Why Choose CSULB?
We understand that there are many school psychology programs to choose from in our geographical area. We share many characteristics with other NASP approved programs, including high-quality instruction, faculty who are engaged in research, supervised practica and fieldwork experiences, and adherence to NASP standards for training and practice. All 2018 graduates passed the Praxis exam and are eligible to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists.
However, some unique aspects of our program include:
Students conduct psychoeducational evaluations and provide interventions to children and youth from the community in our clinic under the direct supervision of program faculty. The clinic contains 19 client observation rooms that allow faculty to unobtrusively observe students and provide immediate, formative feedback. Few programs have the facilities to offer such training experiences. To learn more about the clinic, please visit the Community Clinic website.
Advanced graduate students complete an advanced assessment linked to intervention course that addresses specific populations, such as preschool-age children and children with moderate to severe disabilities. As part of this course, students complete a developmental assessment of a child age 3-6 in the clinic.
Long before IDEIA 2004 codified RtI as an alternative and preferred method of identifying and intervening with students experiencing learning difficulties, our students were taught RtI-related skills (i.e., problem-solving, idiographic assessment, goal-setting, progress monitoring, identifying and implementing empirically-based interventions). Our three major capstone assignments require the application of RtI processes to address student behavioral or achievement problems in clinic and school settings. Students in our program receive a thorough and practical education on RtI which makes them highly marketable when applying for jobs in school psychology.
Our students can get involved in the CSULB School Psychology Student Association (SPSA). This is a student run organization that is very active in promoting research, mentorship, networking, and leadership among the program students and alumni. SPSA also hosts social events to help increase communication among cohorts. To see more, please see their website.
Our School Psychology students are diverse. Almost half (48%) are from historically underrepresented minority groups and 52% are bilingual.
Because our classes are offered in the afternoons and evenings, we attract applicants who have a variety of work and life experiences. Because we are affordable, we have students who are economically diverse, including many who are the first in their family to attend college. In addition, we receive many more applicants than we can accept; thus we can select students whose background or second language skills are likely to make a significant contribution to class discussions, and increase students' efficacy in working with culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Graduate programs at CSULB are affordable. CSULB was identified as second-lowest in student debt for our region by US News & World Report.
A recent article by Laurent & Runia (2016) examined the scholarly productivity of school psychology faculty members of the 138 non-doctoral programs in the US during a 10-year period. Author credit was computed for faculty members within each program based on journal articles published from 2002 – 2011. CSULB’s school psychology program was ranked the 8th most productive programs in the Nation. Dr. Kristin Powers was identified as the 13th most productive faculty member for this time period compared to over 300 faculty members of specialist-level school psychology programs.
Program faculty are actively engaged in conducting research that directly impacts PreK-12 students, teachers, and families. Graduate students are encouraged to contribute to these efforts, and use faculty research resources to fulfill theses requirements. Students also have opportunities to present research at state and national conferences with faculty, and contribute to manuscripts published in peer reviewed journals.
Most of our graduates pursue careers in school psychology after graduating from our program. Increasingly, our alumni are pursuing doctoral degrees. Students who conduct thesis projects are well positioned for a doctoral program. 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. For more information, please vist the CSU Incentive/Loan website.
Given students' high pass rate on the national school psychology test (Praxis) most are eligible for the National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP) after graduation. Students are required to take the Praxis test during their final semester in the program. In 2018, we had a 100% pass rate.