School Psychology Specialist

Program Description

Student Handbook - Click here to download PDF.

The Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) program is part of the Department of Psychology, within University of Detroit Mercy's College of Liberal Arts & Education. This program is a three-year, 66-credit hour program of full-time study. This includes a three-semester (i.e., September-June), 600-hour practicum during the second year, and a three semester, full-time 1,200 hour internship in a school setting completed during the third year.

Students are awarded a Master of Arts with a major in school psychology upon successful completion of 30 hours (end of year 1). The Specialist in School Psychology is awarded upon completion of the entire program. This includes attaining a passing score (>147) on the Praxis II examination in School Psychology.

Students interested in the LLP (Limited License Psychologist, obtained via the State of Michigan Board of Psychology), or the BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) will need to have specialized supervision during their internship. Students should seek guidance from faculty if they wish to pursue these additional designations.

This program is fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). 

 Program Objectives

The Program is designed to provide a strong and broad-based knowledge of both psychology and education, and to prepare students to apply that knowledge within school settings.  Objectives are as follows:

1. Graduates recognize the dignity and intrinsic worth of all individuals, and demonstrate respect for human diversity  and individual differences.

2. Graduates are able to deliver a full range of school psychological services, including:

(a.) Assessment of individuals as well as systems,
(b.) Intervention design, and
(c.) Provision of both direct and indirect services.

3. Graduates are advocates for children on both the individual and the group levels.

4. Graduates communicate clearly and effectively and demonstrate appropriate, respectful conduct in their professional interactions with others.

5. Graduates adhere to legal and ethical standards in their professional practice.

Program Philosophical Models

The program philosophy may be conceptualized as a foundation of several important but complementary concepts, embedded within an overall scientist-practitioner orientation.
  1. Evidence-based practices
  2. Consultation-based services
  3. Behavior analytic intervention design
  4. Social-cognitive/eco-behavioral orientation
scientist/practitioner orientation

Program Foundational Skills and Knowledge

The School Psychology Program at the University of Detroit Mercy is designed to prepare school psychologists who have a strong and broad-based knowledge of psychology and education, and enable them to apply that knowledge within the school setting.  The nationally recognized standards for training and practice, established by the National Association of School Psychologists, are articulated in the Standards for Training and Field Program in School Psychology.  This document also specifies 10 domains of knowledge requisite to the practice of school psychology; these domains are further elaborated upon in School Psychology: A Blueprint for Training and Practice.  The 10 domains are:

  • Data-Based Decision-Making and Accountability
  • Consultation and Collaboration
  • Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills
  • Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills
  • School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
  • Preventive and Responsive Services
  • Family–School Collaboration Services
  • Diversity in Development and Learning
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice