Thinking About a Career in School Psychology?
School Psychology Offers an Ideal Career For Individuals Who Are Interested in:
Helping children and youth develop and learn to their fullest potential. Individuals should have a want to engage in challenging and diverse activities within flexible professional roles in efforts to address educational factors that impact learning and behavior in the school context. Many who are interested in school psychology should enjoy working collaboratively with others in a team approach, and are interested in working towards developing good interpersonal and communication skills. School psychologists collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals in efforts to create supportive learning environments for children and youth, so that they can succeed academically, emotionally, socially, and behaviorally. School psychologists serve all age groups from infancy through college. Although some school psychologists work in community mental health centers, public policy and public health agencies, or hospital and medical school pediatric clinics, most school psychologists work within elementary or high-schools schools.
What Does A School Psychologist Do?
School psychologists have skills in the areas of mental health and education.
Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability
School Psychologists use a variety of assessment methods in efforts to collect data for identifying students' needs. Assessment is based on a problem-solving framework, from which data-based information is used to develop effective programs for the students and the schools.
Consultation and Collaboration
School psychologists consult and collaborate with diverse audiences, including individual, family, group, and systems (school-wide, or political) levels. School psychologists are change agents who apply psychological principles and skills to promote change designed to benefit students.
Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills
School psychologists use data-based assessment to develop and implement evidenced-based instructional and curriculum strategies to help improve student performance aswell as to maintain and/or to improve school-wide performance on state and local academic benchmarks.
Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills
School psychologists provide a continuum of developmentally appropriate mental health services. These services range from individual and group counseling, to parental support and class management. Other services include classroom and school-wide social-emotional learning programs to help students develop effective behaviors.
School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
School psychologists utilize knowledge of school and systems structure, organization, and theory, as well as general and special education, to develop and implement strategies and programs that are aimed at maintaining an effective learning environment.
Prevention and Responsive Services
School psychologists utilize knowledge of the principles of resilience and risk factors in learning and mental health to promote prevention and crisis response in efforts to enhance protective factors.
Family-School Collaboration Services
School psychologists understand the impact of family involvement on a student's academic success. They utilize this knowledge to educate and to collaborate with families in efforts to promote safe and nurturing home environments.
School Psychologists Collaborate With Students and Their Families to:
- Identify and address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success
- Support students' social, emotional, and behavioral health
- Teach parenting skills and enhance home–school collaboration
- Make referrals and help coordinate community support services
Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
School Psychologists Collaborate With Teachers to:
- Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning
- Design and implement student progress monitoring system
- Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions
- Support effective individualized instruction
- Create positive classroom environments
- Motivate all students to engage in learning
Provide professional development by creating teacher in-service workshops
School Psychologists Collaborate With School Administrators to:
- Collect and analyze data related to school improvement, student outcomes, and accountability requirements
- Implement school-wide prevention programs that help maintain positive school climates conducive to learning
- Promote school policies and practices that ensure the safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment
- Respond to crises by providing leadership, direct services, and coordination with needed community services
Design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming
School Psychologists Collaborate With Community Providers to:
- Coordinate the delivery of services to students and their families in and outside of school
- Help students transition to and from school and community learning environments, such as residential treatment or juvenile justice programs