Master of Arts & Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Psychology Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

The School Psychology program at Castleton University prepares students for careers as highly qualified school psychologists. Students graduate from this three-year program with a Masters Degree and a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Study. Graduates will work with children, adolescents, families, and other professionals in schools and related fields. They will provide direct educational, behavioral, and mental health services for-and collaborate with-school administrators, educators, and other professionals to create supportive learning and social environments for students.

This is a residency based program following the training standards provided by the National Association of School Psychologists. The program requires two full years of coursework followed by one year of internship, resulting in a total of 72 credits. The program is grounded in a scientist-practitioner philosophy of training and education. The integration of science and practice is accomplished through a program of study that emphasizes the use of scientific methods to inform prevention and intervention-oriented problem solving approaches.

This program is consistent with the broader Castleton University goals of close student-faculty interactions, outside-the-classroom learning and deep integration with and support for the surrounding community. Fieldwork experience provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in a variety of settings that may include, but are not limited to: public or private educational settings, working with at-risk youth involved in the legal system, and community mental health agencies.

As the first School Psychology graduate program in the state of Vermont, we are deeply committed to supporting and improving the state's communities and schools by serving as a local resource to children, families, schools and community agencies.

The Masters program is structured to educate students in accordance with Vermont school psychologist endorsement requirements as administered by the Vermont Agency of Education. The program has been developed using the National Association of School Psychologists training guidelines; therefore, graduates will be eligible to apply for National Certification through the National Association School Psychology Certification System for non-NASP approved program.

The School Psychology program prepares professionals who:

  • are capable of providing direct and indirect psychological services to children, parents, and teachers in a variety of education settings;
  • possess knowledge within the areas of psychological foundations including development, learning, exceptionalities, psychopathology, and biological, social, and cultural influences;
  • are competent in the use of major psychological and educational techniques including consultation, counseling, and assessment with advanced skills in cognitive behavioral approaches;
  • are capable of functioning in a professional manner in educational settings and have had successful experiences in working effectively in a variety of school settings, including regular and special education, with preschool and different programs and levels of exceptionality, including referred and non-referred students;
  • are knowledgeable of and possess operational competence with specialized school psychology roles and with legal and ethical guidelines;
  • are committed to non-traditional services (pre-evaluation interventions, consultation and counseling, intervention-oriented assessment, and alternative delivery systems) as well as competence with traditional services;
  • are competent as problem solvers, change agents, and advocates;
  • are skilled in demonstrating an orientation as a consultant and mental health resource person in identifying and meeting the mental health, learning, and overall educational needs of individuals and educational systems;
  • are knowledgeable about information technology and uses to safeguard work and to enhance the quality of services.

Course Requirements

Code Course Credits

EDU 5150

Survey of Exceptional Children and Young Adults

Summer I

This course is a study of the history, philosophy, and current practices relating to education of children and young adults with special needs: the culturally different, visually handicapped, deaf and hearing impaired, learning impaired, emotionally challenged, intellectually gifted, physically handicapped and learning disabled. The course also includes an overview of Public Law 101-476 and its implications for the inclusion of youngsters into regular classroom environments. Required at the beginning of the program if course has not been taken within the last five years.

PSY 5010

Education Research Methods

Analysis of educational research methods. Focus on conceptual, methodological and practical issues addressing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies as related to current educational issues.


MAT 5010

Quantitative Analysis and Reasoning

Advanced descriptive and inferential statistics including parametric and nonparametric procedures to assist in decision making. This course presents the logic of quantitative analysis using computer technology and software for data description, presentation and analysis.


PSY 5030

Introduction to School Psychology

Fall I

This is a course designed to acquaint graduate students to the history and field of school psychology and contemporary issues and trends in the profession. This course contains an assessment that must be passed to be eligible to register for the internship.


PSY 5040

Tests and Measurements

Overview of statistical foundations of psychological measurement (e.g., test development, norms, reliability, validity). Survey of commonly used assessment instruments (e.g., intelligence/aptitude, personality, academic achievement tests) and applications of psychological testing in different settings (e.g., clinical, industrial/ organizational, school, forensic/legal settings). Introductory study of major principles underlying psychometric theory including true score models, reliability, validity, norms, scaling, item analysis, and instrument construction. Fundamentals of classical test theory supply background for topics in modern test theory such as item-response models. Introductory study of major principles underlying psychometric theory including true score models, reliability, validity, norms, scaling, item analysis, and instrument construction. Fundamentals of classical test theory supply background for topics in modern test theory such as item-response models.


PSY 5050

Theories of Counseling

Introduction to counseling theories and psychological processes involved in individual counseling with children and adolescents.


PSY 5211

Assessment I: Cognitive

Administration, interpretation, and analysis of individual measures of cognitive functioning. Administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing with major measures of intelligence. Includes theory and research with practicum experience.

PSY 5212

Assessment II: Educational

Spring I

Introduction to norm-references and curriculum-based assessment of achievement with a focus on intervention, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Emphasis on discussion of empirically-based instructional techniques


PSY 5213

Assessment III: Social and Behavioral

Theory, administration, scoring and interpretations of social, behavioral, and personality assessment instruments such as rating scales, personality inventories, projective techniques, etc. used with children and adolescents. Emphasizes diagnosis and written case reports.


PSY 5250

Counseling Processes

Introduces counseling skill development, emphasizing counseling of normal individuals with developmental concerns. Includes 15-hour practicum.


PSY 5270

Professional Ethics

Current professional problems and ethics in the helping professions, including issues related to certification, licensure, confidentiality, forensic concerns, values, responsibilities, and professional and legal standards.


PSY 6020

Educational Psychology Applied to Learning

-OR- PSY 6025 - Learning and Cognition 3 cr

Survey of major issues in the psychology of education. Among the topics considered ware the memory and nature of information processing systems, behavioral and environmental approaches to learning, the relationship between learning theory and instructional design, the development of cognition, motivation and its influence on learning, and the adjustment of instruction based on individual differences among learners. A balance will be maintained between theory and practice, the emphasis will be on an understanding of psychological theory as it relates to educational practice.


PSY 6350

School Based Assessment and Intervention

This course focuses on both assessments and interventions for children and adolescents with behavioral and social/emotional issues related to disability and life-issues. The course emphasizes best practice in assessment, diagnosis, and evidence-based interventions with social/emotional and behavioral problems for school-based interventions for children and adolescents. Issues related to cultural and social factors are integrated into the curriculum.


PSY 6372

Applied Behavior Analysis II

This course examines the behavior theory, principles, and procedures related to modifying existing behaviors and acquiring new behaviors. Students will begin to understand behavior modification techniques, such as reinforcement, punishment, extinction, discrimination training, generalization, shaping, classical conditioning, conditioned reinforcement, and schedules of reinforcement, by applying these behavior principles to real-world scenarios. Students will examine how behavior management can be used in various career fields.

Prerequisite: PSY 5371


PSY 6410

Child and Adolescent Counseling

-OR- PSY 6420 - Working with At-Risk Youth in the Legal System 3 cr

Theory and techniques for treating psychological disorders in children and adolescents. Includes approaches to treatment, efficacy research, and treatment evaluation.


PSY 6421

Practicum I

Supervised administration and interpretation of tests applicable to the practice of school psychology; supervised experience with consultative, in-service, and direct interventions in educational settings. Two hundred practicum hours per semester. Course is pass/no pass only.


PSY 6430

Consulting in the Helping Professions

A conceptual understanding of effective consultation and its relevance to the helping professional. Demonstration of knowledge and skills necessary to deliver effective consultative services in schools regarding the school learning environment, classroom management and individual student concerns including learning and behavioral concerns, school violence, anger management, bullying, discipline, crisis intervention.


PSY 6440

Diversity and Cultural Issues

Theoretical and skill development course designed to strengthen awareness, knowledge, and skills in the competencies necessary to evaluate presenting problems brought by ethnically and culturally diverse children and families.


PSY 6422

Practicum II

Spring II

Supervised administration and interpretation of tests applicable to the practice of school psychology; supervised experience with consultative, in-service, and dirct interventions in educational settings. Two hundred practicum hours per semester. Pass/no pass only.


PSY 6530

Advanced Human Growth and Development

This course covers human development throughout the lifespan, including emotional, physical, and cognitive development, and emphasizes personal adjustment and achievement. The course will examine major theories of human development while discussing and critiquing them in terms of application to educations and school psychology practices. Special attention will be given to multi-cultural issues and the implications and influences of these issues to the understanding of human development.


PSY 6540

Personality Assessment and Adjustment

This course provides a comprehensive overview of personality theories, models, and approaches. It also provides an overview of personality assessment and the diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders.


PSY 6550

Physical Basis of Behavior

This course examines the biological bases of behavior and learning, including the fundamentals, neuroanatomy, brain development, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, psychopharmacology and temperament. Interactions between genes, brain, environment and lifestyle (including effects of diet, exercise, and sleep) will be emphasized and how these impact brain development, learning and memory and mental health. Principles and theories of learning, motivation, and neuropsychologically based interventions will also be discussed.


PSY 7810

School Psychology Graduate Internship

Fall III / Spring III

Post-practicum experience providing supervised, on-the-job experience in assessment and intervention in the schools. 1200 clock hours, including 600 hours in a school setting, typically completed over the course of a school-year. Instructor's consent required. Pass/no pass only.

Spring, Fall