The School Psychology Program at James Madison University is housed within the Department of Graduate Psychology and the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. The School Psychology Program is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) with our last full approval granted in 2012. The program received unconditional approval by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and NASP in the mid cycle review in 2015. Central to the program focus is the understanding of children within a systems context, including the family, the school, and the socio-cultural environment. The program emphasizes the role of the culturally competent school psychologist as that of a facilitator of an individual's overall well-being and potential. Within an integrated theoretical framework, students are prepared to be culturally competent, interpersonally skilled, data-oriented problem solvers. Students are prepared in assessment for intervention, prevention, counseling, educational and mental health consultation, behavior management, and applied research. They are prepared to be applied child and adolescent school psychologists in diverse educational and mental health settings. The program expects students to have a commitment to academic excellence, personal growth, professional responsibility, sensitivity to and understanding of human diversity, and effective interpersonal relationships.
Specifically, graduates of the School Psychology Program are required to be competent in the following areas:
- Students will achieve a breadth of understanding of the foundations in the knowledge base of psychology and related disciplines, including: Biological Bases of Behavior, Human Learning, Social and Cultural Bases of Behavior, Life-Span Development, and Individual Differences, including Developmental Psychopathology.
- Students will achieve basic knowledge of educational issues including instructional design, effective educational environments, and organization and operation of schools.
- Students will possess knowledge and expertise to collaborate with families and with community and school professionals in designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions that effectively respond to the educational and mental health needs of children and youth.
Areas of knowledge and practice shall include:
- Assessment for intervention - cognitive, educational, social, behavioral, emotional;
- Individual counseling within a systems context;
- Group counseling;
- Consultation with parents/families;
- Consultation with teachers/community professionals;
- In-service training for school personnel;
- Consultation for systems/organizational change.
- Students will achieve basic knowledge and skills in research/evaluation methods, statistics, and measurement to evaluate professional practices and programs.
- Students shall have a knowledge base specific to school psychology and will apply this knowledge to promote a best practice approach to professional service. This knowledge base includes:
- History and foundation of school psychology;
- Roles and functions of school psychologists;
- Legal, ethical, and professional standards;
- Alternative models for the delivery of school psychology services;
- Emergent technologies.
- Students will demonstrate a commitment to personal growth, self awareness, and sensitivity to and understanding of others. They will apply this orientation to build and maintain effective relationships with children, adolescents, parents, teachers, colleagues, and other professionals.
- Students will demonstrate personal and professional characteristics of a culturally competent practitioner. (Refer to Culturally Competent Practitioner Initiative description).
Our program values:
- Supportive and collaborative training atmosphere
- Integrated theoretical framework for practice
- Small class size to maximize mentoring and advising
- Commitment to cultural competence
- Commitment to social justice
- Effective interpersonal relationships
- Data-oriented problem solving
- Understanding children within a systems context, including the family, the school, and the socio-cultural environment
- Assessment for intervention
- Community service
- Professional service and well being