We aim to be a model program for the preparation of school psychologists trained to support ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse students and families. These efforts are consistent with the mission of the CCSP department to engage in scholarship and prepare professionals who will foster the psychological well-being and social equity of all people, especially vulnerable populations. These efforts are also consistent with further educating and preparing students at UCSB to actualize UCSB’s commitment as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI). We are committed to meeting the rising need and demand for highly-skilled, well-trained, and culturally-responsive school psychologists, especially from underrepresented backgrounds in the field of education, to serve school children in California and across the U.S.
The Master of Education in School Psychology program implements a Science-to-Practice model. We aim to develop school-based practitioners who are adept at implementing empirically-supported and research validated practices. We explicitly aim for program graduates to be excellent consumers of school psychological science who employ research findings to provide high-quality services. We are committed to emphasizing the implications of research findings in psychology and education for psychological services in school settings. In turn, we emphasize the analysis of problems encountered in school settings from an evaluative/research point of view. We recognize the need for school psychologists to apply empirically-supported and evidence-based strategies to assist all students to learn and maximize their potential. This means that school psychologists help students served through regular education and students who have special educational needs. In addition to core content courses, this analytical perspective will be complemented by ongoing fieldwork experiences in local schools and agencies. These practicum experiences are closely supervised by both university and field supervisors.
The UCSB school psychology training model emphasizes the integration of theory, research methodology, professional role development, and practice/skills, with an emphasis on developing strong problem-solving and data analysis skills. The areas of study include strands in human development, prevention/interventions, assessment, consultation, programs and services, legal/ethical, as well as evaluation/research. Research methodology includes coursework in research, evaluation, and quantitative analysis. Professional role development involves the engagement of students in reading and active discussion about the changing role of the school psychologist in the schools. Field-based practice and skill development is accompanied by university-based supervision designed to integrate the areas of theory, research, and role development with what the students are experiencing in the field. Effective provision of support services also requires awareness, knowledge, and skill development in working with diverse populations. Therefore, there is an emphasis on how existing knowledge and skills can be applied and adapted to serve every child, and identifying further opportunities for future scholarship to inform practice. Particular attention is given to scholarship that facilitates the learning of children from historically marginalized and underserved communities.
All students will proceed through the same sequential cohort model program to fulfill the necessary program requirements. This includes units required for the M.Ed. (which is awarded by UCSB) and additional units necessary for the PPS credential (awarded by The California Department of Education – Commission on Teaching Credentials – Pupil Personnel Services Credential). Coursework is intended to be consistent with the standards of the National Association of School Psychologists and the California Department of Education for the professional preparation and credentialing of school psychologists. For instance, the NASP Practice Model has two major parts: (a) Professional Practices and (b) Organizational Principles. Professional Practices include 10 domains of school psychology practice that are organized into three areas: (a) foundations of school psychological service delivery; (b) practices that permeate all aspects of service delivery; and (c) direct/indirect services to children, families, and schools.
Graduates of the M.Ed. program will be credentialed to practice school psychology in the state of California. Furthermore, program faculty will also assist M.Ed. students who plan to pursue credentialing as a school psychologist in other states. The M.Ed. program is currently seeking Candidacy status for accreditation by NASP. For more information about the course sequence, practicum training, and program milestones, please review the M.Ed. program handbook.