3 Important Things To Know About A Career in School Psychology

Written by on October 17, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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The field of school psychology is a calling for many people that want to help students succeed mentally and emotionally in addition to academically. School psychologists often help students during times of great emotional stress. Stressful situations can occur both at home and in school. The first thing one must understand about school psychology is the extent of education and certifications required. Next, it is important to understand that there are a variety of career opportunities available to school psychologists. Finally, continuing education remains a vital aspect of professional development.

Education and Certification Requirements

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) leads the way in standards for new and currently practicing school psychologists. NASP states that graduate level studies are required for school psychologists. Students should attain a minimum of a Master’s degree. Doctorate programs are heartily recommended to further educational and professional development. Many schools offer specialized school psychologists programs.

Licensing varies from state to state. It is important to figure out what the certification and licensing requirements are in the state one hopes to practice in. Certification through the National Association of School Psychologists is a great idea for anybody that works in this field. NASP requires intense internship requirements that give future school psychologists the hands-on training they need to succeed.

School Psychology Offers a Wide Variety of Career Options

Options for schools psychologists are seemingly endless. There is a school to suit nearly anybody’s career goals and preferences. Most positions are available at public institutions. Some people may be more interested in working with elementary school children. There are also positions available at the university level. Some student psychologists may prefer the challenging environment of an alternative school.

Juvenile justice centers are typically in great need of school psychologists. Many school psychologists want to work where they feel they can make a positive difference in the lives of children. There is even a need for school psychologists in Native American reservation schools. Internships are a great way to find out what a particular school psychologist’s preferences are. No matter what path a school psychologists chooses to take, their main objective is to help students succeed.

Continuing Education is Crucial for Professional Development

School psychology is an ever-developing field. Staying current with industry trends and practices is important for professionals. Continuing education is important for school psychologists since they are often the only mental health practitioner in their school. The National Association of School Psychologists offers many different opportunities for continuing education. The annual convention is a great place to meet other professionals.

There are also summer conferences and specialized training courses available. Attending a course in crisis prevention and intervention can be invaluable given recent increases in school related violence. NASP members can also participate in various lectures put on by the Speaker’s Bureau. The National Association of School Psychologists’ website has a comprehensive resource library for members to access.

School psychology is an exciting and stimulating field. For mental health professionals that want to work in an educational setting, school psychology is a great choice. Attaining the required education and licensing requirements is a long but rewarding road. School psychologists have so many career options. Being proactive about continuing education is a great way for school psychologists to stay up to date with current trends. School psychologists help students to cope with issues ranging from home and family to bullying and academic stresses. School psychologists truly make a difference for students in need of help.

This is a guest post.  Wendy Reynolds is a school psychologist and guest author at SchoolPsychologistFiles.com, a site with information about online degree programs to become a school psychologist.

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