College of Letters & Sciences

School Psychology

Master of Science in Education/Education Specialist

Do you have a passion for helping children achieve their full potential? As a school psychologist you will fill a vital role in schools to act as an advocate for the students. You will also serve as a valuable asset for teachers, administrators, and parents.

The School Psychology program at UW-Whitewater is a NASP-accredited program that is dedicated to preparing professional practitioners, and will offer you the education and experiences necessary to begin you career on solid footing.

Mission Statement 

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 provide 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 remaing adaptive and place the children's educational, behavioral, and psychological wellbeing at the forefront of their work. 


school psychology

Why UW-Whitewater?

small, close-knit cohorts

Small, close-knit cohorts

Training Successful School Pscyhologists since 1974

Training Successful School Psychologists since 1974

Conveniently located in south central Wisconsin

Conveniently located in south central Wisconsin between Madison and Milwaukee

Mulitple field experiences beginning in your first year

Dedicated Faculty and Staff

Dedicated Faculty and Staff

About the School Psychology Program

The UW-Whitewater program has full accreditation by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and has additional  approval accreditation by 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.

Consistent with policies of the University of Wisconsin System, the UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program is committed to equal educational opportunity in its training program and encourages application from all persons regardless of race, color, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status, and pregnancy.

The School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater has a distinguished history and current dedication to the professional preparation of school psychologists. The program conforms to the scientist-practitioner training model. Students are prepared 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.

The philosophical foundation of the Program is grounded solidly in the viewpoint that the school psychologist is an educated mental health professional able to bring critical reflection, data-based decision-making, and applied skills to address complex problems. The Program stresses the need for school psychologists to understand the psychological, socio/cultural, environmental, political, and economic influences that shape the behavior of children, families, and school personnel. Our students can apply their training as an activist problem-solver within the school setting, taking a proactive stance in the best interests of children.

Core coursework in the legal, ethical, and professional foundations of school psychology, human learning, child and adolescent psychopathology, and research methods provide the student with the foundation necessary to advance to the more applied assessment and intervention curricula. Students are provided with both theoretical and practical preparation in a broad range of professional competencies. The Program places high emphasis upon preparing school psychologists to be active participants in the resolution of problems. The knowledge base contains both direct and indirect intervention, including individual and group therapy, behavioral consultation, and primary prevention procedures. In addition, students are provided with core professional education requirements in the areas of cultural diversity, pupil exceptionalities, curriculum methods, and reading instruction methods.

The School Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater is designed for those persons who plan to devote their professional careers to the many aspects of school psychological services and desire to assume a role of leadership based on a considerable depth of understanding in their work. The Program recognizes that a contemporary training program must prepare its students for the complex challenges of today's schools and school children, as well as prepare them to meet the demands of the future with intellectual curiosity and professional enthusiasm. The School Psychology Program has the following training objectives:

  • To teach the basic skills and content areas of psychology and education in order to meet the requirements of School Psychology as defined by the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Psychological Association, and the Wisconsin State Department of Public Instruction Certification for Provisional and Fully Licensed School Psychologists;
  • To teach students to have respect for the integration of science and professional practice;
  • To prepare students in non-biased assessment of school-aged children and youth and to see assessment as integrated with well-researched, measurable treatment procedures.
  • To prepare students to become competent in serving as consultants to teachers, parents and other personnel in their work setting and prepared to carry out programs of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention;
  • To prepare students to become professionals who will act as child advocates and work in the best interest of the child in the environments of school, home and community;
  • To prepare students to become professionals who are sensitive to and accepting of human diversity and who are academically prepared for the challenges presented in a pluralistic society;
  • To prepare students to become professionals who will not only be effective consumers of others' research, but as a function of their practice, be able to conduct applied research to benefit the children and families whom they serve;
  • To provide students with exposure to and understanding of the ethics and values of the school psychology profession;
  • To promote in students a need and respect for continuing professional development and to address those needs through advanced continuing professional development coursework and workshops.

Field Experiences

In the School Psychology Program, students are provided with field experiences throughout their course of study. In the first semester, all students complete Foundations of Professional School Psychology (Psych 620) in which they shadow a practicing school psychologists. Additionally in the first semester, in accordance with the requirements of Assessment I - Achievement and Progress Monitoring, students cooperate with local school districts  so that they may be provided with supervised opportunities to practice the use of curriculum-based assessment measures with children in the school setting. This school-based cooperative arrangement follows through into the second semester of the first year as students complete required assessments for Intelligence and Adaptive Behavior (Psych 745) as well as Personality and Behavior (Psych 770)  

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:

  1. Provide students with supervised training opportunities that reflect a logical extension of their university course work in the areas of assessment, direct intervention, consultation, prevention, and professional school psychology within the context of a close, mentor relationship with field and university supervisors;
  2. Provide students with an immersion into the organization and structural components of  the public school, including administrative and faculty organization, pupil service design, and associated legal and legislative issues;
  3. Provide students with an understanding of and experience with the team assessment process associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement in Education Act (IDIEA), including problem solving consultation, case management assessment, IEP team decision-making, parent and teacher feedback, and individualized program development;
  4. Provide experience for students with a wide diversity of student needs and characteristics, including those children with low incidence disability conditions and those children and families of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

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.

Meet our School Psychology faculty »

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Want to learn more about earning an School Psychology degree at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater? Contact us »

Application Process: Step-by-Step

  1. Complete the UW-Whitewater Graduate School Application form and submit it along with the fee online. Have your undergraduate transcripts sent to the School of Graduate Studies electronically,  NOT to the School Psychology Program. Please see the address below.

  2. Complete the UW-Whitewater School Psychology Program Application online and submit it to the Program. Complete an "Autobiographical Statement." In two to three pages (double spaced), this statement should discuss relevant personal background information and an in-depth description of why you have chosen to pursue the field of school psychology. This statement should provide the Admissions Committee with a strong sample of your ability to express yourself in writing.

  3. Email the Autobiographical Statement to Dr. Christine Neddenriep at neddenrc@uww.edu

  4. Secure three letters of recommendation from appropriate individuals (e.g., former professors or work supervisors) who are familiar with your academic and personal qualifications for graduate study in school psychology. Have them write and send the letter as an email attachment or shared document directly to Dr. Christine Neddenriep at neddenrc@uww.edu. You may call 262-472-5413 to inquire about whether your letters have been received.

  5. If you are interested in applying for a graduate assistantship, complete the application form available from the office of the Graduate Studies. Application deadline is February 15th. For more information regarding graduate assistantships, please see Financial Assistance Opportunities.

  6. After your materials are submitted, they are reviewed by the Admissions Committee consisting of Program Faculty.

  7. If your application is subsequently passed forward by the Admissions Committee, you will be contacted via email for a personal interview near the deadline date. Please do not call the program to inquire if you will be asked for an interview; we will contact you. 

Due to the high volume of applications and the limited enrollment capacity, individuals are urged to begin the application procedure early. Applicant interviews take place in Laurentide Hall, which is located on the corner of North Prince Street and West Starin Road. The building is identified by the letters LT on this map.

The application deadline for all admission is January 15th.
The School Psychology Admissions Committee will review applicants as soon 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.

Apply Now

Application Considerations

Prospective students should review the general graduate admission information for Graduate Academic Admission Requirements

All prospective students desiring admission into the School Psychology Program must simultaneously apply for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. This combined application form should be completed on-line at https://apply.wisconsin.edu/ . Please submit the application form, the fee, and an official copy of your undergraduate transcripts to the School of Graduate Studies. Graduate School policy dictates that only transcripts with a university seal, delivered in a sealed envelope from the university or one sent electronically directly from the university, can be considered an "official" transcript.

Important Addresses:
School of Graduate Studies
Roseman 2013
UW-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
gradschl@uww.edu

Dr. Christine Neddenriep 
Coordinator, School Psychology Program 
Dept. of Psychology 
Laurentide 1229
UW-Whitewater
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
neddenrc@uww.edu

Course of Study

The graduate program in School Psychology at UW-Whitewater is a three-year, full time course of classroom study and field practica and internship leading to certification by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a School Psychologist. Students first complete 32 graduate credits in psychology and education, then pass a comprehensive examination to complete the requirements for the master's degree (M.S.E. - School Psychology). This degree is necessary but not sufficient to become certified as a school psychologist.

Upon attainment of the Master's degree, students enter into the Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S) sequence, consisting of additional credits of advanced course work, a 600- hour field practicum, and a 1200-hour paid internship. Successful completion of the internship allows the student to apply for certification as a fully licensed school psychologist.

The following courses are listed in the sequence in which they must be taken by all students. These courses are offered on a semester basis. All students are expected to earn both degrees.

Summer I

READING 764 Foundations of Reading 3 cr

EDFOUND 710 Education in a Pluralistic Society 3 cr

Fall

Psych 620 Foundations of Professional School Psychology 3 cr

Psych 715 Research Design & Program Assessment 3 cr

Psych 740 Assessment I - Achievement and Progress Monitoring 3 cr

Psych 746 Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence 3 cr

Psych 792 Field Placement in School Psychology 1 cr

Spring

Psych 724 Learning in Educational Contexts 3 cr

Psych 745 Assessment III - Intellectual Functioning 3 cr

Psych 770 Assessment II - Personality and Behavior 3 cr

Psych 785 Advanced Child Development 3 cr

Psych 792 Field Placement in School Psychology 1 cr

***Alternative directed elective:

Psych. 799 Thesis Research 1 - 6

Note: Master's degree awarded upon successful thesis defense or successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Summer II

Psych 680 School Violence and Crisis Management 3 cr

Psych 755 Counseling Skills & Theory for School Psychology 3 cr

Psych 762 Academic Interventions 3 cr

Psych 768 Behavior Therapy in the School 3 cr

Fall

Psych 793 Practicum in School Psychology including Seminar 6 cr

Psych 769 Consultation and Prevention 3 cr

Psych 797 Specialist Project Research 1 cr

Speed 700 Theoretical Foundations in Special Ed. 3 cr

Spring

Psych 793 Practicum in School Psychology including Seminar: Cultural Issues in the Schools 6 cr

Psych 766 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children and Adolescents 3 cr

Psych 787 Social Context and Diversity in the School Setting 3 cr

Psych 797 Specialist Project Research 1 cr

Internship

Fall

Psych 795 Internship in School Psychology 3 cr

Spring

Psych 795 Internship in School Psychology 3 cr

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.

Field Experiences

In the School Psychology Program, students are provided with field experiences throughout the course of study. In the first semester, all students complete Foundations of Professional School Psychology (Psych 620) in which they shadow a practicing school psychologist. Additionally in the first semester, in accordance with the requirements of Assessment I - Achievement and Progress Monitoring, students cooperate with local school psychologists so that they may be provided with supervised opportunities to practice the use of curriculum-based assessment procedures with children in the school setting. This school-based cooperative arrangement follows through into the second semester of the first year as students complete required assessments for Intelligence and Adaptive Behavior (Psych 745) and Personality and Behavior (Psych 770).

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:

  1. Provide students with supervised training opportunities that reflect a logical extension of their university course work in the areas of assessment, direct intervention, consultation, prevention, and professional school psychology within the context of a close, mentor relationship with field and university supervisors;
  2. Provide students with an immersion into the organization and structural components of  the public school, including administrative and faculty organization, pupil service design, and associated legal and legislative issues;
  3. Provide students with an understanding of and experience with the team assessment process associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement in Education Act (IDIEA), including problem solving consultation, case management assessment, IEP team decision-making, parent and teacher feedback, and individualized program development;
  4. Provide experience for students with a wide diversity of student needs and characteristics, including those children with low incidence disability conditions and those children and families of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

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.

Graduate students enrolled at Whitewater can seek financial assistance in the form of assistantships, employment, grants, and loans.

Graduate Assistantships

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

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.

Scholarships and Fellowships

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.

Community Resources

A range of resources are available both on campus and off campus to support students’ needs.