The School Psychology Professional Diploma Program follows the practitioner-scientist model of school psychology in which practice is based on strong scientific principles. To this end, a major goal of the program is to provide candidates with a solid background in psychology as a foundation for professional development and with a realistic understanding of the functions, methods and problems of the schools. The program seeks to provide its graduates with training in understanding the characteristics of children from diverse economic, cultural, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds so that you will be prepared to recognize and deal with the many variables within the school system which contribute to, or interfere with, a child's progress in learning and personal development. As part of the practitioner-scientist model, the School Psychology Professional Diploma Program is devoted to training candidates in evidence-based practices. Such training calls for the “integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patients’ (students’, in the case of school psychologists) characteristics, culture and preferences (APA, 2005).
In addition to following a practitioner-scientist model, the Professional Diploma in School Psychology adheres to the training and practice standards of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), which is the primary professional development organization for school psychologists. The School Psychology Program has full accreditation from the National Association of School Psychologists. In alignment with the NASP model of training and practice for school psychologists, it incorporates a specific, structured sequence of courses that enables candidates to build and refine competencies focusing on: improvement of academic achievement for all students, support of positive behaviors and social success, development of safe school climates, promotion of effective instruction, strengthening of school-family-community partnerships, and support of diverse students.