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Graduate School

Education Specialist in School Psychology

701-858-3145 / 1-800-777-0750 ext.3145

The Education Specialist in School Psychology prepares students for certification as a School Psychologist by the State of North Dakota. Graduate students participate in a rigorous three year program. The program emphasizes hands-on experiences culminating in a one year, 1200 hour internship. The program also emphasizes rural school psychology in the coursework.

The program provides students with the theoretical and practical skills to be an effective school psychologist. The curriculum stresses assessment skills, intervention techniques, and consultative strategies through numerous practicum, clinic, and rural outreach opportunities. The program trains practitioners who are culturally competent service providers. The School Psychology graduate program is Fully Approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Program Philosophy
The theme of Preparing Leaders who are Reflective Decision Makers is a guide to the mission of the School Psychology Program at Minot State University. This theme prepares students to become competent leaders in the field of school psychology with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to make effective professional decisions via reflective decisionmaking.

The conceptual framework that supports the theme of "Reflective Decision Making + Leadership" includes the following thematic strands:

Underlying the conceptual framework is the belief that preparation for all professional educators must be aligned with state content, national and professional standards. This includes the following: a strong emphasis on the development of the student's knowledge, skills, and dispositions, inclusion of all learning environments, relevance to diversity and technology integration, and the development and enhancement of partnerships.

Decision-making is viewed as an on-going interactive process in which a myriad of factors must be understood and balanced in making sound professional decisions. Using the scientistpractitioner approach, students are trained to consider input from a variety of sources, synthesize the information after reflection, and make data based decisions, which result in positive changes for children and their learning environments. Also inherent in the theme are teamwork efforts and promoting collaboration with other individuals; this prepares students to become professional leaders who are "Reflective Decision-Makers" following the three major aspects of the Action Reflection Knowledge (ARK) model.

Program Goals and Objectives
The goals of the School Psychology Program at Minot State University are to prepare competent school psychologists who possess the knowledge base, necessary clinical skills and dispositions to serve the educational and mental health needs of children of diverse backgrounds and to function as leaders within the educational context who promote problem solving through team work and collaboration. This is accomplished with particular focus on Response-to-Intervention (RTI) service delivery models.

Graduates of the school psychology program are prepared to provide direct and indirect school psychological services for children, parents, teachers, related personnel, administrators, and community agencies. Continuing professional development is also offered annually to area professionals in education and mental health fields (e.g. School Psychology Symposium). Anchored in the mission, philosophy, and goals stated above, the program subscribes to the following objective for students enrolled in the Minot State University School Psychology Program:

  1. To provide students with knowledge of school organization and operations, which promotes their understanding of educational settings as systems.
  2. To familiarize students with the roles and functions of school psychologists as well as current professional standards and issues.
  3. To acquire data-based reflective decision-making skills that facilitate outcome-based service delivery.
  4. To acquire knowledge of human learning and development of cognitive, academic, social, behavioral, affective, and adaptive skills of children.
  5. To develop clinical skills in the assessment of human learning and developmental processes pertinent to serving the educational and mental health needs of children, using various models and techniques.
  6. To prepare professional who are familiar with techniques and strategies for remediation and intervention, including instructional and behavioral interventions, counseling, and consultation.
  7. To develop communication, collaboration, and consultation skills and the ability to positively engage in teamwork efforts.
  8. To acquire the ability to work effectively with families , educator, and others in the community and to promote partnerships in providing comprehensive service to children and their families.
  9. To prepare students with awareness and sensitivity to human diversity and to acquire skills to work with children from diverse backgrounds.
  10. To develop awareness of and adherence to laws, ethical standards, and professional dispositions.
  11. To acquire knowledge of research, statistics, and evaluation methods and enable students to integrate theoretical knowledge, empirical research, and professional experience in practice.
  12. To prepare professionals who are familiar with information sources and technology relevant to school psychology.
  13. To prepare students for continuing professional growth through membership in professional organizations, participation in state and national conventions, and attendance at workshops and seminars.

Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating from the School Psychology Program shall demonstrate an understanding of the following:

Departmental Admission Standards
The Department of School Psychology is committed to providing students with a diversity in the academic environment. Students of all ethnic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree.
  2. Completion of all admission requirements of the Graduate School at Minot State University. Students who have applied for admission by March 15, for the next academic year, will be given priority consideration.
  3. Completion of Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  4. Completion of a vita
  5. Students with permanent residence in North Dakota will receive priority consideration.
  6. Students who apply to the School Psychology program should have a strong background either in education or psychology and preferably in both.

Academic Honesty
Academic honesty is at the core of any graduate program. Any behavior deemed as academically dishonest by the department will result in dismissal from the program. Academic dishonesty would include, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviors:

  1. Misrepresenting another individual's work as one's own, e.g. plagiarism.
  2. Copying from another student during an exam.
  3. Altering one's exam after grading for the purpose of enhancing one's grade.
  4. Submitting the same paper to more than one class.
  5. Use of any material not approved by the instructor during an exam.
  6. Turning in reports intended to be based on field collection data but, in fact, is not.
  7. Failure to respect the confidentiality of persons served or studied and to maintain the professional standards for ethical conduct as set forth in The Handbook of School Psychology published by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Academic Honesty Appeal Policy
Dismissal for academic dishonesty can be appealed. A student who wishes to appeal his/her dismissal should follow the appeal process established by the Graduate School and listed in this catalog under Graduate School Policies and Regulations.

Grading Policy
Students are advised that a grade of "C" in a required course for the Education Specialist in School Psychology degree is considered a failing grade.

Grade Appeal Policy
The process and conditions for a grade appeal follow the definitions and schedules of the Graduate School. All requests for review of a grade must be submitted according to the timelines established by the Graduate School for this process.

Written Qualifying Comprehensive Exams
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of school psychology through written qualifying and comprehensive exams. These exams will be taken in the fall of the student's first year of graduate work and in the spring of the students second year. The student must satisfactorily complete at least 40 hours of school psychology course work prior to taking these exams.

Required Courses:
ED 540 Reading: Advanced Diagnosis and Remediation               2 SH
ED 541 Clinical Practice in Remedial Reading                     2 SH
SPED 542 Methods and Materials of Teaching the Developmentally   3 SH
SPED 550 Special Education Assessment                            2 SH
SPED 533 Clinical Practice                                       1 SH
SPED 561 Behavior Problems of Exceptional Children               3 SH
SPED 572 Methods of Teaching the Learning Disabled               3 SH
PSY 503 Statistics                                               3 SH
PSY 511 Human Growth and Development                             3 SH
PSY 512 Research Design and Measurement                          3 SH
PSY 513 School Psychology Research Seminar                       2 SH
PSY 514 Individual Cognitive Assessment                          4 SH
PSY 518 Psychopathology of Children                              3 SH
PSY 525 Role and Function of the School Psychologist             3 SH
PSY 533 Social and Behavioral Interventions in School            3 SH
PSY 584 School Psychology Practicum I                            3 SH
PSY 585 School Psychology Practicum II                           3 SH
PSY 586 Clinical Experience                                      3 SH
PSY 590 Counseling Skills                                        3 SH
PSY 592 Special Topics--Seminar in School Psychology             3 SH
PSY 592 Special Topics--Diversity in the Schools                 3 SH
PSY 597 Thesis (optional)                                  (min) 3 SH
PSY 598 Internship                                               6 SH
PSY 599 Internship                                               6 SH

Minimum Total Graduate
Program Credits Required                                        70 SH