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Psy.D. School Psychology

Principally designed to train doctoral-level practitioners in schools, the 91 credit hour PsyD Program includes coursework, practica, an applied project demonstrating skills learned via the Local Clinical Scientist training model, and an internship. Completion of this Program leads to a MSEd in Child Psychology, a PsyD, and State School Psychology Certification. Upon completing this Program and successfully passing the Praxis School Psychology Exam, graduates may apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential. In addition to schools, school psychologists with a PsyD may also practice in hospitals, child agencies and clinics, and independent practice if one seeks licensure to practice independent psychology.

Broad Program Competencies

The School Psychology PsyD Program at Duquesne University has adopted 10 competencies around which coursework, field-experiences, and Program activities have been designed. These include the following:

1. Legal/Ethical Practice and Professional Development: Develop a knowledge base and understanding of the various roles and functions of practicing, academic, and supervising school psychologists, and be able to selectively deliver services from a variety of alternative models. Develop a knowledge base of federal and state laws, professional ethics, and professional standards and the skills to apply them in public and private educational agencies. Develop the skills to adhere to due process guidelines in major decisions affecting all students. Develop the skills to adhere to ethical practices for conducting research in school psychology.

2. Organization and Operation of Schools: Develop an understanding of the organization and administration of public schools as systems and the cultural, ethnic, religious and geographic diversity of the students, families and staff served by school psychologists. Develop an awareness of community resources and the roles of other professionals in helping children, parents and school personnel. Develop the skills to foster and facilitate interagency partnerships among family, school, health care, and community agencies to create and maintain safe, supportive, and effective learning environments. Develop the skills to conduct effective program evaluations of services.

3. Assessment: Develop the skills to select, administer, score, and interpret psychoeducational tests for individuals of different ages, exceptionalities, and cultural backgrounds. Develop competence in the use of interviewing, functional behavioral assessment, and curriculum-based assessment methods for problem-solving and identifying evidenced-based interventions. Develop the skills to integrate psychological and educational assessment data to develop academic and behavioral interventions and to communicate those data in a variety of ways.

4. Biological Basis of Behavior: Develop a knowledge to select, administer, interpret, and evaluate psychological tests of brain-behavior relationships. Develop a knowledge to integrate information derived from such tests into psychoeducational reports, recommend school-based interventions, and evaluate intervention outcome.

5. Counseling: Develop a counseling and mental health knowledge base and the evidence-based interventions to work with students who have educational, emotional, and/or behavioral problems to mitigate the emergence of enduring, unhealthy patterns of behavior. Develop a knowledge base and skills to help students, families and schools deal with crises, such as school violence, suicide and loss. Develop the skills to evaluate the effectiveness of services.

6. Consultation: Develop a knowledge base of behavioral, mental health, and collaborative consultation. Develop the skills to collaborate with school professionals and families to provide direct and indirect services. Collaborate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based interventions. Develop the oral and written communication and interpersonal skills necessary to communicate effectively with children, families, and school personnel from varied cultural, ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Develop the interpersonal skills to function as team leaders in school-based multidisciplinary teams. Develop the skills to conduct program evaluations of school psychological services.

7. Intervention: Develop a knowledge base and the skills to identify controllable, causal aspects of social, emotional, and academic difficulties and design, implement, and evaluate through progress monitoring evidence-based interventions. Develop the skills to provide prevention and intervention programs that promote the mental health and physical well-being of students. Recognize the importance of implementing evidence-based interventions for primary prevention and management of academic and behavioral difficulties.

8. Student Diversity in Development and Learning: Develop a knowledge base of individual differences, abilities, and disabilities and of the potential influence of biological, social, cultural, ethnic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, and linguistic factors in development and learning. Demonstrate the sensitivity and skills needed to work with individuals and families of diverse characteristics and to implement strategies selected and/or adapted based on individual characteristics, strengths, and needs. Recognize the family as a system and its impact on student learning.

9. Science of Psychology & Education: Develop an understanding of the value of science for the practice of psychology and education and the value of practice for the science of psychology and education. Develop the skills to utilize an empirical basis for all methods involved in psychological and educational practice. Become educated consumers of research relating to school psychology and be able to apply these research findings to the development of solutions for educational and psychological problems. Be able to disseminate information to colleagues and families from the school psychology knowledge base to promote healthy school environments. Develop competence in progress monitoring and program evaluation techniques to determine outcomes.

10. Emerging Technology: Develop a familiarity with technical advances and the skills to identify the potential applications of these advances as they relate to the practice of school psychology. Develop competence in using technology to advance the practice and science of school psychology.

Specific Goals and Objectives

The goals, objectives, and outcomes of the Duquesne University School Psychology Program are tightly linked to the Program's philosophy and training model, the substantive areas of professional psychology, and the current professional issues of the field including ethical, legal and performance based accountability. The following outlines specific PsyD Program goals and objectives:

Goal #1: To develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to be ethical practicing and supervising, school psychologists. (Program Competencies 1, 2, 8)

Objectives for Goal #1:

a. Students will develop a knowledge base of the history of the profession; roles and functions of practicing and supervising school psychologists; public policy applicable to children and families; and ethical, professional, and legal standards to be able to deliver services from a variety of service delivery models.

b. Students will develop a knowledge base of individual differences, abilities, and disabilities, and of the potential influence of biological, social, cultural, ethnic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, and linguistic factors in development and learning.

c. Students will develop an understanding that the organization and administration of public schools involves systems that include diverse students, families and school personnel, and students will develop the dispositions and skills to implement problem-solving strategies based on the characteristics, strengths, and needs of these diverse constituencies.

d. Students will develop the knowledge and skills in prevention, health promotion, and program development to create and maintain safe, supportive, and effective learning environments for children and youth.

Outcomes Expected for these Objectives:

Objective a: Students will be able to explain the history of psychology, identify commons roles and functions of psychologists, understand and apply federal and state laws that govern the practice of psychology, and school psychology in particular, reference the APA and NASP ethical codes, and identify limits of confidentiality.

Objective b: Students will demonstrate cultural competence and awareness of individual differences by using evidence-based assessment and intervention practices tailored to such differences.

Objective c: Students will prepare a needs assessment that demonstrates knowledge of the organization and administration of public schools.

Objective d: Students will implement an individual or group evidence-based intervention aimed at promoting a safe, supportive, and effective learning environment.

Goal #2: Students will provide effective direct and indirect psychological services to promote the well-being of diverse groups of individuals. (Program Competencies 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Objectives for Goal # 2:

a. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to select, administer, score, and interpret curriculum based assessment, functional behavioral assessment, psychoeducational, social-emotional, personality tests, and tests of brain-behavior relationships for individuals of different ages, exceptionalities, and cultural backgrounds.

b. Students will develop the skills to integrate psychological and educational assessment data for the purposes of problem identification, analysis, and diagnosis, and identifying evidence-based interventions.


c. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to implement primary, secondary, and tertiary evidence-based interventions to promote the mental health and well-being of students, families, and school personnel.


d. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to effectively progress monitor and evaluate the outcomes of interventions, and report treatment outcomes to the consumers of psychological services.

Outcomes Expected for These Objectives:

Objective a: Students will effectively administer, score, and interpret curriculum-based assessment, functional behavioral assessment, cognitive, behavior, personality, adaptive behavior, and neuropsychological functioning assessment measures to children and other consumers of psychological services.

Objective b: Students will integrate data from multiple sources, using multiple methods of data collection, across multiple settings to formulate diagnostic impressions and identify targets for intervention.

Objective c: Students will effectively implement a variety of evidence-based interventions, including individual counseling, group counseling, academic interventions, and social-emotional interventions.

Objective d: Students will effectively collect progress monitoring data, graph outcome data, evaluate treatment outcomes, and explain those outcomes to stakeholders.

Objectives for Goal #3:

a. Students will develop an understanding that the practice of psychology is not only based on science, but also factors unique to the specific location in which psychology is being practiced.

b. Students will effectively consume scientific literature and use that literature to select evidence-based assessment and intervention practices tailored to specific locations in which psychology is practiced.

c. Students will demonstrate the ability to investigate a problem of applied practice given the characteristics of the specific practice setting.

d. Students will demonstrate the ability to advance the science of practice by translating how to bridge the research-to-practice gap given the characteristics of the specific practice setting.

Outcomes Expected for these Objectives:

Objective a: Students will be able consume scientific literature and then identify contextual variables (e.g., client population, practice setting, etc.) that may influence the application of that literature.

Objective b: Given local contextual variables, students will select and implement evidence-based assessment and intervention practices.

Objective c: Students will complete an Applied Project that successfully identifies, investigates, and makes evidence-based interpretations and recommendations regarding a local problem of applied practice.

Faculty-Student Relations
The Program faculty is committed to meeting the learning, professional, and socialization needs of its students. As a result, Program faculty members commit to the following:

• Strive to maintain positive faculty-student professional relationships by all reasonable means.
• Socialize students to the field by considering students to be future colleagues.
• Maintain a contemporary curriculum to meet the learning and professional needs of its students.
• Serve as professional mentors and Program advisors.
• Support the needs of the local SASP chapter, as a student organization that socializes future school psychologists.
• Provide a formal mechanism of feedback to the Program faculty by maintaining a "Student-Raised Concerns" item on each faculty meeting agenda.
• Consider student concerns through other informal means, such as course feedback and meetings with individual faculty members.
• Provide timely and fair evaluations of student performance.
• Enact timely and just student remediation procedures, if necessary.
• Implement timely and just due process procedures.
• Promote student attendance and resulting interaction with faculty at local, regional, and national conferences.
• Provide continued guidance and support of Program graduates.

Application Requirements

The admission procedure for the PsyD School Psychology program is very detailed and rigorous. 

PsyD Admission Procedures

Course Sequence
Outcomes

Credentials

Graduates of the Ph.D., Psy.D., and CAGS School Psychology Programs are prepared to earn state-level school psychology certification and may apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential. Ph.D. School Psychology Program graduates are prepared to apply for licensure to practice independent psychology by a State Board of Psychology.

Employment Settings

CAGS level school psychologists are generally employed by public and private schools. In addition to schools, licensed doctoral-level (Psy.D. and Ph.D.) school psychologists commonly practice in hospitals, and child agencies. Ph.D. School Psychologists are also prepared to work in independent practice as well as in university faculty positions.

What Is a School Psychologist? (NASP brochure) (pdf)

School Psychology: A Career that Makes a Difference (NASP brochure) (pdf)

FAQ

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