Qualified applicants for the NCSP credential must meet the established standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP):
- Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists (PDF)
- Standards for the Credentialing of School Psychologists (PDF)
- Principles for Professional Ethics (PDF)
- Model for Comprehensive and Integrated School Psychological Services (PDF)
Applicants must complete an organized program of study that is officially titled "School Psychology" that consists of at least 60 graduate semester/90 quarter hours. At least 54 graduate semester/81 quarter hours must be exclusive of credit for the supervised internship experience. Applicants for the NCSP must provide evidence of meeting coursework requirements through official transcripts sent directly to NASP either in a sealed envelope or electronically from the institution.
Completion of a sequence of supervised experiences that occurred prior to and exclusive of the internship is required. These experiences are typically conducted in laboratory or field-based settings and provide for the application of knowledge and specific skills.
Successful completion of a 1,200-hour internship in school psychology, of which at least 600 hours must be in a school setting. The internship must be recognized through institutional (transcript) documentation. Individuals who complete a program that does not offer a 1,200-hour internship may complete a field-based internship. For more information see the the NCSP Internship Verification Form (PDF).
The Praxis School Psychologist test #5402 measures whether entry-level school psychologists have minimum acceptable competency (knowledge) for professional practice. The Praxis School Psychologist exam is required by numerous state education agencies to work as a school psychologist.
NCSP applicants must achieve a passing score of 147. Test scores remain valid for 10 years after the test. Test scores older than 10 years are considered expired and would require the retaking of the test. Applicants who took the exam between 2008 and 2014 must have achieved a passing score of 165 or higher. Those who took the test prior to its revision in September 2008 must have achieved a passing score of 660 or higher. Official score reports must be sent directly from ETS to NASP when applying for the NCSP.
Application Window for Graduates of NASP-Approved Programs
Effective January 1, 2016, individuals applying for the NCSP credential as a graduate of a NASP-approved program must submit their applications within 10 years of completing the program. Applicants who completed a program more than 10 years ago, regardless of the status of their programs at the time, must apply as graduates of a program without NASP approval.
Individuals with a graduate degree in a closely related field (e.g., clinical psychology, counseling psychology) may be eligible for the NCSP, provided they have completed a respecialization program at a NASP-approved graduate program. Please note that graduate programs handle applications from those with prior graduate degrees in different ways, but all NASP-approved programs must assure that all program graduates, regardless of previous coursework, have met the same national standards for school psychology preparation. Not all graduate programs offer respecialization. Please check with the graduate program to inquire about its options.
Along with the certification application, the current director of the training program through which the applicant completed the respecialization program must complete and sign the Documentation for Respecialization Cases (DOC). Additional documentation must be provided as well, such as a copy of the program of studies and transcript review completed upon the applicant's enrollment in the NASP-approved program. The information typically submitted is a course-by-course evaluation of the coursework required as part of their program and how the applicant met those requirements. For example, the program director would list all of the coursework a student must complete to earn the specialist degree and indicate that either the applicant completed the course at their school and include the course number (so that it can be verified on the transcript) or that the same course was completed at another institution and include the course number (again, so that it can be verified on the transcript).
Become an NCSP
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Get answers to frequently asked questions about the NCSP.
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View a list of Graduate programs approved by NASP's Program Accreditation Board.
State Credentialing Information
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