The College of Education Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in School Psychology has been designed to equip professionals to directly and indirectly deliver a continuum of educational and mental health services to children and families in the region and beyond, and to work with teachers and other educators in public and private schools and other educational settings to enhance student learning and well-being. This program of study incorporates theoretical and applied approaches across developmental, cognitive, social, and behavioral domains to promote the development of a superior level of professional competence towards the implementation of school psychological services that are empirically supported, data driven, and culturally competent. Graduates of the program are prepared to enhance student achievement and wellness by functioning in multiple roles including treatment, assessment, and consultative modalities, as well as teaching and research roles. The entire program is a four-year, cohort-based model providing future school psychologists with a solid professional and academic foundation reflecting depth and diversity in both psychology and education. Students accepted into the Ed.S. in School Psychology program will also earn a Master of Arts in School Psychology and will be eligible to apply for practice in Illinois.
The master’s degree program (contained within the specialist degree program) typically takes two years of study and involves:
- A minimum of 38 hours of coursework
- Completion of a portfolio containing performance-based and knowledge-based evidence demonstrating attainment of the program competencies.
The specialist’s degree program typically takes a total of four years (2 beyond masters including internship) and involves:
- A minimum of 68 hours of coursework (30 hours beyond Master’s)
- A practicum in school psychology (125 hours)
- An advanced practicum in school psychology (125 hours)
- Completion of a capstone project providing evidence demonstrating completion of program competencies, as well as consultation, intervention planning, and/or program evaluation evidence.
- A passing score on the National School Psychology Examination or State of Illinois Subject Area Test in School Psychology; applicants will be encouraged to take both examinations.
- A two-semester full-time internship which requires 1200 hours, at least half of which takes place in a school setting.
Mode-of-Delivery: Face-to-face (with many web-enhanced courses).
Admission to the program occurs annually (Fall only).
Complete Admissions packets are accepted February 1 through March 15. Meeting or exceeding the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission to the program. The minimum criteria for admission are described below. Incomplete application packets will NOT be reviewed for admission. Please submit the following materials together in one envelope to the Psychology Advising Office (G386):
- University Application for Admission.
- $50 application fee.
- One set of official (unopened) transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Applicants must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
- Evidence of satisfactory professional writing and analysis by earning a grade of “B” or better in PSYC-2102 (Thinking and Writing in Psychology) or its equivalent.
- Evidence of satisfactory understanding of basic statistics by earning a grade of “B” or better in PSYC - 3150 Psychology Statistics (3) .
- An essay outlining the applicant’s purpose in seeking a specialist degree in School Psychology and long-term goals.
- Personal Reference Forms from three professionals/professors who can attest to the applicant’s academic and/or professional capabilities in the field of School Psychology.
- Completed Statement of Character Form.
Additional Admission Requirements:
In addition to submitting the elements above for admissions consideration, applicants must:
- complete the specified prerequisite coursework (see below) with no grade below B allowed. If these are not completed at the time of admission, they must be completed prior to attaining candidacy or taking courses for which they are prerequisite;
- pass an Illinois State Criminal Background check (only applicants approved to interview will need to complete this step); and
- complete an admission’s interview (if selected).
Must be completed prior to admission with no grade below “B” allowed. Equivalent GSU courses are in parentheses.