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Curriculum and Instruction, School Psychology Concentration, Ed.S.

Curriculum and Instruction

Become a licensed School Psychologist and prepare for a rewarding career supporting students' academic and emotional needs.

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Curriculum and Instruction, School Psychology Concentration, Ed.S.

School Psychologists work in collaboration with teachers, parents, and other school personnel to meet the academic, social, behavioral, and emotional needs of students in grades pre-school-high school. The School Psychology program at 鶹Ӱ offers an M.A. that couples with an Ed.S. program and leads to licensure as a School Psychologist through the Tennessee Department of Education. The curriculum entails 65 credit hours of on-campus courses, school-based practica, and a year-long capstone internship in the schools. Courses and field-work components prepare graduates of the program to provide evidence-based assessment, consultation, and intervention services in a school setting. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) first approved the program in 1991 and 2023 marked the program's 50th anniversary.

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Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information
Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information

News Briefs

We’ve Been Celebrating!

We’ve Been Celebrating!

Over 150 alumni, family members, and MTSU faculty and staff filled the atrium of ACB on September 9 to celebrate our 50th anniversary and honor the 48- year career of program founder, Dr. James O. Rust. Photo to the left shows current and past program faculty and alumni that graduated between 1978 and 2023 who were on hand for the photo shoot.

Collecting Data!

Collecting Data!

Yep, it’s that time again. It rolls around every five to seven years. This fall, we started the 2-year data collection cycle that is part of the NASP (National Association of School Psychologists) approval process. Self-study materials are due September 2025 and NASP reviewers will conduct a site visit in 2026.  We have been recognized as a fully approved program since 1991 and maintaining this status is core to our identity as a program and the training we provide.  Graduates of NASP approved programs are eligible for the NCSP (National Certification as a School Psychologist).ide of Tennessee. One hundred percent of our students during the 2021-2022 school year passed the PRAXIS exam at the national level, secured a paid internship, and obtained licensure and a job working as a School Psychologist.

News Briefs

We’ve Been Celebrating!

Over 150 alumni, family members, and MTSU faculty and staff filled the atrium of ACB on September 9 to celebrate our 50th anniversary and honor the 48- year career of program founder, Dr. James O. Rust. Photo to the left shows current and past program faculty and alumni that graduated between 1978 and 2023 who were on hand for the photo shoot.

Collecting Data!

Yep, it’s that time again. It rolls around every five to seven years. This fall, we started the 2-year data collection cycle that is part of the NASP (National Association of School Psychologists) approval process. Self-study materials are due September 2025 and NASP reviewers will conduct a site visit in 2026.  We have been recognized as a fully approved program since 1991 and maintaining this status is core to our identity as a program and the training we provide.  Graduates of NASP approved programs are eligible for the NCSP (National Certification as a School Psychologist).ide of Tennessee. One hundred percent of our students during the 2021-2022 school year passed the PRAXIS exam at the national level, secured a paid internship, and obtained licensure and a job working as a School Psychologist.

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CAREERS

MTSU graduates are employed in education as either school psychologistsǰbehavioral analysts. A school psychologist may work in a variety of different environments including public schools, clinics and hospitals, private schools, school health clinics, universities, community agencies, and in private practice.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Bedford County Schools
  • Cartersville (Ga.) Schools
  • Cave City (Ark.) School District
  • Coffee County Schools
  • Dickson County Schools
  • Knoxville City Schools
  • Lewis County Schools
  • McMinn County Schools
  • Metro-Nashville Public Schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Rutherford County School
  • Sumner County Schools
  • Tennessee Department of Education
  • Vancouver (Wash.) Public Schools
  • Warren County Schools
  • Williamson County Schools
  • Wilson County Schools

REQUIREMENTS

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FACULTY

INFORMATION

Application supplemental forms

  • Three letters of reference 

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Sources for Funding

FAQ

What is a school psychologist?

A school psychologist is interested in the translation and implementation of Psychological knowledge within the school system. This implies that psychology is the core of the student's training and the foundation upon which professional development will occur. Such a conception demands that the psychologist draw upon a number of specialty areas such as professional education, educational psychology, clinical and child psychology, curriculum design, developmental psychology, social psychology, and the experimental analysis of behavior.

Where does a school psychologist work?

A school psychologist works in a variety of different environments including: public schools, clinics and hospitals, private schools, school health clinics, universities, community agencies, and in private practice.

What is the school psychologist's function in the educational environment?

The school psychologist does not apply skills in a vacuum, but in the context of an educational system containing other professionals. Therefore, the psychologist must have a realistic understanding of the functions, methods, and problems of the school, and be especially appreciative of the role of the classroom teacher as well as other special staff members carrying on related functions (e.g., the counselor, speech therapist, special education teacher, etc.). The school psychologist is involved in consultation, assessment, intervention, prevention, educational development, research, planning, and health care provision.

What educational factors are common issues for school psychologist?

Many unique situations are contained within the general learning environment. The major psychosocial factors to be considered in any situation include, the child, the teacher, other children, the family and the specific cultural environment. These will directly affect the other factors and exert major influences on the learning and behavior of any given child. To deal with the relation of these factors, the school psychologist will need to be familiar with two areas: (1) psychological theories including intervention theories, cognition and personality paradigms, assessment and evaluation procedures, methods of communication, and so on; and (2) the structure and organization of public schools, particularly the practical aspects of day-to-day instruction and the problems teachers encounter.

What is the goal of education?

The school psychologist recognizes that the ultimate goal of education is to provide all pupils with opportunities for maximal intellectual, educational and interpersonal growth so that they may live full and satisfying lives as contributing members of a diverse society. Clearly, the pupil is the cornerstone of attention for everyone. With special training in inter- and intra-personal behavior, and an appreciation for the contributions of diverse groups, the school psychologist is in a unique position to recognize and deal with many variables within the school system that contribute to the child's development (i.e., the teacher, the administration, peers, class and program placement, specific situations, and so on.)

What is the school psychology program like at MTSU?

The School Psychology Program at 鶹Ӱ is field-based. The purpose of the program is to educate Ed.S. level school psychologists for licensure by the Tennessee Board of Education. Graduates also are eligible to apply for designation as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. The program requires a research-based thesis.

What type of theory does the MTSU school psychology program use?

The school psychology program uses a psychosocial model and promotes a multicultural perspective that celebrates human diversity. The program sees the child as a unique individual always confronting a unique situation. As such, the child can only be understood in the context of both the general factors that contribute to the environment and the specific factors that make up the child's unique situation. The child's learning environment is influenced by three major social systems: society in general (including the cultural context), the family situation, and the school system. Differing sets of values, goals, and expectations are possessed by each of these social systems, and their interaction will exert major influences on the child and the classroom. The school psychologist must be prepared to understand and deal with each of these factors.

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Professional Licensure Disclosure

MTSU discloses that the combined Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology, Clinical and Education Specialist (EDS) in Professional Counseling, School Counseling is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Tennessee Department of Education. Admission to the combined program does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certification. Successful program completion meets the educational requirements for licensure in as a school psychologist in Tennessee.

The combined MA Psychology, Clinical and EDS Professional Counseling, School Counseling disclosure provided on MTSU’s indicates the states and territories where MTSU has determined, through reasonable and good faith effort, that the program does or does not meet the educational requirements for other US states and territories. Licensing authorities for each state set and enforce their own requirements and standards, which are subject to change. Current and prospective students not located in Tennessee or who plan to seek licensure or certification outside the state of Tennessee should contact the appropriate state licensing agency or board and discuss their plans with an advisor and the MTSU before enrolling in the program to ensure they have the most up-to-date information and guidance regarding licensure requirements.

MTSU offers two related graduate programs in school psychology: a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology with a Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology concentration, and a Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction with a School Psychology concentration.

Students typically earn the M.A. degree at the end of their second year of study and the Ed.S. at the end of their third year.

Applicants for unconditional admission must have a bachelor's degree; undergraduate GPA of 3.00; and a GRE score of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on Verbal and Quantitative combined. Students are selected from a pool of qualified applicants, with the number of students admitted based on the availability of adequate faculty supervision.

Acceptance admits students into the M.A. portion of the school psychology program, and paperwork is required later in the program for admission into the Ed.S. program.

School psychology students may add an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) specialization.

An Ed.S. is required to be eligible for state licensure or National Certification as a School Psychologist (NCSP).

Students with a master's degree already in psychology or counseling may apply for the Ed.S. in order to re-specialize but will be required to complete deficiencies.

The M.A. in Psychology is also available with concentrations in , , , and . The department also offers a minor at the graduate level.

For complete curriculum details, click on REQUIREMENTS above.

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