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 School of Education and Human Development 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 School of Education and Human Development. Additionally, all students are evaluated by faculty each year on their dispositions and personal work characteristics through formal measures.
PSYG 5430 Foundations of Ethical, Legal, and Professional Practice 3 Credits
Among the first courses that should be taken in the School Psychology program, this course presents a realistic view of school psychology, permitting participants to interview school psychologists and other school personnel in the field about the role of the school psychologist. It serves as a vehicle to affect the future of school psychology by empowering future school psychologists, and it introduces the issues primary to the profession and practice of school psychology. Topics include special education law, professional ethics, the history of school psychology, a tripartite model of service delivery, the "scientific practitioner" approach, consultation, child development and system theory as a basis for practice, advocacy for and education about the school psychologist's role, and an introduction to federal and state educational systems within which the profession operates. Previously PY 0430.
PSYG 5436 Psychopathology and Classification I 3 Credits
This course introduces candidates to advanced child and adolescent psychopathology. It provides the necessary foundation for undertaking subsequent courses or supervised practical training focused on the actual practice of formulating diagnoses and treating children and adolescents who are experiencing mental disorders. The course includes in-depth exposure to and discussion of the DSM-V and current research in psychopathology, and emphasizes understanding and identifying mental disorder symptoms and syndromes. Previously PY 0436.
PSYG 5437 Psychopathology and Classification II 3 Credits
This course introduces candidates to advanced adult psychopathology. It provides the necessary foundation for undertaking subsequent courses or supervised practical training focused on the actual practice of formulating diagnoses and treating people who are experiencing mental disorders. The course includes in-depth exposure to and discussion of the DSM-V and current research in psychopathology, and emphasizes understanding and identifying mental disorder symptoms and syndromes. Previously PY 0437.
PSYG 5438 Treatment Models for School-Aged Youth 3 Credits
Prerequisites: PSYG 5436*.
In this course, candidates learn to develop treatment plans for children and adolescents in schools. Various psychotherapy models bridge the gap between theory and practice. Case studies serve as the primary learning vehicle. Given that children and adolescents frequently demonstrate emotional difficulties in the school setting, the course highlights theoretically informed therapeutic interventions that are pragmatic for use in the school setting, and emphasizes the importance of recognizing individual differences (cognitive, cultural, etc.) when designing interventions. (*indicates concurrency allowed) Previously PY 0438.
PSYG 5446 Advanced Foundations of Development and Learning: From Theory to Practice 3 Credits
This course is designed to help emerging school-based clinical practioners enhance their knowledge of the various domains of developmental psychology and the role of the school psychologist and/or educator in promoting and supporting child and adolescent development. Candidates will examine human development from the prenatal period through adolescence with an emphasis on the socio-cultural context and resiliency science. Candidates will increase their facility in examining case data from a developmental lens and infusing of the principals of positive psychological science to promote development and psychological wellness. Competence in developing clinically robust developmental questions is also a central feature of this course. Previously PY 0446.
PSYG 5448 Foundations in Equity-Based Multi-Tiered Systems of Support 3 Credits
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is a service delivery paradigm currently used by school districts to provide a continuum of evidence- based multi-tiered supports to address students’ academic, behavioral, and socioemotional vitality. This course will provide candidates with foundational knowledge in implementing and evaluating MTSS with an emphasis on equity and accessibility in service delivery. Through the use select texts and course assignments, candidates will gain facility in designing MTSS structures and leading support learning and interventions through an inclusive framework and equity-driven implementation lens. Previously PY 0444.
PSYG 5900 Special Topics (Shell) 1-3 Credits
The special topic course varies in content, as needed, in order to provide timely opportunity to explore time sensitive, new and emerging topics and foci on a one-time basis, or to offer a pilot section of a new course in development. Each special topic course will have a unique focus, clearly identified in the course title. Candidates may take a special topic course more than once, as long as the course content and foci are distinctly identified. Previously PY 0401.
PSYG 6449 Introduction to Clinical Child Neuropsychology 3 Credits
This course introduces candidates to brain structure, development, and function as the child grows to adulthood. Discussion topics include cognitive, academic, and behavioral sequelae of commonly encountered neuropathologies of childhood and adolescence, with case illustrations. Because of the emphasis placed on educational outcomes of neuropathology, the course addresses dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and non-verbal learning disability. Previously PY 0449.
PSYG 6534 Theories of Learning 3 Credits
This course considers, in detail, the conditions of human learning found in the principal schools of psychology on the contemporary scene. Candidates investigate other theories for individual reports. Crosslisted with EDUC 6534. Previously PY 0534.
PSYG 6535 Collaborative Consultation 3 Credits
Designed to give candidates knowledge and consultation skills, this course presents consultation as a collaborative problem-solving process that is empowering and prevention-oriented. The course focuses on mental health consultation as described by Gerald Caplan. Candidates learn the major models of consultation, the generic stages of consultation, and four levels of consultation service. The course also addresses practice issues, such as consultee resistance, consultee perspective, and consultant self-awareness. The course includes a practicum component in which candidates consult with a teacher at a school site once a week for approximately 10 weeks. Previously PY 0535.
PSYG 6537 Psychoeducational Assessment I: Behavioral Approaches 3 Credits
Designed for school psychology candidates, this course is the first in a four-course sequence in the psycho-educational evaluation of school-aged children. It covers the key concepts and procedures used in the behavioral assessment of individuals with a dual emphasis on functional behavioral assessment and progress monitoring within a response-to-intervention model. Topics covered include direct observation procedures, indirect assessment procedures, data collection and progress monitoring, functional analysis, reinforcer assessment, social validity assessment, direct behavior ratings, inter-observer reliability, and linking assessment results to behavior intervention and support plans. Applications at all three tiers of a response-to-intervention model will be discussed. This course is also the first course in the three course program: Advanced Training in Applied Behavior Analysis. Previously PY 0537.
PSYG 6538 Psychoeducational Assessment II: Standardized Approaches 3 Credits
Fee: $70 GSEAP Lab Fee
Corequisite: PSYG 6540.
Prerequisite: Completion of all MA degree requirements.
For school psychology candidates, this course is designed to advance their knowledge and skills of standardized assessment instruments commonly used by school psychologists in practice. This course will include review of psychometric constructs relevant to the measurement of intelligence and achievement, review of cross-battery assessment, (c) practice in the administration and scoring of standardized measures of intelligence, achievement and behavior, and (d) practice in the interpretation of test scores, (e) practice in the preparation of written reports summarizing test results, (f) exploration of multicultural issues related to assessment, and (g) review of the application of intelligence testing in school and clinical settings. Previously PY 0538.
PSYG 6540 Psychoeducational Assessment III: Clinical Approaches 3 Credits
Fee: $70 GSEAP Lab Fee
Corequisite: PSYG 6538.
Prerequisite: Completion of all MA degree requirements.
This course provides an introduction to clinical approaches to assessment for candidates in the school psychology program. A variety of assessment techniques will be presented and critically reviewed, including clinical interview, clinical observation, and projective techniques commonly used by school psychologists to assess students in school settings. Candidates will gain practice in the administration and interpretation of clinical assessments as well as basic report-writing. Previously PY 0540.
PSYG 6544 Psychoeducational Assessment IV: Integrated Assessment 3 Credits
For school psychology majors only, this is the fourth and final course in the advanced study of applied psychoeducational assessment. Designed for graduate candidates who are in the final stages of preparing for on-site professional assessment, this course focuses on continuing instruction in the administration and interpretation of various assessment techniques, emphasizing cognitive measures, academic assessment, academic achievement tests, and projective techniques, as well as psychological report-writing that integrates all assessment data into clear, accurate, written psychological reports. The course also stresses cultural and ethical competence in order to meet the need to synthesize and integrate assessment data into comprehensive, non-biased psychological evaluations of children and youth. Candidates administer comprehensive psychoeducational batteries within a school or agency in preparation for their internship in school psychology. Previously PY 0544.
PSYG 6548 Psychotherapeutic Techniques for School-Aged Youth 3 Credits
This course provides school psychology, school counselor, and social work candidates with a first exposure to psychotherapeutic techniques. Topics include the purposes and rationale for such techniques, selection of appropriate methodologies, ethical considerations, and practice skills. Previously PY 0548.
PSYG 6951 Practicum I: Assessment and Group Process 3 Credits
Corequisite: PSYG 6544.
This course provides support and university supervision for candidates in their semester long school-based practicum. This course primarily provides opportunities to gain practice and facility in testing and report writing. Additionally, the course provides students with an in-class opportunity to experientially learn group process from the perspective of a group member, as well as group facilitator. Candidates also learn how to develop lesson plans and conduct whole class lessons. Enrollment by permission only. Previously PY 0576.
PSYG 6952 Practicum II: Counseling and Group Process 3 Credits
Prerequisite: PSYG 6951.
This course provides support and university supervision for candidates in their eight-week long mental health practicum. The primary purpose of this course is to provide opportunities to gain practice and facility in individual and group counseling, behavior modification, and interviewing in a mental health setting. Candidates typically work with challenging cases, which enables them to act as better liaisons to acute care facilities when in the schools. Additionally, the course provides students an in-class opportunity to experientially learn group process from the perspective of a group member, as well as group facilitator. Candidates take this course the summer before their internship. Previously PY 0577.
PSYG 6981 Internship in School Psychology I 3 Credits
This course provides weekly supervision and support at the University for candidates during the fall semester of the school psychology internship. This internship allows candidates to integrate the skills they have acquired in the program, build confidence using those skills, and develop a sense of professional identity. The course stresses a tripartite approach to school psychology, with equal emphasis on assessment, direct intervention, and consultation. Enrollment by approval of the program coordinator. Previously PY 0598.
PSYG 6981P Internship in School Psychology I 3 Credits
See PSYG 6981.
PSYG 6982 Internship in School Psychology II 3 Credits
Prerequisite: PSYG 6981.
This course provides weekly supervision and support at the university for candidates during the spring semester of the school psychology internship. This internship allows candidates to integrate the skills they have acquired in the program, build confidence using those skills, and develop a sense of professional identity. The course stresses a tripartite approach to school psychology, with equal emphasis on assessment, direct intervention, and consultation. Previously PY 0599.
PSYG 6982P Internship in School Psychology II 3 Credits
See PSYG 6982.
PSYG 6990 Independent Study 3 Credits
Candidates conduct individual projects in consultation with a faculty member from the Department of Psychological and Educational Consultation. Enrollment by approval of faculty advisor. Previously PY 0595.
PSYG 6999 Comprehensive Examination in School Psychology 0 Credits
The comprehensive examination in school psychology requires candidates to demonstrate understanding and mastery of a broad body of relevant knowledge in psychology, as well as the ability to synthesize this knowledge in the creation of sophisticated essays. Before candidates take the comprehensive examination, they must have completed, or be in the process of completing, 24 credits. Previously PY 0099.