Department of Psychology at Illinois State University

 

Course of Study

Given the comprehensive nature of the specialist program and the level of training provided, graduate students will be referred to as specialist trainees. Our curriculum incorporates course work in psychological and educational foundations, as well as the development of skills in assessment, intervention, preventative mental health services, collaborative consultation, and research. Course work is carefully integrated with over 1800 hours of field-based experiences during the three years of the specialist program. The field experiences include first year fieldwork, a practicum, and an internship that are sequenced to maximize their integration with course work to meet the training objectives of the program. These experiences represent a central component of the professional training our specialist trainees receive; field experiences allow trainees to apply acquired knowledge and professional skills in field-based settings. The sequence of field-based experiences is designed as a primary vehicle for the implementation of the collaborative scientific problem solver model throughout the training program. Field sites provide a key arena where the training core and the scientific method interface to produce a developing knowledge base in school psychology.

Applicants admitted to the specialist program may later request admission to the doctoral. program. If admission to the doctoral program is granted during the spring of the first year, trainees should anticipate a course of study similar in length to that of the doctoral program. If approved for admission in the doctoral. program during the second year of specialist-level study, trainees should anticipate spending at least two additional years in study for the doctoral degree, including an internship.

Program Curriculum

All program requirements are at the graduate level and must total a minimum of 60 hours. Graduate credit is not awarded for remedial courses. Prerequisite courses, usually taken as an undergraduate student, cannot be taken for graduate credit.

Prerequisite Courses
PSY 111 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 231 Research Methods in Psychology
PSY 340 Statistics for the Social Sciences
MAT 119 College Algebra
or MAT 120 Finite Mathematics
or MAT 144 Precalculus (can be taken as pass/fail, or satisfied by passing a competency examination administered by the Department of Mathematics or by completing an approved correspondence course)
Mathematics requirement will be waived if trainees received at least a “B” in a college-level statistics course or at least a score of 500 on the Quantitative section of the Graduate Record Examination.

Trainees are also encouraged to complete a child/adolescent development course and a theories of personality course at the undergraduate level prior to enrolling in the specialist program. The following information identifies required courses in the specialist program.

Trainees enroll in PSY 498.05 First Year Fieldwork in School Psychology for four credit hours: for field work in Head Start and public school placements, practica (PSY 436.04 and 463.05) for a total of 12 credit hours for both practica (six hours during each semester), and PSY 498 Professional Practice in School Psychology (one credit hour for each of the final two semesters of the program). Specialist trainees are required to complete a nine-month, full-time supervised internship (PSY 498.90) for a minimum of 1200 work hours in an approved school setting, consistent with the requirements outlined in the NASP Standards.

Suggested 3-Year Schedule

A suggested three-year course sequence follows. All courses are for three credit hours unless otherwise noted. The order of course enrollment may vary based on the availability of courses. A minimum of 60 hours is required.

Fall, First Year — 16 hours
PSY 347 Behavior Disorders in Children (if necessary)
PSY 402 Applied Research Experience in School Psychology (2 hours) (if not completing PSY 499 Master's Thesis)
PSY 421 Advanced Behavior Modification
PSY 432 Theory and Practice of Cognitive Assessment
PSY 472 Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology
PSY 498.05 First Year Fieldwork in School Psychology (2 hours)

Spring, First Year — 16 hours
PSY 402 Applied Research Experience in School Psychology (2 hours) (if not completing PSY 499 Master's Thesis)
PSY 433 Social Emotional and Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
PSY 435 Academic Assessment and Intervention
PSY 473 Theories and Techniques of Counseling: Children and Adolescents
PSY 474 Theory and Practice of Mental Health Consultation in the Schools
PSY 498.05 First Year Fieldwork in School Psychology (2 hours)

Summer, First Year — 6-8 hours
PSY 499 Master's Thesis (if not completing PSY 402 Applied Research Experience in School Psychology)
TCH 407 Learning in Educational Settings
EAF 410 Research Methodology and Statistics in Education I
SED 422 Teaching Diverse Learners (elective course)

Fall, Second Year — 9-10 hours
PSY 436.04 Practicum: Psychoeducational Assessment
PSY 436.05 Practicum: Psychosocial Assessment
PSY 452 Seminar in Developmental Psychology
PSY 499 Master's Thesis (if not completing PSY 402 Applied Research Experience in School Psychology)

Spring, Second Year — 13-14 hours
PSY 436.04 Practicum: Psychoeducational Assessment
PSY 436.05 Practicum: Psychosocial Assessment
PSY 463 Brain and Behavior Relationships
PSY 499 Master's Thesis
SED 422 Teaching Diverse Learners (elective course, if not previously taken)

Summer, Second Year — 2 hours
PSY 499 Master's Thesis
SED 422 Teaching Diverse Learners

Fall and Spring, Third Year — hours vary
PSY 498.90 Internship (one hour each semester)