Overview | About the Program | Admission Requirements | Curriculum | Blog

About the Program
Field Placement
Internship Program
Faculty Advisement
Program Compliance
Academic Proficiency
Degree Completion Requirements
Program Goals & Student Learning Outcomes

About the Program

Phillips Graduate University’s program in School Psychology is designed to provide future school psychologists with a solid academic foundation in both psychology and education. An emphasis in Positive Psychology and Positive Behavioral Supports is stranded throughout the program and includes a focus on early intervention, resilience, and well-being as best practices for practitioners and the clients we serve. Positive Psychology has proven valuable in enhancing both academic and school-wide mental health. School psychologists are specialists in both mental health and education.

The primary goal of the program is to produce school psychologists who will provide services that enhance academic performance and facilitate positive social-emotional and behavioral health. This includes conducting psycho-educational assessments, coordinating and developing intervention strategies for pupils with behavioral and academic challenges, offering psychological counseling and crisis intervention, and consulting and collaborating with other school personnel, parents, and outside professionals regarding difficulties with school adjustment and learning.

School Psychology is a three-year program leading to a Master of Arts in Psychology and a credential (PPS) as a School Psychologist in the state of California. The program requires 450 hours of practicum in the first two years; the final year is a 1,200-hour internship in a public school setting. Upon completion of the program, students can apply for national certification as a school psychologist (NCSP). After two years of experience, they may apply to be a Licensed Educational Psychologist through the State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

Students begin working in the schools in the first semester of the program and are provided with a strong theoretical base and analytical skills, which prepare them to work in diverse and multicultural educational communities.

In order to provide both an experiential and applied approach, all of our faculty are practicing professionals with diverse specializations, which ensures that students are kept current with the complex and constantly changing needs of contemporary school systems. This brings a wealth of real-world experiences to the classroom that enhances our students’ education and their careers post-graduation.

Field Placement Services

School Psychology students receive assistance with field placement through the School Psychology Department. Candidates begin practicum placement and experience in the first semester of the program and complete 450 hours during the first two years of the program. Because candidates will need to visit assigned local schools, candidates will need to adjust their work and other commitment schedules to accommodate 5–10 hours a week during public school hours to complete these assignments. At the end of the second year of the program, candidates will apply to recruiting school districts for a 1,200-hour school psychology internship or field placement. Some of these are paid positions.

School Psychology Internship Program

The School Psychology Internship Program, accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, occurs in the third year of the program. A total of 1,200 hours must be completed in a public school setting with pupils from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. While it is ultimately the responsibility of the candidate to obtain an internship, Phillips will assist with the process. The internship is a full-time position during the day.

Individuals with School Psychologist credentials are eligible to apply to take the Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP) examination through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The LEP is a private practice license available after two years’ experience working within the field.

Individuals with School Psychologist credentials are also eligible to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through an examination process coordinated through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). For more information, please refer to the Association’s website, www.nasponline.org.

Admission Requirements
  • The candidate must have verification of a passing score on the CBEST exam on file with the School Psychology Department.

  • The candidate must have completed all courses comprising the 48 semester units required during the first six semesters of the program. This includes 450 practica hours. Candidate will not be allowed to enroll in SP 622, Internship, until the 450 hours are completed and approved by the field work supervisor and faculty advisor. The candidate must have acceptable evaluations from field work supervisors and a minimal overall GPA of 3.0 for all coursework included in the academic plan before beginning an internship.

  • Phillips does not place candidates in internships. Although the school provides candidates with information about possible placement sites, it is the responsibility of the candidate to apply to the school district about internship positions. School districts require that the candidate go through an interview process, at which time they will need to bring a resume and portfolio. Some districts may pay a salary or stipend but most do not. Only if a school district agrees to hire the candidate as an intern can he or she obtain an Internship Credential from the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

After a school district verifies in writing that the candidate will work as an intern, the candidate can apply for an internship credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The credential analyst at PGI will assist with this process.
  • During their year of internship, candidates are required to enroll in SP 622 and SP 624 for a total of 10 units. The internship is a full-time placement in a public school for 15 weeks each semester. A written plan must be completed by the intern, which must be agreed upon by the school district, the field supervisor and PGI. The plan incorporates the skills and competencies required by the CCTC guidelines and competencies, which are in the School Psychology Internship Manual. The School Psychology Internship Plan is available in the School Psychology Internship Manual. Forms can be also obtained in the School Psychology office.

  • Candidates completing an internship must also enroll in one unit of SP 623 and SP 625, Professional Seminar, concurrently with enrollment in SP 622 and SP 624.

  • After finishing the 1200 hours and receiving satisfactory evaluations from the field supervisor, the candidate will meet with the Director of Field Placement who will verify the completion of hours. After receiving clearance from the Registrar’s Office, the candidate can complete a credential application to submit to the CCTC, which is done online. The PGI credential analyst will assist with this process.

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Faculty Advisement

Students enrolled in our California school psychologist program will be assigned an academic advisor at the beginning of the first semester of enrollment. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor early in the first semester and at least once each semester until completion of their degree and credential application. Students are encouraged to make appointments with other members of the faculty, who will answer questions and provide consultation.  

Program Compliance

The Master of Arts in School Psychology program meets the requirements and guidelines of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). In order for Phillips Graduate University to recommend a student to the State of California and the CCTC for a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Psychology, the student must have fulfilled the following requirements:
  • Passed the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

  • Completed fingerprint clearance with the CCTC

  • Completed all required coursework

  • Completed field experience, including 450 practicum and 1,200 internship hour requirements

  • Demonstrated competency in the areas of educational assessment, personal and social counseling, academic and career counseling, program development and coordination, supervision, and legal and professional ethics

  • Earned a master’s degree in School Psychology or a related discipline

  • Participated in the portfolio presentation and candidacy review

  • Completed an exit interview with the School Psychology Department

Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential requirements are subject to change due to mandates from the CCTC. Students may be required to take additional coursework or complete additional field placement hours in order to fulfill the pupil personnel services credential requirements.

Phillips Graduate University’s School Psychology Program meets requirements for students to apply for individual National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) certification. Students will learn about application procedures during the program and can also visit the NASP website (www.nasponline.org) to find additional information.

Academic Proficiency

Any student receiving a grade of C- or below in a course must retake the course, demonstrating sufficient mastery of the course content. Retaking a course may delay program completion and graduation. The student must meet with their academic advisor to discuss the impact of repeating a course on program completion. The original grade received in the course, as well as the grade received upon retaking the course, are both averaged into the student’s cumulative grade point average.  

Degree Completion Requirements

The degree is posted three times yearly, on the last day of December, May and August. All of the following requirements must be met prior to degree posting:
  • Completion of all 64 units of required courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higherv

  • Completion of credential requirements established by the CCTC, including training in child abuse

  • Completion of 450 practicum hours and 1,200 hours of supervised field experience

  • Completion of an exit interview with the School Psychology Department

  • Participation in the portfolio presentation and candidacy review

  • Intent to Graduate form on file with the Registrar Office one semester prior to the graduation date when a student expects to meet all graduation requirements

  • Payment in full of financial obligations to Phillips Graduate University and the California Family Counseling Center

  • Return of all Library materials

  • Completion of an exit interview with the Financial Aid Office (Financial Aid recipients only)

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Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1: Students gain knowledge of legal and ethical standards related to school psychology. Students gain competency in the area of legal and ethical standards related to school psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes:
1.1 Students identify legal and ethical issues underlying the practice of school psychology.
1.2 Students use their knowledge of legal and ethical standards in the practice of school psychology.

Program Goal 2: Students will summarize and synthesize theoretical models used in the profession of school psychology. Students will apply theoretical models in their practice of school psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes:
2.1 Students identify and synthesize theoretical models used in the profession of school psychology.
2.2 Students identify and apply theoretical models in their recommendations in the development and implementation of classroom behavioral interventions.

Program Goal 3: Students evaluate research related to school psychology. Students use research to inform their practice in school psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes:
3.1 Students critically use research and new knowledge to apply the practice of school psychology.
3.2 Students understand and communicate research findings to address school and individual pupil needs.

Program Goal 4: Students understand the process of assessment and intervention relevant to the field of school psychology. Students formulate appropriate intervention strategies based on assessment practices.

Student Learning Outcomes:
4.1 Students demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of commonly used school-based assessment methods for identifying pupil needs, strengths and challenges.
4.2 Students formulate appropriate intervention strategies for pupils based on assessment findings by working cooperatively with other school personnel.

Program Goal 5: Students practice cultural competency in a professional capacity as a school psychologist. Students facilitate policies that create an environment sensitive to individuals of diverse populations and learning style.

Student Learning Outcomes:
5.1 Students synthesize their knowledge of individual and family issues related to culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and gender differences with learning theory.
5.2 Students demonstrate sensitivity and skills needed to work with pupils, parents and educators of diverse populations.

Program Goal 6: Students have professional identities as school psychologists and are committed to continuous self-directed learning to refine professional skills.

Student Learning Outcomes:
6.1 Students synthesize all aspects of learning in the development and presentation of an integrated professional identity as a school psychologist.

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