Ed.S - School Psychology
The School Psychology Program is a 64-hour program at Baylor University that leads to the Education Specialist (Ed. S.) degree. The program is designed to comply with the standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), as well as the Texas State Board of Examiners (TSBEP). The TSBEP, rather than the Texas Education Agency (TEA), has jurisdiction over school psychology, and while it does not endorse university programs, it does approve the course of study of individual students. The program consists of two full years of graduate study (58 semester hours) followed by a third year (6 semester hours) of internship.
The school psychology program at Baylor University endorses the science-practitioner model of training. The Program uses current research knowledge for data-base decision making choices in practice. The Program emphasizes the use of scientific exploration as a means to provide "best practices" in the field. In addition, the foundation of the Program is multifaceted, drawing from both psychology and education, with the main function being the assistance of children toward the greater realization of their potential through the direct and indirect services in the school setting. In order to provide these services, the school psychology program focuses on a sequential series of coursework that provides a strong base in psychology as well as both regular and special education. Therefore, the graduate student will spend much of his or her first year in the program learning the scientific foundational principles of education and psychology, ranging from professional practice to assessment to cultural issues of children and families, as well as learning, exceptionality, and personality. Students will have opportunities during the first year of the Program to apply much of the information they learn through practice opportunities in their coursework as well as through case-presentations to students and faculty in the educational psychology department.
As the students enter their second year of the program, they continue to gain foundational knowledge in psychology and education, as well as expanding their practical experience through coursework and the yearlong practicum experience. During this part-time experience, students will have the opportunity to observe and interact in a school system throughout the school year. During this time, students are provided systematic opportunities to practice and hone their skills while being provided close supervision. During the first semester of practice, students have the opportunity to work on assessment cases, observe different special education programs, and learn about the culture of the school system. The second semester of practice provides more advanced experiential opportunities, as students have counseling and consultation cases, assess for social-emotional issues, have specific intervention case-studies, and provide at least one in-service to teachers, parents, or administrators. All of these experiences are closely monitored by both field and university supervisors.
The third year of the program provides the finishing touches of the program as students have spent two full years systematically learning research-based strategies, and practiced using these strategies. At this time, students get the opportunity to work full-time as an intern in a public school setting. Experiences during this year will be more comprehensive as well as more in-depth as the student gains more knowledge and experience in order to become a resource in the school for students, parents, and school staff. As a psycho-educational consultant, the goal of the school psychologist is to eventually be viewed as a resource for those who need special assistance or knowledge, whether it is parents, teachers, administrators, or persons from the community.
Eric L. Robinson, Ph.D.