In This Section
Eligible applicants receive an Educational Specialist Level I School Psychologist credential which is valid for 6 years of service. After three years of satisfactory performance in Pennsylvania and completion of a PDE approved Induction program, practitioners must apply for an Educational Specialist Level II School Psychologist credential within 6 years. The Level II certificate will be valid for 99 years. Both the Level I and II credentials are recognized for K-12 settings.
An emergency credential can be authorized for up to one year. The request for an emergency credential is initiated by an LEA superintendent when no credentialed, appropriate applicants are available.
Pennsylvania does not automatically accept any other state's credential. Each application is reviewed individually for coursework completed and previous state's requirements. A school psychologist training program within Pennsylvania includes a master's degree, an additional thirty credit School Psychology program leading to certification, a Praxis (5402) score of 147, and a one year internship. Additionally, PDE requires that applicants be United States citizens or sign a Declaration of Intent to Become a Citizen of the United States.
Continuing Education Requirements:
All holders of Department of Education credentials are required to complete 180 hours of continuing education credits within a five year period after receiving the credential and within every five year period following. This requirement, titled Act 48, has been in place since 1999. There is no requirement regarding content of the continuing education but it must be offered by a recognized Act 48 provider.
Scope of Practice:
School psychologists with the SEA credential can provide services in public schools (K-12), early childhood and pre-K settings, and private and charter schools. The SEA credential also allows one to provide contract services in schools. More details on scope of practice can be found in CSPG No. 81. Pennsylvania currently permits school psychologists certified through the Pennsylvania Department of Education to engage in private practice outside of the school environment due to an exception in the Pennsylvania state psychological licensure law. This only applies to those school psychologists currently in practice in the Commonwealth who are in good standing and those enrolled in school psychology training programs before June 30, 2018. Additionally, school psychologists must be employed as school psychologists in a public school in order to provide private practice services. This licensure exemption will be eliminated for those entering the field after June 30, 2018.
SEA website: www.education.state.pa.us