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Generic Standards

Standard 1: Program Design, Rationale and Coordination

The program is coordinated effectively in accordance with a cohesive design that has a cogent rationale. Foundation and theoretical courses precede and are designed to be taken prior to more specialized and advanced courses.

University - California State University, Fresno

History - California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) was founded as Fresno State Normal School in 1911, became a teacher's college in 1921, and has offered advanced degrees since 1949. The university's popular nickname is "Fresno State." Fresno is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University, one of the largest systems of higher education in the world. CSU, Fresno has evolved over the past 100 years to a present enrollment of over 20,000 students. There are approximately 1,100 full- and part-time faculty; 96 percent of the tenured faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees in their areas of study.

The university is accredited by the California Board of Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It has 26 nationally accredited departmental programs, among the highest number within the CSU system.

The university enrolled more than 21,500 students, and approximately 4,400 students completed work for bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees by Commencement 2009. (Information provided by the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning.)

Mission - The primary mission of the University is to provide comprehensive bachelor's and master's degrees for qualified students. The university also offers two doctoral degrees: a joint doctoral degree program in Physical Therapy and an independent doctorate in educational leadership. As a publicly supported institution, the University has a special mission to serve students that historically have not participated in university education because of age, socio-economic background, gender, physical disability, or geographical location.

Vision for California State University, Fresno

We will become New California’s premier engaged university, nationally recognized for our teaching, learning, transformational scholarship, and dynamic leadership which engages faculty, students, staff, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration benefiting the region and society as a whole.

Priorities: To realize this vision, the university will adopt the following priorities:

  • Develop an engaged and diverse student learning community with graduates who value lifelong learning, possess a broad general education, communicate effectively, are mathematically literate, appreciate the fine arts, are committed to the principles of tolerance and freedom, and are concerned about the welfare of others and society.
  • Recruit and retain high quality, diverse faculty, dedicated to teaching, research, creative activity and service, and are recognized for their active involvement in the application of knowledge.
  • Recruit and retain high quality, diverse staff and administrators dedicated to the support of the academic mission of the university.
  • Engage in high quality research, with particular emphasis on applications that support the region.
  • Build upon existing academic programs and create new academic programs to help transform and develop the region.
  • Support and develop high quality graduate programs appropriate to the needs of the region, and achieve the Carnegie classification of "Doctoral/Research University-Intensive"
  • Play a major role in transforming our region by employing the university‘s resources for the solution of problems and improvement of the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.
  • Establish partnerships and alliances that serve the region and work with educational institutions to improve the commitment, quality and value of education.
  • Establish a positive and productive working environment for the entire university community, which values the individual; supports teamwork and cooperation; requires honesty, integrity and civility; and inspires enthusiasm and pride.
  • Commit to continuous improvement by planning, implementing, and evaluating new strategies and improving the university‘s operational and technological infrastructure to enhance instruction; support scholarship, research, creative activity and service; and facilitate the delivery of support services for students, staff, faculty and alumni.
  • Search effectively for resources from a wide range of sources to support all members of the university community in their quest for innovation and excellence.
  • Demonstrate and communicate the quality of the university’s programs, students, faculty, staff and alumni and its many and diverse centers of excellence.

Governance - CSU, Fresno derives its existence, authority, and power from the State of California through enactments of the Legislature (California Administrative Code) and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Trustees of the California State University System (Executive orders of the Board of Trustees). Under principles enumerated by the Trustees, the president is authorized to delegate functions and consult with the faculty, and is charged with the final responsibility for and given final authority over the University. To accomplish the purposes of the University, the Academic Assembly was created and authorized to serve as the official means of consultation between the faculty and the president. Through the Academic Assembly, the faculty have responsibility and authority to develop and recommend policies and may expect to be consulted on academic policy matters. The University academic governance structure includes the President, the Provost and Academic Vice-President, and Deans who administer eight academic schools: Jordan Agricultural Science and Technology; Arts and Humanities; Craig School of Business; Kremen School of Education and Human Development; Lyles College of Engineering; Health and Social Work; Science and Mathematics. There is also a Division of Extended Education and a Division of Graduate Studies and Research. Detailed descriptions of CSU, Fresno University governance, policies, and procedures are obtained by review of the California State University, Fresno, Academic Policy Manual, and by review of the Agreement Between the Board of Trustees of the California StateUniversity and the California Faculty Association.

Governance of University Teacher Education - With authorization by the President, the School Of Education and Human Development Dean, Paul Beare, serves as the Director of Teacher Education for the University. With this authorization, Dean Beare is responsible for administering the laws and policies for all basic and advanced teacher education programs offered at California State University, Fresno. Serving in this capacity Dean Beare is authorized to speak on matters of teacher credentialing and certification, to work with schools and departments at CSU, Fresno, and to serve as liaison with agencies and organizations at the local, state, and national level with interests in the training of professionals for public education.

Accreditation - CSU, Fresno is fully accredited by the California Board of Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

School - The College of Science and Mathematics

The College of Science and Mathematics provides for study in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. Instruction in these disciplines is designed to accomplish either of two objectives.

The first is to provide enough professional training, at either the undergraduate or graduate level, to serve as a foundation for a career in the discipline or for continued study at the graduate level in pursuit of advanced degrees. The second is to provide a means for all University students to gain an understanding of the world of science and to give students specific skills for use in related disciplines.

Mission - The mission of the College of Science and Mathematics (in accordance with the policies of the University) is:

1)  to provide quality education programs in the natural sciences including biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics, psychology, and applicable interdisciplinary fields, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels;

2)  to encourage research and scholarly activities;

3)  to provide faculty, students, and staff with an environment contributing to their professional development and enrichment.

Department - The Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology provides a variety of opportunities for students. An undergraduate major can be tailored for a strong liberal education, a preprofessional degree, or as preparation for graduate study. In addition, two advanced degrees in psychology are offered to provide professional training. in psychology. The program gives considerable emphasis to psychology as an empirical science, including research design, data analysis and interpretation, and skills in the use of technology.

The undergraduate major is one of the strongest and most respected in the State University System as a preparation for graduate work in psychology. Many students completing the undergraduate degree have gone on to successfully complete advanced training in graduate schools across the nation (e.g., M.S., Ed.D., Ph.D.). As a liberal arts major, the undergraduate program provides a solid background to students choosing to enter business or other more specialized vocations immediately after graduation.

All full-time and some part-time members of the Department hold Ph.D. degrees in psychology; three are licensed as psychologists for private practice by the State of California; and one holds California Pupil Personnel Service Credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology and the National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP); another is credentialed as a school psychologist in Iowa. The faculty represents a wide range of theoretical orientations and interests that include most of the major areas of American psychology.

The Department has a comprehensive test library that is maintained for programs in assessment and clinical areas. Complete media facilities are available for presenting training materials, research, and instruction. The Department has its own computer lab for instruction and research.

The Department of Psychology offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degrees to provide students with a broad background in psychology while allowing them opportunities to pursue areas of special interest. Fulfillment of the requirements for these graduate degrees prepares the student for professional work in school psychology or applied behavior analysis, and/or positions in related community service, public institutions, college teaching, research, or entrance into PhD. programs in psychology.

Mission and Objectives of the CSUF Graduate Program in Psychology: The Graduate Program provides comprehensive advanced training to qualified students in the field of psychology. As part of the Department of Psychology the Graduate program endeavors to serve the diverse population of the San Joaquin Valley and the State of California. The Graduate Program emphasizes quality training in psychology at several levels of instruction. Students receive advanced classroom training in psychological theories, research methodology, and professional ethics. Students then use this knowledge to conduct original empirical work under the direction of graduate faculty resulting in Master's Theses. Students in the Ed.S. program also learn to apply these skills in school settings.

The Graduate Program strives to provide an intellectually stimulating environment for all students. This is done by providing students with high quality instruction and opportunities to explore their scholarly interests. Over the past several years, the department has especially encouraged students to develop close working relationships with individual faculty who, as much as possible, serve as their mentors. As a result, the majority of the students in the Graduate Program are engaged in collaborative relationships with the faculty in research and /or community activities. Students are encouraged to make professional- level contributions to their field and many student projects and theses are presented at professional conferences or published in professional journals. Students participate in colloquia and in other departmental activities where they frequently have the opportunity to interact with nationally recognized individuals in psychology. Clearly, the philosophy of the Department's graduate training is evolving to reflect the graduate student as apprentice model.

The Graduate Program provides three primary tracks of training. The first path, which leads to the Master of Arts degree in experimental psychology, is designed to train students who are preparing for careers requiring doctorates in psychology. Students in this program may place emphasis on general, experimental, or pre-clinical psychology. Although some of the M.A. students choose to make this their final degree, the program is most strongly oriented toward those students who wish to continue on for doctoral degrees. Pre-professional students receive training preparing them for Ph.D. degrees in psychology in a variety of areas including: clinical, cognitive, developmental, experimental, personality, and social psychology. The second path is an option in the M.A. program in Applied Behavior Analysis leading to eligibility for the Behavior Certificate in Behavior Analysis (BCBA). The third track is an Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in School Psychology, which is combined with training for a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology.

The Ed.S. program in School Psychology provides training for students intending to apply psychology in a school setting. The training concurrently qualifies them for a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology through the California Department of Education. Students receive training in such areas as psychological assessment consultation, ethics, prevention, intervention, and research. Students complete practica and obtain internships in schools in the Central Valley, receiving practical experience in supervised environments while honing their professional skills. The graduates of this program are filling the need for School Psychologists in the Central Valley and across the country.

The graduate programs encourage a multi-ethnic student body representing the diversity of cultures in the Central Valley. The Department strives to admit qualified minority, non- traditional, and international students into the graduate programs. This cultural diversity is also reflected in the graduate curriculum. The School Psychology Program, in particular, attempts to train students to work in this same multi-ethnic context after graduation. Several of the graduate faculty are engaged in research exploring cross-cultural and minority issues in psychology. Much of this work is done in collaboration with undergraduate and graduate students in the Department.

Program - The School Psychology Program

The School Psychology Program at California State University, Fresno, is dedicated to preparing highly competent professional psychologists according to the scientist - practitioner model. Graduates, as a result of their broad-based training, are prepared to make significant contributions to this challenging field through professional practice, administration and supervision, teaching, research, and personal leadership.

The School Psychology Program Philosophy and Purpose

The following statement reflects the philosophy and purpose of the School Psychology Program at California State University, Fresno:

Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of the individual and strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights. They are committed to increasing knowledge of human behavior and of people's understanding of themselves and others and to the utilization of such knowledge for promoting human welfare. While pursuing these objectives, they make every effort to protect research participants that may be the object of study. They use their skills only for purposes consistent with these values and do not knowingly permit their misuse by others. While demanding for themselves freedom of inquiry and communication, psychologists accept the responsibility this freedom requires competence, objectivity in the application of skills, and concerns for the best interests of clients, colleagues, students, research participants, and society.

The School Psychology Program is founded in the principles summarized in the above quotation, taken from the Preamble of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and it strives to prepare school psychologists who will model these ideals.

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, and respect for individual differences are actively cultivated and expected of all students.

Professional preparation also concentrates on specific skill development in a several service function areas, 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, students are prepared to draw upon a foundation in psychology and education to effectively develop and implement strategies for preventing or resolving problems. Furthermore, they learn to collaborate with other helping professionals and with parents in serving the mental health and educational needs of all children and youth.

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. Students are taught to link assessment methodologies to the development of research-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 problem solving approach in their work. Both the theoretical and the empirical bases of professional practice are emphasized, and a diverse range of practical experiences are provided, including work with students preschool through high school-aged in inner city, suburban, and rural settings.

The California State University, Fresno, School Psychology Program is a three year, minimum eighty-three (83) semester hour program leading to the Educational Specialist degree and an institutional recommendation for the California Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology.

School Psychology Program Objectives

The California State University, Fresno, School Psychology Program has adopted a scientist-practitioner model with an emphasis on problem-solving. At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

1)  Operate within a scientist-practitioner framework by using problem-solving methods that stem from the scientific method and research to guide practice. The end result also leads to accountability.

2)  Demonstrate respect for and sensitivity to cultural and individual differences.

3)  Deliver school psychological services from a consultation framework with an emphasis on problem-solving to prevent and remediate learning and adjustment problems experienced by children and youth.

4)  Link assessment methodologies to the development of research based interventions.

5)  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.

6)  Demonstrate a theoretical and empirical bases for professional practice.

7)  Engage in evaluation of individual practice and school -based or community-based programs.

The organizational structure for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology rests with the policies, bylaws, and procedures vested in the College of Science and Mathematics and the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno. The Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics serves as Chief Administration Officer and an Associate Dean to carry out policies and procedures. The Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development serves as C.E.O. and as the Director of Teacher Education. Final approval for issuance of the Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology is given by the Director of Teacher Education. The policies, procedures, and planning for the School Psychology Program are vested with the Coordinator of the School Psychology Program, the program faculty, Chair of Psychology and the Psychology Department faculty. The current program has been in place since 1989. The Program Coordinator acts as faculty liaison for the School Psychology Program and works closely with the Department Chair and the Deans of the College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Education and Human Development. The Program Coordinator is in direct contact with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and keeps faculty informed when changes and new items of interest arise.

All procedures for admission, advisement, candidate assessment, and program evaluation are developed by the Department Graduate Committee and approved by the faculty of the Psychology Department. The procedures are implemented by personnel in the Department of Psychology office and coordinated by the School Psychology Program Coordinator, who provides a system for distributing materials to candidates, keeping files on all candidates, and completing the necessary paperwork needed in the matriculation of students. When a student has completed all coursework for the credential, a final faculty review is held, clearing the candidate. Paperwork for applying for and receiving a credential from the State is completed by the Credential Analyst and approved by the Dean of the School of Education and Human Development.

The Instructional Component

The instructional component for the Pupil Personnel Services Credential with the Advanced Specialization in School Psychology consists of a minimum of eight-three (83) semester units that provide the knowledge base for the preparation of school psychologists. Each candidate must complete 27 to 30 units of prerequisite courses before entering the main program. The Program Coordinator, as Advisor, helps students plan their course of study.

The following documents are prepared and approved by the faculty review committee for each candidate:

a) Apply to the University for graduate standing.

b) Each candidate must make a formal application to the program by completing an admissions packet which contains requirements for entering the School Psychology Program along with the requirements established by the Graduate School for admission to graduate standing.

  Program Application Requirements include:

  1)  Official transcripts verifying completion of/or concurrent enrollment in prerequisite courses.

  2)  Three letters of recommendation from instructors, work supervisors, or other persons in a position to make an evaluation of the candidate.

  3)  An essay on goals, motivation, and potential for professional contribution.

  4)  An essay on issues related to cultural diversity.

  5) A physical and mental health clearance verified by a physician.

  6)  Receipt of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Candidates should obtain scores of approximately 1000 or better on the Verbal and Quantitative portions of the GRE.

  7)  Receipt of C-BEST scores. Candidates must pass the C-BEST prior to entering the program.

  8)  A statement that there has been no criminal conviction which would preclude the issuance of a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with Advanced Specialization in School Psychology.

  (Please see Executive Summary)

c) When a candidate has made application to the program, his/her file is reviewed by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Psychology through the use of a rating form developed by the Committee.

d) Orientation is held prior to fall semester for all entering graduate students in Psychology. After the general orientation the school psychology faculty meet with the new cohort to advise concerning program planning.

e) Each candidate's file is evaluated every semester by the Coordinator of the School Psychology Program and the faculty members. The faculty members meet with each candidate individually to review his/her progress in the program and the practicum or internship evaluations completed by field-based supervisors. (Please see Appendix B)

f) When a candidate completes the program, he/she is sent a program evaluation form to be completed and returned to the Program Coordinator for review.

Coordination of Faculty and Staff

The Department of Psychology is a department in which good rapport has been established among and between all faculty members and staff. Through the Program Coordinator, communication is maintained with other schools and departments on campus (i.e., Kremen School of Education and Human Development). Following are some examples of the way in which such coordinating efforts are maintained.

  • The School Psychology Program is contained within the Department of Psychology. There are currently three graduate programs within the Department of Psychology: a) Master of Arts (a 30-unit program); b) Master of Arts with an option in Applied Behavior Analysis (45 units); c) Educational Specialist (minimum 83-unit program) which includes the School Psychology Program. The Program Coordinator meets on a monthly basis with the Department of Psychology Graduate Committee and receives information from the Chair of this committee regarding policy, planning, and program revision. When a course of instruction is offered in the School Psychology Program, every effort is made to select an instructor from the full-time faculty of the Department to fill such a need. All efforts are made internally to insure the School Psychology Program is connected with the Department's mission in the education of psychologists. All Department faculty meet together monthly. Final review of credential candidates is made by the Coordinator, the Program faculty, the Credential Analyst, and the Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

a) The School Psychology Program also has a direct connection to the School of Education and Human Development. Particularly, as Counseling 200, Counseling 201, and Counseling 240 are housed within that Department.

b) The use of a Test Library through the Department of Psychology provides materials for all areas of assessment.

c) Complete media facilities are available for presenting training materials, research, instruction, test administration practice, and other types of school psychological activities which add to the productivity of the student in training to become a school psychologist.

d) Many faculty members serve on School and University wide committees, such as the Budget committee, Grading Practices subcommittee, Undergraduate Curriculum subcommittee, General Education subcommittee, and Graduate Committee to ensure program input and involvement.

Coordination with Local School Districts

A strong relationship exists between the Psychology faculty, particularly the School Psychology Program Coordinator and Program Faculty, and local school districts for training of school psychologists. Schools in five county areas are represented in on the School Psychology Program Advisory Board: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties.

There is a strong communicative effort maintained with local school districts in the area of practicum experiences/internships. The two full-time faculty members in school psychology devote part of their time coordinating supervision of students in the field. School Psychology students provide services, through field practica/ internship, to the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school sites each semester through the program. The University-based Supervisor meets with school officials, sets up contracts, and provides coordinated supervision between the University and local schools. Each student in the practica/internship receives an evaluation from the on-site supervisor at the completion of the assignment. The practica and internship program is highly regarded by participating schools and is a critical component of the School Psychology.

Program Rationale

The faculty of the Department of Psychology have resolved that:

School psychologists function in a wide range of settings that include preschool, elementary, middle/junior high, secondary, and post secondary schools as well as adult education centers. The faculty recognize the position statement "Advocacy for Appropriate Educational Services for all Children," from the National Association of School Psychologists that: a) " all children can learn"; b) "instructional options, based on the individual psycho-educational needs of each child, must be maximized within the general education system'; c) "psycho-educational needs of children should be determined through a multi-dimensional, non-biased assessment process"; and d) " in addition to maintaining current protection for handicapped children, protections and safeguards must be developed to assure the rights of children who are at risk for school failure and require services while remaining in general education without classification as handicapped." As a result of these statements, every effort is made to provide information, training, and professional leadership for students in the program so that they may provide assistance to pupils. The primary goal of this endeavor is to integrate development of the individual student through the application of knowledge obtained from study and research supplied through the School Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fresno.

a. Theoretical and Scholarly Basis for the Program

The School Psychology Program faculty members present their core knowledge base from numerous theoretical models. 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. Students are taught to link assessment methodologies to the development of empirically-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, and a diverse range of practical experiences are provided.

Specific theoretical models which are included in the program of study are:

  • Humanistic: Rogers, Existentialism, and other theorists who ascribe to this model.
  • Behavioral: Skinner, Wolpe, Glasser, Lazarus, and other theorists who ascribe to this model.
  • Cognitive: Ellis, Beck, Michenbaum, and other theorists who ascribe to this model.
  • Intelligence: Wechsler, Kaufman, Woodcock, Cattell-Horn, Sternberg, Luria, and other theorists who have provided theories of intelligence.
  • Intervention: Skinner, Barlow, Hayes, Nelson, and other theorists who have provided models for intervention.
  • Consultation: Bergan, Caplan, Curtis, Kratochwill, Meyers, Sugai, Tindal, and other theorists who have provided models of consultation.

Specific scholarly and professional practices and skills that are included in the program of study are:

  • Basic and applied research skills including the use of statistical analyses leading to the design, implementation, and evaluation of research.
  • Legal and ethical issues advocated by the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the California Association of School Psychologists.
  • Issues, trends, and techniques applicable to specific cultures, ethnic backgrounds, gender, and language proficiency which include culturally appropriate interventions.
  • Strong field practice for each student in the program under supervision of a credentialed school psychologist.

There is frequent interaction between the Program Coordinator and officials of the School and University to ensure that all policies and regulations are being followed and that any new changes are incorporated into the School Psychology training program.

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