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College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

MA in Psychology (Pupil Personnel Services Program)

Program Highlights

Practicum Field Site Evaluations
In the second year of the program, students are assigned to a school or schools for two days a week to complete their school psychology and other related practica. As one way to monitor student progress and to evaluate the professional skills, knowledge, dispositions, and professional work characteristics of each candidate, the Field-Site Supervisor Rating for School Psychology Practicum students is completed by each candidate’s field-site supervisor. The mean ratings for school psychology practicum students in each domain indicate that, as judged by their supervisors, the competency of the practicum students has been at or approaching an independent level by the end of the spring semester. The overall rating was 3.40 for the 2014 cohort, indicating that all four students both individually and as a group, were performing their duties very effectively. In general, the strengths of the practicum students were found to be in Ethical Practices, Counseling, and Intervention/In-Service, which is emphasized in the coursework.

Internship Field Site Evaluations
In the third year of the program, students are assigned to a school or schools for four days a week. During their internship, students are supervised by a credentialed school psychologist on site and also receive support and supervision on campus from their instructors during weekly three-hour seminars associated with the internship. The Field Supervisor Rating for School Psychology Interns is completed by each candidate’s field-site supervisor at the end of both fall and spring semesters. The fall evaluation is considered more formative in nature and the spring more summative. The mean ratings for school psychology interns for each of the 10 domains suggest that the competency of the interns is at least at an independent level (and usually higher) by the end of the spring semester. The overall ratings were 4.00 2014 cohort indicating that all students in this cohort were performing at a level requiring little or no supervision.

Culminating Activity: Comprehensive Exam or Thesis
One student chose the thesis option, while the other four students elected to take the comprehensive exam. Questions covering acquired and applied knowledge of the profession as well as individual case studies were asked of students. One question was a series of terms to be defined by students. The questions in their entirety cover the breadth of the NASP 2010 Standards of Practice. Many of the questions are presented as case studies. Six questions were administered to the 2014 graduating cohort. Students needed to pass five of six questions with a combined rating of “acceptable” or above in order to pass the written portion of the exam. The mean number of questions passed by the students was 4.80, 5, and 4.25 (out of 5) for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 cohorts. A range of “superior” ratings suggests a fair amount of variability among students with respect to the quality of their responses. Students who correctly completed 4 of 5 questions were further required to clarify their response to the incorrect question during the oral portion of the exam. Students who correctly completed 4 of 5 questions were further required to clarify their response to the incorrect question during the oral portion of the exam. A written retake was required if more than one question was determined to be incorrect.

National School Psychology Exam (Praxis II)
Overall, students in 2014 graduating cohort performed exceptionally well on the PRAXIS exam with a 100% pass rate at the level required for national certification (passing score 165) on the first try. This implies comprehensive coverage of all areas by the program and mastery by students. The strongest areas of performance (above the average as determined by Educational Testing Services) across all students included Research-based Academic Practices and Applied Psychological Foundations.

Portfolio Assessment
The portfolio rubric data reflects the evaluation by the School Psychology/PPS Committee. The overall scores are positive and indicate a high quality of student work produced throughout the program. This additional source of information provides a more complete view of each student’s progress and development towards becoming a school psychologist. In year 2, students’ work indicates that they are still mastering skills such as consultation and assessment, while demonstrating proficiency in counseling and intervention. In year 3, students are able to provide documentation of competence in all areas as required by the National Association of School Psychologists. Students have utilized this portfolio during their job search.

Exit Interview on Program Preparation
Program quality was also evaluated by assessing student perceived level of preparation at the completion of their program. All graduates were asked to complete a program exit survey. The results from this survey suggest that students felt prepared upon completion of the program in all areas and well prepared in most. Students rated their sense of preparation in various domains of training on a scale from 1 to 3 (Minimally Prepared to Well Prepared). Overall program ratings averaged 2.50 for AY 2013-14.

Job Placement after Graduation
Four of the five students graduating in 2014 are employed in school districts in California and Nevada. One student was admitted and enrolled into and Ph.D. program.