The school psychology graduate program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP), and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
The SSP degree clearly reflects the fact that the requirements for graduation from the School Psychology Program at WCU are more intensive than would be expected for a Masters degree. The program is 71 hours long and requires 3 years of course work, research work (option for thesis or applied research project), practicum experiences, and internship experiences.
Degree earned upon completion of the program is the Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) and a Master’s (MA) degree in General Psychology with a concentration in school psychology is earned upon completion of 50 credit hours on the way to the SSP degree. The program is cognitive-behavioral and based on a child advocacy model. In this model, the needs of the child are at the center of all activity engaged in by the school psychologist. Our students are trained to facilitate growth in development, behavior, and learning of children and youth.
The S.S.P. is 71-semester hour program that involves a year-long internship and the completion of either a thesis or a research project. Successful completion of the program, including passing the Praxis II exam and requirements related to licensure, will lead to recommendation for Level II licensure and National Certification as a School Psychologist.
Most students who graduate from the SSP program go on to practice as school psychologists
in school systems. However, psychologists can be found running their own practice,
working for mental health organizations and clinics, conducting research, working
as educators and in other fields in need of qualified psychologists. Students who
have completed credit hours for the MA degree will be eligible to apply for entry
into the WCU Psychology department's Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Health Service Psychology (combined clinical/school) degree program. Students gaining entry into the PsyD program
will complete a further 3 years of coursework including additional practicum and internship
experiences in fulfillment of the PsyD degree.
More information for interested applicants