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Courses for Ph.D. School Psychology

School psychologist working with student drawing

In order to achieve the competencies, goals, and objectives above, the faculty is committed to a learning environment which stresses an integrated, well- organized, and specific curriculum with clear expectations. Each faculty member has a strong commitment to formal and informal student- faculty interactions that further mentor the student's educational progress, professional development and identification with the field. The climate of the Program is one that fosters healthy scholarly debate and discourse, critical questioning of current issues and trends in the field and respect for diversity in theory and practice, thus creating a stimulating and enriching educational environment. Emphasis is placed on the preparation of competent practitioners who are also skilled at the consumption and integration of scientific knowledge, theory, and practice.

Consistent with the scientist-practitioner model of training, students are involved in a systematic sequence of didactic courses, applied courses, field experiences, and research requirements. The sequential plan of study is designed to prepare students for the professional practice of school psychology by developing foundational knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions and behavior required for independent practice and the ability to conduct original research to address unanswered questions within the scientific literature. A brief, narrative overview of the PhD course of study follows.

During the first year of the Program, students are enrolled in several foundation courses designed to provide knowledge in the areas of child development, learning theories, psychological measurement, scientific methods and data analysis, and professional issues and development. Students also engage in coursework, fieldwork and practica dealing with individual differences, design and implementation of interventions, and intellectual, behavior, and academic assessment. PhD students are enrolled in Directed Research, a course designed to familiarize students with the research process, promote active engagement in research projects through faculty-student collaboration, and provide research mentoring prior to completing a dissertation.

Upon completing the first 30 credits in the PhD Program, students will be awarded a Master's of Science in Education (MSEd) degree in Child Psychology. It is the student's responsibility to obtain, complete, and submit the degree application form to obtain the MSEd in Child Psychology.

The second year of the Program builds on the student's knowledge base in psychology and education by providing coursework in consultation, psychotherapy, personality assessment, psychopathology, and neuropsychology. In addition, students are involved in practicum throughout the second year of study. Students begin to research dissertation topics in the second year and many students start forming his or her dissertation committee. The research skills of students continue to be developed through the Directed Research sequence.

The third and fourth years of the Program focus upon the cognitive, social, biological and developmental aspects of psychology, the professional practice of school psychology, the professional responsibilities of university teaching, and research methodology and analysis. During the third year, students begin to articulate his or her dissertation work through course seminars and establish a formal dissertation committee. Students begin advanced doctoral practicum which also challenges students to recognize how clinical practice can inform scholarly pursuits. In addition to applied practice settings, PhD students may seek a research-oriented practicum experience.

The dissertation seminar sequence prepares a student to propose a dissertation as early as the summer of the third year. Students are strongly encouraged to defend the doctoral dissertation during the fourth year of study. An elective based on student career goals is allowed in either the third or fourth year.


The fifth year of the student's Program involves the culminating experience of a supervised internship in school psychology. Typically, internship is completed on a full-time basis, although a two year half-time internship is permissible.

Year 1 - Fall

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY505

Role and Function of School Psychology

This course is designed to introduce prospective school psychologists to the field of school psychology. Subjects and experiences include role and function of the school psychologist; legal, ethical, and professional issues in school psychology; field work experiences; research methods in school psychology; and emerging technologies in school psychology.

3
GPSY 512

Psychological Testing

Introduction to basic principles of test theory, construction and measurement. Topics include reliability, validity, item analysis as well as other test construction considerations. Test interpretation focuses on standardized test scores and factor analysis. Survey of general ability tests, achievement tests, personality tests and interest inventories.

3
GPSY 619

Child and Adolescent Development

This course explores child development from conception through adolescence, surveying growth, adaptations, and developmental patterns in infancy, childhood, and adolescence with implications for academic, emotional, and social learning.

3
GPSY 692

Individual Testing

One of the primary roles of the school psychologist is to conduct psycho-educational assessments for children who are experiencing unusual difficulties in school. Generally, the purpose of these assessments is twofold: (1) to understand the dynamics underlying school failure for a specific student such that effective interventions can be implemented, and (2) to determine if a student meets diagnostic criteria for a disability as defined by the Individual’s with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). Though psycho-educational assessments are comprehensive in nature, cognitive ability is often a primary functional domain to be examined. This course will provide students with knowledge of the techniques necessary to conduct clinical assessments of cognitive as well as academic functioning in children, adolescents, and adults. The class will include lectures, class discussions, practice administrations, and written assignments designed to train students in the appropriate administration and interpretation of each instrument covered.

3
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  13

Year 1 - Spring

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 623

Behavior Interventions

The purpose of this course is to teach students to design, implement, and evaluate interventions through progress monitoring for common behavioral problems. The course will also cover single subject design and applied, functional and experimental behavioral assessment. Spring.

3
GPSY 625

Academic Interventions

The purpose of this course is to develop student competencies regarding academic assessment for intervention, evidence-based intervention, and response-to-intervention (RTI) procedures in general. This will be done by taking a holistic view of the student that includes the student’s academic environment and the student’s pattern of academic performance compared to himself/herself and others. Knowledge of these leads to the selection of evidence-based interventions that must be implemented with fidelity, appropriate progress monitoring techniques, and procedures to gauge RTI. Data-based decision making is the goal of this process. Students will complete an academic intervention project to demonstrate academic assessment, intervention selection, treatment integrity monitoring, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making competencies.

3
GREV 610

Educational Statistics II

This course is the second in a sequence of three statistics courses. The major topics focused upon are analysis of variance and multiple regression. Specific areas include: one-way ANOVA, factorial ANOVA, post-hoc analysis, evaluation of model assumptions, repeated measures analysis, analysis of covariance, and bivariate and multiple regression procedures.

3
GPSY 511

Psychology of Learning

Several theoretical mechanisms of learning and cognitive processing are examined. The goal of the course is to establish the practical utility of operant conditioning theory, social learning theory, and information processing theory.

3
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  13

Year 1 - Summer

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 850

History and Systems of Psychology

This course focuses on the history of psychology, its theoretical systems, and their relations to contemporary psychology. Pertinent issues in the history and philosophy of science are addressed, as are current trends in the discipline of psychology.

3
GCNE 572

Child and Adolescent Counseling

This course is designed to increase students’ understanding of conducting psychotherapy with children. The students will examine the theory and application of child and play therapeutic interventions. In addition, intervention strategies for helping adults for whom childhood issues continue will also be developed.

3
  6

Year 2 - Fall

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 680

Consulting and Program Evaluation- Special Education

Students will develop a knowledge base of behavioral, mental health, collaborative and system level consultation. Students will develop the skills to collaborate with school personnel and the family as a system for the design and implementation of evidence-based interventions and programs. Students will learn to conduct program evaluation to evaluate outcomes. Specific topics will include organizational assessment, problem-solving, and process improvement. This course provides an emphasis on working with families, culturally and linguistically diverse populations as well as regular and special education populations.

3
GPSY 618

Personality Assessment for Intervention

Following examination of some of the theoretical concepts behind projective techniques, the students will be supervised in implementation. Emphasis will be on projective interpretation of intelligence tests as well as exposure to other projective techniques. Restricted to students enrolled in the School Psychology Program.

3
GPSY 691

Pyschotherapy With Children and Adolescents

Exploration of methods and techniques of therapy with school-age children to familiarize the prospective school psychologist with techniques for dealing with school-age children who have adjustment problems. Designed to meet the needs of School Psychology majors; others may enroll with permission of a member of the School Psychology staff.

3
GPSY 691L

Psychotherapy: Consultation Practicum

A supervised counseling practicum designed to accompany: 691 Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents.

1
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  11

Year 2 - Spring

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 695

Child Neuropsychology

This course provides an in-depth study of the brain-behavior relationships in children and adolescents. Course content includes functional developmental neuroanatomy, neuropsychological assessment methods and tests, descriptions of specific brain-related disorders, and linking neuropsychological assessment with intervention and rehabilitation. This course does not cover adult neuropsychological functioning nor does it cover forensic neuropsychology.

3
GPSY 690

Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

This course provides students the opportunity to intensively study the etiology, assessment, and evidence-based intervention of major categories of behavior disorders seen in childhood. The importance of early detection, accurate diagnosis, and evidence-based intervention will be emphasized. This course is also designed to cultivate an appreciation of all children’s strengths and the belief that with the proper supports, the outcomes of all children may be positively impacted. Field-based experiences (Integrated Practicum) will be supported via group supervision.

3
GREV 701

Research Methods & Design

This course provides an introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches to research design and methodology. Through the use of specific research cases, students will analyze the practical problems faced by a researcher and the solution he or she selected. Students will also learn to evaluate the researcher's solutions and consider alternatives.

3
GPSY 693L

Integrated Practicum

Integrated practicum requires school psychology graduate students to apply knowledge and skills learned thus far in the Program in an applied setting. To accomplish this, you will be assigned a school-based practicum supervisor who will help facilitate completion of course requirements. You are expected to spend at least one-half day per week in the school setting.

1
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  11

Year 2 - Summer

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 815

Ethics in School Psychology

Exposes students to NASP and APA ethical guidelines through lectures, class discussions, and role-playing activities. Ethical codes, ethical conduct and professional standards of practice will also be included.

3
  3

Year 3 - Fall

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 705

Single Subject Methods in School Psychology

This course will introduce students to methods of conducting single subject designs for school psychology research and practice. Students will learn the salient features of common single subject designs as well as the advantages and disadvantages of these methodologies. Students will learn to analyze and critique published research based on single subject methods and will have opportunities to explore how these methods can be used to answer research applied and basic science questions pertaining to school psychology.

3
GPSY 614

Organizational Consultation and Supervision for School Psychologists

An in-depth study of change processes for schools and organizations serving youth and their families. Topics will include organizational assessment, program evaluation, strategic planning, change management, problem-solving, and process improvement. Specific examples covered will include the development of organization level crisis plans and techniques in organizational recovery.

3
GREV 611

Statistics III

This course is the third in a sequence of three statistics courses. Students are introduced to the multivariate normal distribution. Topics include multiple regression analysis, multivariate analysis of variance and covariance, factor analysis, canonical correlation, discriminant function analysis and logistic regression. Class sessions will consist of direct instruction and whole- class discussion of the statistical concepts and underlying foundations, in- class team work to solve problems and interpret results, and a lab component designed to illustrate and practice the use of statistical software to conduct analyses.

3
GPSY 813

Professional Seminar: Dissertation

This seminar is offered to students in the third and fourth years of the School Psychology PhD Program to assist with dissertation preparation and completion, and development of a professional identity.

1
GPSY 812L

Advanced Doctoral Practicum

Students will choose an area of specialization in which they will complete a supervised practicum.

1
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  13

Year 3 - Spring

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 811

Biological Basis of Behavior

This course is designed to familiarize future school psychologists to the neurological and neuropsychological bases of behavior, as well as psychopharmacological interventions currently available to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. In the first part of the course, students will learn principles of neuroanatomy, the major structures of the brain, and the associated functions of key brain structures. Each class period will be comprised of lecture, class discussion, an activity (e.g., video, guest, interactive computer activity), and two students’ reviews of a research article related to that session’s topic (2 per class period). The second section of the course will focus on psychopharmacological intervention of disorders/conditions commonly seen in childhood. Again, class sessions within this portion of the course will be comprised class lecture and class discussion. This section of the class will additionally include individual student presentations regarding the pharmacological intervention of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders/behavior problems (2 each class period). A midterm and a final exam will be completed.

3
GREV 612*

Statistics IV Statistical Modeling (Offered every other year)

This course is a general treatment of a class of techniques that have come to be known as structural equation modeling procedures. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is a general class of multivariate modeling techniques that allows the estimation of relationships between latent (unobserved) variables. It is also a regression based technique that combines both confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis. The overall goal of this course is to provide students with the conceptual aspects, statistical underpinnings, and applications of this method. It is not meant to be a tutorial on how to use a specific software. The course is intended to be very applied in the sense of how to estimate models, evaluate them, revise them, and report the results. At the same time, the course will provide a rigorous treatment of the theory underlying SEM, including discussions of causality and inference, model assumptions and consequences of their violation, and limitations.

3
GPSY 813

Professional Seminar: Dissertation

This seminar is offered to students in the third and fourth years of the School Psychology PhD Program to assist with dissertation preparation and completion, and development of a professional identity.

1
GPSY 812L

Advanced Doctoral Practicum

Students will choose an area of specialization in which they will complete a supervised practicum.

1
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  10

* GREV 612 only offered every other spring. If not offered may be taken in spring year 4. Another research elective, approved by the student's advisor, may be taken in place of GREV 612. Not taking GREV 612 (or equivalent) will reduce semester credit load by 3 credits.

Year 4 - Fall

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GESL 501

Helping English Language Learners in Mainstream Classes

English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction aims to provide English Language Learner (ELLs) with social, cultural and basic and academic language skills to improve their academic achievement. Granted that the developmental goals of ELL’s language and academic skills are inseparably interdependent, ESL instruction cannot be perceived as the sole responsibility of ESL specialists. This course aims to support pre-service content area teachers in developing adequate level of competency in addressing the special needs of linguistically and culturally diverse learners in their classes. It also prepares pre-service content area teachers to work with ESL professionals on various levels. The course provides them with basic knowledge and skills appropriate and effective instructional experience for the ELL population. It also focuses on how content area teachers can make accommodations, adaptations and modifications in their instructional planning and implementation to create an inclusive instructional environment for all learners. In light of PDE requirements, the course covers content related to the five TESOL standards, including language, culture, instructiona, assessment, and professionalism.

3
GSPE 706

Scholarship and Teaching at the University

In this course students will learn how to develop a research agenda including grant writing and submitting a manuscript for publication. Students will explore teaching philosophies and how that is related to course development and delivery. Students will also explore ethical issues that arise for university faculty (e.g., human subject protections and academic integrity).

3
GPSY 808*

Elective Option - Early Childhood: Assessment and Intervention

Provides an overview of the current models of assessment and intervention for low incidence disorders and developmental delays, which are typically identified before age five. Course content will explore current definitions and diagnostic criteria, assessment techniques, behavioral, therapeutic, and educational strategies, effective support services, and family, school, and community systems issues.

3
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
GPSY 890

Advanced Doctoral Practicum Seminar I

Advanced Doctoral Practicum I & II require school psychology doctoral students to display in an applied setting the knowledge and skills learned thus far in the Program. Advanced Doctoral Practicum Seminar I & II is a mechanism for all advanced doctoral students to convene and learn from each other’s advanced doctoral practicum experiences. This course is also a means for the Program to track and provide feedback regarding program competencies.

1
  10

* Students must select ONE of the following three options (3 credit hour): GPSY 808: Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention (offered each fall), GPSY 804: Child Violence in Schools (offered each spring), or an elective approved by the student’s advisor. The elective can be taken any time in the third and fourth years of study. Not taking GPSY 808 (or equivalent) will reduce semester credit load by 3 credits.

Year 4 - Spring

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
CESD 805

Counselor Education and Supervision in a Diverse Society

This course provides doctoral students with the awareness, knowledge, and skills required of counselors, counselor educators, and counseling supervisors if they are to be effective leaders in a pluralistic and diverse society. This course prepares students to continue developing multicultural competencies. Diversity and identity issues, multicultural models and frameworks, and ethical implications are explored in relation to their impact on therapeutic, instructional, consultative, and supervisory relationships. Also emphasized are issues regarding spirituality, religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, gender, advocacy, social justice, and related trauma, crisis, and disaster issues.

3
GPSY 612

Social Psychology

Social psychology is the scientific study of humankind as social beings. The social psychologist is interested in how individuals think about others, influence, and are influenced by others, and how they interact with others. The course is designed to give you a detailed overview of the major topics currently important in the discipline, as well as some of the history and methodology that form the basis of our present understanding. This course has as its cornerstone the scientific method and the use of empirical research as the means of understanding social behavior.

3
GREV 612*

Statistics IV Statistical Modeling (Offered every other year)

This course is a general treatment of a class of techniques that have come to be known as structural equation modeling procedures. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is a general class of multivariate modeling techniques that allows the estimation of relationships between latent (unobserved) variables. It is also a regression based technique that combines both confirmatory factor analysis and path analysis. The overall goal of this course is to provide students with the conceptual aspects, statistical underpinnings, and applications of this method. It is not meant to be a tutorial on how to use a specific software. The course is intended to be very applied in the sense of how to estimate models, evaluate them, revise them, and report the results. At the same time, the course will provide a rigorous treatment of the theory underlying SEM, including discussions of causality and inference, model assumptions and consequences of their violation, and limitations.

3
GPSY 804**

Elective Option - Child Violence in Schools

This course will focus on the study of the origins and developmental course of violent and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. This course investigates how instinctual, developmental, biological, situational, psychopharmacological, social, and personality factors differentially contribute to the development and manifestation of aggressive behavior in children and across the lifespan. An emphasis will be placed on examining multiple and converging systems. Research evidencing assessment and treatment validity for specific causes are systematically examined.

3
GPSY 891

Advanced Doctoral Practicum Seminar II

Advanced Doctoral Practicum I & II require school psychology doctoral students to display in an applied setting the knowledge and skills learned thus far in the Program. Advanced Doctoral Practicum Seminar I & II is a mechanism for all advanced doctoral students to convene and learn from each other’s advanced doctoral practicum experiences. This course is also a means for the Program to track and provide feedback regarding program competencies.

1
GPSY 810

Directed Research

Students engage in research projects directed by faculty members. Provides students with ongoing research experience and the opportunity to publish and present self-generated or collaborative research projects.

1
  13

* GREV 612 only offered every other spring. If not offered may be taken in spring year 3. Another research elective, approved by the student's advisor, may be taken in place of GREV 612. Not taking GREV 612 (or equivalent) will reduce semester credit load by 3 credits.

** Students must select ONE of the following three options (3 credit hour): GPSY 804: Child Violence in Schools (offered each spring), GPSY 808: Early Childhood Assessment and Intervention (offered each fall), or an elective approved by the student’s advisor. The elective can be taken any time in the third and fourth years of study. Not taking GPSY 804 (or equivalent) will reduce semester credit load by 3 credits.

Year 5 - Fall

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 903

School Psychology Doctoral Internship Seminar

Internship Seminar is a mechanism for all school psychology interns to convene and learn from each other’s internship experiences. This course is also a means for the University to track and provide feedback regarding program competencies. I will facilitate the learning environment through the use of blogs and discussion boards, and prompting the critical analysis of the presented cases and topics of discussion. Readings and learning activities may be assigned if gaps in knowledge/skills are identified. Select topics will be presented by the instructors to prepare interns for graduation, certification, and PA employment procedures.

3
GPSY 901

School Psychology Doctoral Internship- Full Time

Supervised practice of school psychology in a school or educational setting. Requires 1,500-clock hours experience.

1
GPSY 906*

Dissertation- Full Time

Successful completion, written and oral presentation of the student's doctoral research are required. Completion of the experience requires also meeting all graduation requirements.

3

* Dissertation credits do not need to be taken in the suggested semester. Students must register for a total of 6 dissertation credits (GPSY 906) to be eligible for graduation.

  7

Year 5 - Spring

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GPSY 904

School Psychology Doctoral Internship Seminar

Internship Seminar is a mechanism for all school psychology interns to convene and learn from each other’s internship experiences. This course is also a means for the University to track and provide feedback regarding program competencies. I will facilitate the learning environment through the use of blogs and discussion boards, and prompting the critical analysis of the presented cases and topics of discussion. Readings and learning activities may be assigned if gaps in knowledge/skills are identified. Select topics will be presented by the instructors to prepare interns for graduation, certification, and PA employment procedures.

3
GPSY 902

School Psychology Doctoral Internship- Full Time

Supervised practice of school psychology in a school or educational setting. Requires 1,500-clock hours experience.

1
GPSY 906*

Dissertation- Full Time

Successful completion, written and oral presentation of the student's doctoral research are required. Completion of the experience requires also meeting all graduation requirements.

3
  7

* Dissertation credits do not need to be taken in the suggested semester. Students must register for a total of 6 dissertation credits (GPSY 906) to be eligible for graduation.

 Total Degree Credits 111

Note: GPSY 509 (Independent Study), GPSY 812L (Doctoral Practicum), and GPSY 906 (Doctoral Dissertation) have separate sections for individual faculty members. Be sure to register for the proper faculty member.