The School Psychology Program at the University of South Florida offers two programs that qualify students for the professional practice of school psychology. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree consists of approximately 92 graduate semester hours and includes a full-year, full-time internship and a thesis . The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree consists of approximately 70 semester hours beyond the Ed.S. degree and includes advanced leadership coursework, specialization and area of emphasis courses in school psychology, an advanced practicum, a 2,000 clock hour internship, and the dissertation. A Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is earned by most students at the end of the first year of their Ed.S. program. However, the M.A. is not considered a terminal degree and is not sufficient for state certification in school psychology.
The programs in School Psychology at the University of South Florida are offered through the College of Education's Department of Educational and Psychological Studies in cooperation with the College of Arts and Science's Department of Psychology. The programs have been designed specifically for training in school psychology, and they have been developed to meet all relevant national accreditation standards (most notably, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education--NCATE, and the American Psychological Association--APA). Indeed, the School Psychology Program is accredited by NCATE at both the Ed.S. and Ph.D. levels, and is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) at those same levels. Thus, our programs meets NASP's training criteria for the National School Psychology Certification System. In addition, the School Psychology Program is accredited by the APA at the Ph.D. level.
Beyond national accreditation, the School Psychology Program is approved by the Florida Department of Education. Thus, graduates of the program, at the Ed.S. level and beyond, are eligible for provisional certification as school psychologists in the state of Florida. While Florida-certified school psychologists often are certifiable as school psychologists in other states, professional reciprocity is not always immediate or guaranteed. Program faculty at USF will help students to plan programs which will result in certification in other states wherever possible. In most cases, the USF program will satisfy the certification requirements of other states; for some states, additional coursework may be necessary.
The USF School Psychology Program is over 25 years old, has approximately 70 full-time graduate students in residence, has brought in over $30 million since 1990 in Federal and State grants, and is generally considered one of the top school psychology programs in the country. Our Program has a faculty of five school psychologists (three Full Professors, one Associate Professor, and one Assistant Professor), as well as an "extended" faculty that numbers three to four additional colleagues. Significantly, two of our faculty are Past-Presidents (1988-1989, 1991-1992) of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and one of our faculty is a Fellow of the School Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. In addition, the School Psychology Program has strong ties with the school districts in the four counties in our area (Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, and Hillsborough), with practicum and internship placements in each. Finally, the School Psychology Program administers the Institute for School Reform, Integrated Services, and Child Mental Health and Educational Policy, a nationally-known institute that provides policy and service-delivery leadership in the areas noted.
[Top of page]