School Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a school psychologist?
What credentials are needed to practice school psychology in Maine? 
Are there any jobs for school psychology practitioners in Maine and elsewhere?
Do I need a bachelor's degree in psychology or another advanced degree to apply to the USM School Psychology program?
If I already have a Master's degree in counseling or social work, can I count the classes I took in that program toward the Psy.D. in School Psychology to become certified or licensed in school psychology?
May I take certain School Psychology Program classes before I apply to see if I like the program or before I am admitted if I am awaiting an admissions decision?
Are Psy.D. internships paid?
Must the internship be completed in Maine?
What are examples of field placement sites?

 

The Profession of School Psychology

What is a school psychologist?

School psychologists are professionals with specialized training in the application of psychology methods in school settings. School psychologists must complete graduate-level academic training and field-based internships. Some school psychology professionals have a master's degree, some a specialist degree, and some a doctorate. Although the specific duties of each professional vary according to the school setting, the major focus of school psychology work includes assessment, intervention, and consultation to help students succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.

What credentials are needed to practice school psychology in Maine? 

There are two credentials that allow school psychology practice privileges in Maine. These are:

School Psychologist (093): This certificate is granted by the Maine Department of Education to individuals with a master’s degree or doctorate in school psychology, who completed specific coursework and a 1500-hour supervised internship experience. The certificate grants privileges for school-based practices with children from preschool through grade 12.

Licensed Psychologist (LP): This license is granted by the Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists and open only to those with a doctorate in psychology from an approved training program who completed a pre-doctoral internship and a 1500-hour supervised post-doctoral experience. Applicants also must pass a jurisprudence examination from the Board of Examiners of Psychologists and the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The license grants public and private practice privileges for all areas of psychology in which the licensee is properly trained.

Are there any jobs for school psychology practitioners in Maine and elsewhere?

Yes. Although often unadvertised, there is usually a shortage of school psychology practitioners in Maine. Most of the shortages are in rural areas, but there are annual part and full-time openings in Southern Maine and elsewhere. Nationally, there is a shortage of school psychologists.

Admissions to USM’s School Psychology Program

Do I need a bachelor's degree in psychology or another advanced degree to apply to the USM School Psychology program?

No. Individuals may apply to the Psy.D. in School Psychology Program with any earned bachelor's degree. Applicants do not need to have majored in psychology. 

If I already have a Master's degree in counseling or social work, can I count the classes I took in that program toward the Psy.D. in School Psychology to become certified or licensed in school psychology?

Maybe. The Psy.D. in School Psychology requires 111 credits and culminates in a 1,500 hour internship. School psychology students who have a prior graduate degree which included coursework that overlaps with School Psychology Program requirements may be able to transfer certain courses. However, no more than 45 credits of the Psy.D. in School Psychology Program can be waived.

May I take certain School Psychology Program classes before I apply to see if I like the program or before I am admitted if I am awaiting an admissions decision?

Yes. Non-degree students may take up to two courses prior to applying for admission to the Psy.D. in School Psychology Program. The following courses are options prior to admission and matriculation:

HCE 668: Human Growth and Development
SED 540: Nature and Needs of Learners Who are Exceptional
SPY 601: Behavioral Principles of Learning
SPY 671: Physical Bases of Behavior

After a complete application for admission to the Psy.D. in School Program has been submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants may request to take up to two more courses prior to being admitted as a matriculated student. These applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Requests to take up to two additional classes while admissions decisions are pending should be sent to:

Dr. Jamie Pratt, PsyD, BCBA-D
Department of Educational and School Psychology, Chair
University of Southern Maine
8 Bailey Hall
Gorham, ME 04038
Jamie.pratt1@maine.edu

Please also note that successful completion of a USM graduate course does not guarantee that an applicant will be admitted to any of the USM graduate programs. 

Internship Requirements for the School Psychology Program

Are Psy.D. internships paid?

Yes. The stipend amount for an internship varies significantly by site, but the minimum stipend for a doctoral-level intern is $15,000. Program faculty assist students in finding an internship that is matched to the student's needs and interests.

Must the internship be completed in Maine?

No. Students may complete their internships in other states, pending approval by program faculty.

What are examples of field placement sites?

The USM School Psychology Program faculty offer their sincere appreciation to 2017-2018 field placement supervisors, including licensed Psychologists and certified School Psychologists at the following sites:

  • AOS 92 (Winslow, Maine)
  • Brunswick School Department (Brunswick, Maine)
  • Eastern Maine Counseling and Testing Services (Bangor, Maine)
  • Foreside Behavior Associates (Falmouth, Maine)
  • Maine Child Psychology (Belgrade, Maine)
  • Margaret Murphy Center for Children (Lewiston/Auburn, Maine)
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (Palmer, Alaska)
  • MSAD 75 (Topsham, Maine)
  • Portland School District (Portland, Maine)
  • RSU 10 (Dixfield, Maine)
  • RSU 12 (Somerville, Maine)
  • RSU 14 (Windham, Maine)
  • SAU #3 (Berlin, New Hampshire)
  • Seacoast Mental Health Center (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
  • Spring Harbor Hospital/Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders (Westbrook, Maine)
  • University Health and Counseling Services (Portland/Gorham, Maine)