Program Description

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Become part of one of the best school psychology programs in the country. A recent ranking just named Rider's program as one of the top 5 in the United States based upon a survey of specialist program school psychology faculty productivity.

The Rider University School Psychology Program is dedicated to educating future school psychologists within a climate of scholarly inquiry and the context of a scientist-practitioner model of service delivery.

Rider University's School Psychology program is one of only seven specialist level programs in New Jersey to be fully approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), preparing students to become certified School Psychologists at the state and national level.  The 64-credit degree program offers a blend of traditional and contemporary training and innovating practica that result in our graduates being actively recruited by employers.

Problem-solving and data-based decision-making permeate all aspects of training with the ultimate goal of fostering the knowledge base, skill set, reflective practice, and professional commitment to improve the educational and mental health of children and adolescents in the schools. The program offers a highly structured, developmental curriculum that builds upon preceding coursework and experience. Through a variety of theoretical, conceptual, and experiential pedagogical activities, students are prepared to provide a range of evidence-based services including consultation, psychological assessment, behavioral and academic intervention, prevention, counseling, and program planning/evaluation. Students also receive training in sensitively working with clients from diverse cultural and individual backgrounds.

Complementing the program’s philosophy, the fundamental goals of the program are to provide each graduate with the required skills, professionalism, and knowledge base to become a productive member of the school psychology community:

  1. Ability to implement a problem-solving model supported by a solid understanding of the knowledge base and empirical literature of school psychology as well as legal, ethical, and professional standards of practice.
  2. Capacity to provide psychological services and educational consultation within diverse contexts where individual differences in ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities are appreciated.
  3. Ability to work collaboratively with educators, administrators, school counselors, families, and the community to provide a comprehensive range of educational and mental health services to children and adolescents.
  4. Capacity to utilize data-based decision making and empirically supported prevention, assessment, and intervention strategies that result in a positive impact on youth, families, and the communities/ schools that they serve.

Professional knowledge and skills are developed across the ten domains of training and practice established by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP):

  • 2.1 Data-Based Decision-Making and Accountability
  • 2.2 Consultation and Collaboration
  • 2.3 Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills
  • 2.4 Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills
  • 2.5 School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
  • 2.6 Preventative and Responsive Services
  • 2.7 Family-School Collaboration Services
  • 2.8 Diversity in Development and Learning
  • 2.9 Research and Program Evaluation
  • 2.10 Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice

The acquisition of knowledge and skills is monitored and evaluated across the program via traditional assessment methods and performance-based outcomes representative of professional practice.  Students also compile a portfolio to document and reflect upon their professional growth and to serve as evidence of competency across the domains of training and practice.

The Program is committed to providing a stimulating learning community that embraces and values the human and cultural diversity of its members and of society.  The Program is also committed to attracting and retaining students who are members of underrepresented groups. Therefore, individuals from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Within the Program diversity is examined as a subject and is embedded as a topic across coursework.  Students are expected to develop the dispositions, knowledge, and skills to work effectively with individuals of diverse needs (e.g., ethnic, cultural, SES, sexual orientation, gender identity, abilities, disabilities).