Learn about our mission, philosophy, design, vision and outcomes.
The School Psychology Program prepares school psychologists to be systems change agents in culturally diverse schools. More specifically, we aim to provide our graduates with:
- Ecological and systems perspectives by which to consider problem situations in the schools
- Cultural competencies to serve the multicultural populations of public schools
- Knowledge and skills to serve both general and special education populations
- Skills to function as advocates, change agents, and consultants in the schools, providing a broad range of culturally appropriate assessment-intervention services
The program embraces an ecosystemic philosophy-orientation and emphasizes multicultural content, processes, and experiences. In design and content, the program is influenced by these ecosystemic principles:
- There are problem situations, not problem children
- These situations are a result of dysfunctional transactions and reciprocal determinism among, for example, children, teachers, and parents
- Culture is brought to the forefront as a base for hypothesis generation regarding the nature of the situation
- Assessment-intervention is unified in response to person/
situation characteristics. Individuals as well as groups of individuals are viewed as open and modifiable systems
Design, Vision, & Outcomes
The SDSU School Psychology Community (i.e., faculty, students, alumni, supervisors) supports the NASP Practice Model Domains (2020) as themes for professional preparation:
- Domain 1: Data-Based Decision Making
School psychologists understand and utilize assessment methods for identifying strengths and needs; developing effective interventions, services, and programs; and measuring progress and outcomes within a multitiered system of support.
- Domain 2: Consultation and Collaboration
School psychologists understand varied models and strategies of consultation and collaboration applicable to individuals, families, groups, and systems, as well as methods to promote effective implementation of services.
- Domain 3: Academic Interventions and Instructional Supports
School psychologists understand the biological, cultural, and social influences on academic skills; human learning, cognitive, and developmental processes; and evidence-based curricula and instructional strategies.
- Domain 4: Mental and Behavioral Health Services and Interventions
School psychologists understand the biological, cultural, developmental, and social influences on mental and behavioral health, behavioral and emotional impacts on learning, and evidence-based strategies to promote social-emotional functioning.
- Domain 5: School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
School psychologists understand system structures, organization, and theory; general and special education programming; implementation science; and evidence-based, schoo-wide practices that promote learning, positive behavior and mental health.
- Domain 6: Services to Promote Safe and Supportive Schools
School psychologists understand principles and research related to social-emotional wellbeing, resilience and risk factors in learning, mental health and behavioral health, services in schools and communities to support multitiered prevention and health promotion, and evidence-based strategies for creating supportive schools.
- Domain 7: Family, School and Community Collaboration
School psychologists understand principles and research related to family systems, strengths, needs, and cultures; evidence-based strategies to support positive family influences on children's learning and mental health; and strategies to develop collaboration between families and schools.
- Domain 8: Equitable Practices for Diverse student Populations
School psychologists have knowledge of individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other diverse characteristics and the impact they have on development and learning. They also understand principles and research related to diversity in children, families, schools, and communities including factors related to child development, religion, culture and cultural identity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, and other variables.
- Domain 9: Research and Evidence-Based Practice
School psychologists have knowledge of research design, statistics, measurement, varied data collection and analysis techniques sufficient for understanding research, interpreting data, and evaluating programs in applied settings.
- Domain 10: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice
School psychologists have knowledge of the history and foundations of school psychology; multiple service models and methods; ethical, legal, and professional standards; and other factors related to professional identity and effective practice as school psychologists.
We support these domains through a multicultural context and identified outcomes for SDSU school psychologists in each area. These areas serve as the framework for curriculum development, field experience activities, and evaluation of students’ competency development.
The Program provides an integrated sequence of theory, research, and practice in these 10 domains over a 3-year sequence of full-time study followed by a full-time yearlong internship. This integrated graduate-profession program culminates in the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology and the California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology.
Students simultaneously complete and earn: (a) the Masters of Science (M.S.) degree in Counseling with a Concentration in School Psychology, usually at the end of their third semester in the program, and (b) the California School Psychology Internship Credential at the end of their third year. The program has held NASP approval since 1989 and is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.