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Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology degree program familiarizes learners with psychology as a practical discipline, including psychological and neuropsychological assessment, clinical supervision and consultation, psychopathology of children and adolescents, child and adolescent development, and consultation and collaboration in the schools. The curriculum provides the theoretical tools and skills-based training needed to assess students, consult with school personnel, and supervise other school psychologists. Learners enrolled in this degree program may seek supervisory positions in their school district. Other successful graduates pursue careers in college and university teaching, program administration, or consulting.

Personal Suitability and Fitness for the Profession

Capella embraces the principles and guidelines set forth by the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC) related to professional psychology programs in that the faculty, training staff, supervisors, and administrators within the PsyD in School Psychology degree program have a professional, ethical, and potentially legal obligation to ensure, insofar as possible, that all learners have the competence to manage professional relationships in an effective and appropriate manner and that they possess the emotional maturity, interpersonal stability, and intellectual judgment required to work with vulnerable populations. Personal suitability and fitness for the profession includes but is not limited to demonstration of sufficient interpersonal and professional competence; self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation; openness to processes of supervision; and resolution of issues or problems that interfere with professional development or functioning in a satisfactory manner. Throughout the graduate training of each learner, faculty and staff are responsible for educating and assessing learners with regard to their personal suitability and fitness for the profession.

Residency Requirement(s): 

Four ten-week courses with a six-day, a four-day, a four-day, and a two-and-a-half-day embedded residency experience (PSY-R6000, PSY-V6002, PSY-V7003, PSY-R7004), respectively. See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see the PsyD in School Psychology Residency section, below.

 

Practicum and Internship:

Minimum of 400 hours for practicum and 1500 hours for internship. See the practicum and internship course descriptions for more information.

 

 

Thirty-One Required Courses

 

 

At least 145 quarter credits

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Required courses:

PSY8001
Orientation to Professional Psychology

In this course, learners improve their ability to navigate the virtual campus and become familiar with library, career center, and writing center resources. Learners identify the educational steps necessary for successfully completing the doctoral degree program; review their specialization’s requirements, associated professional roles and organizations, and ethics and professional standards; and articulate a professional identity based on doctoral-level psychology training.  For PsyD in Clinical Psychology and PsyD in School Psychology learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY5420
Multicultural Perspectives in Human Behavior

This course is an examination of substantive and theoretical issues concerning the cultural differences of individuals and groups and their influence on the practice of professional psychology. Learners explore the role of culture-specific programming, the needs and values of cultural subgroups, and approaches to providing psychological services to culturally diverse populations. Learners also critically analyze the interactions of multiple dimensions of diversity to better understand the ways in which individual differences contribute to professional psychological practice.

5 quarter credits
PSY7233 *
Psychological Assessments for School Psychologists 1

In this course, learners develop the skills needed to correctly administer, score, and interpret norm referenced intelligence tests (verbal and non-verbal) while simultaneously considering various diagnostic issues present within multiculturally diverse school populations and reflecting the established standards of educational and psychological testing. Learners examine measurement and measurement tools, including instruments used to assess cognitive function and intelligence; synthesize norm-referenced assessments with observational assessments to develop recommendations for research-supported interventions; and create audience-appropriate psychological reports.  For MS, EdS, and PsyD in School Psychology learners only. Test kits are required and are available for loan at psytestkits@capella.edu. Prerequisite(s): PSY7610.

5 quarter credits
PSY7234 *
Psychological Assessments for School Psychologists 2

In this course, learners further develop the skills needed to correctly administer, score, and interpret norm-referenced intelligence tests (verbal and non-verbal), achievement tests, and adaptive functioning while simultaneously considering various diagnostic issues present within multiculturally diverse school populations and reflecting the established standards of educational and psychological testing. Learners examine measurement and measurement tools, including instruments used to assess cognitive function and intelligence, achievement, and adaptive functioning; synthesize norm-referenced assessments with observational assessments to develop recommendations for research-supported interventions; and create audience-appropriate psychological reports. For MS, EdS, and PsyD in School Psychology learners only. Test kits are required and are available for loan at psytestkits@capella.edu. Prerequisite(s): PSY7233.

5 quarter credits
PSY7320
Advanced Biological Psychology

Learners in this course examine the biological factors related to psychopathology. The course emphasizes research problems and methods currently being explored in biological psychology. Topics include the role of genetic factors in psychopathology, the influence of physical and emotional trauma on brain function, biological considerations in treatment planning, addictive phenomena, and other clinically relevant subjects.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7421
Cognitive/Affective Psychology

Learners in this course apply their knowledge of theoretical foundations and the basic principles and models of cognitive/affective psychology to mental processes, such as how individuals acquire, process, and store information; how they think, perceive, remember, and learn; and how they experience feelings, moods, and emotions. Learners also demonstrate the ways in which the integration of cognition and affect influence an individual’s behavior.

5 quarter credits
PSY7610
Tests and Measurements

Learners investigate essential concepts, principles, applications, and social and theoretical issues of psychological testing. Learners gain understanding in the construction of tests; analyze the development and use of tests in measuring aptitudes, achievement, attitudes, interests, and personality; and identify underlying theories of various tests. Learners analyze the characteristics desired in psychological and educational tests, with particular emphasis on reliability and validity, and evaluate best practices and professional standards for educational and psychological testing, including test bias and fairness. In addition, learners assess the role of technology in delivery, administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests.

5 quarter credits
PSY8212
Childhood Mental Health, Counseling, and Crisis Intervention/Prevention

This course introduces learners to the diagnostic schema used with children and adolescents in mental health and school psychology professions. Learners examine the DSM-5, focusing on developing mastery of diagnostic criteria for childhood disorders and applying this criteria to case studies, methodology, research, historical, and political aspects of diagnosis. Learners consider alternatives to the current diagnostic system in order to develop comprehensive counseling plans, and identify crisis prevention and intervention models used within the educational setting.

5 quarter credits
PSY8220
Advanced Psychopathology

In this course, learners examine theory and research associated with major psychological disorders, from the most common diagnostic concerns to dual diagnoses, comorbidity, and psycho-medical issues. Learners examine the concepts of psychopathology throughout the lifespan, then transition from studying DSM-5 concepts and terminology to evaluating clinical assessment and treatment situations. In particular, learners familiarize themselves with ways to apply theoretical concepts in a professional clinical setting while displaying sensitivity to ethical and diversity issues. Other course topics include the issues of “empirically validated” versus “evidence based” practice, the interaction of social and biological factors in etiology and treatment, and the interaction between complex Axis I and II disorders.  For PsyD learners only.

5 quarter credits
PSY8230 *
Psychological Testing

Learners in this course apply theories and models of psychological testing to assessment of intelligence, achievement, and adaptive functioning. Learners use clinical interviews and mental status exams; administer, score, and interpret tests of intelligence, achievement, and adaptive functioning; and develop integrated assessment reports. Learners also examine issues of diversity and ethics in intelligence, achievement, and adaptive functioning assessment. Test kits are required and are available for loan at psytestkits@capella.edu. There is a residency requirement associated with this course for PsyD Clinical Psychology learners. Prerequisite(s): PSY7610.

5 quarter credits
PSY8235 *
Psychological Assessments for School Psychologists 3

Learners in this course demonstrate mastery of the diagnostic skills needed to assess the social emotional functioning and personality of a multiculturally diverse population of school-age children. Learners conduct clinical interviews and behavioral observations; assess data from teachers, students, and parents; score and interpret assessment results into synthesized, written intervention recommendations and psychological reports; and self-report behavior rating scales and objective and projective techniques.  For MS, EdS, and PsyD in School Psychology learners only. Test kits are required and are available for loan at psytestkits@capella.edu. Prerequisite(s): PSY7234. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8251 *
Neuropsychological Assessment

In this course, learners study current theories, research, and methods used in the neuropsychological assessment of various mental disorders in adults, children, and adolescents. Learners review various neuropsychological screening and assessment instruments, clinical interviewing methods, and neuropsychological test batteries that are commonly used in the evaluation and assessment of neuropsychological disorders. Learners are introduced to functional neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, as well as to common syndromes and disease processes that can impair the human brain and central nervous system functioning. In addition, learners investigate the role of emotional functioning and effort within the context of the overall neuropsychological assessment process and gain an understanding of how to write a neuropsychological report.  For PsyD learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY-R8206. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8331
Principles of School Psychology

This course is an examination of the history and practice of school psychology and its current and evolving trends. Learners review the roles and functions of school psychologists, employment contexts, and professional evaluation and accountability. Learners also explore the practice of school psychology from an international perspective and examine the laws and regulations guiding the future of the profession.

5 quarter credits
PSY8332
Advanced Methods in School Psychology

Learners in this course explore the multitude of ways in which school psychologists work with teachers, students, and families. Throughout the course, learners study the role of school psychologists in enhancing school-family partnerships and examine state and federal laws governing school psychology practice, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In particular, learners study the criteria established by IDEA for how to appropriately diagnose, classify, and develop effective programming for students with disabilities. Learners also evaluate the disability categories identified by IDEA and the classification of students presented for diagnosis. For PsyD in School Psychology and Specialist Certificate in School Psychology learners only.

5 quarter credits
PSY8335
Consultation and Collaboration in the School

This course provides an overview of consultation theory, research, and practice in psychology and education. In this course, learners study the rationale and techniques used in consultation and collaboration with teachers, parents, administrators, and other school personnel for the purpose of preventing and remediating the learning and adjustment problems of school-aged children. Learners familiarize themselves with the history and status of consultation, conceptual foundations and models, processes, intervention and evaluation considerations, practice and ethical issues, and training approaches to consultation.

5 quarter credits
PSY8337
Legal and Ethical Issues in the School

In this course, learners apply professional codes of conduct to the practice of school psychology. Learners study federal laws governing school psychology practice and examine legal and ethical considerations of psycho-educational assessments, school-related interventions, and testing. Course topics include privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, duty to inform, and record keeping.

5 quarter credits
PSY8338
Child and Adolescent Development for School Psychologists

Learners investigate the development of children and adolescents from infancy through adolescence. Learners apply a developmental framework to the process of designing, evaluating, and monitoring interventions to address complex school needs and apply information about developmental skills to evidence-based school- and district-level interventions. In addition, learners analyze the impact of multiple complex and challenging family issues on student development and apply an understanding of types of diversity along a developmental continuum to student needs at the school and district level.

5 quarter credits
PSY8371
Strategies of Clinical Supervision and Consultation

This course provides an overview of the theories, functions, and methods of clinical supervision, consultation, and advocacy. In particular, learners examine various styles of supervision, consultation, and advocacy; supervisory, consultative, and advocacy relationships; contractual issues; and ethical and legal issues associated with providing these services. Learners also review supervision, consultation, and advocacy research; apply their findings to relevant service delivery topics; and develop their own theories and approaches to clinical supervision. For PsyD Clinical Psychology and PsyD School Psychology learners only. There is a residency requirement associated with this course for PsyD Clinical Psychology learners.

5 quarter credits
PSY8375
Professional Development and Supervision of School Psychologists

In this course, learners develop the professional development and supervision skills needed to successfully supervise other school psychologists. Learners evaluate models of supervision and consultation, learn how to assess supervisees’ practice to ensure it falls within the profession’s ethical and legal standards, identify supervisees’ awareness of multicultural issues and promote the need to engage in culturally competent practice, develop a method to observe and evaluate supervisees, and promote ongoing professional development for supervisees to improve and update their skills. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8501
Advanced Research Methods and Statistics for Professional Psychology

In this course, learners expand their knowledge of quantitative research design and methodology by studying the foundations, strategies, and practices of ethical research in the field of professional psychology. Learners engage in scholarly critical analysis and synthesis of current quantitative research and construct their own informal quantitative research proposal. Learners apply advanced statistical concepts and interpretation of statistical analyses to the evaluation and design of quantitative research and exchange critical, constructive project feedback with their peers. Research designs developed during this course may form the basis for the learner’s dissertation or School Psychology specialty topic proposal.  For PsyD learners only.

5 quarter credits
PSY9965 *
School Psychology Doctoral Learner Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, including the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, and provides PsyD in School Psychology learners with the opportunity to work with a mentor to develop an applied research specialty topic paper that integrates content across all ten National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) practice domains. Upon completion of the paper, learners develop an initial presentation that fulfills their Oral Specialty Topic Examination requirement. Using feedback received from their mentors, learners then refine their presentations in preparation for the Professional Presentation Examination, which takes place during the learner’s sixth residency. For PsyD in School Psychology learners only. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): PSY5420, PSY7233, PSY7234, PSY7421, PSY7610, PSY8212, PSY8230, PSY8235, PSY8332, PSY8335, PSY8337, PSY8338, PSY8375, PSY8501.

5 quarter credits
PSY-R6000
Advanced Assessment and Counseling for School Psychologists

In this residency, learners gain skills in administering standardized assessments and assessment instruments necessary for practicing school psychologists. Learners also develop and strengthen the skills needed to effectively counsel P–12 children and adolescents through role-play activities including listening empathically, asking clear and relevant questions, responding in a non-judgmental manner, appropriately summarizing issues, maintaining appropriate records, and establishing and guiding individual and group counseling sessions. Learners observe testing sessions, score test results, take notes from faculty presentations, and engage in mock testing sessions. Learners develop skills in scoring and interpreting test results. Learners also examine the ethical principles associated with the practice of school psychology and receive feedback from experienced professional school psychologists and peers. Learners build and demonstrate the basic skills needed for interpreting and communicating assessment results to parents, teachers, and other professionals.  Prerequisite(s): PSY6095 or PSY8220; and PSY7233. Concurrent registration in PSY7234 recommended. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
PSY-R7004
Comprehensive Learner Assessment for School Psychology

This residency includes the portfolio review, an assessment demonstration of professionally appropriate versions of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and the Woodcock-Johnson, and the comprehensive examination of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) practice domains. Prerequisite(s): PSY8235 and PSY-V7003. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-V6002
Response to Intervention, and Functional Behavior Assessment and Analysis

Learners in this residency gain skills and techniques related to Response to Intervention (RTI) introduced as an authority in the identification of specific learning disabilities in the Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). Learners build skills to implement the RTI framework in local and state education agencies. Learners also examine and practice skills related to the RTI components for screening students, monitoring student progress, providing evidence-based interventions, and identifying students with special learning needs in a collaborative approach. Learners practice identifying appropriate circumstances and steps for conducting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), developing the behavior intervention plan (BIP) and identifying the individual components of an FBA and BIP, including reviewing standardized assessment measures and completing FBA and BIP forms. Learners gain skills in synthesizing and interpreting case study data, and integrate and summarize this data, orally and in writing, to provide important feedback to school personnel about a student’s challenging behaviors.  Prerequisite(s): PSY7234 and PSY-R6000. Concurrent registration in PSY5063 recommended. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
PSY-V7003
Treatment Planning and Report Writing

In this residency, learners practice skills related to report writing, behavior interventions, treatment planning, and recommendations. Learners analyze Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 504 Plans, and special education identifications. Learners identify the various sections and characteristics of psychological/psycho-educational reports; examine the principles and skills used to write reports; and engage in report writing practice sessions, individually with the instructor and in small groups. Learners develop interventions for students with internalizing and externalizing disorders, social skills training programs for preschool and adolescent students, and a training curriculum designed to assist parents in managing their children’s problem behavior. Learners also discuss treatment plan formats and case examples in groups and work on cases individually. Learners examine and practice school-appropriate supervision skills and develop the communication and assertiveness skills needed to facilitate efficient resolution of individual (i.e., student), group (i.e., class), and school challenges. Learners also examine the ethical principles associated with the practice of school psychology.  Prerequisite(s): PSY8150 or PSY-V6002; and PSY8331. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

Learners must register for PSY9060 a minimum of two times to fulfill their program requirements.

PSY9060 *
School Psychology PsyD Practicum

The School Psychology Practicum for PsyD learners is the first clinical training experience in their program of study. Learners complete 400 hours of service in the schools, working 20 hours per week for two 10-week quarters. Learners receive one hour of individual, face-to-face supervision from their on-site supervisor(s) each week. Supervisors and sites are approved by the university through the application process before learners are allowed to begin on-site services. During practicum, learners engage in many school psychologist roles, including conducting assessments (standardized, norm-referenced, curriculum based, and functional behavioral); assisting in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of interventions designed to address concerns with academics, mental health, and behavioral/social skills; participating in the school's data-based decision making process through collaboration and consultation; and writing reports related to cases. School Psychology practicum learners engage in services related to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standards and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) expectations.  PsyD in School Psychology learners who have previously completed a master's- or specialist-level practicum and internship course in School Psychology are not required to register for this course. All courses and residencies must be completed prior to enrollment for clinical training. Learners should anticipate meeting all course requirements in two quarters of practicum. If there are any outstanding requirements in either artifacts or service delivery hours, learners will be required to enroll in a third quarter of practicum to ensure completion of course requirements.  May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required coursework. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

Learners must register for PSY9065 a minimum of four times to fulfill their program requirements.

PSY9065 *
School Psychology PsyD Internship

The School Psychology Internship for PsyD learners is the final clinical training experience in their program of study. Learners complete 1500 hours of service. While 750 hours of internship must be completed within a school setting, the remaining 750 hours can be completed in a setting other than a school system if approval is granted by the clinical training department. Hours obtained in a setting other than a public school environment must be consistent with the skills and training of the intern. Learners work 40 hours per week for each 10-week quarter of training. Learners are also granted the option of working between quarters if the site and supervisor are available. Supervisors and sites must be approved by the university through the application process before learners are allowed to begin on-site services. Each week, learners receive two hours of individual, face-to-face supervision from their on-site supervisors and during internship engage in face-to-face supervision from their on-site primary supervisor and participate in both direct and indirect services as prescribed by National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) standards. Learners exhibit leadership skills; demonstrate a positive impact on students; write comprehensive psycho-educational reports integrating various forms of data collected from many sources, such as assessment instruments, assessment interviews, and observations; engage in developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating interventions to be applied school- and district-wide; interact with school system leaders, families, and community members; and actively lead the school system's data-based decision making process. Upon successful completion of internship, learners are ready to engage in independent practice as a leader in a system designed to meet the psycho-educational needs of students.  May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): PsyD in School Psychology learners who have not previously completed a master's- or specialist-level practicum and internship course in School Psychology must take PSY9060.

4 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

At least 145 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

Capella University cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the professional licensure disclosures for this program on Capella’s website. Contact your school district for a determination on qualifications for salary advancement. 

PsyD in School Psychology Residencies

Doctoral learners in School Psychology attend four different School Psychology residencies offered. Each residency training results in required hours and supports both coursework instruction and practice labs which result in subject mastery.