School Psychology: Programs in California

Begin Your Journey to a High-Demand Career

If you are looking into school psychology programs in California, National University may have exactly what you need. Offering degree and certification programs at six campuses across California and online, National University recommends more candidates for Preliminary Administrative Services credentials than any other single institution in California. The online psychology program is nationally recognized, ranked 11 out of 30 online programs.

Associate professor Dr. Tricia Crosby-Cooper points out that flexibility is one of the factors that students find most valuable at National University. “Some students really like the face-to-face interaction and that works best for them. Other students appreciate the online aspect because of the demands of their current job or life situations or just where they are in their life. To have that flexibility is great.”

Just a Three-Year Commitment

Talking about the National University psychology master’s program, Dr. Crosby Cooper explains, “Our program is a three-year program. We do also offer a Pupil Personnel Services Credential School Psychology (PPSP) Program, which is a school psychology credential-only program for students who already have a master’s in the area of social work, educational or clinical psychology, or counseling. They can come and take the PPSP credential portion of our program so that they can become a certified school psychologist.”

The programs at National are designed to prepare students who are skilled and ready for employment. “We also follow the National Association of School Psychology (NASP) practice model. We also adhere to the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) standards for school psychology and school psychologists in the state of California.”

Keep Your Life or Job While Earning Your Degree

For working adults faced with juggling family, career, and education, National’s flexible, online format proves to be the key to success. “Many of our students are considered ‘non-traditional’ students. They may be a little older, a little more seasoned or advanced in their life, they may already have a career or a family and they’re looking for a second career. “Our program allows a little more flexibility for students who are looking to become school psychologists,” observes Dr. Crosby-Cooper.

Wherever you are in your life, National University is a natural choice. Dr. Crosby-Cooper explains, “A really good master's program is one that works with your life, where you don't feel that you're constantly struggling.” The programs at National University are specifically tailored to fit the needs of working adults. “That doesn't mean we don't have students who have just come out of college, because we do,” explains Dr. Crosby-Cooper. “We run the whole gamut. We have students who have just come out of an undergrad and we have students who have grandchildren.”

Real-World Experience Provides Practical Tools

The school psychology program at National University incorporates fieldwork experience, with students required to complete a 450-hour practicum. Dr. Crosby-Cooper details, “During this time, students shadow a school psychologist for the first 100 hours. Students see what a typical day as a school psychologist looks like, they’re able to sit down in meetings, sit in consultation meetings (of course with proper permission). They can start hearing the lingo and seeing how things go. They’re able to engage in some classroom observations and some other assessments. There's that safety net with the site licensed or certified school psychologist there to assist them if they make a mistake.” Afterward, students complete a 1200-hour internship under the supervision of a site and credentialed school psychologist.

National’s instructors also provide the kind of real-world experience that enhances classroom instruction. “Students really like the fact that many instructors are still in the field, because not only are they learning the theoretical aspects of school psychology and the foundational aspects of school psychology, but they're also learning the real world and practical aspects so there isn't that much of a disconnect when they go out into the field,” says Dr. Crosby-Cooper.

The Job Outlook is Positive

School psychologists are in high demand. Dr. Crosby-Cooper explains, “School psychologists are federally mandated to be in every school — that includes public schools and charter schools that aren't private, even the online schools that aren't private. Because of that, there will always be a need for school psychologists. Right now, there's a huge shortage and it has become a national crisis.”  She goes on to say, “This is the beginning of my fourth year here at National and I have yet to hear of a student who has not been hired or has been having difficulty finding a job.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage nationally for school psychologists was $75,090 in May 2017 with the median annual wage in California at $94,910.

High-Quality Education, Tailored To You

Dr. Crosby-Cooper is proud of the program at National University. “We have a very good program, run by very good faculty who have been trained very well. The quality of instruction that students get here is really high.” She further notes, “We do offer a variety of ways that we can work with students and they don't feel like they have to be pigeonholed into one setting or another.”

Are you ready to start your journey to becoming a school psychologist? Learn more about school psychology programs on the National University program page.