Advertise the personal and professional benefits of graduating with a degree in school psychology.
These benefits include competitive salaries, ample job openings, a high degree of reported job satisfaction among current practitioners, and job flexibility (with respect to scheduling and employment contexts).
Portray school psychology as an exciting and rewarding field.
School psychology graduate students perceive the broad prospects of working with children and working in schools to be the most exciting features of the job (Bocanegra, Rossen, & Grapin, 2017). It is important that when promoting the field of school psychology we move beyond employment numbers and salary, but rather, try to connect with potential applicant at a personal level. People generally go into school psychology because they feel good about the potential of making a difference in children’s lives, not because of the money or prestige (Bocanegra, Newell, & Gubi, 2016).
Use job postings as an opportunity to sell the job.
Typical job postings provide a standardized set of information about a job and its employer, yet rarely describe the many unique characteristics that could help in recruiting high quality applicants, which may include information about the city or community. NASP has created a sample job description that provides suggestions for writing a job description focused on recruitment that also aligns with the NASP Practice Model.
Increase visibility of job openings.
Recruiters should continue to use traditional avenues of exposure such as attending open house and job/college fairs in order to increase visibility of job openings. However, electronic media may provide another viable avenue for recruitment. Potential applicants report using internet searches and webpages as one of the primary sources of information regarding school psychology (Bocanegra, Rossen, & Grapin, 2017 ). Recruiters could also use social media outlets to advertise job openings. State associations and other agencies are encouraged to make job posting boards open to the public to allow those from out of state to identify potential opportunities.
Put a face on the profession.
Short videos could be created to introduce potential applicants to the school psychology program and shared through social media, which has the potential to increase prospective applicants’ positive affect toward the profession (Bocanegra, Gubi, & Cappaert, 2016). You can also share NASP's Infographic on Who Are School Psychologists? (as well as a Infographic in Spanish)
Collaborate with appropriate stakeholders to devise incentives for entering school psychology.
These stakeholders may include state and federal agencies that can offer loan forgiveness programs, competitive salaries and stipends, and comprehensive benefits packages (Ehrhardt-Padgett, Hatzichristou, Kitson, & Meyers, 2004).
Develop a comprehensive and creative public campaign to raise awareness about the profession.
Utilize resources from NASP’s annual National School Psychology Week. Additionally, consider ways to increase the profession’s presence in social media outlets as well as campaigns that directly target high schools and undergraduate institutions. Use NASP's Infographics to communicate information clearly and succinctly.
Finally, efforts should be made to establish recruitment pipelines among high schools, undergraduate institutions, graduate education programs, and public schools. Stakeholders within these institutions could present and mentor potential applicants and help to ease transitions along the career development pipeline (Bocanegra, Newell, & Gubi, 2016; Castillo, Curtis, & Tan, 2014).
Ensure adequate access to effective internship supervision.
Effective internship supervision can serve as an important recruitment tool, as in many cases, school psychology interns having a positive experience may opt to stay in the district if positions are available. NASP provides a range of adaptable Field Supervision Powerpoints to help train intern supervisors, as well as a range of other supervision guidance resources on its Graduate Educators page. The availability of internship stipends and broad advertisement of available internships are important in recruiting interns.
Share Information about the NASP Second Round Candidate Match.
NASP created the 2nd Round Candidate Match program to assist in efforts to address shortages in school psychology and best assure that qualified candidates have the opportunity to pursue school psychology graduate preparation. This list is opened in late April or early May with programs willing to continue accepting new applicants for the following Fall. that may have missed the more traditional application window.
Provide incentives and support for graduate program development in areas that are most affected by the shortage.
State Departments and local school psychology organizations and education programs should consider possible incentives and supports that could be implemented to help mitigate school psychology shortages. These incentives may include increased pay and other monetary incentives, the creation of formal respecialization programs, availability of distance learning, development of internship programs, and monetary incentive for relocation to high need area (Morrison et al., 2020).
Graduate educators may also find value in watching the webinar "How to talk to your administration about the value of your school psychology program" by Dr. Rick Thompson. This webinar was sponsored by the Trainers of School Psychologists and is hosted on their website. You will need to enter the password: 4p!378=3 to access this recording.