Department of Psychology




The School Psychology Program at Emporia State University

Click Here to Access the 2015-16 Candidate Handbook

Why should you choose the School Psychology Program at Emporia State University?  The answer… Experience.  As the first School Psychology Program offered in this four-state region, we have a long-standing history of respect and tradition.  Our candidates began collaboration with schools in 1952, and to this day ESU-trained school psychologists serve in virtually all districts and special education cooperatives in Kansas.  At Emporia State University’s School Psychology Program, the core trainers are tenured professors, with doctorates in school psychology and several decades of experience in the field.  If you are interested in working with children with diverse characteristics and backgrounds, and in providing them preventative as well as remedial services to help them achieve success, then our NASP-accredited program may be for you.


At ESU, candidates first learn to be members of multidisciplinary teams, completing initial training in association with candidates from disciplines such as adaptive education, early childhood, gifted education, educational administration, and clinical psychology.  During this time, candidates learn theory, characteristics and methods related to preschool and school-aged children with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, mental retardation, autism, serious emotional disturbance, and more.  These classroom experiences enhance candidate’s understanding of the cross-disciplinary nature of the school psychology profession.  Concurrently with this course work, candidates take core school psychology courses to help them understand the foundations of their chosen profession.  Later in the program, candidates conduct research, undertake evaluations and assessments of clients, and complete other field-based training during practicum and internship experiences.


The School Psychology Program progresses from a 35 credit-hour Master of Science (M.S.) earned en passant, with its emphasis on theory and research, to the 30 credit-hour terminal Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) with its focus on greater skill application and the practicum field experience.  In many instances, potential candidates who already have an M.S. in a related field such as adaptive education or clinical psychology are eligible to apply directly to the Ed.S. program, provided that they have the equivalent of all M.S. course work before completing the Ed.S. degree (see the candidate handbook for more details described in the Ed.S. degree requirements section, or contact the program director at to review your options).  Upon completion of the Ed.S. degree, and a passing score on the Praxis II National School Psychology Examination, the candidate obtains a conditional (sometimes called “provisional”) license from KSDE.  This allows them to begin a four credit-hour, year-long paid internship in the schools.  With internship complete, the 69-credit hour program is complete.  This means the individual will have eligibility for a regular EC-12 Kansas license, as well as eligibility to obtain the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential.



The Emporia State University School Psychology Program seeks to develop scientist-practitioners, capable of delivering comprehensive and effective school psychological services in varied school contexts.  The faculty are committed to interaction with candidates in a way which encourages their professional identity with the profession of school psychology.  Our intent is to create candidates who will promote the cognitive, behavioral, and social development of young children and adolescents, working with youth and families of diverse characteristics.  To do so effectively, we believe that candidates should be prepared to:

  • Make empirically-based decisions and use research-based practices.
  • Demonstrate assessment practices which contribute to an understanding of student needs, by being valid, reliable, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and appropriate for culturally and linguistically diverse populations.
  • Link assessment to all other roles of the school psychologist, including intervention, and treatment efficacy.
  • Recognize the uniqueness of all students, and create goals developmentally appropriate to their individual characteristics across all relevant domains.
  • Implement and evaluate theoretically and empirically sound, population-based educational and mental health programming for school personnel, families and children.
  • Work collaboratively with others in problem-solving situation, utilizing eclectic consultation models with school personnel, parents, community and state agencies to systemically address needs.
  • Recognize schools as systems, and help structure comprehensive services which acknowledge factors such as school climate, family involvement, special and general education resources, and community influences which contribute to effective learning.
  • Advocate for the needs of individual students, and for environments which promote the health and well-being of all children.
  • Support their profession, pursuing ongoing professional development to promote collegiality as well as to assure they grow into a reflective practitioner who always understands and follows contemporary professional, ethical and legal standards.

The Emporia State University School Psychology Program supports the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy developed by the National Association of School Psychologists.”  NASP’s long standing commitment to the just and fair treatment of all persons is underscored by the inclusion of diversity as a core value in the strategic plan. Diversity in development and learning is one of the 10 domains of school psychology practice and is considered one of the foundational knowledge sets for the profession: “School psychologists ensure that their knowledge, skills, and professional practices reflect the understanding and respect for human diversity and promote effective services, advocacy, and social justice for all children, families, and schools (NASP, 2010).” It is with these principles in mind that the NASP Delegate Assembly adopted the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy in 2011.


Applying for Admittance to the School Psychology Program

A comprehensive review of the School Psychology Program’s assessment system, with full detail on admissions, transition from M.S. to Ed.S. candidacy, disposition assessment and more is provided in the Candidate Handbook linked above.   For ease of reference, an overview of the basic admissions process is provided here.

Students seeking acceptance into the graduate degree programs for Master of Science/Specialist in Education in School Psychology must first be admitted to the Graduate School of the University.  This occurs by meeting the following requirements:

  • Submission of an "Application for Admission to Graduate Study" form online at
  • Submission of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A grade point average of not less than 3.0 overall, or a 3.25 on the last 60 semester hours for the masters program, and 3.50 on the masters program coursework for admission to the Education Specialist degree.
  • Course prerequisites:  A minimum of 20 semester hours of background courses in undergraduate psychology (not including introductory psychology), or the content of those courses completed via course equivalents as determined by core program faculty.  This must include work in statistics, descriptive and/or experimental methods, developmental, history/foundations, personality theory, and learning theory (or a cognitive or educational psychology equivalent to a learning theory course).  Abnormal psychology and psychological testing courses are suggested as part of this background, but are not required.  In addition, a 3 semester hour Survey of Exceptionality (sometimes called Introduction to Special Education) course is needed.  It is not uncommon that some prerequisite course work is missing for applicants; certain aspects may be met concurrently with School Psychology Program studies.  Individuals with an M.S. degree in a field related to school psychology may already have met these requirements via related coursework, and should discuss these prerequisites with an advisor during the admissions process.
  • Documented supervised work experience in working with, supervising, and/or caring for children and youth in a supervised setting is a required part of the application process for all licensure programs approved in the state of Kansas.  Required documentation forms with instructions can be downloaded at
  • Submission of scores that are, in the least, within the average range relative to applicants to psychology graduate programs (cf. on either the Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test.  Applicants with an M.S. in school psychology or a related field such as clinical psychology or special education may meet this requirement if they show exceptional performance in their M.S. course work.
  • Three letters of recommendation (form available at from professionals who can comment on the applicant’s potential for completing advanced graduate studies.  Additional letters (e.g., from friends or family members) which address issues the candidate believes relevant may also be submitted, but the application is not complete without the three letters from professionals that provide the information requested in the form. Instead of using the paper forms, you could complete the online form here.  
  • Completion of an admissions interview, which may be done via phone, with a member of the School Psychology Program core faculty. 
  • A statement of purpose or letter of intent with their materials. Its purpose is to introduce themselves to the committee. What do they want to study? Why do they want to study it? What experience or background do they have relevant to this area? What do they plan to do with their degree once they have it? It should also explain anything in the application materials that they believe should be elaborated upon, make clear that they understand and care about the profession of school psychology, and should demonstrate that they have the academic background, maturity, and diligence to succeed in the program. Some helpful suggestions as to what such a letter might contain can be seen at Applications are not accepted without a letter of intent, as providing one helps the admission committee understand the context of the application and can facilitate admissions decisions.
  • Candidates in the program who have completed an M.S. in school psychology at ESU, and who have applied to move foward into the Ed.S. program, need a letter of recommendation completed by one core faculty member in the program.

          These items are all required:  Applications are not considered complete and will not be reviewed until all of these elements have been received.

           Although applications are accepted year-round, in order to offer applicants an assurance that an admissions decision and enrollment may begin on the desired schedule, applications should meet specified deadlines. Applications should be completed by March 1st to assure that a program of study may begin during the fall semester, and October 1st for a program of study which begins during the spring semester. Materials arriving after those dates will be given due consideration, but an admissions decision may not be completed in time for enrollment during the desired semester.

Materials may be submitted, and/or admissions questions directed to:

Attn: School Psychology Admissions Committee

Office of Graduate Studies

1200 Commercial St., Campus Box 4003

Emporia, Kansas  66801

Voice: (620) 341-5403

Fax: (620) 341-5909

Questions specific to the School Psychology Program should be sent to the director Dr. Jim Persinger at or phone (620) 341-5428.  Most questions will probably be addressed in the latest program information, including the candidate handbook that can be downloaded via the link atop this page.

Typical Plan of Study

          The following plan of study leads to the Master's and Specialist's degrees and Kansas State Department of Education School Psychologist Certification.  See the Candidate Handbook for additional information and to review the notes associated with some of the courses listed.

          This sequence assumes all background/prerequisite courses in psychology and education, as detailed in admissions requirements, have been completed prior to beginning the School Psychology Program.  This plan of study assumes a candidate has entered into the M.S. program with no transfer credit and no probationary requirements, and who elects to complete an Ed.S. thesis rather than an Ed.S. project.

          This plan will vary significantly for those accepted directly into the Ed.S. program, dependent upon the characteristics of their M.S. degree course work, and which courses taken earlier are acceptable M.S. or Ed.S. equivalents for purpose of licensure, transfer credit and/or substitution on degree plan. “The Handbook has additional information: In particular, use Appendix U as a checklist of what course work must be documented for you to obtain licensure.”

Fall - First Year
• PY 835 Seminar in School Psychology   3
• PY 714 Assessing Young Children with Special Needs   3
• SD 700 Characteristics Mild/Moderate Disability   3
• PY 722 Theories of Learning   3
• SC or CE 810 Counseling Skills Development   2
Total 14

Spring - First Year
• PY 841 Assessment of Intelligence   3
• ER 752 Analysis of Research1   3
• PY 812 Foundations of Assessment in Sped / Student Support   3
• PY 851 Seminar in Behavior Modification   3
Total 12

Summer - First Year
• PY 709 Introduction to Neuropsychology   1
• PY 836 School-Based Prevention and Intervention   3
• PY 801 School Psychological Consultation   3
• PY 860 Leading Processes to Meet Diverse Student Needs   3
Total 10

Fall - Second Year
• EA 885 Human Relations / Group Processes in Education   2
• CD 838 Advanced Methods for Inclusive Education in EC2   3
• PY 843 PsychoEducational Assessment   3
• SD 850 Characteristics of Individuals with Gifts & Talents   3
Total 11

You’re eligible to have your M.S. in School Psychology awarded at the end of this fall semester, meaning you can “walk” in the fall commencement ceremony if you wish. This assumes you have filed your intent to graduate in a timely manner, have a degree plan on file with your advisor, and passed comprehensive examinations.

Spring - Second Year
• PY 838 Supervised Practice in School Psychology   6
• ER 857 Statistical Methods for Education & Psychology II   3
• PY 900 Thesis or PY844 Ed.S. Project3    1 - 6
Total 10-15

Summer - Second Year
• PY 820 Response to Intervention in School Psychology   3
• Elective (From approved list)4   1-3
Total 4-6

You’re eligible to have your Ed.S. in School Psychology awarded at the end of this summer semester, meaning you can “walk” in the spring commencement ceremony if you wish. This assumes you have filed your intent to graduate in a timely manner, have a degree plan on file with your advisor, and have completed thesis or project research requirements.

Fall - Third Year
• PY 910 Internship in School Psychology I   2

Spring - Third Year
• PY 920 Internship in Psychology II   2

Program Total 69


 Program Goals and NASP-Approved Domains of Professional Practice

          ESU’s program goals match those identified by the Kansas State Department of Education, which themselves link to domains of school psychology training and practice established by the National Association of School Psychologists in 2000 (2010 NASP Standards currently under review by NCATE).

  1. The school psychologist uses varied models and methods of assessment as part of a systematic process to collect data and other information, translate assessment results into empirically-based decisions about service delivery, and evaluate the outcomes of services. (Links to NASP Standard 2.1:  Data-based Decision-Making and Accountability).
  2. The school psychologist has knowledge of behavioral, mental health, collaborative, and/or other consultation models and methods and of the application to particular situations.  The school psychologist collaborates and consults effectively with others in planning and decision-making processes at the individual, group, and system levels. (Links to NASP Standard 2.2:  Consultation and Collaboration)
  3. The school psychologist, in collaboration with others, develops appropriate cognitive and academic goals for students with different abilities, disabilities, strengths, and needs, implements intervention to achieve those goals, and evaluates the effectiveness of intervention. Links to NASP Standard 2.3:  Effective Instruction and Development of Cognitive/Academic Skills).
  4. The school psychologist, in collaboration with others, develops appropriate behavioral, affective, adaptive, and social goals for students of varying abilities, disabilities, strengths, and needs, implements interventions to achieve those goals, and evaluates the effectiveness of intervention. (Links to NASP Standard 2.4:  Socialization and Development of Life Skills).
  5. The school psychologist demonstrates the sensitivity and skills needed to work with individuals of diverse characteristics and to implement strategies selected based on individual characteristics, strengths, and needs. (Links to NASP Standard 2.4:  Student Diversity in Development and Learning).
  6. The school psychologist has knowledge of general education, special education, and other educational and related services and understands schools and other settings as systems.  The school psychologist works with individuals and groups to facilitate policies and practices that create and maintain safe, supportive, and effective learning environments for children and others. (Links to NASP Standard 2.6:  Schools and Systems Organization, Policy Development, and Climate).
  7. The school psychologist provides or contributes to prevention and intervention programs that promote the mental health and physical well-being of students. (Links to NASP Standard 2.7:  Prevention, Crisis Intervention, and Mental Health).
  8. The school psychologist works effectively with families, educators, and others in the community to promote and provide comprehensive services to children and families. (Links to NASP Standard 2.8:  Home/School/Community Collaboration).
  9. The school psychologist evaluates research, translates research into practice, and understands research design and statistics in sufficient depth to plan and conduct investigations and program evaluations for improvement of services. (Links to NASP Standard 2.9:  Research and Program Evaluation).
  10. The school psychologist has knowledge of the history and foundations of the profession, of various service models and methods, of public policy development applicable to services to infants, children and families, and of ethical, professional, and legal standards.  The school psychologist practices in ways that are consistent with applicable standards, is involved in the profession, and has the knowledge and skills needed to acquire career-long professional development. (Links to NASP Standard 2.10:  School Psychology Practice and Development).
  11. The school psychologist accesses, evaluates, and utilizes information sources and technology in ways that safeguard or enhance the quality of services. (Links to NASP Standard 11:  Information Technology).
  12. The school psychologist must complete an internship supervised by the recommending institution as part of the performance assessment for this license.  The candidate must enroll in internship program credit hours during the first year under the conditional license as a full-time employee.  If the employee is working only half-time, the internship can be spread out over two years.  The employing district shall provide a mentor, either from within the employing district or a neighboring one, from the same endorsement field and under conditions described in 91-41-1 through 91-41-4.  The university must assign a supervisor during the internship period.  The university assigned supervisor will verify the completion of the internship requirements by the candidate and the university will verify the candidate has met the standard for the professional license after the internship has been completed successfully. (Links to NASP Standard III:  Field Experiences/Internship).

Program Approval

The Emporia State University School Psychology Program is nationally approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs (NCATE), and is approved by the Kansas State Department of Education. 

Completion of the M.S. degree and Ed.S. candidacy readies a candidate for the practicum field experience.  Upon completion of that and other Ed.S. requirements, the candidate is ready for the internship field experience as needed to complete the full program of study.  Completion of the program requires completion of internship (post-Ed.S.) and passing of the Praxis II National School Psychology Examination at the cut score established by the state of Kansas, and leads to licensure as a school psychologist in Kansas public schools.  Program completion, and a sufficiently high Praxis II score which meets national standards, also makes candidates eligible to obtain the credential of Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP).  Among many other benefits, the NCSP allows for greater employment mobility across different states.  Additional information about the NCSP and its advantages can be reviewed at

As part of ESU’s program meeting NASP, NCATE and KSDE program approvals, the school psychology program allows candidates to grow professionally through partnership with faculty in all facets of professional preparation, including degree planning, individualized supervision, monitored research projects and progress reviews at decision points.

Additionally, these program approvals mean that program faculty have demonstrated that they engage in reflective practices, and have an evaluation plan in which they document activities related to teaching, scholarship and service as a condition of employment.  Ongoing program evaluation to assure effective practices and sustain NASP, NCATE and KSDE approval occurs as well.  This ongoing assessment of individuals and programming is one practice which allows the School Psychology Program to demonstrate, in particular, that it meets the Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs in School Psychology set forth by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP, 2000).  Once approved by NCATE, NASP 2010 Standards will go into effect; at that time, the intent of program faculty is to document that those standards are met as well.

Click here for School Psychology Licensure and Credentialing Resource

Core Faculty

Professor Jim Persinger, Ph.D. (University of Kansas), Program Director

Dr. Jim Persinger, Professor, joined the Teachers College faculty in 2000. Having attended Emporia State University in the 1980s as both an undergraduate (B.S. Psychology) and graduate (M.S. Experimental Psychology) candidate, he continued his education at the University of Kansas (Ed.S. School Psychology; Ph.D. School Psychology, minor in Counseling) while working in the public schools. In addition to his primary role of school psychologist, Dr. Persinger worked as preschool coordinator, autism teacher (unlicensed:  KSDE waiver), and chair of Infant Toddler Services Network of Riley County.  He has continuously served for more than a decade on the board of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists, including as President in 2008.  He has also served in varying capacities on the boards of the Infant Toddler Services Network of Riley County, and the Association for Psychological and Educational Research in Kansas, for which he was President in 2004. He maintains memberships in NASP, KASP, TSP (institutional), CEC, CEDS, KASEA, and PERK.  He has served as a development consultant for Special Olympics, and assisted with standardization of the Stanford-Binet V Intelligence Scales, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (3rd), Bender-Gestalt (revised), Social Skills Improvement System Rating Scales, Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning (4th), and Oral and Written Language Scales (2nd). He has served as reviewer for a dozen textbooks, at stages ranging from prospectus through revision.  Since his arrival at Emporia State University, Dr. Persinger has provided pro bono evaluations for ESU students needing disability determination/documentation, and serves as consultant to the Disability Services Office.  Dr. Persinger regularly presents to public school faculty, as well as state and national conferences, on topics as diverse as inclusive education, role-playing therapies, prosocial competence programs, sociometric approaches to assessment, and compassion as a resilience construct.  Additional personal and professional information and vita are here.

Program courses taught:

 PY 714 Assess Young Children/Special Needs

PY 812 Individual Assessment

PY 836 Prevention/Intervention School-Based Mental Health

PY 841 Assessment of Intelligence

PY 844 Ed.S. Project

PY 860 Leading Processes to Meet Diverse Student Needs

PY 900 Ed.S. Thesis

PY 910 Internship in School Psychology I

PY 920 Internship in School Psychology II

Research Interests:

Inclusive education, role-playing therapies, social skills curricula, prosocial competence programs, sociometric approaches to social/emotional screening, compassion and population-based mental health services.


Associate Professor Carol (Charlie) Daniels, Ph.D. (University of Missouri – Columbia)

Dr. Charlie Daniels, Assistant Professor, joined the Teachers College faculty in 2008. Prior to accepting this appointment she was an adjunct professor at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO and Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO teaching in the counselor education and psychology departments, respectively. She began her career in education in Missouri earning a B.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, her M.S. in Special Education at Southeast Missouri State University and her Ph.D. in School Psychology at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has worked in Missouri’s public school systems from St. Louis to Kansas City, with experiences in rural, urban and suburban districts. She holds several licenses in Missouri in general and special education, as well as a school counselor.  During her tenure in school districts, Dr. Daniels conducted numerous in-services to school personnel on data collection, test interpretation, non-verbal learning disabilities, functional behavioral assessment, stress management, child sexual abuse, ADHD, and slow learners. She continues to consult on occasion to school personnel in Missouri. Presentations at national conferences have included topics of bullying, assessment, curriculum based measurement, and collaboration of related services personnel. She has been involved with her professional associations serving on their Executive Boards for over a decade. In Missouri, Dr. Daniels has served as the Newsletter Editor, Secretary, President (2 terms), and NASP Delegate for the Missouri Association of School Psychologists. In Kansas, she has served as Secretary and the 2012 President of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Daniels continues her membership in NASP, KASP, TSP, CEC, and PERK.

Program Courses Taught:

PY 801 School Psychological Consultation

PY 820 Response to Intervention

PY 835 Seminar in School Psychology

PY 836 School-Based Prevention and Intervention

PY 838 Supervised Practice in School Psychology

PY 843 Psycho-educational assessment

PY 851 Seminar in Behavior Modification

Research Interests: 

 Assessment, effectiveness of academic and behavioral interventions