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The Baylor Impact is published quarterly by the Baylor School of Education.

The Baylor Impact
School of Education
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97304
Waco, TX 76798-7304

(254) 710-3111


School PsychologySchool Psychology:
Dynamic Program Prepares Students to Make a Difference

One of Baylor’s advertising slogans is “Above. Beyond.” — simple phrasing that finds a home in SOE’s School Psychology program. 

“The School Psychology program at Baylor University has helped  me realize the difference one person can make in the lives of  children,” Kristen Mainor, second-year student, says. 

Baylor’s 64-hour school psychology program leads to the  Educational Specialist (EdS) degree. The program complies with  the standards of the National Association of School Psychologists  (NA SP), as well as the Texas State Board of Examiners (TSBE P).  The Baylor program consists of two years of graduate study  (58 semester hours) followed by an internship in the third year  (6 semester hours). The program is conditionally approved by  NA SP and will apply for full approval in September 2009. 

The role of the school psychologist often is confused with two other  fields in education — the school counselor and the educational  diagnostician. While there are some similarities between the three  disciplines, there are also several differences. For example, the  school counselor typically provides counseling services for students  as well as academic guidance for college at the high school level,  while the educational diagnostician is trained to evaluate students  suspected of having a learning or cognitive disability.  The school psychologist also provides counseling services to students, but typically works with the more challenging cases such  as students diagnosed with an emotional disturbance.

The school psychologist also evaluates students suspected of having a  learning or cognitive disability — similar to the diagnostician —  but also evaluates students suspected of having a behavior or  emotional disorder. 

“This program has given me the skills to serve a population that  truly appreciates the help I can offer. I feel truly blessed to have  found this career and daily strive to be an advocate for children  by applying the knowledge and skills I have acquired from the  Baylor School Psychology program,” says Christie Powers-  Mitchell, a third-year student. 

In addition to the counseling and evaluation roles, the school psychologist works from a prevention model in that they consult  with teachers, parents, and administrators to create programs and  opportunities for students to be successful prior to the need for  an evaluation and subsequent placement in special education. 

“After being here for a year, I’ve talked to other school psychology students from other programs and was amazed how  different the programs could be (cohort size, teacher/student  ratio, etc.). Baylor just feels like the perfect fit to me,” Ryan  Burnett, second-year student, adds. 

The program at Baylor averages 6–10 students in each cohort and  participants receive a combination of theoretical and practical  experiences during their first two years. This includes coordinating  and implementing weekly social skills programs for students with  autism spectrum disorders in the Baylor Autism Resource Center  during their first year, and 8–10 hours of weekly practice in local  public schools during their second year. In addition, many of  the students complete research projects during their time in the  program and have made numerous presentations at the Texas  Association of School Psychologists and National Association of  School Psychologists conferences. 

In This Issue

•  Welcome
•  In the F1rst Person: Colin Wilborn
•  Educational Administration: Undergraduate Leadership Studies Program
•  Engaging Education: Hispanic Families in Transition
•  School Psychology: Dynamic Program Prepares Students to Make a Difference
•  Impact Tomorrow

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