Concentrations in School Psychology: Can Specialization Empower the Evolution of the Profession?

  • Natalie R. StarlingEmail author
  • Eric M. Elias
  • Mykelle S. Coleman


How can school psychologists effectively address and respond to the myriad needs of students in our nation’s schools? As these needs are ever-growing and diversifying, should the profession of school psychology consider mirroring this diversification through the promotion of specialized skill sets? Such efforts would echo the development of related disciplines of education, medicine, and psychology, disciplines that have long recognized the need for the division of skills and services in specified areas to meet the developing needs of their profession. We present and discuss questions related to specializations in school psychology under a broad subject of the potential for additional concentrated skill-based training to better impact service delivery and student outcomes. In exploring these questions, consideration is given to the ever-increasing needs of the schools coupled with the goal of school psychology: to empower school psychologists to promote the learning, behavior, and mental health of all children and youth. With very preliminary data in mind, the following areas are presented, with no particular order or emphasis, as potential topics and areas from which to build communities of discussion and exploration: bilingual–multilingual, behavior analytic, autism, and counseling, with introduction to other areas such as research, preschool/early childhood, neuropsychology, and leadership. Implications and recommendations for future directions are also discussed.


Specialization Concentrations Training Tracks Graduate education 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The author(s) declared no part of this research or authorship involved research with human participants and/or animals. Likewise, no informed consent process was necessary.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Meriden Public SchoolsMeridenUSA
  3. 3.Southern Connecticut State UniversityNew HavenUSA

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