School Psychology M.Ed. Program

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 Masters of Education in School Psychology program implements a Science-to-Practice model. 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 a scientific/evaluative/research point of view. We recognize the need for school psychologists to apply research-based skills and evidence-supported strategies to assist all students to learn and maximize their human potential. This means that school psychologists work with regular education students and with students who have special learning needs. In addition to core content courses, this analytical perspective willbe 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 research and data analysis skills. The theoretical 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 courses 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 scholarship and 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 60 units for the M.Ed. (which is awarded by UCSB) and 24 additional units for the PPS credential (awarded by The California Department of Education – Commission on Teaching Credentials – Pupil Personnel Services Credential). Completion of coursework fulfills the external accreditation requirements that are consistent across 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.

Students engage in fieldwork across all three years of enrollment. Each quarter, student performance and professional development is evaluated by external and internal supervisors.

Students must complete a comprehensive portfolio of experiences to meet CCTC and NASP standards at the end of Year 1, Year 2, and after they have completed all field signature assignments (Year 3). It is expected that student fieldwork plans will plot a course of activities that will be showcased in the portfolio. Three School Psychology faculty serve on each student’s committee. The portfolio reviews are regularly scheduled for Week 10 of Spring Quarter. During the oral exam, the faculty ask questions about the contents included in their portfolios to ensure that students can clearly articulate understanding of each of the domains. The students receive the detailed portfolio assignment guidelines, including the scoring rubric that faculty use to complete the portfolio reviews and ratings.

Graduates of the M.Ed. program will be credentialed to practice school psychology in the state of California and be eligible for distinction as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

Requirements for School Psychology M.Ed.(degree sheet to come)

*Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: