What Do School Psychologists Do?
- What is a School Psychologists and what do they do?
- School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching and successful learning. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists can provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.
- The training requirements to become a school psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours including a year-long internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior and motivation. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which services are provided. School psychologists also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB).
School psychologists tailor their services to the particular needs of
each child and each situation. School psychologists use many different approaches,
but most provide these core services:
- Consultation: School Psychologists give healthy and effective alternatives to teachers, parents, and administrators about problems in learning and behavior; help others understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior; and strengthen working relationships between educators, parents and community services.
- Assessment - School Psychologists use a wide variety of techniques at an individual, group, and systems level to evaluate: academic skills, learning aptitudes, personality and emotional development social skills, learning environments and school climate, and eligibility for special education.
- Intervention: School Psychologists work face-to-face with children and families; help solve conflicts and problems in learning and adjustment; provide psychological counseling for children and families;provide social skills training, behavior management, and other strategies; and help families and schools deal with crises, such as separation and loss.
- Prevention: School Psychologists identify potential learning difficulties, design programs for children at risk of failure, provide parents and teachers with the skills to cope with disruptive behavior, help foster tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in the school community, and develop school-wide initiatives to make schools safer and more effective.
- Education: School Psychologists develop programs on topics such as: teaching and learning strategies, classroom management techniques, working with students who have disabilities or unusual talents, substance abuse, and crisis management.
- Research and Planning: School Psychologists evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs, behavior management systems, and other services, generate new knowledge about learning and behavior, and contribute to planning and evaluating school-wide reform and restructuring.
- Heath Care Provision: School Psychologists collaborate with school and community-based personnel to provide a comprehensive model of school-linked health services, work with children and families to provide integrated community services focusing on psychosocial wellness and health-related issues, and developing partnerships with parents and teachers to create healthy school environments.