Shortages in School Psychology Resource Guide

The vision of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and throughout life. To help direct its efforts and position highly qualified school psychologists to fulfill this vision, NASP has proposed four key initiatives of the association. One of those initiatives includes addressing critical shortages in school psychology. Shortages in school psychology, like shortages in other related professions, have the potential to significantly undermine the availability of high quality services to students, families and schools.

Shortages can include both an insufficient supply of qualified school psychologists as well as an insufficient number of positions to meet the needs of students. Additionally, multiple factors that contribute to shortages in school psychology highlight the complex and context-specific nature of the issue, including:

  • Shortage of qualified faculty in graduate education programs
  • Limited access to NASP approved or accredited graduate preparation programs in certain parts of the country
  • Limited number of qualified applicants for some programs; whereas other programs may have more qualified applicants than they can accept
  • Financial constraints associated with maintaining programs and students assuming financial debet
  • Difficulty attracting graduates from some programs into areas where position vacancies are occurring consistently
  • Difficulties retaining qualified school psychologists
  • Shortage of approved internships and qualified internship supervisors
  • Limited racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity

The research-based recommendations provided in this resource guide attempt to address these inter-related issues that contribute to shortages.

NASP has published a Research Summary that provides the latest data addressing school psychology shortages, titled "Shortages in School Psychology: Challenges to Meeting the Growing Needs of U.S. Students and Schools"

NASP has also created a summary document that identifies Federal Grants to Address School Psychology Shortages and to Expand Access to Mental Health Services

Model Legislation

Review and utilize model legislation written specifically for states to use and adapt to address shortages at the state level (NASP Members Only).

Model Legislation to develop a pipeline of qualified school psychologists to high needs districts (DOCX)

Model Legislation to help recruit and retain school psychologists (DOCX)

Exposure Project

The Exposure Project (#NASPEP) is designed to expose high school students and undergraduates, especially those from racially and ethnically minoritized backgrounds, to school psychology. Use the downloadable materials to present to high school students and undergraduates in your area to expose them to the field. 

Shortages Webinar

This webinar reviews resources available on the NASP website that can help state and national leaders address school psychology shortages. Specific recommendations of how state associations can use these resources are offered.

Watch Here

Companion Infographic

infographic This infographic outlines the school psychology shortages and identifies strategies to remedy the problem. This infographic corresponds with the Frequently Asked Questions about Shortages in School Psychology document.

Acknowledgement of writing group members as part of the NASP Shortages Task Force (in alphabetical order): Joel Bocanegra, Jamie Chaffin, Emma Dickinson, Peter Faustino, Sally Grapin, Regina Kimbrel, Leah Nellis, Kari Oyen, Eric Rossen, & Lori Unruh.