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Specialist in School Psychology

The School Psychology program is designed to provide high quality education and training to prepare competent school psychologists for meeting the educational and personal adjustment of children and adolescents in public and private schools.

Based on the scientist-practitioner model, students develop skills in research, assessment, prevention, academic and behavioral intervention, consultation with school professionals and parents, program development, and staff training. Although the primary thrust of the program is to certify school psychologists in the State of Illinois, many current graduates migrate to other states where they also qualify for state certification.

Why Choose EIU for School Psychology

Actively Engaged

Graduate students in the School Psychology program are active in research and the profession. They conduct original research in topics related to the field.

Capstone Experience

Our students have two types of capstone experiences: a thesis and a developmental portfolio. A thesis provides students the opportunity to engage in original research developing expertise in a subject area, and making an important contribution to the field.

Students also complete two portfolios, at the end of their coursework and at the end of their internship experiences assessing knowledge competency and performance competency, respectively.

Placement Record

Graduates of our program have achieved a wide range of professional successes as leaders and advocates of children. We've placed students in internships and employment opportunities within a multitude of communities and school districts all across the state of Illinois as well as the rest of the country. Click here for a sample of internship and employment sites.

Qualities of the Program

  • an excellent student-faculty ratio with abundant opportunities for student-faculty collaboration
  • core courses are taught by individuals with extensive experience in the schools
  • all courses are taught by faculty with doctoral degrees
  • a strong sense of cohesiveness among students
  • extensive opportunities to apply classroom learning to school settings through three semesters of practical, real-world experiences
  • an emphasis on the scientist-practitioner model of training
  • financial support in the form of graduate assistantships for about 80% of our on-campus students
  • an extensive network of loyal and active alumni

Meet our Faculty

Dr. Margaret Floress

Associate Professor

"I have proudly taught for the school psychology graduate program since 2010. Our program at EIU continues to impress me, largely because of the accomplishments of our alumni. Our alumni provide professional trainings and presentations at national conferences, take on administrative roles within school systems, provide independent counseling and evaluation services outside of the school setting, and hold leadership positions within our professional state and national organizations. These accomplishments are in part due to the solid educational foundation students receive in the school psychology program at EIU, including hands-on practical experiences and collaboration with faculty on research. This mentorship and guidance enables our graduates to continue to be leaders in their field.”

Dr. Lyndsay Jenkins

Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Undergraduate Internship Program

“Since joining the school psychology faculty in 2012, I have been impressed with the quality of the training provided to school psychology graduate students at EIU.  Our students are truly scientist-practitioners.  They are provided with intense instruction in foundations of psychological theories, statistics, and measurement, are held to high standards of proficiency in all areas of assessment, conduct original research, and are exposed to the practice of school psychology through a series of three practicum placements that focus on the application of skills learned in the classroom.  I am proud to be part of the group of faculty that mentors such strong school psychologists that go out and serve children and adolescents across the country!"

Dr. Gary Canivez

Professor

“Our school psychology program is specially designed to provide specialist level students comprehensive instruction and supervised experiences in scientific foundations, theory, and applications across the entire array of school psychology practice. As such we emphasize empirically supported practices in prevention, assessment, intervention, and consultation leading to better student outcomes. Since 1995 I have seen our outstanding graduates go on to become valued professionals in the schools or agencies they work and many have become state and national leaders in the profession. Our program is not devoted to one specific model of school psychology practice so students are exposed to the many varied methods and approaches, always with a focus on scientifically supported methods and practices, and training to recognize science from pseudoscience. Such broad training experiences allow our students to be successful everywhere they go."

Don't take our word for it

"I pursued my Specialist in School Psychology at EIU. During the two years of coursework, the faculty members were supportive and I gained valuable hands on experience through practica and graduate assistantship opportunities. This knowledge and experience led to an amazing out-of-state internship in Clark County School District (Las Vegas, NV). I am now pursing my career in the same district as a school psychologist. The Specialist Program is outstanding and truly prepares its students to build a career in the field, in any state or district."

Jordan Wenger (2016)

"From undergraduate psychology to the School Psychology graduate program, EIU is exceptional and matchless. The School Psychology graduate program provides opportunities to grow and develop as individuals, professionals, and members of a team. The professors are genuine and accessible for all their student’s needs. The cohort and professors have a bond that is like a family. This intimate program strives to shape its students into data-based decision makers, and in turn, serve our youth using best practices. as to offer, because you won't find it anywhere else. It's really one of the best choices I've made.”

Michelle Reskto (2016)

"Choosing EIU for my undergraduate and graduate education was the best decision I made throughout college. The small class sizes, caring professors, and research opportunities prepared me for graduate school in school psychology. When deciding where to attend graduate school, EIU was my first choice. I knew I would get the best training from professors who truly were there to help you succeed. The School Psychology program at EIU felt like a family and I would recommend the program to anyone interested in the field."

Morgan Nesbitt (2016)

"I’ve loved my experience in the School Psychology program at EIU. The professors and my classmates became my family. The program prepared me to be successful in my job and made me a highly sought after employee for hire. I cannot thank EIU and the School Psychology professors enough! They truly care about their students and have a genuine interest in their success. Thank you EIU!"

Jordan Poll (2016)

"After reading about the many ways that school psychologists can positively influence the lives of children and families, I knew it was the field for me. The EIU school psychology faculty and program exceeded all of my expectations and gave me the knowledge and skills needed to support children, families, schools, and the wider community in countless ways. For example, I’ve served on the Disaster Mental Health team for the American Red Cross, published research on Response to Intervention (RTI), served on my district’s Emergency Response Team, served as President for my state association, presented at conferences, lectured at multiple universities and colleges, and provided numerous psychoeducational evaluations, consultations, and interventions at my schools. In these and many other roles, I came well-prepared because of the EIU School Psychology program. Furthermore, I didn’t just come away with a top-notch education but also a personal and professional support system of friends and colleagues—the faculty truly care about and take care of their students and graduates. Indeed I’ve written this testimonial almost 10 years after leaving Charleston and they’re still helping me! It’s just not possible for me to say enough good things to do them justice!"

Dr. Michael Maier (2008)

Related Pages

Alumni ContactUndergraduate StudiesClinical Psychology MAFAQs

Contact Information

School Psychology Program

Department of Psychology
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Graduate Coordinator
Assegedetch HaileMariam, Ph.D.

217- 581-6615
Fax: 217-581-6764
ahailemariam@eiu.edu


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