Advertisement

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

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Specialization Concentrations Training Tracks Graduate education 

Notes

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.

References

  1. Aldridge, J., & Goldman, R. L. (2007). Current issues and trends in education. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon..Google Scholar
  2. American Psychological Association (APA). (2019a). APA divisions. Retrieved from www.apa.org/about/division
  3. American Psychological Association (APA). (2019b). Careers in psychology. Retrieved from www.apa.org/careers/resources/guides/careers
  4. American Psychological Association (APA). (2019c). School psychology. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/about/division/div16
  5. Arora, P. G., Brown, J., Harris, B., & Sullivan, A. (2017). Professional development needs and training interests: a survey of early career school psychologists. Contemporary School Psychology, 21(1), 49–57.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-016-0108-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Autism Speaks. (2018, April 26). CDC increases estimate of autism’s prevalence by 15 percent, to 1 in 59 children. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/science-news/cdc-increases-estimate-autisms-prevalence-15-percent-1-59-children
  7. Benjamin, L. T. A brief history of modern psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2019.Google Scholar
  8. Blanchett, W. J. (2010). Telling it like it is: the role of race, class, & culture in the perpetuation of learning disability as a privileged category for the White middle class. Disability Studies Quarterly, 30 (2).Google Scholar
  9. Boston Public Schools (n.d.). Social emotional learning & instruction. Retrieved from https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/domain/2681
  10. Burning Glass Technologies. (2015). US behavior analyst workforce: understanding the national demand for behavior analysts. Retrieved from https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/151009-burning-glass-report.pdf
  11. Center for Autism Research. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Car Autism Roadmap. (2016). Retrieved from https://carautismroadmap.org/medical-diagnosis-vs-educational-eligibility-for-special-services-important-distinctions-for-those-with-asd/?print=pdf
  12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019, April 19). Data and statistics on children’s mental health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html
  13. Cohen & Freiberg. (2013). National School Climate Center: school climate and bullying prevention. Retrieved from https://www.schoolclimate.org/themes/schoolclimate/assets/pdf/practice/sc-brief-bully-prevention.pdf
  14. Hernández Finch, M. E. (2012). Special considerations with response to intervention and instruction for students with diverse backgrounds. Psychology in the Schools, 49, 285–296.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.21597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greene, R. W. (2008). Lost at school: why our kids with behavioral challenges are falling through the cracks and how we can help them. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  16. Hynd, G., & Obrzut, J. (1981). School neuropsychology. Journal of School Psychology, 19, 45–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Iancu, A. E., Rusu, A., Măroiu, C., Păcurar, R., & Maricuoiu, L. P. (2018, June 1). The effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing teacher burnout: a meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review. Springer New York LLC.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-017-9420-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kingston, B., Mattson, S. A., Dymnicki, A., Spier, E., Fitzgerald, M., Shipman, K., Goodrum, S., Woodward, W., Witt, J., Hill, K., & Elliott, D. (2018, December 1). Building schools’ readiness to implement a comprehensive approach to school safety. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. Springer New York LLC.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-018-0264-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kroll, J. F., & Dussias, P. E. (2017). The Benefits of multilingualism to the personal and professional development of residents of the US. Foreign Language Annals, 50(2), 248–259. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12271 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Los Angeles Unified School District (n.d.). Social emotional learning. Retrieved from https://achieve.lausd.net/Page/10277
  21. MacSuga-Gage, A. S., Ennis, R. P., Hirsch, S. E., & Evanovich, L. (2018). Understanding and trumping behavioral concerns in the classroom. Preventing School Failure, 62(4), 239–249. https://doi.org/ezproxy.lib.uconn.edu/10.1080/1045988X.2018.1456398 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Martinez, A., Mcmahon, S. D., Coker, C., & Keys, C. B. (2016). Teacher behavioral practices: relations to student risk behaviors, learning barriers, and school climate. Psychology in the Schools, 53, 817–830.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.21946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meyers, D. C., Domitrovich, C. E., Dissi, R., Trejo, J., & Greenberg, M. T. (2019). Supporting systemic social and emotional learning with a schoolwide implementation model. Evaluation and Program Planning, 73, 53–61.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2018.11.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) (2019a). About NASP. Retrieved from https://www.nasponline.org/utility/about-nasp
  25. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). (2019b). ESSA mental and behavioral health services for school psychologists. Retrieved from https://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/policy-priorities/relevant-law/the-every-student-succeeds-act/essa-implementation-resources/essa-mental-and-behavioral-health-services-for-school-psychologists
  26. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). (2019c). NASP practice model 10 domains. retrieved from https://www.nasponline.org/standards-and-certification/nasp-practice-model/nasp-practice-model-implementation-guide/section-i-nasp-practice-model-overview/nasp-practice-model-10-domains
  27. National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). (2019d). Vision, core purpose, core values, & strategic goals. Retrieved from https://www.nasponline.org/utility/about-nasp/vision-core-purpose-core-values-and-strategic-goals
  28. Nordqvist, C. (2018, February 01). What is psychology? Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154874.php
  29. Olvera, P. & Olvera, V. (2015). Bilingual school psychology: challenges and opportunities. contemporary school psychology. 19.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-014-0034-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Plotts, C. A., & Lasser, J. (2013) School psychologist as counselor: a practitioners handbook. National Association of School Psychologists.Google Scholar
  31. Proctor, S. L., Graves, S. L., Jr., & Esch, R. C. (2012). Assessing African American students for specific learning disabilities: The promises and perils of response to intervention. Journal of Negro Education, 81(3), 268–282. https://doi.org/ezproxy.lib.uconn.edu/10.7709/jnegroeducation.81.3.0268
  32. Reynolds, C. R. (2011). Perspectives on specialization in school psychology training and practice. Psychology in the Schools, 48(9), 922–930.  https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.20598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Saxe, G. N. (2019, February 1). Editorial: In the causal labyrinth: finding the path from early trauma to neurodevelopment. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(2), 159–163.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shealey, M. W., McHatton, P. A., & Wilson, V. (2011). Moving beyond disproportionality: the role of culturally responsive teaching in special education. Teaching Education, 22(4), 377–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Walcott, C. M., Charvat, J., Mcnamara, K. M., & Hyson, D. M. (2016). School psychology at a glance: 2015 member survey results. Retrieved from https://www.nasponline.org/Documents/Research%20and%20Policy/Research%20Center/Membership%20Survey%202015%20Handout.pdf
  36. Wilkinson, L. A. (2010). School-age children with autism spectrum disorders: screening and identification. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25(3), 211–223.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2010.492928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations