“Helping children thrive. In school. At home. In life.”
– National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
What is a school psychologist?
The National Association of School Psychologists defines school psychologists as individuals who “apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.”
What do school psychologists do?
School psychologists can be involved within a school district through a wide and diverse range of services. Typically, school psychologists conduct school-based evaluations and provide direct support to students through small groups or individualized counseling. School psychologists also consult with other mental health professionals, teachers, administrators, and families, in order to improve student support strategies and to help schools successfully:
- Promote positive behavior and mental health
- Support diverse learners
- Create safe and positive school climates
- Promote academic achievement
- Strengthen family-school partnerships
- Improve school-wide assessment and monitor individual student progress in academics and behavior
What education/training do school psychologists receive?
School psychologists receive specialized graduate level training through coursework, research, and practical experience related to both psychology, counseling, and education. In addition, school psychologists must be credentialed by the state in which they work and may also be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB). Graduate preparation involves skill development within the areas of:
- Data collection and analysis
- Progress Monitoring
- School-wide practices to promote learning
- Resilience and risk factors
- Consultation and collaboration
- Academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning interventions
- Prevention and intervention services
- Special education services
- Crisis preparedness, response, and recovery
- Family-school-community collaboration
- Diversity in development and learning
- Research and program evaluation
- Professional ethics, school law, and systems
Why do children need school psychologists?
“All children and youth can face problems from time to time related to learning; social relationships; making difficult decisions; or managing emotions such as feeling depressed, anxious, worried, or isolated. School psychologists help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face. They are a highly skilled and ready resource in the effort to ensure that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and in life.” - NASP
* For more information related to school psychology, please visit the National Association of School Psychologists website.
Information adapted from nasponline.org.