University of Nebraska- Lincoln, NASP Approved

The School Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is devoted to providing students with multiple opportunities to work with clients from diverse populations and cultures. Previously, Nebraska had been an ethnically homogenous state mostly populated by Caucasian homesteaders. Within past 15 years, the state has undergone dramatic increases in the number of minority immigrant families settling in small towns supported by the agricultural industry. This advent increased the need to focus on multicultural and linguistic diversity and sensitivity training to help school psychologists satisfy the needs of diverse students. The program is premised on an ecological view of human behavior and psychological services in which human behavior is viewed as a complex result of how developing individuals interact with the various social and psychological systems that comprise their life. The UNL Doctoral Program in School Psychology is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Educational Specialist Program in School Psychology is fully accredited by NASP. Both the Doctoral and Educational Specialist Programs are also approved by the Nebraska Department of Education.

Specialized Training Experiences

  • Grants: School psychology faculty have secured a pilot grant to support two projects investigating the effects of multi-systemic interventions to address health disparities among minority populations. The project, titled The Minority Health Disparity Initiative: Promoting Greater Access to Services Supporting Children's Health and Well-Being, is focused on developing and testing a culturally-adapted family-school partnership intervention for Latino children at risk for behavioral and health challenges. The first pilot is discerning the efficacy of a culturally-adapted home-school partnership approach to support the social-behavioral skills and academic achievement of Latino students.  The second pilot study is identifying the efficacy of the approach for addressing early childhood obesity among a sample of low income, largely Latino children. As a result of this experience, students are gaining experience conducting research with culturally diverse children and families, and clinical skills intervening with parents and teachers of Spanish-speaking children. A federal grant aiming to test the culturally adapted family-school approach in the context of a large scale efficacy trial is pending.

Retention & Recruitment

UNL has a Diversity and Ethic Minority Affairs Committee (DEMAC) comprised of American ethnic minority, international, and majority students and faculty who share an interest in issues pertaining to diversity and multiculturalism. Although DEMAC focuses each year on recruiting high quality students of color for all of the programs in our department, its primary function is to serve as a support network once students arrive on campus and begin their studies.

Field Placements

UNL has targeted schools serving the most diverse communities (with regards to ethnicity, language, and social-economic status) to place students for practicum and internship experiences. Four sites are with programs for English Language Learners, all have more than 40% of their enrollment qualifying for free or reduced lunch based on economic need, and all have a significant proportion of non-white students enrolled. To strengthen the preparation of all students for working with diverse populations, practicum students visit each others' schools, and practicum classes meet at the various schools so that school faculty and staff can consult with practicum students. 

Program Specifics

Professional issues relating to cultural and individual diversity are infused throughout all aspects of the program including courses, practicum, and internship requirements.

Degree Awarded: EdS, PhD

Total number of credits: EdS - 66 hours; PhD - 120-130 hours

NASP-Approved: Yes

Bilingual Specialization: No

Student Demographics: At least 11% of students come from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Contact Information

  • Phone: (402) 472-2210