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Become a School Psychologist

If your middle school or high school had a school psychologist, you might remember them as someone who counseled students on special courses they could take, worked with kids who had behavioral problems, or encouraged those who were having a hard time.

The field of school psychology is focused on working with children in educational environments.

A person in a school psychology job might spend their time advising students on the best curriculum to undertake to meet their college or professional goals, or helping kids with emotional issues overcome their difficulties.

School psychologists may also work with teachers, principals, and other school officials to determine what teaching methods are best for new materials, or to provide advice and expertise on problematic behavioral trends and other concerns.

School psychology professionals might also meet with parents to discuss their child’s progress, and to make recommendations about resolving problems or providing opportunities for the student.

People with school psychology positions are most often found in schools, working with students as well as with teachers and other education professionals.  School psychologists might also work with the offices of a local board of education, working out curriculum details and advising on the creation and modification of school policies.

Some school psychologists go into private practice, making themselves available to more than one school, school board, or educational system to provide their expertise on a consultancy basis, and may maintain offices from which to work with clients.

To become a school psychologist, you will need to examine the licensee requirements that apply to the state in which you plan to practice school psychology.

Some schools require only a bachelor’s degree, while others require at least a master’s degree, and a few may require a doctoral degree in psychology.

Other states may have additional requirements, such as specific licensing exams, that must be fulfilled before people can accept school psychology positions in that state.

There are also several different licensing agencies, such as the Department of Education, the Board of Psychology, and the National Association of School Psychologists, so it is important to read carefully as to what your requirements are and what options are available for obtaining a license to practice school psychology. 

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