The School Psychology Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) Program follows the scientist-practitioner model in which an understanding of empirical research and theory influences the school psychologist’s best practice in service delivery. The UM School Psychology Program provides a planned sequences of courses in school psychology in addition to practica and internship experiences. The Ed.S. Program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the scope and sequence of the program are aligned with NASP standards. Students in the program receive the training necessary to become both a Class 6 License in School Psychology, as well as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
Through our strong commitment to a scientist-practitioner model, the School Psychology Educational Specialist Program provides comprehensive training through coursework and clinical training. The Ed.S. Program requires approximately 72 credit hours and entails a three-year course of study. The first two years consist of full-time coursework and school-based practica experiences. During the third year, students will complete a one-year internship in a school setting. Students must also pass a written comprehensive examination at the end of their second year on campus.
Students in the School Psychology Program also have a number of opportunities to develop their clinical skills with children and their families. Practicum course seminars focus on professional and ethical issues, as well as skills and knowledge of assessment, treatment/intervention, and consultation. The program emphasizes the development of cultural competence skills to effectively work with children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Emphasis is also placed on promoting a student’s strengths and supporting all students through the problem-solving model and Response to Intervention (RTI).
Through both school-based and clinic-based practica, school psychology Ed.S. students have the skills and knowledge to work with children and their families, school professionals, and school systems.
The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) program requires approximately 72 credit hours and entails a three-year course of study. The first two years consist of full-time coursework and school-based practica experiences. During the third year, students will complete a one year internship in a school setting. Students must also pass a written comprehensive examination at the end of their second year on campus.
Ed.S. students typically complete paid internships in public school district. NASP requires a 1,200-hour internship, with at least 600 hours completed in a school setting.
The following is an example of program coursework that may be subject to change. Your program advisor will consult with you before each semester in regards to courses.
EdS Clinical Training
Educational Specialist students in school psychology complete practicum requirements during their first 2 years in the program. In their final year, EdS students complete a school-based internship per requirements from the National Association of School Psychologist. Students are required to complete a 1200-hour internship in the final year of the program, with at least 600 hours completed in a school setting. EdS students at the University of Montana typically complete paid internships in public schools in Montana or internships in other states.
Ed.S. students in the School Psychology program complete practicum and fieldwork experiences in local K-12 settings. These experiences immerse students in the culture and operation of the school and familiarize students with the roles and functions of school staff (e.g., principal, speech therapists, teachers, social workers). Students observe in the classrooms, during intervention team meetings, interdisciplinary team meetings, parent conferences, and teacher meetings. Students also participate more directly in their school placements through activities such as conducting academic assessments and systematic observations, implementing evidence-based academic and behavior interventions, and supporting the school psychologist in cognitive abilities testing.
Practicum sites are located in Missoula and surrounding areas. The program has an emphasis on working with children and families from rural and tribal communities. Doctoral students have an opportunity to learn about the provision of assessment, intervention, and consultation services to children and families from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Examples of practicum sites:
- Russell Elementary School, Missoula
- Lowell Elementary School, Missoula
- Hamilton School District, Hamilton
- Arlee School District, Arlee
- St. Ignatius Public Schools, St. Ignatius
- Clinton Elementary School, Clinton
- Frenchtown School District, Frenchtown
Additional Practicum Opportunities
In addition to the formalized methods of obtaining practicum experience, there are numerous other activities throughout the academic year and summer for students. Due to the lack of services in the community and state for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the program has established a strong relationship with the University's Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders RiteCare Clinic. Graduate students in school psychology and speech-language pathology collaborate in conducting assessments and using evidence-based interventions for children referred to the RiteCare Clinic for ASD.
In their third year of the Educational Specialist Program, students are required to complete a 1200-hour school-based internship.
Examples of internship placements that our Ed.S. students have attended include:
- Great Falls Public Schools
- Gallatin-Madison Educational Co-op
- Glasgow School District
- Prickly Pear Educational Co-Op
- Lewistown School District
- Bitterroot Valley Educational Co-Op
- Belgrade School District
- San Juan Colorado Co-Op, Colorado
- Kodiak Island Borough School District, Alaska
- Mat-Su Borough School District, Alaska
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Last updated January 23, 2018