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Plan for Implementation

Pupil Personnel Services Credential Program - School Psychology

1. Program Summary

Program Design

The School Psychology Program at California State University, Fresno is dedicated to preparing highly competent professional psychologists according to the scientist practitioner model.  Graduates, because of their broad-based training, are prepared to make significant contributions to this challenging field through professional practice. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S) program provides future school psychologists (candidates) with a solid professional and academic foundation reflecting depth and breadth in both psychology and education. All students develop an understanding, respect for, and responsiveness to culture and individual differences. The program emphasizes the importance of delivering school psychological services from a consultation framework to prevent and remediate learning and adjustment problems experienced by children and adolescents. Candidates are taught to link assessment methodologies to the development of evidence-based interventions. They learn to view problems from a systems/ecological perspective focusing on the child, the family, the school, and the community, and to use a scientific problem-solving approach in their work. Both the theoretical and the empirical bases of professional practice are emphasized, in a diverse range of settings including inner city, suburban, and rural.  Furthermore, the program provides future school psychologists with a solid professional and academic foundation reflecting depth and diversity in both psychology and education.  The Program fosters special sensitivity to cultural diversity of all people and respect for the uniqueness and human dignity of each person.  Self-awareness, regard for others, social justice, and respect for cultural and individual differences are actively cultivated and expected of all candidates.  

Professional preparation also concentrates on specific skills development, but the major emphasis of the Program is the preparation of the school psychologist as a highly competent problem solver. Thus, rather than being trained to respond to specific problems in specific ways, candidates are prepared to draw upon a personal foundation in psychology and education to effectively develop, implement, and evaluate strategies for preventing or resolving problems as they occur.  Additionally, candidates learn to collaborate with other helping professionals and with parents in serving the mental health and educational needs of all children and youth.

The School Psychology Program is housed within the Department of Psychology in the College of Science and Mathematics.  The program has a coordinator who is an experienced faculty and receives release time for the role. The School Psychology Program is linked to the Kremen School of Education for credentials. 

Applications are accepted February 1 for candidates to begin the following fall.  Admission is competitive. The Psychology Department Graduate Committee screens applications; selected applicants are interviewed and offers made to candidates, with alternates so that a final cohort of 10-12 is admitted each fall. Only full-time students are accepted. In-coming candidates are paired with mentors from the second or third year cohorts. The first two years of the program candidates are enrolled in 12 to 15 units of coursework plus practicum each semester.  The third year of the program is a full-time academic year internship with a Field Supervision class. 

Stakeholder input is obtained from our Advisory Board composed of local directors of special education and lead school psychologists, feedback from site-based field supervisors, especially intern supervisors, and periodic alumni/employer surveys. The program has increased emphasis on mental health and counseling training in response to increasing needs in the field. Assessment courses are continually updated with new measures and techniques. No new courses have been added over the recent two years.

Course of Study

The program operates on a cohort model, with courses offered once per year.  The coursework is arranged sequentially by area: assessment, intervention, and mental health with an emphasis on diversity and cultural competence woven into all courses. Candidates engage in practica each semester, allowing for coordination of coursework and practice in the field. For example, during the consultation course, candidates are conducting a consultation project in a school. Coursework is designed to meet all national (National Association of School Psychologists) and state (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) standards. The Fresno State School Psychology program has been approved by NASP since 1994. The program has maintained CTC accreditation since its inception. 

Candidates are placed at different practicum sites each semester.  The first semester is (1) with a school psychologist at a comprehensive site and (2) a secondary service-learning placement at a high-risk school. The second semester is with (3) a school psychologist in a different district. The second year placements are two days per week with a school psychologist at various school sites each semester (Semesters 4 & 5).  The placements are designed to maximize exposure to students from low and higher SES, cultural and ethnic diversity, varying levels of MTSS implementation, and to assure required experience at least two levels (i.e., preschool, elementary, or secondary). Candidates are expected to progress from observing to assisting their field supervisor to practice under supervision and finally independent practice. Supervision is provided throughout each semester by their field-based supervisor and by the university faculty teaching the practicum course, as well as faculty instructing courses that include practicum based projects (e.g., consultation and intervention and counseling courses). Evaluation is comprised of field-based evaluation by their field supervisor and ratings by program faculty. 

Interns are assigned to sites and field supervisors by their district, in coordination with the university program coordinator. The field supervisors and the university faculty instructing the field supervision course provide supervision. Site visits are conducted once per semester by the university field supervisor. Evaluation is field-based evaluation by their field supervisor and rating by program faculty. 

Assessment of Candidates

Candidates are assessed for program competencies as part of their coursework. This includes quizzes, skill-based assessments, written and oral exams, class presentations, and field-based projects. Candidates are also evaluated via the field supervisor evaluations and faculty ratings each semester. In addition, candidates take the ETS PRAXIS II exam for school psychologists during their second year in the program and are expected to pass at the national level.  Candidates are aware of the PRAXIS II requirement as they enter the program. Other expectations are clear in course syllabi.  ETS and course instructors provide feedback in a timely manner. Program faculty meet with each candidate in the program individually at the end of each semester to discuss his or her progress. 

2. Course Sequence

Draft Course Sequence

Year 1
Fall Semester

  • Psych 244 – Research Methods (4)
  • Psych 277 – Role & Function (4)
  • Psych 288 – Advanced ABA (4)
  • Psych 274S -Multicultural Psychology (4)
  • Psych 287-1 Practicum (1)

TOTAL = 17

Year 1
Spring Semester

  • Psych 279 – Consultation (4) 
  • Psych 284 – Cognitive Assessment (4)
  • Psych 204 – Developmental Psychopathology (3)
  • Psych 287-1 – Practicum (1) 
  • Coun 234D – Psychopharmacology (2)*

TOTAL = 14

Year 2
Fall Semester

  • Psych 280 – Counseling for Sch Psychs (3)
  • Psych 285 – Assessment of Dev. & Learning (4)
  • Psych 278 – Intervention & Prevention (4)
  • Psych 287-2 – Practicum (2)
  • Elective (3-4)

TOTAL = 16-17

Year 2
Spring Semester

  • Psych 282 – Cognitive Behavior Therapy (4)
  • Psych 286 – Instructional Consultation (4)
  • Psych 281 – Group Counseling (2)
  • Psych 287-2 Practicum (2)

TOTAL = 12

Year 3
Fall Semester

  • Psych 267 – Internship (6)

Year 3
Spring Semester

  • Psych 267 – Internship (6)

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*Can be taken any time prior to internship

One elective is required; can be taken either semester in second year.

Current program is 71 units

3. Course Matrix

Draft Course Matrix

4. Fieldwork and Clinical Practice

Fieldwork Hours Table

  Fall Spring Minimum Total Hours
PRACTICUM      
Year 1 100 100 200
Year 2 180 180 360
PRACTICUM TOTAL     560
Year 3 INTERNSHIP     1200
Program Total     1760

Veteran Practitioner Training Material

The Program Handbook (4b), Clinical Handbook (4c), and Field Experience syllabi (4d) are used in training our field supervisors and instructors. 

Draft Manuals, Handbooks or Advising Materials

Draft Fieldwork/Clinical Practice Syllabi

Assessment Instruments

Current field evaluations are attached to the syllabi in 4d, as well as included in the Handbooks in 4b. 

Revisions are planned for the practicum and internship field experience evaluations.  

Items will be rearranged to better align with the current standards. This will assist in compilation and analysis of data for program improvement and accreditation reports.
Additional items will be added to better assess candidates knowledge and skills of bias, included systemic bias and potential bias in assessment, social justice, and discrimination.
Field evaluations will continue to assess professional dispositions. 
Responses to the current assessment measures will be analyzed to determine appropriateness of expectations by cohort.  
Field supervisors will be given training on the new measures prior to distribution.