7 Facts About School Psychology Degrees and Careers

school-psychology-common-questionsSchool psychologist work at schools across the country, and they help students in more ways than you’d think.

But you probably have other questions about your psychology studies before you start.

Keep reading to learn about online degree options, what specific careers you can pursue with different degrees, financial aid, and school accreditation.

Learn whether school psychology is the right career for you.

Can I go to school online?

Absolutely. There are quite a few accredited online schools that offer master’s degrees in school psychology. You can even earn a PhD in school psychology online. If you want to take advantage of federal financial aid resources for your online courses, you should make sure to choose a school and program that are accredited.

What careers can I pursue with a degree in school psychology?

School psychologists can work in private practice and in a number of educational environments, from schools for grades K-12 and secondary schools to higher educational institutions. In addition to performing many of the same vocational functions as a school counselor, as a school psychologist you’ll also be able to diagnose and treat mental or behavioral disorders. You’ll have opportunities to go deeper into therapy with clients, and to work behind the scenes in research and administration to effect positive change.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Government financial aid, scholarships, private loans, PLUS loans and grants are all options to consider when paying for school. To be considered for federal aid, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What type of accreditation should I look for in a psychology school?

Keep your eyes open for specialized and institutional accreditation. The American Psychological Association (APA) gives their seal of approval as a specialized organization and the Higher Learning Commission gives institutional accreditation to colleges and universities.

What steps do I need to take to become licensed?

Most states require that their school psychologists hold a master’s degree in psychology, school psychology or counseling or a specialist degree (EdS) in school psychology. They’re also expected to complete a supervised internship and pass the National School Psychology Examination. Check with your state board to find out exact details.

What continuing education requirements should I expect throughout my career?

In most states, licensed school psychologists are required to complete continuing education courses in order to keep their license active. They each have different requirements as it pertains to the amount of hours you must complete and how often. Check with your state board of psychology to get the most up-to-date specifications.

Is it better to work for myself in private practice or an institution within the school psychology field?

It’s not very common for school psychologists to work in private practice, but if you choose to, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you’re just starting out, building a client base will take time until you build a reputation and make professional connections. On the other hand, private practice offers you flexibility. The more common path of working for a school or institution allows you to enjoy employer-paid benefits and learn from other colleagues.

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