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About This Program

Ensuring an enriching educational experience for children is the main focus of the M.A. in School Psychology program. It focuses on diversity, social justice, and sound counseling so that you can work in schools. This rigorous program will equip you to address the psychological, academic, and behavioral needs of students so they can excel in their pursuits.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-approved program has two levels: a Master of Arts in School Psychology is awarded after you complete 32 to 35 credits. Then you go on to complete the 36-credit specialist level Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) coursework, which is vital to meet requirements for New Jersey Department of Education certification and become a practicing school psychologist. The program requires a 300-hour practicum and a 1,200-hour externship.

Program

  • M.A. courses (32-35 credits)
  • CAGS courses (36 credits)

For more information on program requirements, consult the Graduate Catalog.

Courses

Year One

Summer Semester

  • SPS5302 Appraisal of the Individual (1)
  • SPS5700 Statistics & Research Methods I (3)
  • SPS6190 Seminar in Psychological Services in the Schools (1)

Fall Semester

  • SPS5401 Seminar in Child & Adolescent Development (3)
  • SPS5402 Seminar in Psychopathology of Childhood (3)
  • SPS5406 School Crisis Prevention & Intervention (3)
  • ABA503 Experimental Analysis of Behavior* (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS5910 Behavior Assessment in Educational & Community Settings* (3)
  • SPS6104 Data-Based Decision-Making I: Behavioral & Social/Emotional Assessment & Intervention (3)
  • SPS6110 Multicultural Issues in School Psychology (3)
  • ABA504 Philosophy of Behaviorism* (elective; necessary for BCBA credential) (3)

Year Two

Summer Semester

  • SPS6102 Assessment & Intervention of Reading Difficulties for School Psychologists (3)
  • SPS6105 Seminar in Ethical Conduct for School Psychologists* (3)

Note: At the completion of these 32–35 credits, students will sit for the comprehensive examination. With a passing score, students receive their M.A. in School Psychology and are eligible to move on to advanced-level coursework.

Fall Semester

  • SPS5100 Introduction to Counseling Skills (3)
  • SPS5911 Behavior Interventions in Educational & Community Settings* (3)
  • SPS6103 Data-Based Decision-Making II: Cognitive Assessment & Intervention (3)
  • SPS6106 Practicum I: Consultation & Collaboration (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS5405 Advanced Counseling with Children & Adolescents (3)
  • SPS5801 Practicum II: Advanced Practice (3)
  • SPS5912 Advanced Behavior Change Procedures in Educational & Community Settings* (3)
  • SPS6109 Data-Based Decision-Making III: Integrated Psychoeducational Assessment & Intervention (3)

Year Three

Summer Semester

  • SPS5403 Neurological Basis of Educational Disorders (3)
  • ABA502 Measurement & Experimental Design* (3)

Fall Semester

  • SPS6200 Externship I (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS6202 Externship II (3)

*Indicates a course that is part of the 18- to 21-credit applied behavior analysis sequence

Note: Students are awarded the CAGS after successful completion of externship (minimum 1,200 hours).

GCU’s new Psy.D. in School Psychology program will enable school psychologists to expand their practice and move into more advanced practice settings. The program has two tracks: a 109- to 112-credit, five-year program for students entering directly from their undergraduate program and a 47-credit, three-year program, which is an extension of GCU’s National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-approved existing master’s degree and post-master’s certificate programs in school psychology. The doctoral program will provide graduates with:

  • the ability to serve children in schools, hospitals, clinics, and other advance practice settings by attending to their mental health and educational needs, while also emphasizing issues of diversity and social justice;
  • the importance of understanding and respecting the various contexts of a multicultural, pluralistic society in which children live and shape their lives; and
  • a program that reflects the university’s mission and Mercy core values.

The five-year, 109- to 112-credit Psy.D. program is a full-time curriculum for students entering directly from their undergraduate program who want to earn an M.A., Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS), and Psy.D. Students will earn the M.A. and CAGS in School Psychology while working toward their Psy.D. degree. Graduate assistantships are available beginning in the third year of coursework.

Program

  • Psy.D. courses (109-112 credits)

For more information on program requirements, consult the Graduate Catalog.

Courses

Year One

Summer Semester

  • SPS5302 Appraisal of the Individual (1)
  • SPS5700 Statistics and Research Methods I (3)
  • SPS6190 Seminar in Psychological Services in the Schools (1)

Fall Semester

  • SPS5401 Seminar in Child and Adolescent Development (3)
  • SPS5402 Seminar in Psychopathology of Childhood (3)
  • SPS5406 School Crisis Prevention and Intervention (3)
  • ABA503 Experimental Analysis of Behavior* (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS5910 Behavior Assessment in Education and Community Settings* (3)
  • SPS6104 Data-Based Decision Making I: Behavioral and Social/Emotional Assessment and Intervention (3)
  • SPS6110 Multicultural Issues in School Psychology (3)
  • ABA504 Philosophy of Behaviorism* (elective; necessary for BCBA credential) (3)

Year Two

Summer Semester

  • SPS6102 Assessment and Intervention of Reading Difficulties for School Psychologists (3)
  • SPS6105 Seminar in Ethical Conduct for School Psychologists* (3)

Note: At the completion of these 32–35 credits, students will sit for the comprehensive examination. With a passing score, students receive their M.A. in School Psychology and are eligible to move on to advanced-level coursework.

Fall Semester

  • SPS5100 Introduction to Counseling Skills (3)
  • SPS5911 Behavior Interventions in Educational and Community Settings* (3)
  • SPS6103 Data-Based Decision Making II: Cognitive Assessment and Intervention (3)
  • SPS6106 Practicum I: Consultation and Collaboration (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS5405 Advanced Counseling with Children and Adolescents (3)
  • SPS5801 Practicum II: Advanced Practice (3)
  • SPS5912 Advanced Behavior Change Procedures in Educational and Community Settings* (3)
  • SPS6109 Data-Based Decision Making III: Integrated Psychoeducational Assessment and Intervention (3)

Year Three

Summer Semester

  • SPS5403 Neurological Basis of Educational Disorders (3)
  • ABA502 Measurement and Experimental Design* (3)

Fall Semester

  • SPS7100 History & Systems of Psychology (3)
  • SPS7300 Advanced Psychopathology (3)
  • SPS7500 Statistics and Research Methods II (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS7150 Theories of Personality (3)
  • SPS7400 Practicum III (3)
  • SPS7550 Statistics and Research Methods III (3)

Year Four

Summer Semester

  • SPS7600 Research in School Psychology (3)

Fall Semester

  • SPS7200 Social Psychology (3)
  • SPS7350 Physiological Basis of Behavior (3)
  • SPS7700 Dissertation (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS7250 Cognition and Learning (3)
  • SPS7450 Supervision of Psychological Services (3)
  • SPS7700 Dissertation (3)

Year Five

Summer Semester

Psy.D. students must defend their dissertation proposal and pass the doctoral qualifying exam before moving on to internship.

Fall and Spring Semesters

  • SPS7900 Pre-Doctoral Internship I (4)
  • SPS7901 Pre-Doctoral Internship II (4)

*Indicates a course that is part of the 18- to 21-credit applied behavior analysis sequence

Notes: Psy.D. students will be awarded the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in School Psychology at the successful conclusion of the pre-doctoral internship. Students will be awarded the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in School Psychology once they pass the doctoral qualifying exam, complete the pre-doctoral internship (1,500–1,750 hours), and successfully defend and file their dissertation with the university library.

The three-year, 47-credit Advanced Standing Psy.D. program is a full-time curriculum for certified school psychologists who have already earned a master’s or specialist’s degree in school psychology comprising at least 60 graduate credits and are ready to take their careers to the next level. Graduate assistantships are available.

Program

  • Psy.D. courses (47 credits)

For more information on program requirements, consult the Graduate Catalog.

Courses

Year One

Fall Semester

  • SPS7100 History & Systems of Psychology (3)
  • SPS7300 Advanced Psychopathology (3)
  • SPS7500 Statistics and Research Methods II (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS7150 Theories of Personality (3)
  • SPS7400 Practicum III (3)
  • SPS7550 Statistics and Research Methods III (3)

Year Two

Summer Semester

  • SPS7600 Research in School Psychology (3)

Fall Semester

  • SPS7200 Social Psychology (3)
  • SPS7350 Physiological Basis of Behavior (3)
  • SPS7700 Dissertation (3)

Spring Semester

  • SPS7250 Cognition and Learning (3)
  • SPS7450 Supervision of Psychological Services (3)
  • SPS7700 Dissertation (3)

Year Three

Summer Semester

Psy.D. students must defend their dissertation proposal and pass the doctoral qualifying exam before moving on to internship.

Fall and Spring Semesters

  • SPS7900 Pre-Doctoral Internship I (4)
  • SPS7901 Pre-Doctoral Internship II (4)

Note: Psy.D. students will be awarded the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in School Psychology once they pass the doctoral qualifying exam, complete the pre-doctoral internship (1,500–1,750 hours), and successfully defend and file their dissertation with the university library.

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