School Psychology, EdS
Preparing future school psychologists in evidence-based practices to promote positive outcomes for children, families, and schools
The Specialist-Level (Ed.S.) School Psychology Program at the University of Cincinnati is dedicated to preparing highly competent professional school psychologists according to the scientist-practitioner model. In their role, school psychologists collaborate with teachers, families, and other school and community stakeholders to support the academic, social, emotional, and behavior development of children. As a result of their comprehensive training, UC Ed.S. graduates are prepared to make significant contributions to this challenging field through the most up-to-date and research-based professional practice, child and family advocacy, and leadership for best practices.
The Ed.S. Program includes 3 years of full-time study followed by a 10-month (1500 clock hour) full-time supervised internship in a school setting. Students complete requirements for the Masters degree (M.Ed. in Foundations in Behavior Analysis) in the course of this 3-year program at the end of Year 1.
This specialist-level preparation leads to Ohio Department of Education licensure in school psychology. It also meets training requirements for National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP) administered through NASP, and consistent with these national standards, meets licensure requirements for many other states. In addition, graduates meet the coursework requirements for pursuing credentialing as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Graduates work in schools and other community and educational settings as professional school psychologists promoting positive academic and mental health outcomes for students.
The School Psychology Program at the University of Cincinnati is founded on the core ethical principles that psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all individuals and aim to promote measurable positive outcomes in their work. These principles are articulated in the ethical, professional practice, and training standards of the National Association of School Psychologists. The University of Cincinnati School Psychology Program, in applying these core principles, places an emphasis on the use of scientist-practitioner and ecological-behavioral models to guide practice, with an emphasis on social justice advocacy. As scientist practitioners, students are trained to critically examine theory and practice, develop a defensible professional model of practice, and collect and use accountability data for decisions. In applying an ecological-behavioral approach, students learn to focus on changing behaviors in important contexts, such as the school and family, and to collaborate with key individuals for effecting meaningful changes in these contexts. Students are also trained as social justice advocates in promoting access to high-quality educational services for all clients and dismantling systems of oppression and marginalization in schools.
These core principles serve as the foundation for the Program philosophy and approach, and are translated into several interrelated training themes that together form the basis for the Program training model and activities. These Program training themes are:
- Developing and adhering to a defensible personal model of practice aligned with the Program model
- Adhering to legal and ethical foundations for practice
- Engaging in data-based practice and accountability
- Using research to inform practice
- Making meaningful contributions to practice and the profession
- Using applied behavior analysis as a foundation for practice
- Considering various interconnected systems as contexts for case conceptualization and behavior change
- Conceptualizing student challenges as resulting from mismatches with their environment(s) rather than within-student problems
- Individualizing interventions and supports to align with students and contexts
- Intentionally advocating to dismantle systems of oppression and marginalization
- Establishing and maintaining awareness of own identities, working to mitigate biases, and engaging in a meaningful approach to diversity in all its forms
- Promoting positive outcomes for all students (systems-level) and each student (individual-level)
- Ensuring access to equitable, affirming, accessible, inclusive, and safe services for all students and clients
- Using data to make equity-focused decisions
- Centering clients and families via culturally relevant service delivery and empowering them as valued partners in educational decision-making
- Centering consultation as a primary framework for service delivery
- Engaging in data-based decision making by linking assessment, intervention, and evaluation
- Engaging in data-based problem solving across universal, targeted, and intensive tiers of evidence-based service delivery
- Respecting the expertise of other professionals and working on interdisciplinary teams to best support students and clients
- Maintaining responsibility for one’s own continued professional learning and competency development and promotion of professional learning in others
- Advocating for and taking initiative in promoting evidence-based services in self and others
The program provides future school psychologists with a solid professional and academic foundation reflecting depth and diversity in both psychology and education. The program fosters a special sensitivity to the social foundations and cultural diversity of all people and respect for the uniqueness and human dignity of each and all persons. Self-awareness, positive regard for others, and respect for cultural and individual differences are actively cultivated and expected of all students.