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NASP-Approved/Nationally-Recognized Graduate Programs in
School Psychology

NASP-Approved/Nationally Recognized Graduate Programs in School Psychology  (PDF)

The mission of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is to represent school psychology and support school psychologists to enhance the learning and mental health of all children and youth. NASP’s mission is accomplished through promotion of professional competence; recognition of the essential components of graduate education and professional development; graduate preparation of school psychologists to deliver a continuum of services to children, youth, families, and schools; identification of professional  practices that are empirically-based, data driven, and culturally competent; and advocacy for the value of school psychological services and for appropriate research-based education and mental health services, among other important initiatives.

Since 1988, NASP has been pleased to provide a national review and approval service for graduate programs in school psychology as part of our efforts to support preparation of graduate candidates for effective school psychology practice. The NASP program review and approval process contributes to the development of effective school psychology services through the identification of critical graduate education experiences and competencies needed by candidates preparing for careers in school psychology. NASP program approval/national recognition is an important indicator of quality graduate education in school psychology, comprehensive content, and extensive and properly supervised field experiences and internships, as judged by trained national reviewers. Thus, NASP approval/national recognition confers multiple advantages to programs, program graduates, the profession of school psychology, and, most importantly, to the children, families, and schools that we serve.

Specialist level (60+ graduate credits) and doctoral level programs in school psychology are reviewed and approved by NASP. For school psychology programs that submit documentation for a NASP review by trained national reviewers, the NASP Program Approval Board awards “NASP-approval” (national recognition) status for those programs that provide evidence of consistency with the NASP Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs in School Psychology. The NASP training standards provide the foundation for program review and approval, and school psychology program submissions for NASP-approval/national recognition status are evaluated to determine that programs meet NASP standards in policy and practice.

NASP is one of the specialized professional associations (SPAs) of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and conducts program reviews as a part of the NCATE unit accreditation process. As an NCATE  SPA, NASP does not accredit school psychology programs, but identifies approved programs. NCATE accredits units (e.g., Schools of Education), not programs, but does provide "national recognition" status (full or with conditions) to NASP-approved programs in NCATE-accredited units. In order to provide all school psychology programs with access to the NASP review process and potentially to national approval/national recognition, NASP also conducts reviews of school psychology programs that are not in NCATE units and that submit materials for review by NASP on a voluntary basis.

For more information regarding NASP program review and approval and the submission process to be used by school psychology graduate programs, please see the NASP website (http://www.nasponline.org/standards/approvedtraining/training_program.aspx) or please contact the Certification Department, phone: 301-657-0270, e-mail: cert@naspweb.org.

An advantage of NASP program approval, especially for program graduates, is its link to National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP). All graduates of specialist level graduate programs of study in school psychology are eligible to apply for the NCSP. All applicants for the NCSP must document an internship consistent with NASP standards and attainment of a passing score on the national school psychology examination (PRAXIS II) administered by Educational Testing Service. Applicants for the NCSP also must document having met graduate education requirements consistent with NASP training standards in the 11 domains of knowledge and outcomes. Graduates of NASP-approved programs (full or with conditions) provide evidence of meeting the graduate education requirements by documenting their completion of a NASP-approved program; the NASP program approval process ensures that the program graduates have met these requirements. Graduates of school psychology programs that do not hold NASP-approval must submit a portfolio to document that they have met this graduate education requirement. 

More information about the NCSP is located at http://www.nasponline.org/certification/index.aspx. For information regarding NCSP applications for individuals, please contact the Director of Professional Development and Standards, c/o Joan Epstein, Manager, Certification, phone: 301-657-0270, e-mail: jepstein@naspweb.org.