Psychology Careers in Schools

Prospective Careers for School Psychology Graduates

Psychology Careers in Schools

Earning an M.S.Ed. degree and advanced certificate in school psychology prepares you for a rewarding and fulfilling career as a school psychologist. U.S. News & World Report ranks school psychology as the no. 2 best social service job.

This program has full approval from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and provides outstanding training for a wide range of counseling, assessment, and consultation roles. With over 1,700 public schools in New York City alone, there is plenty of opportunity to find the right fit.

As of February 2021, there are 401 approved charter schools in New York State. This new frontier greatly expands the range of opportunities available to a graduate with a degree in school psychology.

Throughout your time in the program and in the years following graduation, you will be tasked with navigating the career field. If you have settled on veering toward working in education, it is valuable to have a good understanding of what is expected of you and what sort of cases you will be working with.

As much as this will be stressed in the program, it can mean all the difference if you can garner experience working with children.

Regardless of what exactly this experience looks , working with children, understanding their needs, and what sort of workplace you will find yourself in will only ease your transition from the classroom to workplace by making you a competitive candidate.

There are, of course, other settings for you to work in with this degree that are set outside of a school.

Regardless of what sort of counseling, psychoeducational assessment, consultation, or other professional duties you'll be doing or what sort of clients you will be helping, knowing about the field you are entering will be key to your success.

Doing research and networking with faculty, professors, and alumni can all help you get a better understanding of what sort of work you can expect to have in front of you. Take advantage of the resources around you, especially within the department and at the Magner Career Center.

Lauren Ross—Psychologist at New York City Department of Education

Lauren earned her M.S. in bilingual school psychology, as well as her advanced certificate, at Brooklyn College in 2013.

Lauren has over eight years of experience working with the New York City Department of Education as a bilingual school psychologist. She has worked in both Florida and Seattle in the fields of social work and school psychology.

In addition to her work with the DOE, Lauren works as a licensed yoga instructor in Brooklyn and as an adjunct lecturer at Brooklyn College.

Issac Silberstein—School Psychologist at Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan

Issac earned his bachelor's degree in psychology at Brooklyn College while part of the Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society. Issac, still at Brooklyn College, earned his M.S. in school psychology, as well as his advanced certificate, graduating in 2009.

While in school, Issac interned at the Hebrew Academy for Special Children and Yeshiva of Flatbush Joel Bravermen High School. Graduating with a degree, a certificate, and plenty of internship experience, Isaac got a job at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan as a school psychologist.

Reisa Miller—School Psychologist at Success Academy Charter Schools

Reisa earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at Stony Brook University, graduating in 2015. Reisa continued her schooling at Brooklyn College, earning an M.S. in school psychology in 2018 and her advanced certificate the following year. She interned at Great Neck public schools for a year before becoming a school psychologist at Success Academy.

Magner Career Center

The Magner Career Center is a great source of information for everything you need to get started in your career, help with résumés, an internship database, job fairs, etc.

  • The center hosts frequent career events, which include panels with School Psychology Department alumni, company and organization visits, and workshops tailored to the social sciences.
  • You can get matched with alumni who earned a degree in school psychology at Brooklyn College to learn about their experiences, seek career advice, and develop a professional relationship.
  • HireBC offers starter, competitive internships, and even job postings from Brooklyn College's dedicated Job Board. Access HireBC via the Brooklyn College WebCentral Portal, under the Career Tab. Many alumni post positions with hopes of working with Brooklyn College students. Begin by uploading your résumé and having it reviewed by a career counselor.
  • Kendra Lewis is the liaison to the School of Education. For more information or to set up appointments, visit the Magner Center's website, call 718.951.5696, or visit 1303 James Hall.

The school psychologist graduate program comprises an M.S.Ed. and an advanced certificate in school psychology and consists of a 60-credit curriculum in theory, research, and evidence-based practice.

The program is registered with the New York State Department of Education and has full approval from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Upon completion of the 33-credit M.S.Ed.

and then the 27-credit advanced certificate, graduates are eligible to apply for certification in school psychology with New York State and to apply for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential with NASP.

Students collaborate with faculty and build professional portfolios that include publications and presentations at local and national conferences. Applicants are admitted to this program only in the fall; see application deadlines posted on the program website.

Matriculation Requirements

Applicants must offer at least nine credits with a grade of C or higher in psychological tests and measurements, statistics in psychology, and educational psychology or developmental psychology. Applicants must present three credits with a grade of C or higher in an education course in reading instruction or reading disorders.

Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate scholastic index of 3.00 (B). Applicants are interviewed and must submit appropriate letters of recommendation. Although not mandatory as a requirement for admission, applicants are encouraged to submit GRE scores (general and/or subject: psychology) as additional evidence to support the application.

Applicants who have not completed all the specific course requirements are given individual consideration and may be admitted with conditions, with the approval of the program head.

Students should note additional requirements found at the beginning of this section as well as in the sections «Admission» and «Academic Regulations and Procedures» in the Graduate Bulletin.

Thirty-three credits are required for the degree.

Students must complete 33 credits selected from the following courses: SPCL 7931T, 7932T, 7903T, 7922T, 7911X, 7900X, 7923X, 7901X, 7910X, 7912X, 7913X, 7920X, 7921X, 7906X, 7907X, 7915X.

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 (B). A student who acquires six credits below B- cannot be awarded an M.S. in Education in this program.

For information about course work, make sure to consult the latest Graduate Bulletin. In the 2019–2020 Bulletin (pdf), available courses for the School Psychology Program are found on 52. If you have any questions about selecting graduate courses you may e-mail Paul McCabe, the program coordinator.

SPCL 7900X—Theories of Human Development SPCL 7901X—Developmental Psychopathology SPCL 7902X—Crisis Intervention and Prevention Research in Schools SPCL 7903T—Problems and Practices in School Psychology SPCL 7904T—Research Seminar in School Psychology SPCL 7905X—Applied Theory and Research Seminar in School Psychology SPCL 7906X—Instructional Interventions in Schools SPCL 7907X—Neuropsychology of Learning SPCL 7910X—Cognitive and Academic Assessment SPCL 7911X—Cognitive and Academic Assessment II SPCL 7912X—Social and Adaptive Behavioral Assessment SPCL 7913X—Integration of Assessment and Report Writing SPCL 7914X—Psychological Assessment of Diverse Students SPCL 7915X—Behavioral Assessment and Intervention SPCL 7920X—Theory and Practice of Prevention, Crisis Intervention, and Mental Health Counseling in Schools SPCL 7921X—Counseling Children and Families SPCL 7923X—Consultation in the Schools SPCL 7931T—Practicum in School Psychology I SPCL 7932T—Practicum in School Psychology II SPCL 7933X—Internship in School Psychology I SPCL 7934X—Internship in School Psychology II SPCL 7941X—Literacy and Learning Difficulties

SPCL 7945X—Independent Study in School Psychology


What Can You Do With a Degree in School Psychology?

Psychology Careers in Schools

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, a group dedicated to spreading knowledge about the invaluable services that school psychologists provide, school psychologists “apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.” In other words, school psychology is the application of psychological knowledge in a school setting, in which individuals (primarily young students, but teachers as well) mostly deal with unique and often difficult situations that may have an effect on or be affected by their mental health.

Because school psychology is such a specialized field, there are not a wide variety of different types of jobs available to school psychologists, but because of an ever-increasing concern with youth health and safety, they are in high demand.

Also, because school psychology and the job of the individual school psychologist cover so much ground, a school psychologist will have a wide variety of things to do on any given day and will need to be adaptable, learning about a wide variety of people and helping them achieve their full potential not only in the strictly academic settings associated with school, but in their entire lives.

Related: Becoming a School Psychologist

Employment Outlook

Because the future of psychology overall as a field looks great, with 14% growth projected from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics – the future of school psychology is secure.

School psychology is also becoming more secure due to the rising interest in child wellness, particularly in school settings, with new focus in the media and by parents on important issues bullying and sexuality and gender identity.

Public or Private School Psychologists

These school psychologists, who make up well over 80% of the field provide various psychological services such as counseling, preventative mental health care, behavioral therapy, and others to students, teachers, families, and others involved in the schooling process.

Almost all of them take on administrative roles at the schools at which they teach, and some also take on teaching roles.

They must also coordinate their efforts with a wide variety of mental health and other professionals, such as school guidance counselors, child psychologists that may be working with their students, teachers and administrators who want to provide the safest and most productive environment possible for their students, etc.

These types of school psychologists must be flexible and require degrees at the specialist or doctoral levels in order to practice; they are usually also certified by a body such as the National Association of School Psychologists. These programs must also include many hours of internship work and supervised practice, to be sure that every school psychologist is qualified to do the best job she or he can.

That being said, public and private school psychologists are often paid quite well. The average salary for school psychologists serving on 180-day contracts during the 2009-2010 school year was $64,168, while those serving 200-day contracts made somewhat more, with their average at $71,320. Their contracts are often very similar to those of teachers at their school districts.

However, there is wide variability from district to district depending on various factors such as budget allowances and general need for mental care. This is an important point for school psychologists to consider when applying for jobs in public and private universities.

University School Psychologists

School psychologists working at universities provide the same services as those that work at public or private schools for younger students, but may have to address some slightly different behavioral and psychological issues, focusing more on social psychology and the process of coming into adulthood than issues of child psychology and early developmental psychology. They also often take on more research-oriented projects and serve as faculty members or assistants to faculty members during research projects. As such, school psychologists at the university level have virtually all completed doctoral programs.

As they often have a wider range of responsibilities than school psychologists working at public or private schools, and require even more specialized training, their salary is generally higher, averaging about $77,801 per year according to the National Association of School Psychologists. However, as with school psychologists working at public and private schools for younger students, there is a significant amount of variation in terms of salary at the university level as well, though salary is more consistent than at the secondary school level.

Other School Psychologists

Although the vast majority of school psychologists are employed either in private or public school settings or in universities, they may also be employed in private clinics or in community centers or hospitals, especially if those institutions run programs in conjunction with local schools or often serve school age children. However, the salary for these types of positions varies quite widely any number of factors.

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