The Ed.S. School Psychology will educate well-rounded specialist-level graduates who will fill the increasingly varied roles of today’s school psychologist. The school psychologist is called upon to help students, teachers, administrators, and parents overcome obstacles to learning and personal development which include, but are not limited to, family disruptions, mental health problems and disabilities, inadequate exposure to instruction (i.e., medical illness, poor attendance, etc.), and academic difficulties.
Recognizing that there will be a substantial shortfall in the number of available school psychologists in Illinois, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) created and gained approval to offer an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology. The Ed.S. School Psychology degree was chosen as the standard of training most congruent with the level of quality demanded by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has attained the highest level of approval and accreditation for its School Psychology program through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The program also received conditional approved by the National Association of School Psychologists. The Ed.S. School Psychology program is offered as a three-year full-time course of study that begins in the fall semester or as a four year part-time course of study that begins in the fall term.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:
- Demonstrate skills to use psychological and educational assessment, data collection strategies, and technological resources and apply results to design, implement, and evaluate response to services and programs.
- Demonstrate skills to consult, collaborate, and communicate with others during design, implementation, and evaluation of services and programs.
- Demonstrate skills to use assessment and data-collection methods and to implement and evaluate services that support cognitive and academic skills.
- Demonstrate skills to develop and implement and evaluate services that promote academic outcomes learning, social development, and mental health.
- Demonstrate skills to develop and implement practices and strategies to create and maintain effective and supportive learning environments for children and others.
- Demonstrate skills to promote services that enhance learning, mental health safety, and physical well-being through protective and adaptive factors to implement effective crisis preparation, response, and recovery.
- Demonstrate skills to design, implement, and evaluate services that respond to culture and context and facilitate family and school partnership/interactions with community agencies for enhancement of academic and social-behavioral outcomes for children.
- Demonstrate skills to provide professional services that promote effective functioning for individuals, families, and schools with diverse characteristics, cultures, and backgrounds and across multiple contexts, with recognition that an understanding and respect for diversity in development and learning and advocacy for social justice are foundations of all aspects of service delivery.
- Demonstrate skills to evaluate and apply research as a foundation for service delivery and use various techniques and technology resources for data collection, measurement, analysis, and program evaluation to support effective practices at the individual, group, and/or system levels.
- Demonstrate skills to provide service consistent with ethical, legal, and professional standards; engage in responsive ethical and professional decision-making; collaborate with other professionals; and apply professional work characteristics needed for effective practice; including respect for human diversity and social justice, communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, responsibility, adaptability, initiative, dependability, and technology skills.
Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Ed.S. School Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission are: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, an admission essay, and three letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer supervisors. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.
The Ed.S. School Psychology program requires two undergraduate courses (a course in psychology and a course in either statistics or research methods) that must be completed prior to enrollment, with a grade earned of “C” or better. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, however it strongly encouraged that applicants who have taken the exam submit their scores to enhance their application. Scores should be sent directly to the school (GRE School Code: 1119) for consideration. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with the $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.
TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students
TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your primary language, you must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are: TOEFL - 550 paper based, 213 computer based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.
ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc. which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.
International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services (www.wes.org) or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. (www.ece.org). In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.
International students: International students must have a completed application by the general consideration deadline. This will allow sufficient time to obtain the additional documentation required to study in the United States. In addition, once accepted, international students must submit the International Student Information form, A copy of their passport, and financial documentation showing sufficient funding for at least one year of study and all living expenses. This documentation must be submitted at least two months prior to the start of the semester in order to allow sufficient time for the school to issue an I-20 for the student to obtain an F-1 visa, if needed. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and the student is quickly notified of the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.
If a student is offered admission, in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.
The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Transfer of Credit, Waiver of Courses, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Grading Scale, Grade Change Requests, Degree Completion, Degree Conferral, Minimum and Maximum Timeframe requirements, and Credit Hours per semester for Financial Aid. Information on the Academic Success Program is located under Student Life .
Academic Development Plans
An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the program in which the student is enrolled. When a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior, the ADP is initiated. The completion of an ADP does not constitute disciplinary action, but failure to complete the plan may lead to disciplinary action.
Student Learning Assessment
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is committed to offering the highest quality undergraduate completion program and graduate programs in applied professional disciplines. To meet TCSPP’s standard for academic quality, program learning outcomes are aligned with course learning outcomes and guide assessment. Data collected from the results of student assessment and the aggregation of these data will inform how students are progressing towards achieving program outcomes.
All academic programs report annual assessments of student learning and other indicators of program effectiveness as part of the Academic Program Review process.
The mission of the program is to provide students with a broad-based education that promotes best practices, cultural sensitivity, and innovation to support the needs of children and families. We are committed to preparing graduates who transform our profession, schools, and communities.
The department’s philosophy embraces the premise that the creation of humane and effective learning environments requires the application of professional judgment acquired through the integration of educational and psychological theory, scholarship, and professional practice. Further, the department endorses a deep commitment to understanding and respecting individual and cultural differences, while considering the systems in which the individual functions. The curriculum and training opportunities are based on the practitioner-scholar model which specifies a competency-based approach and is integrated with a standards-based approach to learning. The expected outcome of this method is consistent with the role of the “master” school psychologist who is able to treat and empower students, families, and communities to bring about positive change, plan preventive services, and enhance both educational and psychological problem-solving at all levels.
A competency-based education philosophy permeates every element of TCSPP and the Ed.S. School Psychology program. Graduates of the Ed.S. School Psychology program will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions consistent with those recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the knowledge and performance bases defined as the critical skills for school psychology professionals by the State of Illinois and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). These key competencies are articulated in the 2010 NASP Domains. This philosophical approach provides empirical evidence that instruction in the program addresses all of the IL/NASP Domains, and that graduates have demonstrated their success in meeting each of the domains. The program curriculum and assessment system ensures that students will know the field of School Psychology and have a thorough understanding of the principles and concepts in the IL/NASP Standards for the School Psychologist.
Graduates will demonstrate commitment to the ethical guidelines adopted by the National Association of School Psychologists’ Professional Conduct Manual, which contains “Principles for Professional Ethics” and the “Standards for the Provision of School Psychological Services” and those adopted by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists. For example, students shall not engage in employment beyond the scope of their training and may not use titles governed by certification and licensure statutes. Students that fail to adhere to ethical and legal guidelines appropriate for the practice of School Psychology are subject to discipline.
The School Psychology program is aligned with the degree and coursework requirements to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with a School Psychologist Endorsement. It is also aligned with the degree and coursework requirements to become a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.
Practicum and Internship
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology requirements for school placements exceed the NASP Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs in School Psychology. Before being placed in practicum, all students must have taken and passed the Illinois State Board of Education requirements for basic skills.
Three field experiences are required and earn a total of 10 academic credits:
- First year service learning project: 120 hours (imbedded in professional development seminar)
- Second year practicum (3rd year for students in the part-time blended programs): 600 hours total (6 credits)
- Third year internship experience (4th year for students in the part-time blended programs): 1200 hours, full-time (4 credits)
More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.
School Psychology Exit Criteria
Transitions points represent key assessments of knowledge, skills, and dispositions for each year of the school psychology training. Students may not proceed to the next level of training until proficiency is demonstrated in the knowledge, skills, and dispositions at each point. Only then is a student permitted to transition to the next level. Note that all years of training require students to demonstrate proficiency through capstone activities submitted in via an electronic portfolio. Capstone activities are summative assignments that require the student to demonstrate knowledge, comprehension, application, integration, and synthesis in the content areas studied.
Prior to beginning any field placement, each student’s progress is reviewed by a committee of program faculty through the Performance Appraisal System. First year review determines which students meet the requirements to qualify for a practicum. Following the completion of the majority of practicum hours, students attend an internship qualifying review, using a similar format and process. At the midway point and at completion of field placements, student performance is evaluated on all dimensions of the NASP and Illinois standards by a committee including the School Psychology faculty and the Office of Placement and Training. A remediation plan may be designed, if needed, to help any student reach the required standards of performance. Students who are unsuccessful with remediation plans may be discharged from the program. To complete the program of study, the student must “pass” practicum and achieve overall supervisor rating of “competency” on the Internship Accomplishment Form-Final.
Students are required to complete the Illinois Psychology Basic Skills Test within their first semester of the program and will have the opportunity to retake the test. During the final year of the program, students will need to complete the Praxis Exam which measures the academic proficiency in school psychology, as well as the Illinois School Psychology Content Exam.