What is a school psychologist?
School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that help support students' abilities to learn and teachers' abilities to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, while helping children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections among home, school, and the community.
School psychologists provide direct support and interventions to students, consultation with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, school psychology a top ranked job!
NASP Practice Model (updated 2020):
Shortages in School Psychology
There is a critical shortage of school psychologists, both nationally and at the state level. In response to this shortage, a School Psychology Shortage Committee was created in April of 2020 to help address such issues in the state of Michigan. This committee has engaged in various forms of outreach to university programs and districts, as well as other school psychologists, to gather information on (1) how significant the shortage is in the state, (2) build capacity for enhanced recruitment and retention, and (3) expose others (K-12 and higher ed) to become more knowledgeable about school psychology as a potential profession.
So far, the committee has engaged in the following efforts to help with remedying the shortage:
The NASP Exposure Project (NASP-EP) was originated by the NASP African American subcommittee as part of the Multicultural Affairs Committee to help introduce the field of school psychology to high school and undergraduate students. This grassroots effort has the goal of reducing the shortage in school psychology by attracting culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, as well as individuals with other intersecting identities, to the field.
Many university programs require their interns and/or other students to engage in the Exposure Project, and deliver a presentation to their district/LEA and/or to undergrads at an in-state university. Many Michigan school psychologists in the field have also engaged in such projects within their districts/LEA's. The NASP-EP has curated a variety of user-friendly resources in a "grab and go" fashion to help expose others to the field!
Find these grab and go resources here.
Advocacy for School Psychology
In an era of financial crisis, school districts around the state are continuing to encounter budgetary pressures in the face of increasing needs of student and community mental health supports, as well as student achievement. In the state of a shortage, and to prevent further challenges, MASP has curated the following documents to assist you in promoting your role as a school psychologist and the value you bring to your school community: