Jun 14, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 
Graduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology Specialist, School Psychology, PsyS

Department of Psychology

Union Building, Room 715
(216) 687-2544
Eric Allard, Interim Chair
Michael Horvath, Associate Chair
Patrick Frato, 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 M.A.

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:

Patrick Frato
Response to intervention; grade retention practices; and professional issues in school psychology.

Colleen McMahon
School-based intervention practices; personnel preparation for school-based interventions.

Kathleen McNamara
Effective school-based interventions and service-delivery models; social competence promotion; professional issues in school psychology.

Shereen Naser
Behavioral and emotional screening; child mental health; behavioral and emotional risk factors; child rights advocacy.

Financial Assistance

A Graduate Assistantship without a Scholarship (i.e., a stipend-only assistantship) may be available to students enrolled in the M.A. phase of the School Psychology program. Students may apply for an assistantship, requiring service to the Department in the form of either or both teaching- and research-related duties. Eligibility for an assistantship is based on regulations of the College of Graduate Studies, departmental requirements, and programmatic needs and priorities. Other forms of aid, such as scholarships and graduate assistantships in other units on campus, also may be available. 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.

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

Admission to the Psy.S. Degree Phase follows completion of the M.A. Degree Phase, and is conditional upon approval of the School Psychology Program. For more information, see: https://sciences.csuohio.edu/psychology/school-psychology

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts Degree Phase:

The Master of Arts degree phase curriculum can be found in this catalog on the Psychology, MA  page.

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, 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.