School Psychology

Course Descriptions

The following are courses typically found in the Educational and School Psychology programs. For a complete list of courses visit the School of Education and Human Development Course Listing page at: https://usm.maine.edu/school-of-education-human-development

SPY 425  Multi-Tier Mathematics Instruction and Assessment
This course includes lectures, discussions, guided practice and applied learning experiences  in the scope  and sequence   of progressively  more intensive mathematics instruction and assessment for students  in kindergarten through grade 12. Starting with the five foundations of mathematics instruction (e.g., conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic  competence, adaptive reasoning, productive disposition), the course describes the features of universal (e.g., Tier 1) core mathematics instruction then provides guided practice and applied learning experiences to prepare teachers to use progressively more intensive mathematics  instruction based on student  learning needs. Students will learn how to select and use  scientifically validated mathematics instruction practices for students needing supplemental (e.g., Tier 2) and intensive (e.g., Tier 3 mathematics instruction and assessment. Prerequisites: None. Cr 3.

SPY 427 Multi-Tier Reading Instruction and Assessment
This course includes lectures, discussions, guided practice and applied learning experiences in the scope and sequence of progressively more intensive reading instruction and assessment for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Starting with the five foundations of reading instruction (e.g., phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), the course describes the features of universal (e.g., Tier 1) core reading instruction then provides guided practice and applied learning experiences to prepare teachers to use progressively more intensive reading instruction based on student learning needs. Students will learn how to select and use scientifically validated reading instruction and assessment practices for students needing supplemental (e.g., Tier 2) and intensive (e.g., Tier 3) reading instruction. Prerequisites: None.  Cr 3.

EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
This course studies the concepts, principles, and techniques of educational research with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and problem solving, designed for both the producer and consumer of educational research. Individual critiques and research reviews are completed. Prerequisite: open to matriculated students only. Cr 3.

SPY 601 Behavioral Principles of Learning
This course provides a comprehensive review of the psychological principles of learning derived from experimental research and validated by applied studies. General topics include the philosophical assumptions of behavior analysis, basic behavioral principles, learning with and without words, and behavior analytic measurement concepts. Specific topics include respondent behavior and conditioning, operant behavior and conditioning, stimulus control, motivating operations, schedule influences on behavior, observational learning, and verbal and rule-governed behavior. The course is designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of the concepts and principles of behavior analysis and thereby provide a solid grounding for assessment and intervention courses with a behavior analytic orientation. Prerequisites: None. Cr 3.

SPY 602 Single Case Research Methods
This course is designed to introduce students to research designs used in a comprehensive, systematic process of decision making and problem solving. This course will emphasize methods for evaluating the effectiveness of academic and behavioral interventions for school-aged children. A history of experimental design, types of experimental reasoning, and experimental validity lay the groundwork for understanding how single-case research designs are used to assess the efficacy of applied interventions. Students will learn how to identify and record behaviors, analyze and display data, match research designs to the research question, and flexibly employ research designs in applied settings. Finally, students will be exposed to technology and information resources applicable to conducting single-case research. Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of SPY 601 or program permission.  Cr 3.

SPY 604 Functional Behavioral Assessment
This course examines a variety of behavioral assessment methods for (a) identifying the variables that contribute to behavioral problems and (b) guiding the design of effective behavioral interventions. Functional behavioral assessment techniques covered in this course include interviews, observations, descriptive assessments, and functional analyses. Applied learning experiences integrated throughout the course provide students with opportunities to practice designing, conducting, and interpreting functional behavioral assessments. Prerequisites: SPY 601 and 602 or program permission.  Cr. 3.

SPY 605 Principles and Procedures for Instructional Intervention
The primary focus of this course is to provide graduate students with exposure to evidence-based systematic instruction methods that are used within school/agency settings. This course will review functional assessment procedures used to identify appropriate educational programs for students/clients. This course will emphasize instruction and practice in implementing empirically supported interventions for promoting academic, social, communication, and life skills. Procedures such as shaping, chaining, discrete trial teaching, task analysis, incidental teaching, functional communication, and direct social skills instruction will be considered.   Prerequisites: SPY 601 or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 606 Principles and Procedures for Behavior Intervention
This course emphasizes the application of applied behavior analysis interventions in addressing socially meaningful behaviors within applied settings. This course will focus on the application of behavior analytic principles and procedures to decrease disruptive behaviors and increase adaptive replacement behaviors. The course includes a blend of assigned readings, lecture, discussion, clinical case examples, and applied learning experiences to develop student competencies. The dynamic interactions between academic, social-emotional, behavioral, and diversity influences on student functioning will be considered.  Prerequisites: SPY 601 and SPY 605 or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 607 Consultation and Collaborative Problem-Solving
This course examines how school psychologists and behavior analysts utilize collaboration and consultation skills to promote effective implementation of interventions that address the academic, social-emotional and behavioral needs of school-aged children and their families. This course will review varied models of consultation (e.g., behavioral, mental health, and problem-solving) and analyze the skills needed to collaborate effectively with diverse individuals (e.g., parents/caregivers, educators, and community professionals). The role of consultation will be explored within a data-based, collaborative problem-solving approach to the delivery of a continuum of services that include assessment (e.g., functional behavioral assessment), intervention (e.g., behavior intervention plans), staff supports (e.g., behavioral skills training), and the application of single case research designs to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. This course includes a blend of lecture, discussion, role play and applied learning experiences.  Prerequisites: SPY 601, SPY 602, SPY 604, SPY 605, SPY 606, and SPY 608, or program permission.  Cr 3.

SPY 608 Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis
This course provides in-depth preparation for ethical practices in behavior analysis. Drawing from the ethical standards of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the course includes readings and application of ethical standards for clinical and school settings, including the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.  Prerequisites: Matriculation in Educational or School Psychology program, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 609 Professional Ethics in Psychology
This course provides in-depth preparation for ethical practices in school psychology. Drawing from national and international ethical standards from the American Psychological Association (APA), Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the course includes readings and application of ethical standards for school settings. The course is designed to meet the ethics training standards set by APA, ASPPB, NASP, and the Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Special consideration is given to school psychologists ethical obligations to promote family-school collaboration. Prerequisites: Matriculation in School Psychology Program, or with program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 610 Systems-Level Services to Promote Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health
This course provides knowledge of principles and research related to multitiered prevention systems, resilience and risk factors associated with social-behavioral problems, and evidence-based strategies for crisis intervention. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills necessary to achieve collaboration between school and family systems to enhance the social-behavioral outcomes of students. Prerequisites: Matriculation in School Psychology program, or program permission.  Cr 3.

SPY 620 Multitiered Systems of Academic Support for General and Special Education
This course provides training in knowledge and skills for the implementation of a multitiered system of support (MTSS) in school settings, including students with suspected or identified disabilities. Students will gain knowledge about school system structures and organization, including general and special education. Through a problem-solving framework, students will learn how to conduct universal academic screening in order to identify students who might be at risk for later academic difficulties. Based on knowledge of human development and effective instructional methods, students will learn to select, implement, and use evidence-based instructional methods and progress monitoring to evaluate individual and group outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on the principles of effective instruction and the importance of collaboration among school personnel to help all students access effective instruction through a multitiered continuum of services. Students will gain knowledge about the importance of intervention integrity and regular data review procedures in order to support the academic learning needs of all students. Prerequisites: None.  Cr 3.

SPY 625 Advanced Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Mathematics
This course will provide advanced training in application of knowledge and skills related to multi-tier (MTSS) methods to support elementary mathematics instruction and assessment.  Students will learn how to select and use universal benchmark screening measures, empirically-based core curricula, supplemental and intensive math interventions, and weekly progress measures.  Through readings, discussion and practice, students will develop the skills necessary to set up,  implement, and evaluate MTSS practices to support elementary math achievement for all students. Cr 3.

SPY 627 Advanced Multi-Tier Instruction and Assessment for Reading
This course will provide advanced training in application of knowledge and skills related to multi-tier (MTSS) methods to support instruction and assessment for students with reading disorders.  Students will learn how to select and use universal benchmark screening measures, empirically-based core curricula, supplemental and intensive reading interventions, and weekly progress measures.  Through readings, discussion and practice, students will develop the skills necessary to set up, implement, and evaluate MTSS practices to support reading achievement for all students. Cr 3.

SPY 640 Supervision and Performance Management in Applied Behavior Analysis
This seminar provides training in knowledge and skills pertaining to best practice methods of personnel supervision and management within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Behavioral skills training and performance management strategies will be featured as models for increasing behavior analytic competencies of supervisees. Students will review ethical and supervision standards established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Through readings, discussions, and case examples, students will: (a) conduct a self-assessment of professional competencies in applied behavior analysis and (b) use the self-assessment data to design an individualized professional development plan to guide goals, objectives, and learning activities when conducting or receiving supervision. Prerequisites: Successful completion of SPY 601, SPY 602, and SPY 604 and matriculation in the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis or MS in Educational Psychology (with concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis) program, or program permission required. Cr 3.

SPY 670 Cognitive Affective Bases of Behavior
This course provides an in-depth study of cognition and affect, including perception, attention, learning and thinking, memory, executive functioning, self-control, motivation, and language. The course provides students with knowledge about (1) biological, cultural, and social influences on cognitive skills, (2) human learning, cognitive, affective, and developmental processes, and (3) biological, cultural, social, and developmental influences on behavior, mental health, and learning. Prerequisites: Matriculation in the School Psychology program, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 671 Physical Bases of Behavior
This course examines the biological bases of behavior. Biological, anatomical, physiological, neurological, biochemical, and endrocrinological factors that influence behavior are explored. The course also considers the structure and function of the nervous system in relation to both typical and atypical patterns of child development and functioning. Accordingly, biological influences on learning, memory, attention, motivation, emotion, and other domains of educational performance will be discussed. Prerequisites: None. Cr 3.

SPY 672 Assessments and Interventions to Develop Academic Skills
This course is designed to prepare students to engage in a comprehensive systematic process of effective decision making and problem solving while conducting academic assessments and designing academic interventions for children of all backgrounds. Students will learn to select, administer, score, and interpret measures of academic achievement including published norm-referenced tests, criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based assessments, and performance-based assessments as part of data collection process relevant to assessment. Students will develop an understanding of how to use measures of academic achievement as part of a comprehensive problem solving process that provides data to determine the effectiveness of instructional interventions. During the assessment and intervention processes, students will learn how to apply their knowledge of human learning, cognition, development, and technology as well as knowledge of biological and social factors to enhance children’s cognitive and academic skills. Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDU 600 and HCE 605 and matriculation in the School Psychology program, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 673 Social Foundations of Behavior
This course examines the social foundations of behavior. Students will gain an understanding of the science of social psychology by reading and critically evaluating both classic and current research in the field. Topics such as conformity, mass communication and persuasion, social cognition, self-justification, human aggression, stereotypes and prejudice, group dynamics, and inter-group relations will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the implications of social psychology research for promoting prosocial behavior in school environments. Prerequisites: None. Cr 3.

SPY 674 Psychopathology
This course acquaints the student with definitions of and development of normal versus abnormal behavior from infancy through adulthood as well as presents common classification systems for psychopathology. Continuity from normal to abnormal behaviors, behavior problems in children as indices of pathology, and the prediction of psychopathology in adolescence and adulthood are also considered. The course takes a developmental orientation to psychopathology and discusses specific disorders in terms of symptoms, age considerations, and family and sociocultural dynamics. Prerequisites: Matriculation in the School Psychology program, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 675 Indirect Behavioral Assessment
This course examines a variety of analog behavior assessment methods addressing social emotional behavior issues. Assessment techniques covered in the course include psycho-social interviews, behavior rating scales, social skills assessments, and adaptive behavior assessments. This course includes practical experiences in which students are supervised in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of assessment procedures. Prerequisites: Matriculation in the School Psychology program and satisfactory completion of EDU 600 and HCE 605, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 677 Cognitive Assessment
This course is designed to prepare students to conduct cognitive assessments which inform academic interventions. Students will learn to select, administer, score, and interpret measures of intellectual functioning. Students will develop an understanding of how to use measures of intellectual functioning as part of a comprehensive problem-solving process that drives effective accommodations and interventions. Prerequisites: EDU 600, HCE 605, and matriculation in the School Psychology program. Cr 3.

SPY 679 Diversity in the Science and Practice of Psychology
This course provides conceptual foundations and skills needed by psychologists to work with diverse client populations. Students will identify individual differences and diverse characteristics that impact student learning. Readings and discussion will emphasize understanding the influence of diversity factors in order to promote effective and equitable assessment and intervention practices. The identification and development of skills to collaborate with school staff, interpreters, cultural brokers, and community liaisons will explored through case studies and role-play. Students will participate in activities to help recognize in themselves and others subtle racial, class, gender, and cultural biases that may influence decision-making, instruction, behavior, and outcomes for students. Ethical and legal considerations for working with students of diverse backgrounds will also be highlighted. Prerequisites: Matriculation in school psychology program or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 693 School Psychology Practicum I
The 300 clock hour Practicum I is an introductory supervised experience in school psychology. Practicum I provides students with introductory experiences in school psychology and an opportunity to gain familiarity with the culture, systems, and educational practices within schools. Students in the School Psychology Program must complete 3 credits of SPY 693 during the first 2 years in the program, and they typically complete 1 credit per semester. Students complete practicum experiences on an individualized basis under the joint supervision of an appropriately certified/licensed school psychologist in the placement setting and a member of the core School Psychology Program faculty. Supervisors work individually with students to plan and complete a sequence of activities representing the core domains of school psychology practice. Prerequisites: Matriculation in the School Psychology program and program permission. Cr 1-3.

SPY 694 School Psychology Practicum II
The 300 clock hour Practicum II is an advanced experience within a school or related clinical setting. Practicum II provides students with supervised experiences in psychological assessment, intervention, consultation and other aspects of school psychology practice. Students in the School Psychology Program must complete 3 credits of SPY 694 during the last 2 years of coursework, and they typically complete one credit per semester. Students complete practicum experiences on an individualized basis under the joint supervision of an appropriately licensed/credentialed school psychologist in the placement setting and a member of the core School Psychology Program faculty. Supervisors work individually with students to plan and complete a sequence of activities representing a broad range of psychological services and all domains of school psychology practice. Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of 3 credits of SPY 693 and program permission. Cr 1-3.

SPY 697 Statistics
This course is designed to introduce students to quantitative research designs used in a comprehensive, systematic process of decision making and problem solving. This course will emphasize the application of inferential statistics for program evaluation and applied research projects in education and psychology. Students will learn and apply basic parametric and non-parametric statistical procedures, including t-tests, Chi Square, Regression, and ANOVA. Students will learn how to analyze and display data, match research designs to the research question, and flexibly employ research designs in applied settings. Finally, students will be exposed to technology and information resources applicable to conducting statistical research. Cross-listed with EDU 705. Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of EDU 600 or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 699 Independent Study in School Psychology
This course provides students with opportunity to pursue a project independently, planning and exploring a topic of interest within the field of school psychology. The project must be research-based, intellectually sound, and reflect a high caliber of performance. Specific content and methods of evaluation will be determined in collaboration with the instructor. An approved proposal is a necessary prerequisite to registration. Prerequisites: Matriculation in Psy.D. in School Psychology. Cr var.

SPY 709 History, Systems, and the Profession of Psychology
This course covers the history of modern psychology and describes the development and role of school psychology as a specialty area. The history of multiple service delivery models and methods of school psychology will be explored through readings and research. Additionally, students will develop knowledge related to professional dispositions and effective practice as a school psychologist. To enhance professional practice, students will learn about relevant technology and identify professional development opportunities. Prerequisites: Matriculation in PsyD in School Psychology Program or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 727 Seminar in Academic Assessment and Intervention
This course provides in-depth training in knowledge and skills for academic assessment and intervention practices. Through a problem-solving framework, students will learn advanced practices in screening and individual assessment methods to inform interventions aimed at improving academic engagement and learning for all students including those of diverse backgrounds. Students will increase their ability to use ethical practices to evaluate the suitability, acceptability, and usability of academic interventions by reviewing relevant research and other data sources. Based on knowledge of cognition, learning, and developmental processes, students will broaden their ability select, implement, and use data to evaluate evidence-based academic interventions. Emphasis will be placed on developing collaborative skills to be able to work with other school personnel in the assessment and intervention process. Students will gain advanced knowledge in the use of information and assistive technology resources to enhance learning, intervention acceptability, and treatment fidelity. Prerequisites: Matriculation in PsyD in School Psychology program and completion of SPY 620 and SPY 672, or program permission.  Cr 3.

SPY 729 Seminar in Behavioral Assessment and Intervention for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
This doctoral seminar provides training in knowledge and skills pertaining to best practices in conducting functional behavioral assessment and using the results of assessments to design individually tailored function-based interventions. This course will emphasize the application of behavior analytic problem solving approach to address a wide range of referral concerns (e.g., self-injurious, aggressive, stereotypic, destructive oppositional, and other forms of interfering behaviors) with a focus on developing strategies that minimize interfering behaviors and maximize prosocial replacement behaviors. This course will also include practice in report writing and in developing procedures for documenting the effectiveness of interventions. Prerequisites: Matriculation in PsyD in School Psychology program and completion of SPY 601, 602, 604, 606, and 607, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 730 Seminar in Behavioral Assessment and Intervention for Individuals with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
This doctoral seminar provides students with advanced training in the application of best-practices assessment and treatment of behaviors evoked by depression, anxiety, and other related mental health disorders in children, adolescents and young adults. This advanced course uses a problem solving framework for assessing behavior, designing evidence-based interventions, and collecting data to document the effectiveness of interventions. Prerequisite: Matriculation in PsyD in School psychology program and completion of SPY 601, 602, 604, 606, and 607, or program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 740 Supervision in School Psychology
This doctoral seminar provides training in knowledge and skills pertaining to best practices clinical supervision within the field of School Psychology. Behavioral skills training and performance management strategies will be featured as models for increasing clinical skills of supervisees. Students will review supervision standards established by the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Psychological Association, the Maine Department of Education, and the Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Readings, discussions, and case examples will be used to develop competencies. Students will also (a) conduct a self-assessment of professional competencies in School psychology (e.g., assessment, collaborative problem solving consultation, clinical interventions, evaluating the efficacy of interventions) and (b) use the self-assessment data to design an individualized professional development plan to guide pre-doctoral internship goals, objectives, and learning experiences. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated PsyD in School Psychology students preparing for internship within a year or with program permission. Cr 3.

SPY 751 Directed Study in Clinical Research
This course provides an opportunity for directed study in the clinical research techniques appropriate for educational and clinical settings. Students will select a research topic that advances current knowledge in the field of school psychology and promotes children’s academic, social, emotional, or behavioral success within school or clinical settings. Students will conduct a comprehensive literature review, identify a clinically relevant research question, design a research methodology and data analysis plan, prepare hypothesized results, and defend their proposal. Prerequisites: Open to matriculated Psy.D. students who have successfully completed the Psy.D. Comprehensive Examination. Graded Pass/Fail.  Cr 3.

SPY 759 Dissertation in School Psychology
This course includes the activities necessary to implement, evaluate, and summarize a research project (dissertation) related to the field of school psychology.  After submitting a proposal for approval by the Institutional Review Board and obtaining informed consent from potential research participants, students will implement the research protocol, analyze the resulting data, develop a manuscript to report their findings, and publicly defend their work. Graded Pass/Fail.  Prerequisites: Open only to matriculated Psy.D. students who have successfully completed SPY 751. Cr 3 (may be repeated)

SPY 788 Pre-Doctoral Internship in School Psychology
The pre-doctoral internship is the culminating supervised field experience in school psychology. The pre-doctoral internship includes a planned sequence of educational and training experiences to promote students' development of professional-level competencies in the areas of assessment, intervention, consultation, supervision, and applied research. Students enrolled in the pre-doctoral internship complete 1,500-2,000 hours of work experience while receiving a minimum of 4 hours per week of field-based supervision, regular opportunities for peer interaction and support, and systematic formative and summative performance-based evaluations. Students complete a minimum of 750 hours of the pre-doctoral experience in school settings delivering psychological services to children and adolescents, and they complete all hours in educational or clinical settings that provide evidence-based psychological services. The experience may be completed on a full-time basis over one year (no less than 48 weeks) or on a half-time basis over two years (no more than 104 weeks). Prerequisites: Matriculation in the PsyD in School Psychology Program; successful completion of all required academic courses and the comprehensive exam; and permission of the instructor. Cr var. (total of 9 semester hours for the internship).