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Which graduate degree?

Master of Science or Specialist in Education

School Psychology

MS or EdS?

The Ed.S. is the terminal degree in school psychology, as required to earn a license. At ESU, the School Psychology Program progresses from a 36 credit-hour Master of Science (MS) earned in passing, to the 30 credit-hour Educational Specialist (EdS). Unlike some programs, we award traditional candidates an M.S. along the way to school psychology licensure, as it sometimes has implications for where they start on the salary scale. These degree programs are NASP-aligned but not NASP-approved; details here.

If you already have an MS from another School Psychology program, or an MS in a related field, such as adaptive education or clinical psychology, you may be eligible to apply directly to our EdS respecialization program. Candidates for this program have to demonstrate they have the equivalent of all of our program’s MS course work before they are eligible for EdS degree candidacy, which may be completed concurrently with EdS coursework as approved in content and sequence by a program advisor, our graduate dean, and licensure officer.

Whether in the traditional or the respecialization program, upon completion of the EdS degree and a passing score on the Praxis II National School Psychology Examination, candidates obtain an initial license from KSDE. This allows them to begin a four credit-hour, year-long internship in the schools at a full professional salary. After that academic year, the program is complete, and means the individual will have eligibility for a regular EC-12 school psychologist license from KSDE, which is reciprocated in most states. Candidates may then apply to receive the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential via the route for those from non-approved programs, a process taking three to four months after program completion.

We are proud of our program and its legacy of service to the children of Kansas. If you would like to visit campus to check out the program, talk with an advisor, or even arrange to sit in on a class, contact us (details below)! We’re also happy to set up an appointment to talk by phone or Zoom/Skype to answer any questions.

Our Philosophy

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. The intent is to create candidates who will promote the cognitive, behavioral, academic and social-emotional 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 School Psychology program supports the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy developed by the National Association of School Psychologists.