Why Choose CSULB?
There are many reasons students choose to attend the School Psychology program at CSULB.
The CSULB School Psychology Association (SPSA), a student-run organization sponsored by CSULB’s Student Life and Development Office, advances the training and experiences of program students through mentorship, networking, and leadership. SPSA hosts expert speakers on campus, serves as a liaison with regional school psychology associations (e.g., Greater Long Beach Association of School Psychologists, Orange County Association of School Psychologists), organizes social events, and outreach and community activities to increase communication and shared experiences across cohorts. To view newsletters and organization events, as well as meet SPSA board members, go to the School Psychology Student Association website.
The CSULB School Psychology program is based on a multi-tiered, response-to-intervention service delivery model. Students complete extensive coursework and engage in clinic and fieldwork activities that focus on problem-solving, collaborative consultation, functional assessment, data-based decision making, and evidence-based intervention. For example, practica students provide a 10-week academic intervention with a school-age client from the community in our on-campus clinic. During internship, students learn and apply implementation science to promote or improve a component of MTSS at their school site. Overall, CSULB’s School Psychology program provides a strong foundation in MTSS/ RtI, along with experiential activities to enable pre-service school psychologists to successfully practice these skills and concepts under the supervision of program faculty and field supervisors.
Under the direct supervision of program faculty, school psychology graduate students provide academic, psychoeducational, and mental health services to children and youth from across the community in our on-campus clinic. The clinic includes 20 client rooms with one-way windows that allow faculty to unobtrusively observe school psychology graduate students providing services to clients. Learn more about the Community Clinic for Counseling and Educational Services!
CSULB was ranked by Money magazine as the 10th-best public university in the nation and 37th on Forbes’ survey of “America’s Best Value Colleges 2019.” Additionally, there are many university, college, and program-specific grants, scholarships, and assistantships available to students to offset the costs of attending graduate school. Notably, school psychology program faculty were recently (2018, 2019) awarded three U. S. Department of Education OSEP grants totaling more than $3 million to train school psychologists to work with transition-age foster youth and culturally- and linguistically-diverse learners to increase academic and behavior outcomes. As a result, approximately 6 to 10 students every year receive over $10,000 in training stipends. For more information about the training grants, go to Financing Your Education. In addition to training grant opportunities, each year the College of Education offers more than 240 scholarships totaling over $1 million.
Almost half (48%) of our school psychology graduate students are from historically underrepresented groups and 52% are bilingual. The city of Long Beach is a large, urban, and diverse community and our students represent the varied backgrounds, identities, and work and life experiences of our community. Because of our program’s reputation for training excellence, mentorship, and financial support through grants and assistantships, we receive many more applicants to the program than we can accept; thus, we select students whose background and experiences are likely to contribute to diversifying the school psychology profession, and reflect the diverse communities we serve.
Graduates of the CSULB School Psychology program are highly qualified to meaningfully and positively affect PreK-12 student outcomes. Since 2014, all graduates have passed the Praxis exam and are eligible to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists. Of those who choose a career as a school psychology practitioner in a school setting, all have secured a position within 4 months of graduation. Some alumni have chosen to pursue a doctoral degree immediately or within 5 years of graduation. Alumni who are mentored by program faculty while pursuing a doctoral degree at another university may be eligible for the CSU Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive/Loan Forgiveness program.
Program faculty are actively engaged in research that directly impact PreK-12 students, teachers, and families. Graduate students are encouraged to join faculty research projects to gain research experience and/or fulfill thesis requirements. Students are mentored and provided opportunities to present research at local, state and national conferences, contribute to publications, and pursue self-directed research projects. University- and college-wide funding is available to conduct and present research at the local, state, and national levels. Go to Financing Your Education for additional information.
Very few school psychology programs offer an experience working with preschool-age children and their families. CSULB School Psychology graduate students participate in the Early Childhood Assessment Clinic where they conduct a developmental assessment with a preschool-age child from the community in our on-campus clinic. The assessment includes a parent/guardian interview and administration of a developmental screener, and early literacy and beginning math assessments. A final parent/guardian meeting is held where graduate students review the assessment results and provide a written report.
School psychology students participate in a transition planning clinic with an individual with a disability ages 14-22 who is receiving special education services. In 4-5 clinic sessions, graduate students work with their client on identifying relevant and meaningful post-secondary education, employment, and independent living goals; collecting functional transition-related data; and developing an individualized transition plan. A final meeting is held with the client and their support team (e.g., parents/guardian, case managers, significant others, etc.) where assessment data, transition-related goals, and resulting transition plan are discussed. A report of assessment findings and individualized transition plan is provided to the client and their support team.
School psychology students participate in a youth counseling clinic with a school-age client from the community after taking coursework focused on social-emotional and behavioral assessment and intervention. Clients are typically referred for youth counseling due to concerns related to social skills, school anxiety, withdrawal, or attention and/or disruptive behaviors. During the clinic, graduate students collect data related to the referral concern, develop a short-term intervention plan for individual counseling, and collect progress monitoring data. The results of the assessment and intervention are discussed with the client and family and a written report is provided. This course is part of a series that prepares school psychology students to be an integral part of mental health service delivery in schools through evidence-based assessment and intervention.