Pupil Personnel Services, School Psychology - Program Review Launchpad
2.1 Program Summary
The CSULB School Psychology Program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and offers a concurrent Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology. Candidates who successfully complete the program are employed in PreK-12 educational settings and provide direct and indirect psychological and academic support to students. School psychologists are key leaders in promoting social justice, implementing evidence-based services, and enacting change for all student populations. Our program faculty support an eco-behavioral training philosophy that is aligned with current research in our field and the NASP Professional Standards (2020).
The CSULB School Psychology program teaches candidates within a scientist-practitioner model to apply evidence-based practices, current legal mandates, and established standards of ethical practice (e.g., AERA, APA, NASP), and adopts an ecological theoretical perspective (Brofenbrenner, 1979). By promoting an ecological model that recognizes that learning and behavior are transactional processes, candidates learn to understand that student achievement and behavioral difficulties are characterized by a discrepancy between the developing capabilities of the student and the multiple demands of his/her environment (Ogbu, 1981; Sroufe, 1979), which is influenced by multiple home and community variables. Accordingly, candidates are well-versed in the varied conditions of risk and sources of resilience that impact child development, with a particular emphasis on changeable, rather than static conditions (Wang, Haertal, & Walberg, 1993). For example, beginning at the center of an ecological system with the child, the program teaches future school psychologists to assess a student’s prior learning, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral skills to make recommendations for accommodations, interventions, and services (Gresham, & Noell, 1999; Kamphaus, Reschly, 1997; Reynolds, & Imperato-McCammon, 1999). In alignment with the NASP domains of professional practice, students are also taught strategies to be change agents and how to respond to crises according to be practices (Poland, Pitcher & Lazarus, 1995). Additionally, the program prepares future school psychologists to assist in developing personal competencies such as confidence, perseverance, conflict resolution, and organization for students at-risk of school failure (Bernard, 2000).
The following goals and learning outcomes are based on our training philosophy and support the Vision and Mission Statement of the College of Education (CED). The school psychology program is designed to:
1. provide excellent instruction in all areas related to the practice of school psychology.
2. advance the knowledge base in school psychology through candidate research, and the research and writing of faculty.
3. develop in school psychology candidates a sense of the necessity for life-long independent study as well as an appreciation of the value of collaborative interactions.
4. serve the needs of the community by training school psychology candidates to provide professional services to diverse students, schools, and the community.
5. prepare school psychology candidates to meet all entry-level and continuing education standards for credentialing and licensure appropriate to their future work settings.
The School Psychology Program is housed under the Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling (ASEC). Three, full-time tenured or tenure-track, doctoral level faculty serve the program through teaching, advising, and research. One full-time faculty member also serves as Program Coordinator and is responsible for planning and carrying out program functions. Regular collaboration occurs among full- and part-time program faculty; ASEC department members; and the larger CED community. Program faculty obtain stakeholder input through collaboration with PreK-12 educators (e.g., field supervisors, community and district partners, advisory committees).
Candidates are admitted to the program on a yearly basis each fall semester and complete sequenced course and fieldwork as a cohort. Coursework is typically offered in-person and candidates complete fieldwork in local (i.e., Southern California) PreK-12 settings.
During the past two years modifications to the program have primarily been temporary and a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our typical in-person delivery model has shifted to online and hybrid formats since March 2020. We anticipate offering mostly in-person delivery spring semester 2022. Given the change in modality, program faculty put tremendous effort into updating syllabi and offering alternative assignments when necessary and allowable by NASP and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). These temporary changes remain in most of the syllabi submitted as part of our review.
We began our program transition plan for the CTC School Psychology Program Standards (2021) and Performance Expectations (2019) during pandemic closures. We will submit by the extended deadline January 2022 and have few, minor changes to make given our program is NASP-approved and aligned with the most recent CTC updates. Syllabi and program materials that have been updated as part of this process include a note to reviewers at the top of the document.
Course of Study (Curriculum and Field Experience)
The Ed.S. and PPS Credential in School Psychology program is based on 60-units of sequenced coursework (plus 6-units of prerequisites) and is typically completed in three years. Satisfactory completion of two fieldwork placements (4-units of practicum, 2nd year; 6-units of internship/culminating field experience, 3rd year). Table 1 summarizes our course sequence and program requirements.
Coursework aligns with NASP Professional Standards (2020) and prepares candidates to provide evidence-based services for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Fieldwork is integrated through the entire course sequence to promote skill acquisition, fluency, and generalization in applied settings. First year coursework teaches foundational skills and candidates complete brief fieldwork experiences in PreK-12 schools and the CSULB Community Clinic. Second year coursework focuses on advanced topics and building fluency through practicum (EDP 641A/B) in PreK-12 schools and our Community Clinic. Finally, third year coursework focuses on advanced consultation skills and candidates complete internship/culminating field experience through a primary placement in PreK-12 schools (EDP 642A/B). A detailed description of fieldwork hours across courses is located in Exhibit 5.1.
Candidates must have experience in at least three settings during their practicum and internship/culminating field experience (i.e., preschool, elementary, junior high/middle school, and high school) and are responsible for securing their own placements in districts with university affiliation agreements. The Program Coordinator works with CED staff and district personnel to approve placements and serves as the primary contact for general fieldwork requirements. University supervisors for designated fieldwork courses (641A/B, 642A/B) are responsible for communication with site supervisors regarding candidate progress. Candidates meet with their university supervisor biweekly during their practicum and internship/culminating field experience for supervision, seminar on relevant topics, and feedback on course assignments. Site supervisors provide more frequent contact during practicum (i.e., daily) and at minimum, weekly supervision during internship/culminating field experience.
Site supervisors complete a formal evaluation of candidates at least once per semester over the course of practicum and internship/culminating field experience (4 times total) that is shared with the University instructor. The University supervisor also evaluates candidate performance via direct observation and site supervisor interview at least once per semester (2 times total) during internship/culminating field experience. Detailed evaluation information can be located under Element 5.
Assessment of Candidates
Candidates are regularly assessed throughout their program to ensure they meet performance expectations for a PPS School Psychology credential. Candidates are required to provide evidence of meeting the Basic Skills Requirement upon admission. Signature course assignments are used to assess skills aligned with NASP Professional Practice (2020) domains. Candidates must successfully complete consultation, academic, and behavior case studies graded with a modified Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) case study rubric (year 1 and 2) as well as the implementation of a systems change project (year 3). Candidates complete an Internship Portfolio during their internship/culminating field experience and are evaluated on academic, behavior, and ethics case studies. Finally, a culminating activity (i.e., thesis or comprehensive exam) is required as well as taking the National School Psychology Examination (Praxis) prior to completion of the program. Expectations about assessment are outlined in course syllabi, Program Handbook, and Internship Handbook.
2.1.1 Table depicting location, delivery models, and pathways
5.1 Table denoting number of hours of fieldwork, clinical practice
5.2 Affiliation Agreements and MOUs for Field Placement
Candidates receive the Program Handbook upon acceptance to the program and the Internship Handbook during their second year in the program.
5.4 Fieldwork/Clinical Practice Syllabi
5.4.1 Clinical Practice Assessment Instruments
6.1 Description of Credential Recommendation Process
School Psychology candidates receive initial and ongoing advising from their program coordinator and advisors from the College of Education Graduate Office as they progress through the program. Candidates can also monitor their program progress through the MyCSULB Student Center Academic Requirements Report. In addition, each candidate admitted to the School Psychology Program will establish a file in the CSULB Credential Center and submit all supporting documentation including verification of CTC fingerprint clearance, Basic Skills, and proof of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Candidates receive a credential evaluation (program status report), completed by a credential analyst, indicating their current program status and requirements that are outstanding and required prior to credential recommendation.
At the end of the final semester the program coordinator will provide a program completion document to the Credential Center. A credential analyst will complete a final evaluation and confirm that all program and state requirements have been met prior to credential recommendation, including the advanced Education Specialist Degree (EDS). A credential analyst will ensure that only qualified candidates are recommended for a Pupil Personnel Services School Psychology Credential.
6.1.1 Candidate Progress Monitoring Document