Program Goals and Philosophy

The Miami University School Psychology graduate program seeks to prepare school psychologists to provide consultation, assessment, mental health, and intervention services for schools and school children. By working with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and with members of the community, school psychologists promote learning environments in which all children can be helped to achieve their potential. Miami’s program emphasizes the provision of services to individual schools and students, in addition to attaining a functional understanding of systems consultation and the ability to promote and implement primary and secondary prevention programs to improve student and school outcomes. 

The specialist degree program develops entry-level skills in the delivery of consultation, assessment, and intervention services. The program prepares school psychologists who can consult with teachers, administrators, and parents concerning learning and behavior difficulties, who can reliably and validly assess the nature of such learning/behavioral difficulties, and who can design, implement, and monitor interventions based on this assessment. The program is designed to provide the student not only with a foundation in a broad range of potential role expectations of employing school districts but also with a grounding in child development and learning, an ability to plan and implement interventions within a variety of contexts, and skills in helping teachers create learning environments that are enriching for all. 

The Miami University School Psychology Program is grounded in practice and views the school psychologist as an active participant in developing the contexts within schools that promote healthy development of children.  The program is three years in length: the first year is spent attaining educational and psychological foundations which are the bases for further in-depth skill development; the second year develops specific skills in the school psychology knowledge base and includes a strong emphasis on field experience; the third year is dedicated to a full year internship in a school system, which allows practical application of students' prior education and experience.

The program provides students an opportunity to develop consultation, assessment, counseling, and intervention skills. Students are trained in the scientist-practitioner tradition, with an orientation toward a problem-solving process, and an emphasis on practice guided by scientific knowledge. We provide cutting edge coursework in the areas of Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) as well as Evidence-Based Interventions (EBIs) for academic, behavioral, and mental health applications. In addition, students also develop research skills and apply those skills by conducting a small group research project related to the practice of school psychology.

The standards and ethical codes of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA) are the foundation for the school psychology program. Students are introduced to the standards, ethical codes, and ethical decision-making early in the program, and they are expected to demonstrate high standards for professional conduct in coursework and fieldwork. Consistent with our ethical codes and professional standards, students are taught to respect the dignity and worth of the individual, and to strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights. Throughout their program, students must demonstrate a commitment to using the science of psychology to promote human welfare. Recognizing the pluralistic nature of our society, the Miami University program is committed to fostering student sensitivity to, appreciation for, and understanding of diversity in the characteristics, strengths, and needs of individual learners.