Students completing this program are typically employed in Prek-12 educational settings and provide direct and indirect social-emotional, behavior, and academic supports to children and youth. The program is designed to be completed in 3 years, which includes 2-3 years of full time (9-12 units per semester) coursework, 450 hours of practicum, and a 1200-hour internship. Classes are held in the late afternoon (4:00 PM) and evenings. Our faculty adhere to NASP's nondiscrimination and equal opportunity policy (PDF).
The Fall 2021 application cycle opened October 1, 2020. The Fall 2021 application deadline is January 15, 2021.
America's top social services career
U.S. News & World Report ranked School Psychology as the #2 best social service job in the United States. The School Psychology profession also was ranked #18 in STEM professions and #36 out of the best 100 jobs in the U. S.
Features of our program
- Upon successful completion of the program, graduates of the CSULB School Psychology program are awarded the Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.). For more information on the Ed.S., see School Psychology Degrees (PDF)
- Graduates meet the qualifications for the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential in School Psychology from the Commision on Teacher Credentialing.
- CSULB School Psychology program is ranked #8 in the nation for scholarly productivity
- Program faculty were recently (2018, 2019) awarded three U. S. Department of Education grants totaling more than $3 million to train school psychologists to work with transition-age foster youth and culturally- and linguistically-diverse learners. For more information, go to Financing Your Education.
- Our students have a 100% Praxis exam pass rate for four years in a row!
- For more information, see Why Choose CSULB?
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
- Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
- For additional information related to professional licensure and certification related to this program, please see the CSULB Credential Center website.
Program Training Philosophy
The CSULB school psychology program is based on an ecological theoretical perspective (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). By promoting an ecological model, our students learn to understand that student achievement and behavioral difficulties result from a discrepancy between a student's developing skills and the multiple demands of his/her environment (Ogbu, 1981; Sroufe, 1979).
Accordingly, our students are well versed in the varied conditions of risk and sources of resiliency that impact child development and student learning (Doll, Zucker, & Brehm, 2004), with a particular emphasis on manipulable rather than static conditions (Wang, Haertal, & Walberg, 1993). For example, beginning at the center of an ecological system with the child, our program teaches future school psychologists to measure a student's academic, cognitive, social, and emotional skills as well as behavior in order to make recommendations for accommodations, interventions, and services (Ysseldyke et al., 2006). 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).
An ecological model does not solely focus on the learner. Recognizing that learning is a transactional process in which the learner is affected and affects the learning environment and the learning process, our program emphasizes the proximal and distal environmental influences of family, home-school collaboration, peers, neighborhoods, communities, world of work, public policies and culture. For example, home-school collaboration is associated with student test scores, grades, attitudes toward schools, behaviors, attendance, academic engagement, and need for intervention services, with positive outcomes in these areas documented for families from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgerounds (Christenson & Reschly, 2009). CSULB students receive extensive preparation in consulting and collaborating with parents and teachers on modifying the learning environment so that the effectiveness of both parents and teachers is maximized (Gutkin & Curtis, 1999; Zins & Erchul, 1995).
Recognizing that teacher preparation and competency is at least as influential on student outcomes as home environment and student characteristics (Darling-Hammond, 2006), the program teaches future school psychologists to identify and promote best practices for all students, including English Language Learners and those with exceptional needs (Samway & McKeon, 2007; Hallahan, Kauffman, & Pullen, 2011).
School psychologists are often called on during times of crisis. Therefore, our program trains students to respond to crises according to best practices (Brock & Jimerson, 2012), and more importantly, to be actively involved in crisis prevention programs (Brock, Nickerson, Reeves, Jimerson, Lieberman, & Feinberg, 2009). Training in crisis prevention and intervention is based on the theoretical tenets described above – increasing personal competency and resiliency among students, forging strong school/home/community partnerships, and preparing school personnel to respond to student needs.
Because school psychology has become an increasingly litigious profession, our program is also grounded in current legal and ethical guidelines for practices. Our students are taught within a scientist-practitioner model to apply evidence-based practices, current legal mandates, and established standards of ethical practice (e.g., AERA, APA, NASP) in making decisions about assessment, intervention, and prevention for students with and without disabilities.
In summary, the program relies on a variety of knowledge bases to prepare its students for the ever-changing role of a school psychologist.
Prospective applicants are invited to attend on- or off-campus program informational meetings to speak with currently enrolled students and CED staff from the Graduate Studies Office. Please see Information Sessions Calendar for scheduled events
The website of the National Association of School Psychologists has a range of information regarding how to become a School Psychologist and how School Psychologists serve school communities.
- The CSULB Graduate Studies Office of the College of Education offers workshops for prospective students. Please see Graduate Studies Office Events Calendar.