Do you have a passion for working with children and youth? Are you interested in collaborating with parents, educators, and administrators? Would you like to make a difference in children’s lives? School psychologists do just that! School psychologists are qualified to understand, support, and improve school systems, effective teaching, and student learning. Thus, school psychologists are vital members of school communities whose work supports students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach.
The School Psychology Program at UW-Whitewater is a three-year, full-time sequence of coursework and field experiences that prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to become school psychologists. Students in the program apply their knowledge of evidence-based and culturally responsive practices to address the educational inequities affecting children and youth in their communities. As such, our graduates are school leaders and advocates who help children and youth succeed academically, behaviorally, and socio-emotionally.
The mission of the UWW School Psychology Program is to prepare school psychologists who apply the principles of empirical science and culturally responsive practice to the problem-solving process. We stress the need for school psychologists to operate through a social justice lens, addressing systemic inequities by advocating for all children in their work. With this understanding, school psychologists proactively foster collaboration between schools and families, using strength-based, empowering language to promote educational outcomes. We equip our graduates with the tools and training needed to support children’s academic skills, mental and behavioral health, and social-emotional learning. Continual efforts to be well-informed and responsive to an ever-changing educational climate ensure that our graduates remain adaptive and place the children’s educational, behavioral, and psychological well-being at the forefront of their work.
The program conforms to the professional scientist-practitioner training model, with a strong emphasis placed on the maintenance of scientific rigor in the applied setting. Students are educated to see themselves as applying both the principles of empirical science and the skills of clinical sensitivity and insight to the problem-solving process in the school setting. While the training essentially represents a "delivery of service" model, students are provided with the curricular background to produce as well as effectively consume research in the field.
Our Program follows a three-year, full-time course sequence leading to state licensure and national certification as a school psychologist with completion of all requirements.
First Year: Masters Degree Sequence
During the first year of the program, students participate in classroom instruction and select field experiences, completing 32 credits of graduate coursework in psychology and education. The coursework includes classes in assessment, psychopathology, child development, learning, research methods, and program evaluation. At the end of this year, students complete a comprehensive examination in the form of a portfolio to fulfill the requirements needed to obtain their Master’s degree (M.S.E. - School Psychology).
Reading 764: Foundations of Reading (3 Credits)
EdFound 710: Education in a Pluralistic Society (3 Credits)
Psych 620: Foundations of Professional School Psychology 3 (Credit)
Psych 715: Research Design & Program Assessment (3 Credit)
Psych 740: Assessment I - Achievement and Progress Monitoring (3 Credit)
Psych 785: Advanced Child Development (3 Credit)
Psych 792: Field Placement in School Psychology (1 Credit)
Psych 724: Learning in Educational Contexts (3 Credit)
Psych 745: Assessment III - Intellectual Functioning (3 Credit)
Psych 746: Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence (3 Credit)
Psych 770: Assessment II - Personality and Behavior (3 Credit)
Psych 792: Field Placement in School Psychology (1 Credit)
Note: Master's degree awarded upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination.
Second Year: Practicum Experience
Upon attaining their Master's degree, students begin the Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) sequence, known as the practicum year. During this year, students complete a 600-hour (part-time) practicum under the supervision of a licensed school psychologist. Practicum allows students to apply what they have learned during their first year while they continue to learn about the field through additional graduate coursework. At the end of the year, students take the ETS Praxis-II Exam in School Psychology and obtain a paid-internship position for the following year. In addition, students produce a portfolio that details the coursework and practicum experiences they completed during their second year.
Psych 680: School Violence and Crisis Management (3 Credit)
Psych 755: Counseling Skills & Theory for School Psychology (3 Credit)
Psych 762: Academic Interventions (3 Credit)
Psych 768: Behavior Therapy in the School (3 Credit)
Psych 793: Practicum in School Psychology including Seminar (6 Credit)
Psych 769: Consultation and Prevention (3 Credit)
Psych 797: Specialist Project Research (1 Credit)
Speed 700: Theoretical Foundations in Special Ed. (3 Credit)
Psych 793: Practicum in School Psychology including Seminar: Cultural Issues in the Schools (6 Credit)
Psych 766: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children and Adolescents (3 Credit)
Psych 787: Social Context and Diversity in the School Setting (3 Credit)
Psych 797: Specialist Project Research (1 Credit)
Third Year: Internship
The third year in the program is referred to as the internship year. At this point, students have completed all the graduate coursework and field experiences necessary to practice independently as school psychologists with minimal supervision. Students begin their first year of practice as school psychologists completing a 1200-hour (full-time) internship. Following the completion of their internship year, completion of a final portfolio review, and their specialist project, students obtain their Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S) and may apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential.
Psych 795: Internship in School Psychology (3 Credit)
Psych: 795 Internship in School Psychology (3 Credit)
Note: Upon completion of all Program requirements, including internship, portfolio review, Specialist Project, and the successful completion of the ETS Praxis-II Exam in School Psychology, students receive the Education Specialist Degree and may apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential.
In the School Psychology Program, students are provided with field experiences each year that support their learning in the classroom. Some of these experiences include shadowing practicing school psychologists in differing school districts to experience how the role of the school psychologist differs depending on the district and student needs. Students also participate in the Sidekicks for Success Student Mentoring Program mentoring a student in the local elementary schools. Students also have the opportunity to practice the use of curriculum-based assessment measures with children in the school setting, providing academic intervention support. Students in their second year complete a 600-hour supervised practicum in a school district. Students in the third year complete a 1200-hour, full-time internship in a school district.
Students engage in supportive relationships with children in need in the local public school system through our Sidekicks for Success Student Mentoring Program for no less than two years. The mentors meet with students weekly for 30-60 minutes to discuss their ongoing concerns, set positive goals, assist with school progress, and to provide a supportive helping relationship.
Upon admission into the Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) sequence, students are assigned a practicum site. Arrangements are made with the supervising school psychologist and the Pupil Services Director for the student to make a pre-practicum site visit. During this visit, students are introduced to administrators and other appropriate personnel, provided with a tour of the facilities, and given an opportunity for informal conversation with the supervising school psychologist. Opportunities for observation and/or participation in end of the year activities are offered where possible or desirable.
The Practicum in School Psychology (793) is a local school district placement with an accompanying two - and one-half -hour seminar and on-campus supervision. This seminar is designed to address specific needs of the students. In the first semester, essential foundational skills, such as report writing, special education procedures and program criteria, and school organization are discussed. The second semester is dedicated to furthering understanding of the school psychologist's role in practicing throught a social justice lens, addressing systemic inequities by advocating for all children in their work.
This practicum occurs only following the attainment of the master's degree and the recommendation of the Coordinator, in consultation with the School Psychology Committee of the general psychology faculty. This experience is run in strict accordance with the standards outlined in the Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services, also known as the NASP Practice Model (NASP, 2020). The Practicum (793) is a 600-hour, two semester, supervised field experience in the public schools which has the following objectives:
For Practicum (793) students are placed in any one of several local, cooperating school districts. Students are assigned to one school district only. This placement decision is arrived at in consideration of student preference, faculty assessment of student needs, and field supervisor availability. UW-Whitewater is especially proud of the diversity of practicum placement opportunities available for students. Students may select from the urban experience of Milwaukee or Madison, the larger communities of Janesville and Beloit, the suburban communities such as Oconomowoc and Kettle Moraine, to the more rural communities such as Milton, and many others in between. This variety of training sites allows program faculty to match the practicum with the expressed needs and experiences of the practicum student.
The internship experience occurs following the completion of all course work and practica requirements for DPI certification as an Initial Educator - School Psychologist. Students enroll in Internship in School Psychology (Psych 795), a full-time, 6-credit, 1200-hour, paid field experience. This experience is run in strict accordance with the standards outlined in the Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services, also known as the NASP Practice Model (NASP, 2020)
Internship sites are obtained through an application process. Each site is pre-approved by program faculty. The "Internship Planning Form" insures a wide-ranging experience for each intern. Interns are required to maintain up to date logs of their activities and submit them to university supervisors on a monthly basis. A structured evaluation component is required. The interns themselves are supported on-campus by a monthly Internship Seminar in which case consultation occurs and current topics relative to the practice of school psychology are discussed. Further information may be found in the Internship Handbook.
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recognizes the critical role of professional preparation and accreditation as part of its commitment to serving the mental health and educational interests of all children and youth. NASP's Program Accreditation Board (PAB) has reviewed and accredited school psychology programs independently or as an accrediting member of National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), now Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation(CAEP) since 1978. In May, 2022, NASP obtained recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an accreditation organization.
In addition to the Program’s full accreditation by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the Program has additional approval from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). If seeking licensure outside of the state of WI, please review the information on license reciprocity. Upon completion of the internship, students may apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential. This credential is achieving growing recognition among state school psychology licensing boards and allows for reciprocal certification in selected states outside of Wisconsin.
Small, close-knit cohorts
Training School Psychologists since 1974
Located in south eastern Wisconsin
Dedicated Faculty and Staff
Application Process: Step-by-Step
The application deadline for all admissions is January 15th. All materials need to be submitted and received by January 15th for full consideration.
The School Psychology Admissions Committee will review applicants as they are received. Applicants will be informed by e-mail as to their status. The School Psychology Program admits students only in the spring of the year for classes beginning the following summer term. Interviews will begin in later January with applicants whose materials are complete.
Graduate students enrolled at Whitewater can seek financial assistance in the form of assistantships, employment, grants, and loans.
Graduate assistantships are offered to a limited number of full-time graduate students. Full- time assistantships require up to 20 hours of service per week and have paid, most recently, approximately $10,985 for an academic year and also health, dental, and life insurance as well as a remission of non-resident portion of tuition. The UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program is able to offer a limited number of full and part-time graduate assistantships to full-time first and second year students. A separate application for Graduate Assistantships is available from the Office of Graduate Studies. Please note that this application has a February 15th deadline. Graduate students can also seek other employment assistance by applying for Federal Work-Study Employment, Regular Student Payroll, or other opportunities as advertised on campus.
Advanced Opportunity Program Awards are available to members of underrepresented minoritized groups or non-minority/disadvantaged students. Nonresident Grants are available to out-of-state students who are enrolled full-time and exhibit both scholastic excellence and financial need. Contact the Academic Support Services Office for more information. Federal Perkins Loans are available to graduate students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and demonstrate financial need. Federal Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) enable graduates to borrow directly from participating lenders. Contact the Financial Aid Office, (262) 472-1130, for further information.
The UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program has partial scholarships and fellowships available for both first and second year students, The Barbara Ann Hersko Scholarship, Fellowships and the Song Family Scholarship. Information about these opportunities are explained once a student has entered the program. Accepted students are also eligible for a variety of Wisconsin School Psychologists Association (WSPA) scholarships in the same monetary range.
A range of resources are available both on campus and off campus to support students’ needs.
NASP (National Association of School Psychologists)
WSPA (Wisconsin School Psychologists Association)
Program Coordinator and Professor
Laurentide Hall 1229
Laurentide Hall 1233
Laurentide Hall 1205
Laurentide Hall 1223
Laurentide Hall 1224
Laurentide Hall 1221
Laurentide Hall 1215
How was your practicum experience? Where is your internship placement and how has your practicum experience/the program prepared you for that?
My practicum experience in the Madison Metropolitan School District gave me the opportunity to work at the elementary and middle school level, as well as conduct bilingual evaluations district-wide. The experience in MMSD and the UW-Whitewater School Psychology program taught me skills on how to best support all students and staff while keeping equity at the forefront of my work. These skills are highly valued and respected at my internship site in the Verona Area School District.
Why did you choose UW-W’s school psych program?
I was initially interested in UW-Whitewater for School Psychology because I had heard great things from those in the field about UWW’s quality of education, and the competence of UWW-educated School Psychologists. Upon exploring the program further and speaking with faculty and current students, I decided to attend UW-Whitewater because I felt confident in the level of expertise, knowledge, and preparation the program would provide me. The program is a great fit for me because, in addition to the high quality of education, it offers multiple first-year field experiences, is NASP-accredited, and is close to home.
What are you doing now/What’s your role?
I am a mom, wife, school psychologist, advocate, and writer. This past spring I was humbled to be recognized as Wisconsin’s School Psychologist of the Year for my work at the Mineral Point Unified School District. In addition to being a school psychologist, I am Iowa County’s Chair of our mental health coalition. This coalition facilitates awareness, support, and consistency around mental health needs in our area. I am also a writer and have written social-emotional learning articles for “Middle Web” and will be publishing a book through Routledge this spring titled, “Using CBT and Mindfulness to Manage Student Anxiety”.
Why did you choose School Psychology?
I chose school psychology because it merged almost all my areas of interest into one profession. First, it involved education by working directly with children and adolescents in the school setting. It used psychology and research to understand, support, and improve students’ success. And it also used aspects of intersectionality and sociology by encouraging the involvement of systems-level work and the advocacy of equitable school policies and practices. All in all, school psychology offered me the ability to be one of the individuals who play a role in helping a student see and unlock their full potential.