Program Mission: The Specialist in School Psychology is the requirement for the preparation of competent professional school psychologists who serve children, teachers, and parents in an age of societal, educational, and professional change. Candidates who successfully complete the Master of Science in School Psychology have the option of continuing and completing the Specialist in School Psychology or may consider the alternative of pursuing a doctoral degree. The Specialist or its equivalent is recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists and most states, including Illinois, as the appropriate entry-level degree for the practice of school psychology.
Accreditation: The school psychology program is fully approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and fully recognized by the National Council Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students are guaranteed state certification upon successful completion of the specialist’s degree and the state certification exam. In addition, the program has been approved by the National Association of School Psychologists, which guarantees candidates a national certification upon passing the examination for the Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP).
Admission Requirements: To be eligible for degree candidacy, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School (see “Admission to Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs”).
Step 1: School Psychology Faculty will individually review school psychology applications based on the following admission criteria: a) undergraduate academic preparation (see six prerequisite courses), GPA, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and application questions (e.g., additional languages, research interests).
Step 2: The school psychology committee will meet to collectively create a) a list of applicants to offer admission (including graduate assistantship), b) a list of applicants to offer admission, c) a list of applicants for a waitlist, and d) a list of applicants who are denied admission.
Step 3: The school psychology faculty will examine whether any of the students denied submission submitted GRE scores. If a student who was denied admission submitted GRE scores, those scores will be evaluated to determine whether the scores are inconsistent with other application materials to the extent where the committee would offer the applicant admission or a place that applicant on the waitlist.
Degree Audit: The graduate plan of study is the EIU Degree Audit, which is generated automatically at the time of degree or certificate candidacy. Modifications of the standard EIU Degree Audit are submitted by the graduate coordinator to the certification officer in the Graduate School at the time modifications are approved. The Degree Audit serves as an unofficial summary of requirements for the program. Degree and certificate candidates are advised to review the comprehensive summary of the Degree Audit process specified on the “Requirements for All Degree and Certificate Candidates” section of the Graduate Catalog. Individual programs may require candidates to submit plans of study in addition to the Degree Audit, candidates should consult with the program coordinator.