Graduate Programs: School Psychology
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students that strengthen connections between home and school.
The UHV School Psychology master’s program is dedicated to providing students with a comprehensive, integrated program of study delivered by qualified faculty, as well as substantial supervised field experiences necessary for the provision of school psychological services which positively impact children, youth, families, and the schools that serve them. The training standards within the program are consistent with the standards of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychology (TSBEP) Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credentialing, which complies with the nationally recognized standards for the practice of school psychology per the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standards.
The mission of the UHV school psychology program is to train entry-level school psychology practitioners, namely, Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP), in accordance to the standards set by the Texas State Board of Examiners (TSBEP). The program is designed around NASP standards to prepare students for the NCSP. With emphasis on best practice application of school psychology, faculty and students are expected to be both consumers and evaluators of empirically-based practice, while providing empirically-based school psychological services to a diverse population of individuals including children, families, school personnel, and other related professionals. Students are trained to adequately assess difficulties students may be having that impact their education, consult with teachers and parents regarding student difficulties and intervene with students through evidence-based academic, behavioral, and counseling interventions. The School Psychology program has a core philosophy that emphasizes student development of competencies in the delivery of practical, empirically sound services to a wide range of children in diverse learning environments.
The School Psychology Program is a 69-hour non-terminal degree, leading to a Specialist degree in School Psychology (SSP), which meets the academic requirements for the Texas Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credential. With this licensing, you can practice as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in K-12 public schools.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where are your classes held?
70% of our coursework is taught online via Blackboard. The other 30% of our courses are offered either in person or via hybrid methods (combination of online and face to face components). Face to face courses are typically held in the evenings (4-6:45 pm or 7-9:45 pm) or on Saturday mornings (9:50-12:35 pm) to accommodate working professionals. The location of face to face courses is determined based on the geographic residency of our students and those that need to take a particular course. We do our best to make our courses accessible to students and have held courses in Victoria and the Houston area during past semesters. Typically students are taking only 1-2 face to face courses per semester.
2. Can I enroll in the program part-time?
Part-time enrollment is available; however, it is important you work closely with School Psychology faculty regarding your course progression as the course sequence often builds upon one another and courses are only offered once per year.
3. What types of practical experience do I receive while in the program?
During the program, you will complete a yearlong practicum and a yearlong internship. Practicum takes place during your second year of the program after particular courses have been completed. Practicum students work beside an LSSP in a school district of their choosing for a minimum of 10 hours per week (150 hours per semester, Fall and Spring). During your practicum, you are also completing coursework. Internship is the culminating experience of the program and takes place after all coursework has been completed, typically during your 3rd year. Interns are full-time employees of a school district of their choosing and intern positions are typically paid. Please refer to the Practicum and Internship handbooks available on our website for more information.
4. Can I hold a full-time job while enrolled in the program?
Past students have held full-time jobs and successfully completed the program. However, please be aware that traditional full-time employment (Monday-Friday from 8-5) is particularly difficult during your 2nd year in the program when you are required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week in the school setting for your practicum. Practicum positions are unpaid but required by the program. During your 3rd year internship, this becomes your full-time job, as you are employed as an LSSP Intern by a school district. Internships are typically paid and interns generally earn $20-30,000 per year, depending on the district.
5. What are students in your program like?
We pride ourselves on recruiting diverse students with an array of experiences who contribute to our program and surrounding school districts. The majority of our students live in the Houston area, although many live in Victoria and within rural communities in the Gulf Coast area. About 50% of our students are full-time students, while 50% are part-time. The majority of our students have families, children and prior careers before deciding to come back to school. We have past teachers, speech-language assistants, and business men and women who have been successful in our program.
6. I already have a Master’s degree. Can I transfer credits towards the School Psychology program?
Per the UHV graduate handbook, credit may be transferred only for graduate credit courses completed with a grade of A or B and completed in residence under a graduate degree program at a college or university with recognition in some form from the U.S. Department of Education or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. These courses must be certified as graduate level by the Office of the Registrar and Student Records of UHV.
If you are transferring credit from another UH institution, up to 50% of the program’s hours could be transferred (a maximum of 34 transfer credit hours). If you are transferring credit from an institution outside of the UH system, up to 25% of the program’s hours could be transferred (a maximum of 18 transfer credit hours).
After being admitted to the program, you will work with the program director and other School Psychology faculty to determine which courses may meet our requirements for transfer credit.
7. Your website says that I will earn a Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree. I’ve never heard of this. What is this degree?
Starting in 2006, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board allowed graduate School Psychology programs to grant the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree. The degree reflects the increased number of hours that students obtain, as most School Psychology programs are a minimum of 60 hours. However, traditional Master’s degrees range from 30-50 hours. Given the increased amount of hours that students complete within our program, the SSP degree is granted, which signifies a degree that is more advanced than a Master’s degree, but less advanced than a Doctorate degree.
8. UHV sounds great but I’m also interested in other programs. Why should I choose UHV to continue my education?
We pride ourselves on making sure that our students have a wonderful learning experience and become strong school psychology practitioners. Here are some of the reasons our students love our program-
Admission to the counseling psychology, forensic psychology or school psychology program is based on an evaluation by the program's admission committee of the following information.