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Multicultural and/or Bilingual Programs

University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Specialist and Doctoral Program

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 both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) in association with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Educational Specialist Program in School Psychology is fully accredited by the NCATE in association with NASP. Both the Doctoral and Educational Specialist Programs are also approved by the Nebraska Department of Education.


Program Specifics

Cultural and Individual Diversity is one of the six primary curricular components for the school psychology program. 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 - 72 hours; PhD - 120-130 hours

    NASP-Approved: Yes

    Bilingual Specialization: No

    Student Demographics: At least 12% of students come from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Specialized Training Experiences

  • Grants: N/A
  • Immersions: A partnership has been established a partnership between the UNL program and the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA), a small Catholic university in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico). Every other year the program coordinator, Dr. Beth Doll, takes a group of students to visit the schools, communities, homes, health centers, and soup kitchens of low income communities surrounding Guadalajara. On the off years, the faculty and students of UNIVA come to Nebraska to visit the services provided here for families after they have immigrated. The purpose of the partnership is to extend the opportunities for both universities' students to understand the cultural experiences of families before and after immigration.

Retention & Recruitmenet

UNL has an Ethic Minority Affairs Committee (EMAC) comprised of American ethnic minority, international, and majority students and faculty who share an interest in issues pertaining to diversity and multiculturalism. Although EMAC 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 are sites 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. Practicum students with some fluency in a second language are systematically placed in one of the four schools that have ELL programs on site.

School % non-white % free and reduced lunch % ELL students
Elementary 1 39% 64% 26%
Elementary 2 24% 51% No program
Elementary 3 61% 80% 23%
High School 38% 52% 9%


Faculty profiles can be viewed here.

Core faculty whose focus of interest and research is related to multicultural/diverse populations include:

Dr. Beth Doll
Dr. Beth Doll, the UNL School Psychology program coordinator, has been involved in ongoing research related to multicultural diversity. Dr. Doll's research interests relate to immigrant families and the unique challenges faced by the families and schools. In addition, she has a small line of qualitative and quantitative studies published that describe the experiences of immigrant families and students and the school practices that are important for the success of these students.

Dr. Susan Sheridan
In addition, Dr. Susan Sheridan has analyzed data on consultation to examine the question of consultation effectiveness with diverse consultees and white or non-white consultants.