Psy.S. in School Psychology

Professional Preparation

The profession of School Psychology requires knowledge and skills in psychological and academic development of children, home-school collaboration, assessment, consultation, prevention, intervention, research, and program planning. The National Association of School Psychologists provides information regarding the professional role of school psychologists. 
Employment opportunities for school psychologists nationally remain positive, in public school systems, residential schools, and/or day school programs.  Although the program does not guarantee employment, our experience has been that all graduates of the Gallaudet Specialist in School Psychology Program who seek professional positions find such positions within the first year.  In general, one-third of program graduates are employed in public school programs that serve deaf/hard-of-hearing and hearing students, one-third of graduates work in residential schools for the deaf, and one-third of graduates serve in public school programs with hearing students.

Program of Study

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum consists of credit hour requirements in all professional areas required by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The School Psychology Specialist Program is fully approved by NASP and as such maintains a core curriculum consistent with current NASP training standards.

Additional Objectives

The additional program objective of training students with an expertise in deafness is framed within the following five special competency areas.

1. Communication and meeting the communication needs of all individuals whom one serves, which includes the development of American Sign Language (ASL) skill, as well as the ability to assess one's communication skills and adapt communication modalities to meet the specific needs of each child (ASL, manually coded English, oral/aural approaches, etc.).

2. Knowledge of deafness issues, including research, technological innovations, deaf culture, diversity within the Deaf community, and resources for families and the professional.

3. Psychoeducational considerations for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing, including modifications needed in use of standardized and non-standardized test instruments, interpretation of results, socialization issues, family issues, and the impact of additional disabilities.

4. Specialized psychological assessment and observational strategies for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing across diverse cultural, economic, linguistic, and personal developmental domains.

5. Knowledge of educational intervention techniques and curriculum adaptations for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Practicum and Internships

Supervised practicum and internship experiences are available at school and educational programs for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing children in the metropolitan Washington area and across the United States. A background check is frequently a requirement of practicum and internship sites and will be the financial responsibility of the student before placement is made.

Typical Program of Study and Core Courses

The graduate program in school psychology requires the completion of 72 graduate hours including practicum and internship experiences. The program generally takes three years: two years of course study (including practicum experiences) and a one-year internship.

The first year of the program includes a 30-credit sequence of courses in psychology and related areas, additional sign communication courses, and successful completion of comprehensive examinations in three areas (language, cognition, and behavior disorders). Successful completion of these requirements results in a master of arts degree in developmental psychology. The master's degree is usually awarded at the end of the first year of study.

The second year includes an additional 30-credit sequence of courses emphasizing school psychological services, successful completion of a comprehensive examination case study and an extensive practicum experience.

The third program year is a full-time school psychology internship placement (12 credits), which may be served in a school or school/clinical setting anywhere in the United States. Upon successful completion of the internship year the specialist degree in school psychology is awarded.

Courses that must be taken at Gallaudet in the school psychology program:

PSY 701 Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology (3)
PSY 743 Assessment I: History and Theory of Assessment (3)
PSY 746 Assessment II: Intellectual Assessment (3)
PSY 765 Assessment III: Social, Emotional and Behavioral Assessment (3)
PSY 770 Practicum in School Psychology I (3)
PSY 771 Practicum in School Psychology II (3)
PSY 772 Psychological Consultation: Externship (1)
PSY 790 Internship: Individual Case Study (3)
PSY 791 Internship: Teacher Consultation and Counseling (3)
PSY 792 Internship: System Consultation and In-Service (3)
PSY 793 Internship: Advanced Case Conference (3)

Required Courses

PSY 732 Child Psychopathology and Behavior Disorders (3)
PSY 748 Psychoeducational Assessment and Programming for Exceptional Children (3)
PSY 754 Biological Psychology: Brain and Behavior (3)
PSY 766 School Psychology and Prevention Services (3)
PSY 767 Psychological Consultation: Theory and Practice (3)

Additional Requirements

Students must pass a comprehensive examination in each of these areas:
Language development
Cognitive development
Behavior disorders
Comprehensive case study

Students must take at least one course in each of these areas:
Educational methods or curriculum
Multicultural education
Psychology and deafness

Students must demonstrate sign language proficiency by passing six credit hours of coursework in the area of sign communication (or waiver).

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