NASP Research Reports

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Volume 2, Issue 1 (2017, May)

Factors Associated With Graduate Students' Decisions to Enter School Psychology 

By Joel Bocanegra, Eric Rossen, & Sally L. Grapin 


Workforce shortages in school psychology have been a persistent problem since the field’s inception. To inform targeted recruitment efforts, the present study aimed to identify factors that contributed to current graduate students’ decisions to pursue a career in the field. Participants were 356 student members of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) who completed a survey comprised of demographic items and three scales. The scales measured (a) the importance of various informational resources for learning about school psychology, (b) factors influencing their decision to pursue a degree in school psychology, and (c) factors contributing to their excitement about the field. Results indicated that participants typically learned about school psychology through more informal encounters (e.g., conversations with faculty and Internet searches) rather than through structured or formal learning experiences (e.g., coursework, presentations, and internships). Students were most excited about the broad prospect of working with children and families in schools. Fewer than half of respondents enrolled directly after completing an undergraduate degree. Implications and recommendations for developing optimally effective recruitment strategies are discussed.

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Volume 1, Issue 2 (2016, November)

NASP Annual Report of Graduate Education in School Psychology: 2014-2015 

By Daniel L. Gadke, Sarah Valley-Gray, & Eric Rossen 


The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) collects data annually on both specialist and doctoral school psychology programs via its National School Psychology Program Database Project Survey. The project goals are to maintain transparency regarding the status of graduate education in school psychology, inform the field about relevant trends, and provide prospective students and other stakeholders with a wide variety of information on school psychology graduate programs. This report summarizes the data from 171 specialist and 88 doctoral programs during the 2014–2015 academic year. Programs reported data on applications, enrollment, financial support, graduation requirements, internship placements, and more. Applicant acceptance rates were 40.7% across specialist programs and 31.0% across doctoral programs. There was a wide range of credit hours required for graduation, with 50–124 needed for specialist programs and 48–189 needed for doctoral programs.

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Volume 1, Issue 1 (2016, September)

Comparing Praxis® Performance Based on NASP Program Approval Status 

By Eric Rossen, Matthew W. Hayes, Joseph Prus, & Tracey Bowman 


The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides national review and approval of graduate programs in school psychology. Program approval represents an important quality indicator and offers important credentialing benefits to graduates of those programs. However, no research has previously examined the relationship between NASP program approval and the performance of program completers on tests such as the Praxis School Psychologist exam. The current study compared performance on the Praxis among NASP-approved and nonapproved programs before and after controlling for Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, which are a common admissions requirement for graduate programs in school psychology. Results revealed that graduates of NASP-approved programs score significantly higher on the Praxis, even after controlling for GRE, although much of the variance can be linked to GRE scores. This finding was most pronounced among institutions offering either a specialist-level program or both specialist- and doctoral-level programs as opposed to those offering a doctoral-level program only.

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