The School Psychology Education Specialist degree program at the University of the Virgin Islands is a cohort-driven program especially designed for persons who are already in the field working as teachers, administrators, psychologists and therapists. Its mission is to prepare individuals for a career in school psychology as defined by the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) and produce practitioners and scholars whose activities promote the psychological and educational development and well-being of diverse children and youth in the Virgin Islands and the larger Caribbean community. It is a part-time program designed to cover the full range of content and skills in such professional school psychology areas as assessment, intervention, research, evaluation, consultation and professional development.
The program consists of 67 graduate semester hours divided into three major blocks: Academic course work will include 55 credits of professional training; practicum will include 6 credits of supervised field experiences in specific skill areas that correspond with courses; and a supervised internship consisting of 6 credits and a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised field experiences covering the range of school psychological services.
Since the primary goal of the program is to develop exemplary practitioners for work in schools, clinics or private settings, the students are prepared in the following areas:
- Psychological and Educational Foundations. Students will acquire knowledge of psychological and educational principles, theories, and practices needed to understand and work with diverse children, youth and families.
- Statistics and Research Methodologies. Students will acquire knowledge and skills in statistics, research and evaluation.
- Assessment. Students will become proficient in the selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of a variety of psychological and educational assessment methods and instruments, and in using results to design interventions.
- Applications/Interventions. Students will develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies to design, implement, and evaluate interventions to address cognitive, academic, behavioral, and social issues and problems that children and youth often experience in education and other related settings. Students will acquire consultation skills for working with teachers, other school personnel, and parents for the benefit of children and youth. They will also acquire skills in counseling, and related mental health services, behavior analysis and intervention, and academic intervention.
- Professional School Psychology. Students will acquire knowledge of the history and foundations of school psychology and of the ethical, professional, and legal standards of the field. They will become familiar with various models of service delivery and of public policy relevant to such services. They will develop an identity with the profession and have the knowledge and skills needed to both practice in ways consistent with applicable standards of best practice and engage in professional development.
- Field Experiences. Students will have the opportunity to practice, under supervision, the application of knowledge and specific skills taught under each applied course. Practicum associated with key professional courses will help trainees develop distinct skills in such areas as assessment, counseling, behavior modification, and, and consultation. In the culminating 1,200 clock hour internship, interns will practice, under supervision, a full range of school psychological services designed to positively impact children, youth, families, and others they serve.
Education Specialist in School Psychology Prerequisite
EDU 501 Tests and Measurements. This course in tests and measurements is a prerequisite that must be completed prior to admission to the Education Specialist degree program or prior to the completion of 12 credits in the program.
The school psychology program is offered on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and the St. Thomas Campus. For more information about this program contact the Dean of the School of Education.