Educational Psychology & Counseling

Masters of Science in Counseling, Option in School Psychology

Application window for Fall 2023 will open October 1, 2022, and close January 13, 2023.

Why Become a School Psychologist? 

A career as a school psychologist provides many rewards and opportunities. School psychologists work with students, educators, parents, and community members to help provide better outcomes for youth. School psychologists work primarily in schools settings providing assessments, consultation, counseling, crisis intervention, and academic, behavioral, and social emotional interventions to support student’s academic, social and emotional development. School psychologists are mental health professionals who advocate for students, earn a respectable salary, and typically get the summers off! Not to mention, school psychology as a field has been ranked among the hundred best jobs in the nation.

 

Overview of the School Psychology Program 

The School Psychology Program in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at CSUN is geared for students who have a background in education and/or psychology. Applicants who are interested in entering the exciting field of school psychology and who have worked as teachers, special educators, teacher assistants, or have served in other capacities in the schools or other settings working with children will be well suited for entrance into the program. 

The school psychology program at CSUN is a comprehensive, three-year full time Masters of Science degree program. Students applying will be seeking both a Masters of Science in School Psychology degree and an Advanced Pupil Personnel Services Credential.  Courses in the School Psychology program are offered primarily during the evening hours (4 p.m. to 10 p.m.); however, there may be occasional courses offered during the day. 

Mission Statement 

The mission of the school psychology program at CSUN is to prepare diverse culturally responsive school psychologists for careers within multidisciplinary school-based teams to help all students attain academic, behavioral, social, and emotional success through comprehensive and coordinated support delivery systems that provide prevention and/or appropriate interventions to help provide safe, healthy, and nurturing environments to support all students develop resilience and life success. To achieve this objective, candidates in the school psychology program use the systems ecological model to engage multi-systemic multi-tiered support to enhance developmental assets which lead to optimized life success for diverse populations.  The school psychology program prepares candidates for the delivery of comprehensive school psychological services within the context of educational programs and educational settings, while emphasizing human diversity and social justice and advocacy. School psychology candidates are trained to have a background in psychological and educational theories in order to provide counseling; assessment; consultation; prevention and intervention services including academic, behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs in the schools; address school climate, school violence, and crisis intervention in the schools; and use ethics, law, and research to guide their practice. The problem-solving data-based decision-making process is emphasized in all aspects of service delivery, as well as the use of data and evidenced based interventions to maximize student success. Working at both the individual and systems level of service delivery, candidates develop the skills to facilitate collaboration among families, school personnel, and community members to create and maintain safe, supportive, and effective learning environments.  They creatively use program evaluation methods, and culturally compatible educational, instructional, and program solutions to address barriers and address institutional biases that impede the learning process, social emotional adjustment, behavior, and life success of students.  Through their development, candidates become competent professionals, life-long learners, innovators, social justice advocates, and leaders in the field. 

For more information on the Michael D. Eisner College of Education and School Psychology Program Outcomes, please visit: 

Why Our Program?

  • We are a National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Accredited Program, meaning that graduates are eligible to become Nationally Certified School Psychologists.

  • Graduates meet the qualifications for the California Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential in School Psychology from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

  • For 3 years in a row, candidates have a 100% Praxis exam pass rate!

  • We emphasize culturally responsive problem-solving and data-driven decision making to serve all children from diverse backgrounds, across a range of communities.

  • In a recent survey of program alumni and employers, we found that CSUN has a strong reputation for graduating school psychologists who are “Extremely Well Prepared” for the field.

  • Alumni also report high levels of satisfaction in their preparation as school psychologists.

  • School districts in our area seek our school psychology fieldwork and internship students.

  • Our school psychology graduates are hired soon after graduation.

  • Our students have diverse experiential backgrounds and identities that reflect the multicultural communities we serve in schools, and that will diversify the school psychology profession as a whole.

  • Students engage in opportunities and events to mentor and support each other through their graduate studies experience, practice self-care, grow in their professional development, and network with speakers and alumni through the our Graduate School Psychology Student Association. 

Admission Requirements 

General Admission Requirements:  All applicants must demonstrate evidence of suitability for graduate work in School Psychology. Applicants must complete the application process by the deadline.  All applicants must submit an official transcript showing proof of at least a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited university or college, with a GPA of at least 3.0, preferably, but not limited, to psychology, education, or a related field.  In addition to our application form, which can be found here, applicants must submit transcripts of all prior academic work, two to three letters of recommendation on the recommender’s stationery (at least one, when possible, from a professor, who can describe candidates academic preparation for graduate school), a statement of personal and professional goals, objectives, and paid and unpaid work history related to education and/or mental health.  The personal statement must include information regarding applicants' experiences related to working with people from culturally and/or ethnically diverse groups.  A resume is also required.  Experience working with school aged children (voluntary or paid) in an educational setting is preferred.  

All applicants must apply to the University AND to the Department. Please download the department application and application process documents on the department website or contact the department office at (818) 677-2599 to request a copy if you cannot download the forms from the webpage. 

Other Admission Requirements: Applicants must take the GRE and pass the Upper Division Writing Exam (when offered).  All candidates must also take the CBEST by the end of their first semester.  This is a credentialing requirement. In addition to the general requirements stated above, all School Psychology applicants must have completed or be enrolled in the following undergraduate courses or their equivalents as prerequisites prior to beginning the graduate program coursework: 

* Equivalent courses may be substituted for prerequisites with approval. Students who have taken equivalent courses at other institutions will need to submit a course equivalency form, transcripts, university course description, and course syllabi. Graduate advisors and school psychology professors will evaluate and determine whether the requested courses are equivalent to the pre-requisites. The four prerequisite courses for the School Psychology Master’s degree and credential programs must be completed with a grade of "B" or better in order to matriculate into the program.  

Interviews for Admission: In addition to the above requirements, candidates under serious consideration will be invited to complete one or more structured interviews.  The interview dates will be posted on the departmental web page by the application deadline date. The School Psychology program interviews typically take place in February or March.  

The interview is approximately three hours in length. It consists of a series of activities including questions about the profession, and a novel activity that will assess the applicants' personal and professional traits and characteristics. Interview facilitators consist of faculty, professional school psychologists and advanced students. Interview groups are deliberately kept small, approximately six applicants to two facilitators to insure personal attention to each applicant when interviewed in a group. Viable candidates may be interviewed individually. 

Selection of Applicants: Selection of candidates is made by the school psychology program coordinators based on holistic evaluations of application materials, candidates experiences, and interview. The Admissions Committee takes into consideration the following factors in making its decision: Applicants' professional and educational background, grades/GRE test scores, interview results, paid and unpaid work experiences, and letters of recommendation. Candidates are notified of the results of their applications by mid-May.  The actual number of applicants admitted each year varies based on faculty, department resources, and other criteria existing at the time of the admissions period. 

School Psychology Program Coordinators and Support Personnel 

Coordinators of the School Psychology Program provide information, advisement, counseling, and support for students interested or enrolled in the program. Coordinators teach courses in the School Psychology program, organize and participate in the selection of students, chair student committees for the graduate project and thesis, review student programs to certify successful completion, evaluate student progress in the program, and make policy and procedural decisions regarding the School Psychology program and students.  

Coordinator & Advisors for the School Psychology Program: 

Program Coordinator:

Wilda Laija-Rodriguez, Ph.D., L.E.P.


Office: ED 2226

(818) 677-7889

Educational Psychology and Counseling Department Chair:

Alberto Restori, Ph.D., L.E.P.


Office ED 2114

(818) 677-4572

Program advisors meet with candidates during specific classes and/or individually to address coordination of classes, expectations, assessment, and other program pertinent issues. Candidates are expected to seek counsel from their advisor and/or the program coordinator when needing information or when seeking support. 

 

Other Support Personnel for the School Psychology Program: 

Graduate Coordinator:

Joannie Aguayo, Ed.D.


ED 2225

(818) 677-5725

jaguayo@csun.edu

Department Office Manager:

Teresa Cordova


ED 1218

(818) 667-2601

Department Secretary:

*Main contact for candidate files, information and forms for graduate candidates in the program. 

Madison Baker


ED 1218

(818) 667-2599

Required Courses for the Master of Science in Counseling with specialization in School Psychology 

YEAR 1 – Fall Semester               

            *EPC 655              Seminar in Counseling Theory and Practice (3)  

                                          (Pending approval, this class will be substituted by 

                                          EPC 604: Multisystemic Academic Interventions for School 

                                          Psychologists in Fall 2022) 

            *EPC 659A           Communication Skills in Counseling (3)  

                                          (Course number and title will change to EPC 659SPA Communication 

                                          Skills for School Psychologists in Fall 2022) 

             EPC 664                Neuro-developmental, Emotional and behavior Disorders (3) 

            EPC 667                Law and Ethics and Professional Practice for Schools Psychologists in  

                                          Schools and Private Practice (3) 

YEAR 1 – Spring Semester           

            *EPC 643              Diversity in School Psychologists (3) 

                                          (Course number and title will change to EPC 643SP Diversity in  

                                          School Psychologists in Fall 2022) 

            *EPC 659B           Practicum in Counseling (3)  

                                          (Course number and title will change to EPC 659SPB Practicum in 

                                          Counseling for School Psychologists in Fall 2022) 

            EPC 661                Multi-Systemic Behavioral Intervention (3) 

            SPED 610             Program Planning in Special Education (3)  

YEAR 1 – Summer Semester  

            EPC 601                Individual and Group Assessment (3)  

            EPC 674                Family Development Across the Lifespan (3)  

                                          (Course number and title will change to EPC 674SP Family  

                                          Development Across the Lifespan in Fall 2022) 

YEAR 2 – Fall Semester         

            EPC 659EC           Practicum in School Psychology: Resiliency, Prevention, and Crisis Intervention (3) 

            EPC 663A/L         Assessment of Cognitive Development and Skills for Intervention and Lab (3/3)  

            EPC 665                Individual and Group Counseling of Children in the Schools (3) 

            EPC 603                Clinical Research and Program Evaluation (3) 

YEAR 2 – Spring Semester     

            EPC 641                Bilingual Assessment  

            EPC 659FC           Practicum in School Psychology: Resiliency, Prevention, and Crisis  

                                          Intervention (3) 

            EPC 663B/L          Assessment of Social-Emotional Development and Adaptive Skills for Intervention and Lab (3/3)  

            EPC 648                Consultation with Parents, Teachers, and Other Human Service 

Professionals (3) 

YEAR 2 – Summer Semester  

            EPC 611                Seminar in Educational Psychology (3) 

YEAR 3 – Fall Semester         

            EPC 659GC          Internship in School Psychology (3)    

            EPC 698C             Thesis/Graduate Project (3) 

YEAR 3 – Spring Semester     

            EPC 659HC          Internship in School Psychology (3) 

            EPC 697                Directed Comprehensive Studies (3) or  

            EPC 698C             Thesis/Graduate Project (3)  

* Pending approval, the courses with the asterisk will change in the Fall 2022. Also, the ultimate degree will be Masters in School Psychology, rather than Masters in Counseling with Specialization in School Psychology. 

Total Units = 72 credits, including at least 3 credits for the culminating experience. Candidates have an option of 3 credits for a Comprehensive exam or 6 credits for Graduate Project.  Please note that 12 credit units are based on practica (fieldwork) and internship classes. EPC 697 can only be taken once in your final semester. Students can also take EPC 696, Independent Study, based on their need. 

Developmental Strands in School Psychology 

The school psychology program has seven developmental strands. These strands include: 1) theoretical, history, legal, and professional dispositions and foundations, 2) resilience and development and learning in multisystemic and multi-tiered settings, 3) communication, interpersonal relationships, and counseling, 4) psychometric assessment skills and data-based assessment, planning, monitoring, and evaluation, 5) consultation and collaboration with families, educational professionals, and community members, 6) prevention, intervention, and postvention, and 7) research and evidenced based practice.  These developmental strands were designed in a sequential manner to foster the candidate’s developmental competencies within specific areas.  In some instances, the developmental strands will be composed of classes which may address one or more of the developmental strands. In some instances, information will be cross-referenced between various classes, different classes, and different requirements to emphasize a comprehensive model of service delivery.  The developmental strands were designed to help candidates become capable of meeting the various demands of the program and the demands of the field of school psychology at different levels in their training. 

Practicum in school psychology and internship provide the means to practice what candidates have learned in the various classes and to gain competence in the various developmental strands specified above and in the Performance Based Outcomes.  Candidates are required to conduct at least 450 hours of practica their second year and a full-time internship consisting of at least 1200 hours their third year. 

Master’s degree candidates are required to perform a culminating scholarly activity.  To fulfill this requirement candidates may elect to carry out a project or take a comprehensive examination.  

Passing the Praxis II in school psychology exam is required of all candidates in the program.  Candidates are required to take and pass this exam by the end of their third year. 

School Psychology Faculty 

Course Instructors for the School Psychology Program 

Name/Title 

Area of Specialization 

Courses Taught in School Psychology 

Office and Phone Numbers 

Wilda Laija-Rodriguez, Ph.D. 

Director and Professor 

Full Time 

School Psychology/ 

Working with culturally and linguistically diverse students/ clinical child psychology, Consultation, Bilingual Assessment, Strength Based Assessment 

EPC 659 EC & FC: Practicum in School Psychology 

EPC 667: Law and Ethics and Professional Functions of School Psychologists in the schools and private practice. 

EPC 674: Family Development Across the Lifespan 

EPC 648:  Consultation with Parents  

EPC 611:  Seminar in Educational Psychology 

EPC 314: Psychological Foundations in Education 

EPC  697: Comprehensive Exams 

698: Project or Thesis 

696: Directed Research 

ED 2226 

818-677-7889 

Albert Restori, Ph.D. 

Professor 

Full Time 

School Psychology/  

Response to Intervention 

EPC  697: Comprehensive Exams 

696: Directed Research 

818-677-4572 

Heather Stuve, M.A. 

Instructor/Part Time 

Special Education 

SPED 610:  Program Planning of the Exceptional Child 

818-677-2507 

Jose Carranza, JD, MA 

Instructor/Part Time 

School Psychology/ 

Bilingual assessment 

EPC 641: Bilingual Assessment 

818-677-2599 

Paul Vogel, M.S. 

Instructor/Part Time 

School Psychology/ 

Assessment 

EPC 663A: Assessment of Cognitive Development and Skills for Intervention  

EPC 663B: Assessment of Social-Emotional Adjustment for Intervention 

EPC 664: Neuro-development, Emotional and Behavioral Interventions  

818-677-2599 

 

 

 

 


Name/Title 

Area of Specialization 

Courses Taught in School Psychology 

Office and Phone Numbers 

Joan Golden, Ph.D. 

Instructor/Part Time 

School Psychology/ 

EPC 663A:  Assessment of Cognitive Development and Skills for Intervention and Lab 

EPC 663B: Assessment of Social-Emotional Adjustment for Intervention  

818-677-2599 

Jean Ramage, Ph.D. 

Instructor/Part Time 

Educational Psychology, Program Evaluation 

EPC 603: Clinical Research and Program Evaluation 

EPC 659 GC & HC: Internship in School Psychology 

811-677-2599 

Michael Geisser, M.A. 

Instructor/Part Time 

School Psychology 

EPC 659A Communication Skills in Counseling  

EPC 659 B Practicum  

EPC 659GC & HC: Internship in School Psychology 

EPC 661: Multisystemic Behavioral Interventions 

818-677-2599 

Madhavi Williams, Ed.D. 

Instructor/Part Time 

School Psychology  

EPC 655: Seminar in Counseling Theory and Practice   

EPC 643: Diversity in Counseling 

EPC 665: Individual and Group Counseling 

818-677-2599 

Vedeesh Saggar, M.S 

Instructor/Part Time 

School Psychology 

EPC 663A Lab:  Assessment of Cognitive Development and Skills for Intervention and Lab 

EPC 663B Lab: Assessment of Social-Emotional Adjustment for Intervention 

818-677-2599