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 applied to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for recognition of its accrediting review process.
NASP's Standards for Graduate Preparation of School Psychologists (2010) are the basis for accreditation of school psychology graduate programs. A complementary document, Policies and Procedures for the Review and Accreditation of Graduate Programs in School Psychology (coming soon) outlines the framework for program review and approval, requirements for materials submitted by school psychology programs for NASP review, and criteria for evaluation.
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.