School Psychology info sessions set for Oct. 15, Nov. 12

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIndividuals interested in pursuing studies and a career in school psychology are encouraged to attend information sessions this fall to learn about the School Psychology Graduate Program at Youngstown State University.

Sessions will be 1 p.m. Oct. 15 and Nov. 12 in the Gallery Room of Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus. The YSU program in school psychology is currently accepting graduate school applications for the Summer 2015 cohort, and interviews for the program will begin in February 2015. For more information, contact Richard VanVoorhis at 330-941-3266 or at rwvanvoorhis@ysu.edu.

YSU began the new school psychology program in summer 2012 to help address critical national, state and regional shortages in the field. Housed in the YSU Beeghly College of Education, the program joined two existing YSU programs to form the Department of Counseling, Special Education and School Psychology. It was the first new program in Ohio dedicated to school psychology in more than four decades, and it now offers YSU’s first Educational Specialist Degree.

VanVoorhis, YSU School Psychology program director, said that YSU’s comprehensive training program was designed based on standards set forth by the state of Ohio, National Association of School Psychologists and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. In addition, it is structured so that course content is accompanied by appropriate field experiences, including practicum experiences during years one and two and a 1,400 clock hour internship offered during the third year. The School Psychology Graduate Program is 32 students across three cohorts.

“I chose the YSU School Psychology Program because the program offers a unique specialization in serving children with low incidence disabilities,” said BreAnna Jones, first year candidate. Jones said she believes that the program has the tools to put her at an advantage in the field and prepare her to serve the students, families, and teachers of the region. “It is refreshing to be around a group of professors who see their students as people and push them to reach their potential,” she said.

This fall, YSU joins eight other existing statewide training programs to offer candidates an Ohio Department of Education financially supported internship experience in school psychology. YSU’s practicum and internship partners comprehensively blanket the entire Mahoning Valley Region and beyond. Training partners include Educational Service Centers and School Districts including: Ashtabula County ESC, Ashtabula City, Trumbull County ESC, Mahoning County ESC, Niles City, South Range, Warren City, Youngstown City, Boardman Local, Columbiana County ESC, and Portage County ESC. In addition, many other districts statewide have expressed a desire to partner with the YSU School Psychology program to offer this valuable school psychology internship experience.

Melinda Wolford, assistant professor in the School Psychology Program, expresses her gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the school systems surrounding YSU. She said the field community opportunities and professional support create a different level of challenge and inspiration with the common goal of increasing much needed school psychological services in this community.

Carl Scott Keller, YSU school psychology intern, said he is very excited to begin his internship experience. “Now is my opportunity to apply the lessons that I’ve learned in class to the real world,” he said.