Early Career Professionals
Transitioning from a school psychology graduate student to a practicing school psychologist involves rapidly acquiring a diverse skill set and using outside-the-box thinking to handle a variety of new situations. NASP recognizes that offering additional supports can be helpful during this period of change and growth. We have developed a variety of resources with early career school psychologists in mind.
NASP provides the following information and guidance to assist in decision-making regarding the use of contract services (whether in-person or via telehealth). Read to learn a definition and description of contracted services, state credentialing considerations, logistical considerations for both the contractor and the contracting school district, and relevant ethical considerations.
NASP & Early Career
NASP offers school psychology professionals in the first two years of their career special membership dues rates and discounted registration fees for the Annual Convention and Summer Conferences. Benefit from dedicated early career programming at the NASP Annual Convention, and participate in the Convention Mentoring Program. Join the Early Career online Community where you can engage with nearly 1,000 fellow school psychologists from around the world. Ask each other for tips, advice, practice trends, and support one another. This is also a good place to virtually meet your Early Career Committee. We also feature one Early Career school psychologist each month with the Early Career Spotlight so you can see how your peers are navigating the transition to practice.
Transitioning to Practice
As you transition to your school psychology practice, NASP has resources relating to identifying and working within team at your school, tips for making it through your first year, and a handout on professional ethics, including considerations for early career professionals and recommendations for developing an ethical practice.
Communication & Work-Life Balance
Checking in with yourself, communicating effectively, and creating a manageable sense of work-life balance are all vital as you begin practicing. NASP has resources to help you use self-reflection and engage in conversation about communication styles within teams, use communication effectively for success, and practice self-care.
Supervision is an incredibly important topic for school psychologists who are new to practice. In advocating for supervision that is consistent with best practices, you can use the hierarchy of NASP-approved school psychological supervision. You can also view the results and analysis of a survey about supervision in the early career, and a presentation on forming a peer supervision group.
It's never too early to begin thinking about how to advance your career! We offer a fact sheet on the difference between resumes and vitas, how to organize your vita, and sample vitas, plus information for prospective faculty members. Additionally, the NASP Career Center is a great place to begin your job hunt, and select Career Center jobs are visible to members-only for the first 7 days.
As a school psychologist, you have career paths beyond school-based practice available to you. These paths may include serving as a faculty member or administrator, working in private practice or as a school neuropsychologist, and more. These NASP fact sheets review these options to explain the challenges and rewards of an early career academic, help you consider whether an academic position may be a good fit for you, provide insight into the training needed for a career in academia, and list the domains of responsibility for faculty members.
Early Career Member Savings!
School psychology professionals in their first and second years of practice can save on NASP fees! You can also use the Leave of Absence membership to help you stay engaged if you work part-time, take a break from practice to care for children or relatives, are currently searching for a job.
Leadership & Advocacy
Taking on a leadership role is an effective way to bring about systemic change.
Additionally, the Advocacy Action Center is a great way to get started with your advocacy in a way that's fast, clear, and easy!