Graduate Program Approval and Accreditation
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recognizes the critical role of professional preparation and accreditation as part of its commitment to serving the mental health and educational interests of all children and youth. NASP's Program Accreditation Board (PAB) has reviewed and accredited school psychology programs independently or as an accrediting member of National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), now Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation(CAEP) since 1978. NASP has also applied to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for recognition of its accrediting review process.
The NASP 2020 Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists have been approved. For the purposes of program review and accreditation, the Program Accreditation Board will continue using the current rubrics that reflect the 2010 standards for all submissions through and including 2021. All submissions from Fall 2022 and thereafter must submit using the new rubrics that reflect changes in the 2020 standards. An exception to this timeline will be made for programs submitting a Response to Conditions report. Programs that are submitting a Response to Conditions report should submit based on the Standards that were utilized in their original submission (for example, a program submitting a Response to Conditions report in Fall 2022 should submit based on the 2010 Standards since those were the standards in effect during the program's original submission).
We expect to have the new rubrics available in early 2021. Programs that wish to utilize the 2020 Standards and new rubrics for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 cycles must request permission to do so from the Program Accreditation Board chair. The Program Accreditation Board plans to provide additional training and support as new rubrics are rolled out.
We encourage programs to review the NASP 2020 Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists.
Benefits of NASP accreditation
- For the public, accreditation protects the welfare of children, youth, and families by ensuring competently trained school psychologists.
- For the profession, it advances the field by promoting rigorous and uniform standards for graduate preparation and advances high standards for professional and ethical practice.
- For state professional credentialing bodies (e.g. certification/licensure agencies such as state departments of education, state licensure boards), NASP accreditation promotes recognition of high quality graduate preparation of professionals that meets national standards, and supports consistency across states.
- For employers, accreditation indicates that school psychology programs cover essential skills and competencies needed for today's school psychologist.
- For higher education faculty and administrators, accreditation ensures opportunities for ongoing self-evaluation, continuous improvement and an effective system for accountability.
- For graduate students, it provides assurance that the quality of the program has been evaluated and has met national standards established by the profession. Accreditation ensures relevancy of the curriculum, quality of field experiences, and enhances credentialing and employment opportunities.
- For school psychology programs, NASP accreditation ensures quality, bolsters employer confidence in its graduates, enhances a program's reputation, signifies peer recognition, and provides a pathway for program graduates to access NASP's national certification.