Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 
Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Specialist, School Psychology, PsyS

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Department of Psychology

Chester Building 158
(216) 687-2544


David Grilly, Chair
Kathleen McNamara, School Psychology Program Director


The School Psychology program at Cleveland State University promotes the welfare of children and their families by preparing school psychologists who possess knowledge, skills, and values supporting their role as problem-solvers in schools and other educational settings. As an urban university, Cleveland State is committed to meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse population—both the students enrolled in University educational programs and the clients whose needs will be served by program graduates.

The program faculty views School Psychology as a discipline within the field of Psychology. This broadly based orientation facilitates teaching and learning about development, cognition, physiology, and social interaction (including dimensions of human diversity), as well as their applications in working with children, adolescents, and adults in educational settings. At the same time, learning experiences are designed to develop skills in assessing and intervening in children’s academic and other school-performance problems. Faculty subscribe to an ecobehavioral model of service delivery, which is reflected in the program curriculum and in scholarly research activities. This model emphasizes the direct assessment of children’s behavior, including environmental factors, for purposes of developing, implementing, and evaluating the impact of appropriate academic and behavioral interventions. The philosophy and structure of the Cleveland State School Psychology program are consistent with program standards promulgated by the National Association of School Psychologists, and it is a NASP-approved program.

The Psychology Specialist (PsyS) degree is awarded to students upon completion of three years of full-time preparation. Students are required to complete the two-year Master of Arts degree program in Psychology (School Psychology specialization) as a prerequisite for admission to the PsyS degree program, which comprises an additional year of study beyond the MA.

Student engagement in the profession of School Psychology is encouraged through membership in the Graduate Association of School Psychology, a student organization sponsored by the CSU School Psychology program. GASP activities are intended to provide opportunities for networking among students, as well as familiarity with current issues and trends in School Psychology.

The Faculty

The School Psychology faculty is actively engaged in a variety of program-related activities, including research (see below), supervision, professional development and service to local schools and educational personnel, service to professional associations, and consultation regarding program development and evaluation. Faculty are committed to the development of strong relationships with students as an important basis for professional growth, providing mentoring, research supervision, ongoing evaluation, and opportunities to contribute to faculty research endeavors.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Faculty Research

The primary School Psychology program faculty conduct research in several areas:
Connie Hollinger
Development of gifted women and girls; effective school-based service-delivery models.
Colleen McMahon
Early intervention with at-risk children; developmental disabilities; school-based intervention practices.
Kathleen McNamara
Effective school-based interventions and service-delivery models; social competence promotion; professional issues in school psychology.

Financial Assistance

Approximately 80% of students enrolled in the School Psychology program receive financial assistance in the form of a full or partial tuition grant during their first year in the (MA phase) program. (Students provide service to the department as graduate assistants; hours of service are determined by the amount of the tuition grant.) Only those who have earned an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 and above are eligible for this assistance. While there is no program of aid available to students in their second year of study, occasional assistantship positions within the department, or in connection with faculty research grants, may be available. In addition, assistantships may be available through other units on campus.

The third-year, full-time internship has traditionally provided a stipend in an amount equivalent to the state minimum teacher’s salary. Although funding for this purpose is not guaranteed, it is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

The Carlos Cortez Fund, founded in memory of a Cleveland Municipal School District school psychologist who was a leader in the Greater Cleveland professional community, provides financial support for students of Hispanic descent enrolled in the Cleveland State University School Psychology program.

Program Accreditation

The School Psychology program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and accredited with the Cleveland State College of Education and Human Services programs by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Career Information

Successful completion of the PsyS program in School Psychology confers immediate eligibility for School Psychologist credentials from the Ohio Department of Education (educator licensure), authorizing employment by schools throughout Ohio. Graduates are also eligible to receive the Nationally Certified School Psychologist designation. The Ohio State Board of Psychology School Psychologist license can be obtained upon completion of several additional post-degree requirements, including several years of professional practice and successful performance on a Board-administered examination. Recent graduates of the School Psychology program have been employed in public school districts, early childhood programs, day treatment centers for youth with serious emotional disturbances, and nonpublic schools.

Admission Information

Applicants first seek admission to the Master of Arts in Psychology degree program, representing the first, two-year phase of the School Psychology Program. Students are admitted for the fall semester through an application process conducted in late winter. Admission is based on several factors:

  1. Satisfactory preparation in psychology, evidenced in an undergraduate psychology major, successful performance on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Psychology Subject area, or course work in key subjects in psychology, including Introduction to Psychology, Personality Theories, Learning Theories, Child Development; and Behavioral Science Statistics;
  2. Satisfactory performance in undergraduate studies including an undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.75 (3.0 and above preferred);
  3. Satisfactory GRE Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical scores (average at the 50th percentile or better);
  4. Letters of recommendation provided by at least two individuals familiar with the candidate’s academic performance and potential for career success;
  5. A commitment to provide school psychological services in Ohio for at least one year following completion of the program;
  6. A written, personal statement describing relevant experiences and professional goals; and
  7. A satisfactory interview conducted by invitation of the School Psychology Program Committee.

Individuals applying to the School Psychology program must complete the following activities by February 10th of each year:

  1. Submit to the Graduate Admissions Office an Application for Graduate Admission to the Master of Arts in Psychology program, along with the application fee. (The MA degree must be obtained before candidates can enroll in the PsyS degree program; a student must note on the application his or her interest in the Master of Arts degree, School Psychology specialization.) Online applications are preferred.
  2. Arrange for the submission of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), an official copy of transcripts showing undergraduate course work and degree, and at least two letters of reference to the Cleveland State Graduate Admissions Office.
  3. Complete the Personal Statement and Information form, and submit directly to the Department of Psychology. This form can be obtained from the Department of Psychology Office: (216) 687-2544, or online at http://www.csuohio.edu/sciences/dept/psychology/graduate/index.html

Upon completion of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree, students’ performance is reviewed for admission to the Psychology Specialist (PsyS) degree phase of the School Psychology program. Requirements for admission to the PsyS degree phase are as follows:

Psychology program. Requirements for admission to the PsyS degree phase are as follows:

  1. Successful completion of the MA degree phase, including satisfactory performance during the second-year field practicum, as judged by University faculty and practicum supervisors;
  2. Recommendation by the faculty of the MA degree phase of the School Psychology Program; and
  3. Substantial interest in and likelihood of success in the profession of School Psychology, as judged by the faculty on the basis of the student’s performance in the Cleveland State graduate program.

All students are required to complete the entire course of study comprising the Cleveland State School Psychology Program (both MA and PsyS degree phases), although it is sometimes possible to transfer academic credit for equivalent courses (if credit has not been applied toward another degree), or to earn credit by examination, subject to the approval of the School Psychology Program Committee and course instructors. The School Psychology program does not offer an option for part-time study during either the Master of Arts or Specialist degree phases.

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/gradcollege/admissions/apply.html

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts Degree Phase:

Psychology Specialist Degree Phase:

Exit Requirements

Upon conclusion of the third-year internship, and before receiving the PsyS degree, each student must present a portfolio of work demonstrating attainment of the competencies required for the practice of School Psychology. The portfolio must include documentation of services to schoolchildren at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of prevention (also known as Tiers 1, 2, and 3 of the Response to Intervention service delivery model), as well as data describing service outcomes. Eligibility for licensure as a School Psychologist by the Ohio State Board of Education and the Ohio State Board of Psychology require a passing score on the Praxis II Exam, which must be completed before the end of the internship year.

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