Department of Psychology at Illinois State University


Mission and Vision

The graduate programs in School Psychology at Illinois State University emphasizes the scientist-practitioner model, whereby the science of psychology is used as a framework within which school psychologists help children. The scientist-practitioner model requires direct work with children. Given the comprehensive nature of our graduate programs and the level of training provided, graduate students are referred to as doctoral trainees or specialist trainees. Many of our courses offer real-world experiences with children, parents, and teachers where trainees apply theories learned in the classroom and they gain a wealth of knowledge.

Faculty members serve as advisors and colleagues for research opportunities. In the scientist-practitioner model, research and practice are mutually beneficial. Research questions arise from experience working with children. Trainees who understand and conduct research can improve the quality of help they give children. Did my counseling program work? Is this child's reading improving? How can we improve the reading achievement of high-risk students? These types of questions are answered through research. All of our trainees receive training and experience in research. Research opportunities include graduate assistantships, apprenticeships, and conducting thesis or dissertation research. The graduate programs in School Psychology strive to provide the highest quality education and training necessary to be a broadly educated, competent school psychologist.