:
      • the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct;
      • relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and
      • relevant professional standards and guidelines.
    • Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
    • Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.
  3. Individual and cultural diversity
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves;
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service;
    • Demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
    • Demonstrate the requisite knowledge base, ability to articulate an approach to working effectively with diverse individuals and groups, and to apply this approach effectively in their professional work.
  4. Professional values and attitudes
    • Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
    • Engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
    • Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
    • Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.
    • Demonstrate the ability to independently apply their knowledge and approach in working effectively with the range of diverse individuals and groups encountered during internship.
  5. Communication and interpersonal skills
    • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
    • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
    • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.
  6. Assessment
    • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
    • Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
    • Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.
  7. Intervention
    • Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
    • Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
    • Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
    • Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
    • Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence- base is lacking,
    • Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
  8. Supervision
    • Demonstrate knowledge of supervision models and practices.
    • Apply this knowledge in direct or simulated practice with psychology trainees, or other health professionals. Examples of direct or simulated practice examples of supervision include, but are not limited to, role-played supervision with others, and peer supervision with other trainees.
    • Apply effective supervision strategies to direct and indirect services in accordance with their own developmental level to promote supervisees’ effective practices.
  9. Consultation and interprofessional skills
    • Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
    • Demonstrates knowledge of consultation models and practices.
    • Apply appropriate consultation models and strategies to facilitate direct and indirect services and professional development.
    • Apply this knowledge in direct or simulated consultation with individuals and their families, other health care professionals, interprofessional groups, or systems related to health and behavior.