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School Psychology

About the Program

School psychologists have a vital responsibility in the nation's schools to promote mental health and secure quality education for all children. Our Master of Arts/Educational Specialist (MA/EdS) degree in School Psychology is founded on the following philosophical principles:

  • We are morally and ethically compelled to address the inequities in our nation's educational system, such as the underachievement of racial and linguistic minority children and the misidentification of children with disabilities.
  • All knowledge is historically situated. The systemic problems children face in schools exist within a network of social relationships that can be studied and transformed.
  • New knowledge and research are generated within a socio-political context. This context is infused in our program via the reflection upon all aspects of practice through a multicultural lens.
  • We emphasize an expanded, problem solving role for school psychologists built upon an eco-systemic and developmental perspective necessary to address the complex nature of contemporary school related problems.
  • Tufts University's School Psychology Program supports the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy developed by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Our program is geared toward research informed, school based practice. Since School Psychology is writing intensive, our students develop these skills. For the first two years, students are engaged in academic course work, but this balance gradually shifts toward the full time internship experience in the third year. Students work in the field from the beginning of the program and accumulate a minimum of 1950 hours of supervised experience over the three years. Our Step UP Boston program is one example of our commitment to social justice. Providing high quality services in urban and urban rim schools is a program priority. With approximately 15 students admitted each year, we are a relatively small program conveniently located with access to a variety of urban, urban rim, and suburban communities. Students' media needs, access to assessment materials, and travel to professional conferences are well supported. Our program is approved by the state of Massachusetts and by the National Association of School Psychologists making graduates immediately eligible for both a state and national license as a School Psychologist.

About Us: School Psychology Program

Student Involvement

SPARC (School Psychology Awareness and Recruitment Committee) is a student-run group designed to raise awareness among our campus and community about school psychology. SPARC members from each class meet monthly with a faculty representative to plan recruitment initiatives and events such as an open house, student panels, School Psychology Awareness Day, and Interview Day.

Our Focus

School Psychology

The demographics of our nation continue to change, and along with them life in our schools. These complex changes are not limited to urban and urban rim communities, but significantly impact suburban communities as well. Active engagement in the life of complex school systems, with the aim of confronting difficult social problems and promoting equity and fairness for all in the school community, presents many challenges to the practice of school psychology.

The School Psychology Program prepares students to be culturally responsive problem-solvers ready to serve all children from diverse backgrounds across a range of communities. This is accomplished by analyzing children's school-based challenges from multiple perspectives to inform interventions that promote school success.

Thus, our program seeks applicants who are:

  • Diverse, including underrepresented groups in school psychology. Over the past three years, we have averaged 33% of our incoming class representing these groups.
  • Prepared to engage in conversations around issues of race, class, culture, language, gender, and sexuality as they are reproduced in our schools.
  • Willing to question themselves, asking "How do I need to change myself before I can become an effective professional working with all children?"
  • Experienced (volunteer or paid) working with children, adolescents, and/or families in educational or mental health settings, or in a research capacity.

Academic prerequisites include undergraduate coursework and abnormal psychology; a course in child, adolescent, or lifespan development; and a course in statistics, research methods, or measurement in the social sciences. An undergraduate psychology major satisfies all prerequisite course requirements.

Tufts University also offers advanced degrees in the areas of Biological, Cognitive, Developmental, Experimental, and Social Psychology through the Department of Psychology.

Job Placement

On average, 100% of our graduates are employed as school psychologists within three months of graduating from the program. In any given year, 75% are typically employed at schools in Massachusetts across the k-12 age range.

School Psychology

Objectives

  • Address the needs of children, families, and schools with respect to issues of race, class, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.
  • Use problem-solving practices leading to data-based decision making and evidence-based interventions at the individual, group, systems, and policy levels.
  • Demonstrate skills in the areas of assessment, collaborative problem-solving, prevention, mental health counseling, behavioral intervention, and consultation that are culturally informed.
  • Evaluate research evidence (from the professional literature and clinical practice) for intervention planning, program development, and evaluation, with an awareness of the social and political context of all research activity.
  • Engage in ethical, legal and responsible practice encompassing a moral and ethical commitment to addressing inequities in schools.
  • Integrate coursework, field experiences, research skill, and technology into a developing knowledge base that informs practical solutions to school-based problems.