The School Psychology program at Fairfield University is a 63-credit program approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The tripartite model of school psychology espoused by the program includes consultation, assessment, and direct and indirect intervention. The program is shaped by the beliefs that school psychologists are best prepared when they are instilled with a scientist/practitioner problem-solving orientation, encouraged to think reflectively, motivated to intervene at the primary prevention level, inspired to be proactive agents of change, and taught to respect diversity and advocate for social justice. There is a special emphasis on self-care to insure optimal learning and practice in the field. Throughout the program, candidates develop and integrate who they are as individuals with their emerging professional identity. Candidates evolve as professionals through classroom experiences and opportunities to apply their growing knowledge and skills in school and mental health settings. The program culminates in an internship experience, consisting of 1200+ hours. Throughout the program, candidates develop portfolios documenting their personal and professional growth, which assist them in finding employment. To be endorsed for state certification, a student must complete both the Master of Arts (MA) degree and Sixth Year Certificate (SYC) requirements. Upon completing the MA, students must submit a formal application for entry into the SYC program. Those wishing to enter the program initially at the SYC level must hold a relevant master's degree, have a GPA of at least 3.00, and must complete a minimum of 30 credits at Fairfield University.
Admission to the School Psychology Program
Application deadlines are listed online.
Those applicants who have a successful initial paper review, are invited to campus for a Admissions Interview. Day. Admissions Day is intended to clarify applicants' understanding of the program and the profession, and to assess applicants' potential for success in the program. When applicants are admitted, each candidate is expected to meet with a faculty advisor to outline a planned program of study before beginning coursework. Candidates must complete requirements for both the MA degree and SYC program to be eligible for Connecticut state certification as a school psychologist.
All students are trained in the national evidenced-based crisis management program, PREPaRE, while in the SYC program during Practicum or Internship.
School Psychologist Certification
A candidate who successfully completes all program requirements meets the Connecticut certification requirements. When the entire program has been completed (63 credits), and the Sixth Year Certificate program is posted, the candidate must apply for an endorsement from the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions for Connecticut's Initial Educator's Certificate in School Psychology from the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Completion of all MA degree and SYC program requirements for those entering at the MA level, or completion of a minimum of 30 credits at Fairfield University for those entering at the SYC level is required for university endorsement for state certification as a school psychologist.
In view of the essential responsibility of the program to assure the protection of the healthy development of children and youth served by school psychologists, the faculty reserve the right to discontinue the program of any candidate, at any time in the program, whose academic performance is marginal, whose comprehensive examination results are not rated as passing, or whose personal characteristics are not appropriate to the field. Practica and internship candidates are also expected to demonstrate the NASP Professional Work Characteristics (Section 4.5, Standards for the Credentialing of School Psychologists, 2010). A candidate may be denied recommendation of certification for not demonstrating the NASP Professional Work Characteristics. The Disposition Statement presented in this catalog is applicable to this program as it is to all programs in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. Additionally, all students are evaluated by faculty each year on their dispositions and personal work characteristics through formal measures.