Specialist in School Psychology Program

Program Handbook 2018-2019

Program Introduction

You are now a graduate student in the Specialist in School Psychology program at the University of Houston-Victoria. Congratulations! You have chosen one of the most outstanding training programs in the region. The UHV School Psychology program is outstanding because it has an excellent faculty from diverse backgrounds with applied school psychology skills and teaching and research skills. Furthermore, the UHV School Psychology faculty is genuinely concerned about your growth, development and success as a professional who will provide competent psychological services to children, families, and schools. Please take the time to get to know the school psychology core faculty because they will play an important role in your education and development into a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP). The UHV psychology faculty expects you to exhibit the hard work and dedication necessary to acquire the skills and knowledge to be a successful school LSSP. We are prepared to work and partner with you to give you the opportunity to become a skilled and professional leader as an LSSP within the public schools of Texas and beyond.

Please note that all School Psychology students are required to abide by the expectations outlined in this handbook.  Additional handbooks are also available for students engaging in practicum and internship experiences.  The graduate psychology programs also have a handbook for students in the Counseling, Forensic and School Psychology programs.  Students are responsible for understanding the information outlined in all relevant handbooks that pertain to them during their time in the program.

Program Overview

The Specialist in School Psychology program is housed in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of the Arts & Sciences School of the University of Houston-Victoria. The program in school psychology 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 both the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) training standards and those of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychology (TSBEP) for the Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credentialing. Thus, upon completion of the program, students will be eligible to apply for the LSSP credential from the TSBEP and the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential from NASP. 

The UHV Specialist in School Psychology program was notified on August 1, 2017 that the program has been approved for candidacy status for NASP accreditation by the NASP Program Approval Board.  The program is in the process of collecting and analyzing student data for further review.  The program continues to undergo a continuous and data-based improvement process to reflect NASP standards.  Candidacy status granted by NASP is effective until December 31, 2021. 

Program Mission & Philosophy

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 of Psychology (TSBEP). The school psychology program has a core philosophy that emphasizes student development of competencies in the delivery of practical, ethical, and empirically sound services to a wide range of children in diverse learning environments. 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.

Program Goals & Objectives

Goal 1: Knowledge Base

To prepare highly competent school psychology practitioners with excellent applied skills, who are grounded in a best-practice approach to meet the multifaceted needs of children and families and the schools that serve them.

Objectives:

1.   Students will be well grounded in the basic and applied knowledge areas, including but not limited to psychological foundations of behavior, educational foundations of behavior, psychological and psycho-educational assessment, direct and indirect interventions, and professional school psychology.

2.   Students will demonstrate knowledge of empirically sound techniques of practice in the field of school psychology.

3.   Students will be competent in and maintain utility of research to inform practice.

Goal 2: Application/Interpretation

To prepare high levels of clinical competency in assessment, consultation, counseling, and behavior management, all of which are characteristic of the professional practice of school psychology.

Objectives:

1.   Students will successfully complete both didactic and lab-based course work dealing with the theory, empirical support, and knowledge base in psychological and psycho- educational assessment, individual and system level consultation, problem identification and program development, individual and group based counseling, and program accountability.

2.   Students will successfully complete practicum experiences that follow their clinically oriented courses. They will engage in supervised school based experiences designed to refine these clinical skills.

3.   Students will be provided program-based opportunities to further develop their clinical skills in professional settings under professional supervision.

4.   Students will engage in high quality school-based internships that complement and refine the competencies promoted in the didactic and practicum components of the program.

Goal 3: Professional Practice/Performance Skills

To foster, in students, a professional identity as LSSPs, who are knowledgeable about ethical and professional issues, understand and utilize special education and educational laws and regulations, and value the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations.

Objectives:

1.   Students will attend, present posters/papers, and become involved with university program organizations, professional School Psychology organizations and meetings.

2.   Students will be cognizant of, and utilize in their practice, current topics relevant to the practice of school psychology.

3.   Students will demonstrate an awareness of, and ability to utilize, the most recent standards in ethical practice, educational and special education law, and federal, state and local legislation.

4.   Students will learn and demonstrate the importance of collaboration across disciplines and specializations as necessary in order to fully develop their own professional identities as LSSPs.

5.   Students will understand the importance of and have opportunities to participate in school and community partnerships.

6.   Students will actively pursue advances in technology that can be used to facilitate assessment and intervention.

Goal 4: Values

To prepare culturally competent school psychology professionals to practice professionally in this increasingly culturally diverse society.

Objectives:

1.   Students will critically explore their own cultural identity and heritage and examine potential barriers to effective psychological service delivery.

2.   Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different cultures, value systems, developmental/identity issues related to culture and perspectives of healthcare and psychological services.

3.   Students will demonstrate use of culturally competent consultation, intervention, and assessment practices to meet student, staff, and parental needs.

4.   Students will demonstrate knowledge of ethical and legal issues related to multicultural competence in providing school psychology services and will be able to professionally evaluate ethical dilemmas in related services.

Goal 5: Critical Thinking

To prepare students who are able to engage in decision-making, problem solving, and use of critical thinking skills in the context of the school psychology profession.

Objectives:

1.   Students will demonstrate the ability to critically analyze and integrate data to derive recommendations appropriate for each client’s presenting concerns.

2.   Students will demonstrate flexibility and creativity in working within systems to accommodate multiple stakeholders and to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

3.   Students will actively pursue consultation and supervision to confirm, question, or challenge their thought processes and to continue developing critical thinking skills.

Professional Dispositions

The School Psychology Program at the University of Houston-Victoria is committed to an ongoing assessment of the program, the faculty, and the students. One aspect of this assessment is an appraisal of the student’s personal and professional characteristics and work habits, which are reviewed as a component of the yearly student evaluation as well as the practica and internship evaluations. The following personal and professional characteristics are considered to be essential to the effective practice of School Psychology:

1. School psychologists are committed to their profession. They are aware of and meet the ethical and practice standards of their profession. They participate in professional organizations. Experienced school psychologists provide mentorship and guidance to those entering the profession.

2. School psychologists are committed to meeting the needs of children and families.

They serve as advocates for children’s needs. They work to promote system level change to better meet the needs of children and their families.

3. School psychologists are committed to diversity. They realize the essential worth of   all people and the energy and wealth of ideas and experience that can be gained through diversity. They realize that good professional practice requires skills in assessment, consultation, counseling, and data based decision-making with individuals from a broad variety of cultures and backgrounds. School psychologists work to increase tolerance and respect for all individuals regardless of gender, disability, racial or ethnic identity, social or economic status, religion, or sexual orientation.

4. School psychologists are aware of the importance of technology as a tool as well as the ethical and practical considerations of its use. They work to use technology to increase efficiency in their work and access of services to children.

5. School psychologists display excellent communication skills. They are good listeners who utilize active listening techniques and display empathy. They can clearly communicate their ideas and complex information orally, and in writing, to diverse audiences such as parents, teachers, fellow school psychologists, and other professionals.

6. School psychologists display strong interpersonal skills. They are warm, empathetic, and compassionate. They are able to relate to a broad variety of individuals and form productive professional relationships. They are able to function effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team.

7. School psychologists are reliable. They can be depended upon to meet their professional obligations in a timely manner. They display initiative and leadership on the job.

8. School psychologists display flexibility and tolerance for ambiguity. They are able to negotiate the complex social system of schools with patience and good humor.

School Psychology Program Core Faculty

School Psychology program core faculty members are faculty members who were trained in the field of School Psychology.  Their primary teaching assignments are designated to core School Psychology courses within the program of study.  They develop and oversee all course objectives related to core School Psychology courses and supervise core courses taught by adjunct faculty.

Dr. Elise Hendricker

Assistant Professor

Program Director

Practicum Supervisor

Office Location: UHV-Katy, 3-108     

Office Phone #: (281) 396-3706

Dr. Shannon Viola

Assistant Professor

Internship Supervisor

Psi Chi and SPA Faculty Advisor

Office Location: UHV-Katy, 3-109

Office Phone #: (281) 396-3707

Meet Dr. Hendricker

Dr. Hendricker is the Director of the UHV School Psychology graduate program. Dr. Hendricker is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in the state of Texas. She received her doctorate degree in School Psychology from the University of Missouri. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship with Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. Dr. Hendricker has experience working with all ages of students in school and community settings, including alternative schools, early childhood programs and juvenile justice programs. Her professional and research interests include the preparation and training of school psychologists, prevention and early intervention of academic and behavioral concerns through the use of family interventions, and broadening the role of school psychologists to become systems change agents.

Meet Dr. Viola

Dr. Viola is a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in the state of Texas. She received her doctorate degree in School Psychology from Oklahoma State University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship with Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. Dr. Viola has gained experience in working in public school settings with all ages of students. Dr. Viola’s research interests pertain to children, families, improving education, and the lives of children. Areas of specific interest include Response to Intervention, parental involvement, and academic, behavioral, and social-emotional interventions.

School Psychology Program Affiliated Faculty

School Psychology program affiliated faculty members are faculty members who were trained in other fields of psychology beyond School Psychology.  Their primary teaching assignments are designated to foundational courses within the program of study. 

Dr. Rick Harrington- Professor, Licensed Psychologist, Chair of Social & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Paige Harris, Assistant Professor, Director of Forensic Psychology Program 

Dr. Donald Loffredo- Professor, Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Karen Parsonson- Assistant Professor

Dr. Catherine Perz- Associate Professor, Licensed Psychologist, Director of Counseling Psychology and Undergraduate Psychology Program

Academic Advisement & Orientation

One of the most important people in your graduate education is your School Psychology Faculty Advisor. Your advisor is your advocate and confidant. Your advisor recommends and approves your degree plan, monitors your progress, approves course selection, helps you in securing practicum and internship placements, recommends students for graduation and assists you in the job search. As soon as possible after admission to the school psychology degree program, but no later than during the first semester of work, the student should contact his or her assigned school psychology advisor to develop a Degree Plan for the Specialist Degree. During an individual conference, the school psychology faculty advisor will assist the student with selection of courses for the each semester.

After the student's degree plan is signed by the advisor and department head and approved by the Graduate School, the student is expected to follow it as the basis for all subsequent enrollments. The degree plan is the primary advisement tool. It is completed early in the student’s program, usually in the first semester and provides the listing of courses needed for graduation. The student is responsible for keeping the degree plan updated and for bringing the plan to advisement sessions.

Students with last names A-J- your faculty advisor is Dr. Hendricker. 

Students with last names K-Z- your faculty advisor is Dr. Viola. 

Each student is required to consult with his or her school psychology faculty advisor before enrolling in classes for each respective semester. For further information or to schedule an advising session, please contact your faculty advisor.

Student Advising Requirement: At the beginning of each academic year, all newly admitted and currently admitted graduate students will be invited to attend a Mandatory Psychology Graduate Studies orientation conducted by the UHV Psychology Faculty. During orientation, students will receive information regarding curriculum and program requirements, and will be introduced to the Psychology faculty members. If a student is unable to attend, he/she is required to contact his/her advisor to obtain important program information.

Prerequisites & Program Degree Requirements

Students should have evidence of having completed the following undergraduate or graduate before being admitted into the school psychology program: statistics, research, and abnormal psychology. A particular course will be waived as a requirement if the student passes a comprehensive final or its equivalent for the designated course with a grade of C or better. The exam may be taken no more than once for a particular course. 

Currently, the School Psychology Program is a 63-hour non-terminal degree that leads to a Specialist in School Psychology degree and 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 in K-12 public schools in Texas. You are also eligible to apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist Credential from NASP.  Students who complete a school-based internship under the supervision of a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and a Licensed Psychologist may also be eligible for the Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) credential in Texas.  All students begin and typically follow through with the course of study in the official university catalog of their beginning year in the program. Please see the plan of study below, in which students are advised to follow consistently for successful and timely matriculation through the program.

Students are allowed to enroll in the program part-time.  They should discuss their plans to enroll part-time with the program director when they are offered an invitation of acceptance into the program.  As a part-time student, it is the expectation that students take a minimum of two courses each semester to show adequate progression.  As outlined by UHV policy, degree plans must be completed within 7 years from the time a student was admitted into the program. Students enrolled on a part-time basis should keep this in mind as it relates to their course progression.  To make sure that students are up to date in their skills, the School Psychology program strongly suggests that all students complete their coursework within a 5 year time frame.  If students take courses beyond the 5 year time frame, it is the policy of the School Psychology program that any course taken in the program that is older than 5 years at the projected time of the student’s graduation date will be reviewed by the faculty.  After syllabi are reviewed, if it is determined that students were trained on outdated information (e.g., older assessments that have now been updated, outdated ethical standards), a plan will be written outlining the student’s responsibilities to review and update their knowledge prior to graduation.

 We understand that sometimes students have difficulties and may need to take time off from the program.  However, any student that takes more than two consecutive semesters off must re-apply to the program and will be considered along with all other applicants at that time.  Part-time students are required to attend all professional development opportunities and any other requirements that are outlined in this handbook.

School Psychology Foundation Courses (24 semester hours)

PSYC 6334 Theories & Issues in Psychotherapy

PSYC 6332 Advanced Social Psychology

PSYC 6330 Life Span Development

PSYC 6331 Multicultural Psychotherapy

PSYC 6326 Advanced Research Methods

PSYC 6321 Psychopathology I

PSYC 6336 Intellectual Assessment

ELAS 6331 Educational Law

School Psychology Core Concentration Courses (39 semester hours)

PSYC 6315 Advanced Learning

PSYC 6328 Biological Psychology

PSYC 6344 The Ethics & Profession of School Psychology

PSYC 6324 Techniques of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy

PSYC 6340 School Consultation

PSYC 6341 Behavior Management

PSYC 6345 Integrated School Based Assessment I

PSYC 6346 Integrated School Based Assessment II

PSYC 6353 Academic Interventions and Consultation in School Psychology

PSYC 6342 Early Childhood Assessment

PSYC 6348 School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305 School Psychology Internship

Recommended School Psychology Plan of Study

*For students who enrolled prior to Fall 2016*

Year 1 Fall

12 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6334  Theories & Issues in Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6344  The Ethics & Profession of School Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6336  Intellectual Assessment (3-face to face, sections offered in Victoria and Katy)

PSYC 6315  Advanced Learning (3- online)  PSYC 6334  Theories & Issues in Psychotherapy (3-online)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6334  Theories & Issues in Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6344  The Ethics & Profession of School Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6336  Intellectual Assessment (3-face to face, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

PSYC 6340  School Consultation (3-online)

Year 1 Spring 

12 hours         

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6341  Behavior Management (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Victoria and Katy)

PSYC 6345  Integrated School-Based Assessment I (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6332  Advanced Social Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6328  Biological Psychology (3-online)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6341  Behavior Management (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

PSYC 6345  Integrated School-Based Assessment I (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6332  Advanced Social Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6330  Life Span Development (3-online)

Year 1 Summer

6 or 9 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6331  Multicultural Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6300 Early Childhood Assessment (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

LITY 6331  Instruction for Students with Literacy Difficulties (3-online)       

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6331  Multicultural Psychotherapy (3-online)

LITY 6331  Instruction for Students with Literacy Difficulties (3-online)

Year 2 Fall

12 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6346  Integrated School-Based Assessment II (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6326  Advanced Research Methods (3-online)

PSYC 6340  School Consultation (3-online)

PSYC 6321  Advanced Abnormal Psychology (3-online)     

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6346  Integrated School-Based Assessment II (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6326  Advanced Research Methods (3-online)

PSYC 6315  Advanced Learning (3- online)

PSYC 6321  Advanced Abnormal Psychology (3-online)

Year 2 Spring 

12 hours         

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6330  Life Span Development (3-online)

PSYC 6324  Techniques of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (3-face to face in Katy)

PSYC 6348  School Psychology Practicum in Consultation & Interventions

(3-face to face in Katy)

PSYC 6349  School Psychology Practicum in Assessment (3- face to face in Katy)          

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6328  Biological Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6324  Techniques of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (3-face to face in Katy)

PSYC 6348  School Psychology Practicum in Consultation & Interventions

(3- face to face in Katy)         

PSYC 6349  School Psychology Practicum in Assessment (3- face to face in Katy)

Year 2 Summer

3 or 6 hours    

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

ELAS 6331 Education Law (3-online)

Take Praxis II Licensure Exam         

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

ELAS 6331 Education Law (3-online)

PSYC 6300 Early Childhood Assessment (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Victoria and Katy)

Take Praxis II Licensure Exam

Year 3 Fall

3 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6305 Internship (3-online with experiential components)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6305 Internship (3- online with experiential components)

Year 3 Spring 

3 hours           

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6305 Internship (3- online with experiential components)     

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6305 Internship (3- online with experiential components)

Recommended School Psychology Plan of Study

*For students who enrolled during or after Fall 2016* 

Year 1 Fall

12 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)  

PSYC 6334  Theories & Issues in Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6344  The Ethics & Profession of School Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6336  Intellectual Assessment (3-face to face, sections offered in Victoria and Katy)

PSYC 6315  Advanced Learning (3- online) 

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6334  Theories & Issues in Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6344  The Ethics & Profession of School Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6336  Intellectual Assessment (3-face to face, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

PSYC 6340  School Consultation (3-online)

Year 1 Spring 

12 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)  

PSYC 6341  Behavior Management (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Victoria and Katy)

PSYC 6345  Integrated School-Based Assessment I (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6332  Advanced Social Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6328  Biological Psychology (3-online)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6341  Behavior Management (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

PSYC 6345  Integrated School-Based Assessment I (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6332  Advanced Social Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6330  Life Span Development (3-online)

Year 1 Summer

6 or 9 hours    

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)  

PSYC 6331  Multicultural Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6300 Early Childhood Assessment (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

PSYC 6353 Academic Interventions and Consultation in School Psychology (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6331  Multicultural Psychotherapy (3-online)

PSYC 6353 Academic Interventions and Consultation in School Psychology (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Katy and Victoria)

Year 2 Fall

12 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6346  Integrated School-Based Assessment II (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6326  Advanced Research Methods (3-online)

PSYC 6340  School Consultation (3

-online)

PSYC 6321  Psychopathology I (3-online)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6346  Integrated School-Based Assessment II (3-face to face in Victoria)

PSYC 6326  Advanced Research Methods (3-online)

PSYC 6315  Advanced Learning (3- online)

PSYC 6321  Psychopathology I (3-online)

Year 2 Spring 

9 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6330  Life Span Development (3-online)

PSYC 6324  Techniques of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (3-face to face in Katy)

PSYC 6348  School Psychology Practicum (3- face to face in Katy)           

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6328  Biological Psychology (3-online)

PSYC 6324  Techniques of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (3-face to face in Katy)

PSYC 6348  School Psychology Practicum (3- face to face in Katy)

Year 2 Summer

3 or 6 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

ELAS 6331  Education Law (3-online)

Take Praxis II Licensure Exam         

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

ELAS 6331  Education Law (3-online)

PSYC 6300 Early Childhood Assessment (3-hybrid/ITV, sections offered in Victoria and Katy)

Take Praxis II Licensure Exam

Year 3 Fall

3 hours

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6305  Internship (3-online with experiential components)

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6305  Internship (3- online with experiential components)

Year 3 Spring 

3 hours           

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an odd year)

PSYC 6305  Internship (3- online with experiential components)    

Required Classes & Experiences (if starting the program in an even year)

PSYC 6305  Internship (3- online with experiential components)

Course Methods

The School Psychology program incorporates distance learning methods within its courses.  We believe that distance learning methods are advantageous for many students, particularly those students who have an interest in becoming a school psychologist but have other responsibilities that may prohibit them from participating in a program that requires all meetings in a traditional face to face format.  Our plan of study outlines the various courses each student will have to take and the course methods that are utilized.  A summary of course methods is outlined below. 

Face to Face: Face to face courses are traditional courses that students may envision when taking university courses.  Students are required to attend class at a particular day and time where the instructor is also present.  Face to face courses meet weekly, typically for 2 hours and 45 minutes.  While online information may be used to assist in teaching (readings, videos etc.), the delivery of course content is done within the classroom setting.

Online:  Courses labeled online have no face to face course meetings.  At the current time, our online courses are delivered through Blackboard.  Students login to the course at a minimum of once per week and complete activities, readings, and other course requirements outlined by the instructor.  The instructor is available via email and can meet with students in real time through other technologies, such as Skype, Adobe Connect or Google Hangouts as needed.  There are no formal class meetings in online classes, as students are expected to be self-motivated and complete activities at times that are advantageous to their personal schedules. 

Hybrid:  Hybrid courses are a mix of face to face and online.  Hybrid courses are required to meet at a minimum of 50% in a traditional face to face setting.  The other 50% of the course is delivered via online methods.  The instructor may schedule the course in a way that he/she feels is advantageous to the course material.  So for example, some courses may meet every other week face to face, while some courses may meet more in the beginning of the course and less as the course progresses.

ITV:  Courses that are listed as ITV utilize Interactive Television devices.  This means that students can be located in two different locations (typically Victoria and Katy) and the instructor is in one location.  Students can see each classroom via a television screen, as well as all course content that is delivered.  Microphones are available for each classroom to communicate with one another.  Within ITV courses, the instructor will typically travel to each location so that students are able to access him/her in person periodically throughout the semester. 

The program has been structured in a manner which requires students to meet for at least one face to face course each semester, ensuring that students get to see and interact with their faculty members and cohort members on a weekly basis at minimum.  The majority of School Psychology core courses require face to face meetings, which allows students to see at least one core faculty member on a regular basis.  Affiliated faculty often teach online courses that do not require face to face meetings.  However, it is strongly recommended that students schedule an in person meeting with each affiliated faculty member each semester for every course they take to build a sense of mentorship and discuss relevant course materials.  In addition, students may also choose to participate in university events and professional development opportunities where faculty members are present to continue to build collegial relationships.

School Psychology Practicum Requirements

Practicum Prerequisite Requirements

Students should follow the degree program outlined and can be deemed prepared for practicum when they have successfully completed all of the required courses in the course sequence prior to the 2nd year, spring semester.  Student grade point average should also be at 3.0 or above throughout the program to be considered for practicum.

Practicum Site Requirements

Students are required to complete a 300 hour practica.  Each practicum student will be assigned a university supervisor who is a faculty member of the School Psychology Program and who holds a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credential.  University supervision will occur at the university during weekly, in person class meetings and site visits may be conducted when feasible.  The practicum student will be responsible for documenting for the university supervisor the duties s/he has performed. The university supervisor may also consult or confer with the field-based supervisor at any time regarding the practicum student’s progress, and the university supervisor will receive formal evaluation of the student’s skills at the mid-semester and end of the semester. The university supervisor will serve as a consultant in mediating any difficulties and as a resource regarding technical information, ethics, standards procedures, rules and regulations, etc. Students who wish to complete practicum should be enrolled in the semester prior to practicum to ensure consistency of skills and knowledge.  Please see the School Psychology Practicum Handbook for specific details and forms.

Practicum Course Requirements

Students are required to adhere to the following as well:

1.         Students may not begin at a practicum site until it has been approved by the university supervisor and the Memorandum of Agreement has been signed by all parties.

2.         Students will be required to register for the practicum class for academic credit

3.         Students must complete 300 hours which should include activities outlined in the practicum handbook and syllabus

4.         Students are required to attend face-to-face meetings with the University supervisors as scheduled and outlined in the practicum course syllabus.

5.         Practicum students must follow the NASP ethical code at all times.

6.         Students must complete any other requirements as outlined in the practicum class syllabus.

School Psychology Internship Class Requirements (Psyc 6305)

In order to meet the program and licensing and certification requirements, students must complete a school-based internship with a minimum of 1200 clock hours in a public school or school system. As such, students must enroll in PSYC 6305 for two consecutive semesters. Students are ready for internship only when they have completed all other academic requirements successfully, including practicum.  The School Psychology Internship normally takes place across an academic year with a full-time assignment. As is appropriate for their professional skills and training, the program encourages all interns to be paid. The beginning and ending dates of the internship and the intern’s working schedule are to be agreed upon by the student, onsite supervisor, and coordinator, but ordinarily encompass one school year. A minimum of 1200 hours must be completed by the end of the spring term and the student’s self and supervisor evaluations should also be completed by this time so that grades can be assigned and the student can graduate in May. If the student applies for the LSSP before graduation and all parties agree, he or she may continue to work under supervision for the remainder of that school year. Throughout the internship, the channels of communication shall remain open between the university, site, and the student, as the university must remain concerned with not only the student’s well-being, but with that of the site and its clients, and with the university itself. Prior to beginning the school psychology internship, the site and site supervisor must be approved by the university supervisor and the Memorandum of Agreement for Internship must be signed by the student, the school site LSSP supervisor, and the University of Houston-Victoria school internship coordinator. According to the Texas Psychologists’ licensing law, students are exempt from TSBEP credentials or contract filing but must use a title indicating training status as a School Psychology Intern while delivering psychological services in the schools.

Supervision within the public schools may only be provided by a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, who has a minimum of three years of independent experience providing psychological services within the public school system without supervision. To qualify, a licensee must be able to show proof of their license, credential, or authority to provide unsupervised school psychological services in the jurisdiction where those services were provided, along with documentation from the public school(s) evidencing delivery of those services.

 

A supervisor must provide an LSSP Intern with at least two hours of supervision per week, with no more than half (or a maximum of 1 hour per week) being group supervision. A supervisor may reduce the amount of weekly supervision on a proportional basis for trainees working less than full-time.

The university school psychology internship coordinator may make on-site visits to lend support and monitor quality if feasible.  The university school psychology internship coordinator is not an employee of the internship agency and therefore will not directly supervise student cases.  All final decisions about K-12 students are made by the LSSP supervisor in conjunction with the intern.  The UHV internship coordinator is available for support during class meetings and via phone and email throughout the week.

Internship Course Requirements

Students are required to adhere to the following as well:

1.         Students may not begin at an internship site until it has been approved by the university supervisor and the Memorandum of Agreement has been signed by all parties.

2.         Students will be required to register for the internship class during both the Fall and Spring semesters (PSYC 6305).

3.         Students must complete 1200 hours prior to graduation. 

4.         Students are required to attend face-to-face and online meetings with the University supervisors as scheduled and outlined in the internship course syllabus.

5.         Interns must follow the NASP ethical code at all times.

6.         Interns must complete any other requirements as outlined in the internship class syllabus, including but not limited to NASP Standards of Practice portfolio, case studies and submission of hours logs and evaluations. 

Students who wish to complete internship should be enrolled in the Spring semester prior to internship to ensure consistency of skills and knowledge.  Please see the School Psychology Internship Handbook for further information.

NASP Domains of Practice Portfolio

In accordance with the NASP Domains of Practice, each student will complete a competency-based portfolio throughout their time in the program to highlight how their coursework, practicum and internship experiences has fulfilled each competency outlined by NASP as necessary for the success of school psychology training.  Students will complete these portfolios throughout their coursework and experiences with the assistance of the core School Psychology faculty.  The completion of the portfolio will assist students in applying for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential immediately upon graduation.

Below is a list of each NASP Domain and the courses that will require the student to submit their domain products.  The portfolio is structured in a manner that requires students to submit their domains across various courses, including practicum and internship, so that the portfolio becomes a collective product of the student’s acquired experiences.  Each course that requires a NASP domain product will also outline these requirements in each of their respective syllabus.  Rubrics will be utilized in each course to evaluate the quality of artifacts in highlighting the student’s knowledge, competency and skills in each domain.

Domain 1: Data-Based Decision-Making and Accountability. School psychologists have knowledge of varied models and methods of assessment and data collection methods for identifying strengths and needs, developing effective services and programs, and measuring progress and outcomes. As part of a systematic and comprehensive process of effective decision making and problem solving that permeates all aspects of service delivery, school psychologists demonstrate skills to use psychological and educational assessment, data collection strategies, and technology resources and apply results to design, implement, and evaluate response to services and programs.

Domain 1 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6346: Integrated School-Based Assessment II

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 2: Consultation and Collaboration: School psychologists have knowledge of varied methods of consultation, collaboration, and communication applicable to individuals, families, groups, and systems and used to promote effective implementation of services.  As part of a systematic and comprehensive process of effective decision making and problem solving that permeates all aspects of service delivery, school psychologists demonstrate skills to consult, collaborate, and communicate effectively with others during design, implementation, and evaluation of services and programs.

Domain 2 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6340: School Consultation 

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 3: Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills: School psychologists have knowledge of biological, cultural, and social influences on academic skills; human learning, cognitive, and developmental processes; and evidence- based curriculum and instructional strategies.  School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to use assessment and data-collection methods and to implement and evaluate services that support cognitive and academic skills.

Domain 3 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6353: Academic Interventions and Consultation in School Psychology

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

 

Domain 4: Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life

Skills: School psychologists have knowledge of biological, cultural, developmental, and social influences on behavior and mental health; behavioral and emotional impacts on learning and life skills; and evidence-based strategies to promote social–emotional functioning and mental health.  School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to use assessment and data-collection methods and to implement and evaluate services that support socialization, learning, and mental health.

Domain 4 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6341: Behavior Management 

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 5: School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning: School psychologists have knowledge of school and systems structure, organization, and theory; general and special education; technology resources; and evidence-based school practices that promote academic outcomes, learning, social development, and mental health.  School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to develop and implement practices and strategies to create and maintain effective and supportive learning environments for children and others.

Domain 5 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6341: Behavior Management

PSYC 6353: Academic Interventions and Consultation in School Psychology

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 6: Preventive and Responsive Services: School psychologists have knowledge of principles and research related to resilience and risk factors in learning and mental health, services in schools and communities to support multi-tiered prevention, and evidence-based strategies for effective crisis response.  School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to promote services that enhance learning, mental health, safety, and physical well-being through protective and adaptive factors and to implement effective crisis preparation, response, and recovery.

Domain 6 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6324: Techniques of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 7: Family–School Collaboration Services: School psychologists have knowledge of principles and research related to family systems, strengths, needs, and culture; evidence-based strategies to support family influences on children’s learning, socialization, and mental health; and methods to develop collaboration between families and schools.  School psychologists, in collaboration with others, demonstrate skills to design, implement, and evaluate services that respond to culture and context and facilitate family and school partnership/interactions with community agencies for enhancement of academic and social–behavioral outcomes for children.

Domain 7 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6340: School Consultation 

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 8: Diversity in Development and Learning: School psychologists have

knowledge of individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other diverse characteristics; principles and research related to diversity factors for children, families, and schools, including factors related to culture, context, and individual and role differences; and evidence-based strategies to enhance services and address potential influences related to diversity. School psychologists demonstrate skills to provide professional services that promote effective functioning for individuals, families, and schools with diverse characteristics, cultures, and backgrounds and across multiple contexts, with recognition that an understanding and respect for diversity in development and learning and advocacy for social justice are foundations of all aspects of service delivery.

Domain 8 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6345: Integrated School-Based Assessment I

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 9: Research and Program Evaluation: School psychologists have knowledge of research design, statistics, measurement, varied data collection and analysis techniques, and program evaluation methods sufficient for understanding research and interpreting data in applied settings.  School psychologists demonstrate skills to evaluate and apply research as a foundation for service delivery and, in collaboration with others, use various techniques and technology resources for data collection, measurement, analysis, and program evaluation to support effective practices at the individual, group, and/or systems levels.

Domain 9 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

Domain 10: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice: School psychologists have knowledge of the history and foundations of school psychology; multiple service models and methods; ethical, legal, and professional standards; and other factors related to professional identity and effective practice as school psychologists.  School psychologists demonstrate skills to provide services consistent with ethical, legal, and professional standards; engage in responsive ethical and professional decision-making; collaborate with other professionals; and apply professional work characteristics needed for effective practice as school psychologists, including respect for human diversity and social justice, communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, responsibility, adaptability, initiative, dependability, and technology skills.

Domain 10 will be submitted in the following courses:

PSYC 6344: Ethics and Profession of School Psychology

PSYC 6348: School Psychology Practicum

PSYC 6305: School Psychology Internship

The Praxis-II Specialty Exam in School Psychology

The Praxis II Specialty Examination in School Psychology is a professional examination administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The development of this examination was overseen by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in order to develop a test that could be given nationally to assure professional competence among school psychology practitioners.

The Praxis II Specialty Examination in School Psychology is a computer-based, multiple-choice test. The 2-hour-and-20-minute test contains 140 selected-response items covering four main content areas of the NASP Practice Model:

Professional Practices, Practices that Permeate All Aspects of Service and Delivery (approximately 42 items) Direct and Indirect Services for Children, Families, and Schools (Student-Level Services) (approximately 32 items)

System-Level Services (approximately 22 items)

Foundations of School Psychological Service Delivery (approximately 44 items)

All students completing the School Psychology Program must take the Praxis II Specialty

Examination in School Psychology and achieve a passing score according to Texas LSSP guidelines in order to graduate from the program. As of September 2014, Texas has adopted a passing score of 147, which the program requires for graduation.  However, each individual state sets a passing guideline for licensure. Students should be aware of the score needed for licensure in the state of their choice.

It is recommended that students take the Praxis II examination during the summer prior to their internship year. Students are advised not to take the exam prior to completion of their practicum. The computer-based exam is offered at ETS testing sites during two week windows each month of the year.  Registration information can be obtained on ETS website

When you specify recipients of your test results, be sure to have a copy sent to the program, as well as the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists if you wish to pursue licensure in Texas.  You may also want to send a copy to the National Association of School Psychologists, should you plan to pursue national certification.

It is suggested that students develop an independent program of study for the examination early.  The program traditionally presents information on the Praxis during practicum courses. 

Students that do not pass the Praxis will be required to meet with program faculty to review areas for improvement.  If the student does not pass the Praxis after the second attempt, the student will be placed on a remediation plan for further professional development. 

Licensure and Certification

Obtaining the LSSP

In order to provide psychological services in Texas schools, the Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) credential is required. LSSPs are licensed under the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP). The LSSP licensure requires completion of a training program in school psychology, approved/accredited by the American Psychological Association or the National Association of School Psychologists or a graduate degree in psychology with specified course work. Passage of the Praxis II National School Psychology Examination is required.  In addition, passage of the Jurisprudence Examination at 90% is required, according to Board rule 463.19.  Students will work on completion of the LSSP application process during internship. 

Please visit the TSBEP for more information on the LSSP licensure.

Obtaining the NCSP

The Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) is a national credential awarded by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). It is a method of easily obtaining certification or licensure to work in many states. In some places it is also linked to higher pay.  The program works with students to complete materials necessary for the NCSP application.

Please visit the NASP site at https://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/national-certification for more information

Obtaining the LPA

Students in the School Psychology program may also be eligible for the Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) credential under the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP). However, students should understand that the primary intent of the program is to train students for the profession of school psychology. Students who wish to obtain licensure outside of school psychology are responsible for these additional requirements.

Please visit the TSBEP for more information on the LPA licensure. 

Change of Program/Concurrent Enrollment in School Psychology Program

School Psychology Graduate Students wishing to transfer between Graduate Psychology programs must apply for admission to the new program and will be considered with other applicants entering in the Fall semester. They are not guaranteed acceptance into the new program. Repeated switching between programs is strongly discouraged as it often delays your desired completion date and disrupts the continuity of your professional skill development.

Assessment and Continuous Improvement Process

The School Psychology Program embraces the value of data based decision-making and uses this model of ongoing evaluation of individual student progress, group progress, faculty effectiveness and the quality of the program as a whole. This model involves multiple levels and methods of assessment across the program.

Assessment of Student Progress

Student’s success in meeting the program goals and objectives are measured at several points in the program. Course syllabi have been developed using matrices that address and assess these goals and objectives throughout the course series. Assignments and examinations are closely tied to these criteria. Students are expected to achieve grades of “B” or better in program core and related coursework. Performance in the field is evaluated using self and Supervisor Evaluations during Practicum and Internship. All students must take and pass the Praxis-II National Exam in School Psychology. Finally, all students are reviewed by school psychology faculty each year through the Student Annual Review process. As part of the Annual Review, student’s academic, behavioral, and professional competencies are evaluated during the Spring semester of each year and feedback is rendered to each student in writing (See Annual Review Form below).  School Psychology core faculty meet with all course instructors to get individualized feedback on each student in order to identify any areas of weakness or need for improvement.  This information is then relayed to the student via the Annual Review.  Data from the Annual Review may result in recommended skill building activities, continued areas for reflection or self-analysis and additional resources the student may want to review for further professional development.  If a student has a significant number of objectives that are not met, this may result in a formal remediation plan (See Annual Review Form below). 

All School Psychology Students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in all graduate courses attempted at UHV, regardless of whether the courses are counted toward degree requirements. Graduate students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 on all courses that appear on the student’s degree plan, including transferred courses. In addition, no more than two courses with earned C’s may be applied towards graduate degree plan requirements. No credit toward a graduate degree is allowed for courses in which grades of D or F are earned, although the grades are included in the grade point average. School Psychology Advisors will review student GPA at the end of each semester to ensure the GPA requirement is being met.

In the event a student’s GPA is lower than 3.0, the student will be notified in writing that he or she is being placed on academic probation for that semester and a remediation plan will be implemented.  Certain graduate courses may be graded as S (Satisfactory), U (Unsatisfactory) and I (Incomplete). Such grades will not be considered in computing grade point average.

Students who earn a “C” grade in a School Psychology core concentration course will automatically be placed on remediation during the subsequent semester.  If students earn more than one “C” grade in School Psychology core concentration courses, the student will be required to re-take courses outlined by the program faculty and earn a grade of an “A” or a “B” to continue in the program.

When required, an individualized remediation plan will be written for students not maintaining appropriate grades in the program.  The School Psychology program director analyzes each student’s grades and progress at the completion of each semester to ensure adequate progress.  Remediation plans address the student’s areas of weakness related to knowledge base, competency, skills and/or professional behavior and will be drafted by School Psychology faculty in conjunction with feedback from any other relevant course instructors.  Remediation plans are written for one semester and then reviewed by the program faculty to determine if the student met the requirements agreed upon within the plan.  Data reviewed may include grades, quality of coursework, practicum/internship evaluations, feedback from course instructors, and any other products required by the remediation plan.

Disability Services Accommodations

The University of Houston System compiles with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students with a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, each University within the System strive to provide reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring academic adjustments/auxiliary aids, please contact your University’s student disability services center.

University of Houston-Victoria

Office of Disability Services

3007 N. Ben Wilson St., Suite 133-B University West

Victoria, TX 77901

Office phone: 361/570-4287

E-mail

Academic/ Behavioral Remediation & Probation

The School Psychology faculty is committed to the successful development of our students into competent professionals and leaders. As such, the faculty recognizes their obligation to assist students in obtaining remedial assistance as needed, to consult with colleagues and document their decision to refer students for assistance or to request that students be dismissed from the program as deemed necessary from appraisal of the student’s academic performance, personal characteristics and work habits and professional behaviors reviewed as a component of the annual student review.

Unfortunately, there are times when a student may not perform all of the requirements necessary to fulfill the expectations of a didactic or applied course or he or she may exhibit behaviors that are inappropriate for professional graduate study. With regard to academic deficiencies or problematic behavior, the student’s school psychology advisor will notify the student in writing and the student will be placed on a remediation plan to identify goals and objectives for improved performance. When placed on remediation plan, the student will receive a Letter of Notification and a Remediation Plan Agreement & Contract, which will indicate the time frame of the student’s remediation. The student will be required to return the signed agreement in a timely manner. This formal plan is outlined in writing, reviewed by the faculty, signed by all relevant parties, and placed in the students file. This plan is then explained to the student in conjunction with identification of remedial supports in order to ensure optimal success for the student. If the student does not meet the conditions of the Remediation Plan Agreement in the time frame indicated in the plan, the student can be placed on academic probation or subsequently discontinued in the program, at the discretion of the School Psychology Advisory Committee.

If the student is placed on probation, the School Psychology Advisory Committee will convene to discuss the terms of the probation for each individual student case. Adaptations to the initial remediation plan may be made or a new plan may be developed. This formal probation plan is outlined in writing, reviewed by the faculty, signed by all relevant parties, and placed in the students file. As with the remediation plan, problem-solving efforts are made with the student to identify the supports needed for successful completion of the probation plan.

Students can be placed on remediation for a maximum of two semesters.  If the student is still not making appropriate progress after 2 semesters of remediation, the faculty will meet to discuss the student’s removal from the program. 

Professional Development

The UHV School Psychology Association (UHV SPA):

UHV SPA is a student organization run by and for student growth, professional development, and awareness in the field of School Psychology. The UHV SPA is dedicated to providing support to current members and those just entering the program, through the use of a mentoring system. The UHV SPA also promotes student involvement in the field of School Psychology at the University, State, and National levels. School Psychology students are encouraged to become active in the UHV SPA, by attending monthly meetings, serving on committees, and taking leadership roles in maintaining the organization’s mission

Professional Associations

The UHV School psychology program recognizes that active participation in professional associations is vital to professional success. In order to remain current in the ever-changing and growing field of school psychology, LSSP’s must belong to professional associations after they earn their degrees. School Psychology students are encouraged to join and become active in:

The Texas Association of School Psychologists (TASP)

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

School Psychology Professional Development Series

The UHV School Psychology program is committed to fostering a sense of identity and community within the program.  NASP requires that programs provide “multiple and systematic opportunities to establish professional identity as school psychologists.”  Students should also “develop an affiliation with colleagues and faculty.”  In an effort to work towards this goal, students will be required to attend 3 out of 4 professional development programs offered by the program.  Professional development programs will consist of additional training and topics relevant to school psychology students, as well as social opportunities for students to engage with one another.  Dates, times, locations and topics of professional development programs will be provided via email.   If students do not attend the required professional development series events, the student will be placed on remediation and subsequent work will be required to remain in the program.