PhD in School Psychology

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  • Course description
    Our primary mission is to train knowledgeable and highly skilled school psychologists, capable of functioning as scientist-practitioners in diverse and demanding public school environments. This mission reflects our philosophy that the school psychologist is the cognitive, social, and behavioral scientist in the school setting who designs, administers, and/or participates in a school psychological services delivery system.

    Through the application of psychological theories and research, the school psychologist develops and uses methods for appraising the psychological and educational assets and needs of children and youth. This then establishes the basis for recommending and providing needed psychological services within an educational context. We assert that the promotion of academic and social development and school success for all children is the primary goal for school psychology.

    School psychologists can be of enormous assistance in the design of developmentally appropriate school programs for all children who are at-risk for school failure. Our graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles as school psychologists, researchers and university educators, and consultants and program directors at the local, state and federal level.

    The School Psychology program at Berkeley is based on the assumption that school psychologists, through the skilled application of their knowledge, can work together with teachers and other education professionals to clarify and resolve problems regarding the educational and mental health needs of children in classrooms. School psychologists, working as consultants and collaborators, help others to accommodate the social system of the school to the individual differences of student.

    Based on this underlying philosophy, the following overarching goals and objectives for student competence have sustained the Berkeley School Psychology Program for over 30 years and provide the conceptual basis for education and practice. These goals and allied objectives are:

    Goal 1. To prepare scientifically knowledgeable school psychologists.

        * Objective: Students acquire a broad knowledge base in cognitive, social and emotional development as related to school learning and individual differences, the biological and social determinants of behavior, cultural diversity, measurement, statistics and research methodology.

    Goal 2. To prepare highly skilled professionals who can integrate and apply knowledge of psychological theory to educational practice in the service of promoting academic and social development of school age children.

        * Objective 1: Students acquire the consultee-centered consultation skills necessary to articulate one's psychological understanding of children in reciprocal exchanges with those responsible for their educational programs.
        * Objective 2: Students acquire skill in understanding the psychological and social characteristics of children and youth, including counseling and assessment.

    Goal 3: To prepare students to utilize educational practice to inform and extend psychological theory.

        * Objective: Students acquire skill in the application of developmental theories and research to the design of educational and psychological interventions

    Goal 4. To prepare school psychology leaders who persist in applied professional and academic school psychology settings.

        * Objective: Program graduates assume leadership roles as school psychologists, researchers, university educators, and consultants and program directors at the local, state and federal level.

    The primary theoretical orientation of the Berkeley School Psychology training program is developmental psychology. The training program reflects the premise that learning and development are the key goals of education, and that children's growth and development are the result of their active involvement and interaction with their environment. Thus, children are regarded from a constructivist orientation, operating within the context of school, family, and community. The areas of cognitive, social and emotional development, learning, individual differences, linguistic and cultural diversity, measurement and research methodology form the intellectual bases for professional training.

    Our training model allows students to become familiar with both regular and special education, to develop skills with both individual and group assessment and intervention techniques, to focus on issues from cognitive, learning, social and emotional domains, and to be able to share their expertise productively through consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, and other school and mental health professionals.

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