The Psy.D. program in School Psychology is based on a practitioner-informed-by-science training model, which prepares graduates to address the educational, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of the children, youth, and families. Accordingly, the four primary goals of the program are to prepare future psychologists as follows:
- Candidates will demonstrate competency in assessment, consultation, and intervention utilizing evidence-based and innovative techniques matched with diverse populations.
- Candidates will demonstrate competency in the ability to evaluate and to utilize relevant scientific findings to inform professional practice.
- Candidates will demonstrate a professional identity as a school psychologist through leadership, advocacy, ethical practice, and service in meeting the needs of diverse populations.
- Candidates will demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and competency regarding the behavioral science foundations of the discipline of psychology and the specialty area of school psychology.
During the completion of their required practicum experiences, candidates have the opportunity to link theory to practice by engaging in assessment, consultation, and intervention at the Mailman Segal Center (MSC) for Human Development and the University School of NSU (USchool), both of which are part of the NSU community. Also on the NSU campus at the Psychology Services Center (PSC), the School-related Psychological Assessments and Clinical Interventions (SPACI) Clinic serves many of the practice-related training needs of the school psychology candidates. In addition, during the summer of their first and second years, candidates participate in the Summer Reading Explorers program, a grant funded research and service project to support reading acquisition among at-risk young children in Miami-Dade County. Finally, candidates have the opportunity to complete applied practica within the tri-county public school district of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties as well as private schools and mental health agencies within the community. Internship provides the culminating training experience in preparing the candidate as a health service provider.
The Directed Study, the capstone research project, reflects each candidate's individual interests and provides an opportunity for the consolidation of knowledge, as well as an emerging area of expertise in a specific area of inquiry. Supervised training and mentorship in the consumption of research sets the stage for life-long learning and subsequent interpretation and utilization of research to guide psychological practice.
The Doctoral Program in School Psychology is approved by the Florida Department of Education (DOE). The doctoral curriculum is designed to be consistent with the Florida state licensure requirements as both a school psychologist and a psychologist under Chapter 490, Florida Statutes.
Candidates benefit from the expertise of full-time faculty who have experience as school psychology practitioners, and are actively involved in leadership activities at the state and national level, including two previous presidents of NASP. The center has approximately 50 full-time faculty members that include nationally renowned professionals, and several core part-time and adjunct faculty that work as practitioners or administrators in the schools.
Who should enroll?
The doctoral program welcomes individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree in psychology. Those who hold the bachelor's degree must have completed a minimum of 18 credit hours in psychology. All applicants must demonstrate scholastic ability and interpersonal skills to be an effective psychological practitioner in the schools.
School psychology is consistently ranked among the top careers. The 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, projects psychology job growth to increase by 12%. Moreover, according to US News 25 Best Jobs of 2013, school psychology is the 14th best job and is projected to grow by 22% by the year 2020 with an unemployment rate of 1.4%, indicating that school psychology is a promising occupation (Graves, 2013).