YSU launches school psychology program

To address the critical shortage of school psychologists locally and across the nation, Youngstown State University is launching a new graduate-level school psychology program this summer, the first such program in Ohio in more than 40 years.

The first group of 12 students in the new program was introduced last week at the 2012 School Psychology Summer Institute on Autism on the YSU campus.

“It is an honor to introduce such a strong cohort into the new program,” said Audrey Ellenwood, director of the new School Psychology program.  “The 12 school psychology students, which is a full complement, have extensive experience and training in the areas of education and psychology.  They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and ready to start.”

The new Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology is the first-ever Ed.S. degree at YSU. Following completion of the program, graduates are eligible for licensure in Ohio as school psychologists after they successfully pass the Praxis Exam in School Psychology.

The new degree was established to respond to a continuing shortage of school psychologists regionally, across Ohio and nationally. The National Association of School Psychologists estimate a shortage of nearly 9,000 school psychologists nationwide and predict that the shortage could increase to nearly 15,000 by 2020.

School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents and other professionals to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school and the community for all students.

Graduates of the new YSU program will earn two degrees: a Master’s of Education in Intervention Services and an Ed.S. in School Psychology. The three-year program includes a one-year paid internship in a public school district.

The YSU program is one of a small number nationally that focuses on low-incidence disabilities, which can include blindness, deafness and autism, along with the more typical training in high-incidence disabilities, such as speech and language impairments and learning disabilities.

For more information on the new degree, visit the YSU School Psychology program page.

The first group of students was introduced during the YSU School Psychology Program Summer Institute, attended by 130 school psychologists, educators, school counselors, related service providers and students. The keynote speaker was Michael McSheehan, Clinical Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Project Coordinator with the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire.