School Psychology (MA)

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The purpose of the 69-hour School Psychology Master of Arts degree program is to prepare school psychologists to work with children, adolescents, and families from diverse socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The degree program includes a year-long supervised internship. The UTRGV School Psychology program is in accordance with the scientist-practitioner model of training, which emphasizes school psychologists to use empirical research in practice. The program training includes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and school systems.

School Psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students. In the state of Texas, the license that is required by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) to provide school psychological services in Texas public schools is the Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP).

Visit the School Psychology Departmental Webpage for more information!

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among natinal universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related field preferred.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.  
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • GRE General Test. GRE test scores are valid for 5 years. A waiver of the GRE requirement will be granted to applicants who show proof of completing a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral).
    • Letter of intent detailing professional goals and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree.
    • Three letters of recommendation from individuals in a position to judge the professional and academic potential of the applicant. At least one should be from a university professor in the applicant’s major area of study.

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Nancy Razo

    Phone: (956) 665-3466

    Office: Edinburg Campus, EDUC 1638

    E-Mail: nancy.razo@utrgv.edu
  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    *Note: This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.

  • Course Requirements

     
    Required Courses 66
    COUN 6327: Theories of Psychotherapy 3
    COUN 6328: Methods of Techniques in Psychotherapy 3
    EDUL 6305: Socio‐Cultural Contexts of Education 3
    EPSY 6301: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 3
    EPSY 6310: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology 3
    EPSY 6314: Academic Assessment and Intervention 3
    EPSY 6315: Behavior Assessment and Intervention 3
    EPSY 6320: Consultation and Collaboration in Inclusive Settings 3
    EPSY 6340: Mental Health Services in the Schools 3
    EPSY 6350: Introduction to Statistics 3
    EPSY 6358: Introduction to Research 3
    EPSY 6370: Psychological Measurement 3
    EPSY 6380: Introduction to Cognitive and Academic Assessment 3
    EPSY 6381: Advanced Cognitive and Academic Assessment 3
    EPSY 6382: Bilingual and Multicultural Psycho‐educational Assessment 3
    EPSY 6383: Personality and Behavior Assessment of Children and Adolescents 3
    EPSY 7340: Practicum in School Psychology 3
    EPSY 7350: Internship in School Psychology I 3
    EPSY 7351: Internship in School Psychology II 3
    PSYC 6320: Neuropsychology 3
    PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning 3
    PSYC 6330: Developmental Psychology 3
     
    Designated Electives 3
    Select 3 hours from the following:
    EDUL 6325: Instructional Leadership 3
    EDUL 6330: Instructional Leadership for Diverse Learners 3
     
    Free Electives (not required for completion of degree)
    EPSY 6351: Intermediate Statistics 3
    EPSY 6352: Multivariate Analysis 3
    EPSY 6353: Seminar in Statistical Analysis 3
     
    Capstone Requirements
    Praxis Exam – School Psychology
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 69

    Course Descriptions

    COUN 6327: Theories of Psychotherapy               [3‐0]

    A survey of prominent theories in psychotherapy and counseling. Specialized approaches such as group therapy, play therapy and family therapy will be studied.

    Prerequisites: COUN 6310, 6313.

    COUN 6328: Methods of Techniques in Psychotherapy              [3‐0]

    Primary focus is on techniques and interviewing skills utilized during counseling sessions. In addition, this course addresses how these techniques are applied to special topics and issues such as career counseling, group counseling and family counseling.

    Prerequisites: COUN 6310, 6313.

    EDUL 6305: Socio‐Cultural Contexts of Education              [3‐0]

    This course develops an understanding of how socio‐cultural forces and emerging issues impact the school leader’s role in creating culturally responsive learning environments. Attention will be given to leadership strategies and best practices essential for addressing diverse learners. Future leaders learn to promote the success of all students and shape campus culture by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the full community. Applicable laws, policies, and regulations will be emphasized.

    EDUL 6325: Instructional Leadership              [3‐0]

    This course examines effective instructional approaches and programs used in schools. It explores critical issues specific to curriculum, innovative instructional methods, and the role of educators as school leaders. Additionally, the course focuses on the development of educators as leaders in assessment, research and evaluation. Applicable laws, policies, and regulations will be emphasized.

    EDUL 6330: Instructional Leadership for Diverse Learners              [3‐0]

    This course provides a study of the delivery of differentiated instruction for diverse learners to include Bilingual Education/ESL, Gifted & Talented, Migrant, Special Education, 504, Career & Technology Education (CATE), and other special programs.  Emphasis is placed on the principal’s role of elementary and secondary school programs. Applicable laws, policies, and regulations will be emphasized.

    EPSY 6301: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology              [3‐0]

    Course addresses DSM classification to discuss major emotional and behavioral disorders experienced by non‐adult populations. Current state of knowledge with regard to the characteristics, etiological factors, and developmental outcomes of psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence will be considered.

    EPSY 6310: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology              [3‐0]

    History of professional psychology with emphasis on school psychology; legal, ethical and credentialing issues in psychology; scholarly writing; models of providing clinical child and special educational services.


    EPSY 6314: Academic Assessment and Intervention              [3‐0]

    Examines educational and clinical applications of individual achievement assessment within the context of response‐to‐intervention; specific diagnostic measures of academic skills, including curriculum‐based assessment; supervised instruction in administration, scoring, and interpretation; and using academic assessment results to inform intervention.

    Prerequisite: EPSY 6370.

    EPSY 6315: Behavior Assessment and Intervention              [3‐0]

    This course examines behavioral learning theory and operant conditioning principles; overview of behavioral assessment and classroom management strategies with an emphasis on systematic observations of behavior and interviews; functional behavior assessment and applied behavior analysis as systematic assessment‐intervention approaches to behavior modification; and specific behavior therapy approaches for use with children and adolescents of diverse backgrounds.

    EPSY 6320: Consultation and Collaboration in Inclusive Settings              [3‐0]

    This course will include theory, techniques and research concerns in home‐school‐agency‐system based consultation services or indirect service delivery models for individuals or clients who are from a society which is linguistically, socioeconomically, and socio‐culturally pluralistic. There will be an emphasis on knowledge and concepts related to consultation with special and general education teachers, parents and families, community agencies and systems who deliver services to individuals and clients.

    Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate College.

    EPSY 6340: Mental Health Services in the Schools              [3‐0]

    This course will cover selected psychotherapeutic and comprehensive intervention approaches for treating childhood and adolescent emotional and behavioral disorders that interfere with learning. Topics include play therapy, solution‐focused strategies, cognitive‐behavioral techniques, group and individual therapies, case management, involvement of the family and other service providers, and crisis response. Emphasis will be placed on empirically‐ supported services within a school systemic framework.

    Prerequisites: COUN 6327, 6328.

    EPSY 6350: Introduction to Statistics              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include central tendency; variance; exploratory data analysis; normal, t, chi square and F distributions; bivariate correlation and regression analysis, t‐ test between means, goodness of fit and test of independence of chi square; one‐way, two‐way, and three‐way factorial ANOVA. There will be an emphasis on hypothesis testing; Type I and II errors; and understanding of statistical significance, and practical or functional significance/effect size.

    EPSY 6351: Intermediate Statistics              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include general linear model; partial, semi‐partial, and multiple correlation and regression analysis; discriminant analysis; experimental design Models I, II, III; ANOVA: repeated measures, higher‐order factorial crossed and nested analysis, analysis of covariance; methods of multiple comparisons; MANOVA; Hotelling’s T‐squared, Wilk’s lambda, Lawley‐Hotelling Trace, Roy’s GCR. There will be an emphasis on the blending of research design and statistical analysis.

    EPSY 6352: Multivariate Analysis              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis; principal component theory; number of factor extracted; path analysis; canonical analysis; and analysis of covariance structures; and nested hierarchical/nested multilevel data structures.

    EPSY 6353: Seminar in Statistical Analysis              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include various advanced topics in statistical analysis. This course may be repeated once for credit.

    EPSY 6358: Introduction to Research              [3‐0]

    This course will provide an overview of research methods used in educational settings. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be covered. Ethical and legal issues associated with conducting research will be addressed. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills by completing a project.

    EPSY 6370: Psychological Measurement              [3‐0]

    The content of this course will include scaling; variance; scores derived through linear and nonlinear transformations; traditional item analysis and item response theory (IRT/ICC) models; partitioning true and measurement error variance, and measurement error variance into its different source; validity; content, predictive, concurrent/diagnostic, and construct/theoretical; models of unbiased assessment. These topics will be related to the construction and interpretation of norm and criterion reference measures; survey, and observational scales.

    EPSY 6380: Introduction to Cognitive and Academic Assessment              [3‐0]

    Examines educational and clinical applications of individual assessment; specific diagnostic measures of intelligence and academic achievement; and supervised instruction in administration, scoring, and interpretation. Practica is required.

    Prerequisites: EPSY 6370 or EPSY 6316.

    EPSY 6381: Advanced Cognitive and Academic Assessment              [3‐0]

    Theory and application of specific instruments and techniques, including administration and scoring. Emphasis on analysis, interpretation, and integration of intelligence, achievement, and other developmental measures; report‐ writing is emphasized; results for diagnostics as well as treatment planning. Practica is required.

    Prerequisite: EPSY 6380.

    EPSY 6382: Bilingual and Multicultural Psychoeducational Assessment              [3‐0]

    In this course students will be presented with the psychometric theories, issues and strategies to consider in assessing children and adolescents from various cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, including nondiscriminatory assessment. Students will have an opportunity to administer and score a variety of assessments, including utilizing techniques that are useful with these populations. Emphasis on analysis, interpretation, and integration of language assessment and cultural data and its potential effects on intelligence and achievement. Report‐writing is emphasized; results for diagnostics as well as treatment planning. Practica required.

    Prerequisite: EPSY 6380 and EPSY 6381.

    EPSY 6383: Personality and Behavior Assessment of Children and Adolescents              [3‐0]

    This course covers the evaluation of personality, mental status, and behavior. This includes the theoretical bases, construction, administration, scoring, and interpretation of structured and projective personality tests with integrative report writing emphasizing the assessment of emotional disturbance and behavior disorders. Practica required.

    Prerequisite: EPSY 6370, 6380, 6381, and 6301.

    EPSY 7340: Practicum in School Psychology              [3‐0]

    Supervised field‐based experience in approved public school and mental health settings in school psychology. Supervision provided by on‐ site supervisors and university faculty. Emphasis is on orientation to school settings; learning the role of the school psychologist within the larger context; evaluation of psychological and academic difficulties; consultation with parents and teachers; and direct counseling interventions with students. May be repeated for up to 6 hours credit.

    Prerequisite: Completion of Practicum Form indicating required coursework has been completed, consent of instructor.


    EPSY 7350: Internship in School Psychology I              [3‐0]

    Full‐time, supervised field‐based experience in approved professional employment settings in school psychology. Supervision provided by on‐ site supervisors and university faculty. Students will complete a minimum of 600 clock hours of clinical work per semester, during which they will integrate and apply knowledge gained through coursework and begin to develop a professional identity. Can be taken only when all other required coursework in the School Psychology program has been completed. This is a Fall Semester course only.

    Prerequisite: Completion of Internship Form indicating required coursework has been completed, consent of instructor.

    EPSY 7351: Internship in School Psychology II              [3‐0]

    Full‐time, supervised field‐based experience in approved professional employment settings in school psychology. Supervision provided by on‐ site supervisors and university faculty. Students will complete a minimum of 600 clock hours of clinical work per semester, during which they will integrate and apply knowledge gained through coursework and begin to develop a professional identity. Can be taken only when all other required coursework in the School Psychology program has been completed. This is a Spring semester course only.

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6320: Neuropsychology              [3‐0]

    In‐depth study of the relationship between the human brain and behavior. Emphasis is on how neurological disorders change behavior.

    PSYC 6325: Conditioning and Learning              [3‐0]

    A study of the principles of laws of respondent and operant conditioning in determining behavior. Emphasis will be placed on the experimental analysis of behavior with attention to other learning theories that have been extensively studied in the laboratory and productively applied to problems of human behavior.

    Prerequisites: PSYC 3405, PSYC 4318, or with consent of instructor.

    PSYC 6330: Developmental Psychology              [3‐0]

    The study of growth and development processes throughout the life cycle. Physical, social and psychological factors involved in life change are addressed. An overview, as well as selected current special topics within lifespan human development are addressed.