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Psychology, School, M.A. and Ed.S.

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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 Middle Tennessee State University offers a combined M.A. and Ed.S. program that 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 marks the program’s 50th anniversary.


What We're Doing

Students traditions evolve during School Psychology Awareness Week

Students traditions evolve during National Psychology Awareness Week

Each fall, we celebrate National School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) and enjoy activities coordinated by our student organization, SPO (School Psychology Organization).  Over the years, 3 SPAW traditions have evolved:  1. We take a group photo of students and faculty wearing the current year school psychology t-shirt designed by second year students. 2. We spread awareness of the profession through social media and outreach to undergraduate students. 3. We participate in a day of gratitude where students take the time to reach out and thank those persons who have provided support, mentoring and inspiration.

Grant pays students for year-long internship

Grant pays students for year-long internship

The capstone experience of the program is a 1,200-hour, year-round internship in a school setting. We participate in an internship grant through the Tennessee State Department of Education that pays seven interns up to $25,000 a year. Part of the purpose of the grant is to grow School Psychologists that will work in Tennessee at least one year upon graduation in high needs districts. We also have two-three students each year who obtain paid internships outside 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.

2021-2022 Internship Locations:
Pueblo City Schools, Colorado
Murfreesboro City, Tenn.
Williamson County, Tenn.
Colorado Springs Schools, Colorado
Lancaster Independent School District, Texas

2021-2022 Graduate Job Locations:
 Valor Charter School, Tenn.

 Shelby County Schools, Memphis, Tenn.
 Murfreesboro City Schools, Tenn. (2)
 Toole County Schools, Utah
 Wilson County Schools, Tenn.
 Metro Nashville, Tenn. (2)
 
Greenville County Schools, South Carolina


Related Media

  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies

 
 
 

MTSU graduates are employed in education as either school psychologists or behavioral 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

Graduate

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 Clinical, Experimental, Industrial/Organizational, and Quantitative Psychology. The department also offers a minor at the graduate level.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Undergraduate

Three undergraduate majors lead to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology, Pre-Graduate Psychology, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The department also offers an online psychology degree in conjunction with the University College.

Undergraduates can earn a minor in one of five psychology fields: Psychology, Life Span Development, Mental Health Services, Industrial/Organizational, and Neuroscience. The department participates in an interdisciplinary minor in Behavioral Research.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The combined Master of Arts (M.A.) in Psychology and Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) in Curriculum and Instruction with concentration in School Psychology at Middle Tennessee State University (MSTU) is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and approved for licensure by the Tennessee Department of Education.  Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether this program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html, the NASP listing of state school psychology requirements at https://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/state-school-psychology-credentialing-requirements, and discuss their plans with their advisor.

Graduates of MTSU’s combined MA-EdS program are eligible for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential from the National School Psychology Certification Board of the National Association of School Psychologists. Students seeking national certification should consult the NASP website at https://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/national-certification and their advisor.

School Psychology, M.A. 

Psychology, Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology Concentration, M.A.

Monica Wallace, Coordinator
(615) 898-2165
Monica.Wallace@mtsu.edu

The Department of Psychology offers programs which lead to two graduate degrees: the Master of Arts with a major in Psychology and concentrations in Clinical, Experimental, Industrial/Organizational, Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology, and Quantitative Psychology and the Specialist in Education with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and concentration in School Psychology. The department also offers a minor at the graduate level.

The School Psychology program includes two degrees. Program completion and endorsement for a State Department of Education license require successful completion of both degrees. The M.A. portion of the program comes first. The Ed.S. is an advanced degree. It is only available to students who have master's degrees in School Psychology. Transfer students from other master's programs in Psychology or Counseling may apply, but they will be required to complete deficiencies.

The School Psychology program is field-based. As such, a student is required to be continuously enrolled in at least one field-based course every semester from the completion of PSY 6140 until the completion of the program. PSY 6960PSY 6980PSY 7080, and PSY 7810 are field-based courses. The policy excludes summer sessions.

Tennessee teacher licensing in school psychology is obtained through MTSU's program. Licensing requires (1) completion of the Ed.S. with a concentration in School Psychology, (2) 1,200 hours of internship in school psychology, (3) acceptable scores on the School Psychology Praxis II Test, and (4) verification of readiness for independent practice by an internship supervisor. The School Psychology PRAXIS II test assesses the following areas: a) professional practices that permeate all areas; b) direct and indirect services for children, families, and schools, c) systems-level services, and d) foundations of school psychological services delivery.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in Psychology with Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology concentration requires

  1. an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. Most applicants have completed 15 semester hours of psychology classes prior to admission to their graduate programs. Those applicants without 15 semester hours of undergraduate psychology may be admitted to the programs but must complete those credits in addition to their graduate programs.
  2. an acceptable undergraduate grade point average (at least 3.00) in all college work taken.
  3. completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with acceptable scores.

NOTE: Students who do not meet admission requirements may be admitted as non-degree seeking to a specific concentration. Students admitted as non-degree seeking must maintain a 3.25 GPA in their first semester (9 hours minimum) of required graduate courses in their concentration areas.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application Deadlines: Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official scores on the GRE-a minimum of 291 on the combined Verbal and Quantitative sections is expected.
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.
  4. submit the supplemental School Psychology program application.
  5. submit three (3) reference forms (found online). It is recommended that at least two references should be completed by faculty who can attest to the applicant's academic abilities.
  6. submit a current curriculum vita that includes education and employment history, research involvement, volunteer activities, references, and awards/scholarships.
  7. submit a statement of purpose, including reasons for interest in the field of School Psychology and the program at MTSU, and a description of professional goals. (Typically two to three [2-3] pages in length).

NOTE 1: Admission to graduate study is competitive and not automatic for students meeting minimal admission requirements. Students are selected from a pool of qualified applicants. Each year the number of students admitted to the program depends on the availability of adequate faculty supervision.

NOTE 2: Applicants to the School Psychology programs should contact the department for a special application and reference forms.

NOTE 3: To be considered for a graduate assistantship, students must submit additional materials. Information about the application procedure is available at www.mtsu.edu/psychology/grad/assistantship.php.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology requires completion of a minimum of 35 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. be able to meet the demands required for professional work in psychology. Therefore, students may be subject to dismissal from the Psychology Department if they (a) commit a serious breach of ethics or gross pro­fessional negligence or (b) present evidence of impaired psychological functioning that would present a danger to themselves or others in a professional role. Students who are dismissed may reapply and will be considered for readmission on a competitive basis. Students who reapply may be asked to provide evidence of improved ability to meet performance requirements. See each area coordinator and program handbook for readmission policy.
  2. be continuously enrolled in at least one field-based course every semester from the completion of PSY 6140 until the completion of the program, with the exception of summer sessions.
  3. demonstrate knowledge of the core areas of psychology by completing the following courses prior to entering the School Psychology program or during enrollment in the program (relevant courses offered at MTSU are listed in parentheses):
    1. group measurement/testing (PSY 6100 and PSY 6101; PSY 4260 or equivalent is a prerequisite);
    2. abnormal psychology (PSY 6400);
    3. learning (PSY 6440);
    4. developmental (PSY 6120PSY 6130, or PSY 6410);
    5. research methods (PSY 6615 [3 hours]).
  4. complete a total of 35 semester hours (see Curriculum section below for specifics). Only 30 percent of the total number of hours may be dually listed (5000-level meeting in conjunction with 4000- or 3000-level) courses; students without at least an undergraduate minor in psychology (at least 15 hours) will be required to complete up to 15 hours of additional psychology coursework that will not count toward the M.A. degree.
  5. complete PSY 6280/PSY 6281 or PSY 6290/PSY 6291.
  6. pass a written comprehensive examination prepared by the faculty in the student's concentration (may be taken no more than twice).
  7. maintain professional liability insurance (coverage amount at the student's discretion) throughout enrollment in the program, with a current insurance binder filed with the department at all times.

Curriculum

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Required Courses (20 hours)

  • PSY 6060 - School Psychology: Ethics and Practice

    3credit hours

    An introduction with particular emphasis on the ethical perspective. Adaptive instruction of behavior measures included, as are observations of classrooms and teacher interviews.

  • PSY 6080 - Interventions with Children and Adolescents

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 5250 or PSY 6400 or permission of instructor. Theoretical and practical issues related to interventions with children and adolescents exhibiting behavioral and emotional problems. Intervention strategies for specific problems. Experience designing and evaluating intervention plans. Legal, ethical, and practical issues.

  • PSY 6100 - Intellectual Assessment

    3credit hours

    Corequisite: PSY 6101; prerequisite: PSY 4260/PSY 5260 or PSY 6050. Practical didactic instruction in theory and practice of cognitive assessment. Practical supervised experience in rapport, administration, scoring, and interpretation of individual intelligence tests for all age levels. Liability insurance required.

  • PSY 6101 - Laboratory in Intellectual Assessment

    1credit hours

    Corequisite: PSY 6100. Skill development in completing intellectual assessments, calculating scores, and conducting conferences in a laboratory setting.

  • PSY 6750 - Psychology and Assessment of Learning Disabilities

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 6100; corequisite: PSY 6760. Characteristics and biological bases of learning disabilities. Assessment methods including normative measures and CBMs, RTI, evidence-based interventions, as well as consultation strategies related to working with children with learning disabilities.

  • PSY 6760 - Educational Assessment

    1credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 6010; corequisite: PSY 6750. Skills in conducting educational assessment for completing evaluations of children suspected of having learning disabilities. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

Abnormal Psychology (3 hours)

 

Learning or Cognition (3 hours)

 

  • PSY 6440 - Advanced Applied Behavioral Analysis

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 4400 or permission of instructor. Intensive presentation of methods used in behavioral assessment and interventions. Application of various behavioral techniques.

Developmental Psychology (3 hours)

Select one from the following:

  • PSY 6120 - Developmental Psychology: Child

    3credit hours

    Reviews the major areas of child development. These areas include cognitive, emotional, and social development. Primary attention  will be devoted to the period of infancy through early adolescence. Covers both developmental theory and research.

  • PSY 6130 - Developmental Psychology: Adolescent

    3credit hours

    Survey of research on adolescence from a biopsychosocial perspective. Student observation and study of developing adolescents from cognitive, biological, social, and psychological frameworks.

Research Methods (3 hours)

  • PSY 6615 - Basic and Applied Research Methods in Psychology

    3credit hours

    Survey of experimental and quasi-experimental research designs employed in mental health fields. Theoretical and practical knowledge of various research designs and data analysis procedures explored through class lectures and lab assignments. Offers preparation for those training to become mental health practitioners to understand and critically evaluate psychological research.

Statistics (3 hours)

Choose one:

  • PSY 6280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression  3 credit hours  
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    AND 

    PSY 6280 - Psychological Statistics: Regression

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 6281. Review of basic statistics; various correlation coefficients; multiple and partial correlation; simple and multiple regression. Laboratory included.

 

  • PSY 6290 - Psychological Statistics: ANOVA  3 credit hours  
    ANDAND  dotslash:AND title:AND 
    AND 

    PSY 6290 - Psychological Statistics: ANOVA

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 3020 or equivalent or admission to Psychology graduate program. Corequisite: PSY 6291. Review of basic statistics. Scientific quantification, research design, and statistical analysis from the perspective of analysis of variance: one-way, factorial, repeated measures, and mixed designs. Laboratory included.

Program Notes

If changes to the program are needed (such as course substitutions), students should file a Revision Form available on the Graduate Studies website at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php.

School Psychology, Ed.S.

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

Monica Wallace, Coordinator
(615) 898-2165
Monica.Wallace@mtsu.edu

The Department of Psychology offers programs which lead to two graduate degrees: the Master of Arts with a major in Psychology and concentrations in Clinical, Experimental, Industrial/Organizational, Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology, and Quantitative Psychology and the Specialist in Education with a major in Curriculum and Instruction and concentration in School Psychology. The department also offers a minor at the graduate level.

The School Psychology program includes two degrees. Program completion and endorsement for a State Department of Education license require successful completion of both degrees. The M.A. portion of the program comes first. The Ed.S. is an advanced degree. It is only available to students who have master's degrees in School Psychology. Transfer students from other master's programs in Psychology or Counseling may apply, but they will be required to complete deficiencies.

The School Psychology program is field-based. As such, a student is required to be continuously enrolled in at least one field-based course every semester from the completion of  PSY 6140 until the completion of the program. PSY 6960PSY 6980PSY 7080, and PSY 7810 are field-based courses. The policy excludes summer sessions.

Tennessee teacher licensing in school psychology is obtained through MTSU's program. Licensing requires (1) completion of the Ed.S. with a concentration in School Psychology, (2) 1,200 hours of internship in school psychology, (3) acceptable scores on the school psychology Praxis II Test, and (4) verification of readiness for independent practice by an internship supervisor. The School Psychology PRAXIS II test assesses the following areas: a) professional practices that permeate all aspects of service, b) direct and indirect services for children, families, and schools, c) system-level services, and d) foundations of school psychological services delivery.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Specialist in Education degree with a concentration in School Psychology usually requires 

  1. an earned master's degree in psychology, educational psychology, or school counseling from an accredited university or college. Normally, candidates should have completed all courses listed under the M.A. program for the Pre-Specialist in Education: School Psychology concentration;
  2. an acceptable undergraduate grade point average (at least 3.00) in all college work taken;
  3. a minimum score of 291 on the combined verbal and quantitative measures of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Application Deadlines: Applications for Summer/Fall admission must be complete by March 1, and applications for Spring admission must be complete by October 1. Late applicants who meet the admission criteria may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online atwww.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official scores on the GRE-a minimum of 291 on the combined Verbal and Quantitative sections is expected;
  3. submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
  4. submit the supplemental School Psychology program application (found online at www.mtsu.edu/schoolpsychology);
  5. submit three (3) reference forms (found online). It is recommended that at least two references should be completed by faculty who can attest to the applicant's academic abilities;
  6. submit a current curriculum vita that includes education and employment history, research involvement, volunteer activities, references, and awards/scholarships;
  7. submit a statement of purpose, including reasons for interest in the field of school psychology and the program at MTSU and a description of professional goals. (Typically two to three [2-3] pages in length.)

NOTE 1: Admission to graduate study is competitive and not automatic for students meeting minimal admission requirements. Students are selected from a pool of qualified applicants. Each year the number of students admitted to the program depends on the availability of adequate faculty supervision.

NOTE 2: To be considered for a graduate assistantship students must submit additional materials. Information about the application procedure is available at www.mtsu.edu/psychology/grad/assistantship.php.

Degree Requirements

The Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in School Psychology requires completion of 31 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. be able to meet the demands required for professional work in psychology. Therefore, students may be subject to dismissal from the Psychology Department if they (a) commit a serious breach of ethics or gross professional negligence or (b) present evidence of impaired psychological functioning that would present a danger to themselves or others in a professional role. Students who are dismissed may reapply and will be considered for readmission on a competitive basis. Students who reapply may be asked to provide evidence of improved ability to meet performance requirements. See each area coordinator and program handbook for readmission policy.
  2. complete 31 graduate semester hours (see Curriculum section below for specifics) with a minimum of 15 hours at the 7000 level.
  3. satisfy a residency requirement consisting of
    1. the completion of 18 semester hours of graduate study within a 12-month period and
    2. full-time enrollment (at least 9 semester hours) for a least one semester.
  4. complete FOED 6610/FOED 7610 (for those who did not have a thesis listed on their transcripts as part of their master's degree).
  5. complete courses in the following areas (based on National Association of School Psychologists 2020 standards):
    1. data-based decision making and accountability;
    2. consultation and collaboration;
    3. interventions and instructional support to develop academic skills;
    4. interventions and mental health services to develop social and life skills;
    5. school-wide services to promote safe and supportive schools;
    6. preventive and responsive services;
    7. family, school, and community collaborations;
    8. diversity in development and learning;
    9. research and program evaluation;
    10. legal, ethical, and professional practice.
  6. complete PSY 7810, an internship of 1,200 hours as a capstone experience.
  7. pass a written comprehensive examination approved by the faculty (may be taken no more than twice).
  8. maintain professional liability insurance (coverage amount at the student's discretion) throughout enrollment in the program, with a current insurance binder filed with the department at all times.

Curriculum: Curriculum and Instruction, School Psychology

The following illustrates the coursework requirements.

Required Courses (31 hours)

  • PSY 6105 - Psychoeducational Assessment of Preschool Children

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 6100. Instruction in theory and practice relevant to the assessment of preschool age children's cognitive, social, and emotional functioning. Field experience and liability insurance required.

  • PSY 6140 - Practicum: School Psychology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: 15 semester hours of related graduate credits, including PSY 6060, PSY 6080, PSY 6100, PSY 6750, and PSY 6770. Supervised assessment of learning and adjustment problems with follow-up parent, teacher, and administrator conferences. Practicum experience includes 90 hours of supervised work with a practicing, certified, full-time school psychologist. At least 50 percent of the practicum placement shall be in a school setting. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • PSY 6661 - Program Evaluation

    3credit hours

    Methods and issues in program evaluation. Topics include evaluation methods, proposal construction, and presentation techniques.

  • PSY 6875 - Practicum: Consultation/Collaboration in School Psychology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 6750 and PSY 6760. Field-based training in the knowledge and skills necessary for school psychologists to successfully serve as consultants in school-based settings. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment.

  • PSY 7080 - Practicum: Advanced Interventions with Children

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: PSY 6080. Corequisite: PSY 6140. Theoretical and practical issues related to school interventions with children exhibiting psychological and behavior problems. Advanced skills development in consultation with parents and teachers, psychotherapy with children, and brief, short-term family therapy.

  • PSY 7200 - School Neuropsychology

    3credit hours

    Prerequisites: PSY 6100, PSY 6750, PSY 6770. Prerequisite/corequisite: PSY 6400. Overview of the principles of neuropsychology as applied within the school population. Biological and neurological basis of behaviors and disorders in the school setting and means of intervention.

  • PSY 7810 - Advanced Internship: School Psychology  3 to 6 credit hours  
    (10 credit hours)each semester for two semesters (10 credit hours required)  dotslash:each semester for two semesters (10 credit hours required) title:(10 credit hours) 
    each semester for two semesters (10 credit hours required) 

    PSY 7810 - Advanced Internship: School Psychology

    3 to 6credit hours

    Prerequisites: 60 semester hours of approved graduate classes and  PSY 6140, PSY 6875, PSY 7080, and approved thesis proposal. Minimum of 1200 hours supervised internship, at least half in a public school system. Liability insurance required prior to enrollment. May be repeated; enrollment must be continuous.

Program Notes

If changes to the program are needed (such as course substitutions), students should file a Revision Form available on the Graduate Studies website at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/forms.php.

 

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

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 Middle Tennessee State University 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.

Application supplemental forms

Associated Links

Sources for Funding

Sample Syllabi

MTSU has an Ed.S. program which is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The psychology department has an ongoing relationship with the Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia. Students get detailed training in assessment and intervention with students who have dyslexia. Practica and internships are available at the center.

Select from the following sample syllabi:

Please click on the following links for information regarding disability standards:

Rules and Regulations for Special Education (click links below):

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available .


For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program. OR Work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.


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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at distance@mtsu.edu.

Contact Information

Monica Wallace
Monica.Wallace@mtsu.edu
615-898-2165

Who is My Advisor?

Seth Marshall
Seth.Marshall@mtsu.edu
615-898-2581

Monica Wallace
Monica.Wallace@mtsu.edu
615-898-2165

Mailing Address

Department of Psychology
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 87
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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