The major goal of the program is to develop School Psychologists who meet Bardon and Benett's (1974) vision of a professional; one who:

“...must care about what happens to capable of genuine identification with different kinds of people and their mode of behavior, including those whose cultural backgrounds, ethnic origins, and basic beliefs may be different from his. [S]he must have a sincere and positive attitude toward humanity that will enable him to try new approaches and persist even in the face of discouragement, lack of results, and frustration.

From this vision, the program has established three broad training goals:

1. To “diversify the profession” by increasing the representation of African American and minority individuals in the field of School Psychology

2. To produce culturally competent School Psychology scientist-practitioners who are prepared to respond to the educational and mental health needs of ALL children.

3. To produce psychologists who are competent consumers and producers of culturally responsive research (Scientist-Practitioners).


Program Objectives & Competencies

Based on the above program beliefs and goals, as well as the standards set forth by NASP and APA, the training objectives of the program are to recruit, train, and prepare students who:

Goal #1 Objectives And Competencies

Objective 1-A: To recruit, retain, and graduate highly qualified graduate students from diverse backgrounds.

  • 1-A Competencies:
    • 1. The program attracts and recruits qualified candidates who meet minimum application requirements of the Graduate School and possess a scholarly background in psychology or related field.
    • 2. The program attracts and recruits candidates who express an interest in working with diverse populations.
    • 3. The program attracts and recruits candidates from culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds that traditionally are underrepresented in School Psychology.
    • 4. The program retains and graduates candidates from culturally/linguistically diverse backgrounds who demonstrate knowledge of, experiences with, and interests in working with diverse populations.

Objective 1-B: To recruit highly qualified and diverse faculty with expertise in, and a commitment to, culturally responsive teaching, research and practice related to diverse populations. 

  • 1-B Competencies:
    • 1. The program recruits and retains faculty who are committed to engaging in or facilitating culturally relevant and culturally responsive teaching and practice.
    • 2. The program recruits and retains faculty who engage in culturally relevant research or conducts research with diverse populations.

Goal #2 Objectives And Competencies

Objective 2-A: To produce culturally competent psychologists who are knowledgeable of psychological foundations, including the interface between culturally responsive theory and professional practice.

  • 2-A Competencies:
    • 1. Students demonstrate adequate knowledge of the breadth of scientific psychology, including: (1) cognitive/affective, (2) social and (3) biological bases of behavior, as well as, (4) history and systems of psychology.
    • 2. Students demonstrate adequate knowledge of the foundations of professional psychology, including: (1) typical and atypical (psychopathology) human development, (2) cultural factors and (3) individual differences.
    • 3. Students demonstrate adequate working knowledge of ethical, legal, and professional standards/guidelines pertinent to the delivery of psychological services with diverse populations.
    • 4. Students demonstrate adequate knowledge of ethical, legal, and professional standards pertinent to the provision of psychoeducational services within diverse schools.

Objective 2-B: To produce school psychologists who engage in data-based, culturally competent assessment and diagnosis.

  • 2-B Competencies:
    • 1. Students are able to identify and integrate cultural and developmental aspects into their assessment and diagnostic decision-making (case conceptualization).
    • 2. Students demonstrate adequate knowledge of culturally responsive behavioral, social-emotional, cognitive, and academic assessment methods with diverse populations.
    • 3. Students engage in ethical assessment and problem-solving practices that are data-driven and empirically-based.
    • 4. Students demonstrate strong methodological and interpretive skills related to culturally competent assessment and diagnosis of behavioral, social-emotional, cognitive, and academic concerns.

Objective 2-C: To produce culturally competent school psychologists who engage in empirically-based intervention and consultation.

  • 2-C Competencies:
    • 1. Students identify and integrate cultural and developmental aspects into their intervention and consultation practices, including the child’s psychological, social, and cultural assets, (case conceptualization).
    • 2. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the design and implementation of empirically-based behavioral, cognitive, academic, and social-emotional interventions, with diverse individuals or groups.
    • 3. Students demonstrate the ability to meet the complex needs of diverse clientele through consultative/indirect service delivery methods.
    • 4. Students demonstrate knowledge of, and competency in, evaluating the efficacy of prescribed interventions or programs designed to address the needs of diverse individuals, groups or systems (data-based decision making).

Objective 1-D: To produce psychologists who not only are skilled in remediation, but also are competent in the development and application of proactive/preventive methods that incorporate the school, home and community.

  • 1-D Competencies:
    • 1. Students demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of prevention programs (e.g., primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention).
    • 2. Students demonstrate knowledge and skill related to the implementation of prevention-oriented outreach or psychoeducational programs with at-risk children, schools, families or communities, either conceptually or in practice.

Objective 2-E: To produce psychologists who possess strong professional identities as school psychologists and engage life-long learning.​

  • 2-E Competencies:
    • 1. Students demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to engage in career-long professional development.
    • 2. Students are members of professional associations.
    • 3. Students attend/present at professional conferences or engage in other activities that improve their understanding of, and effectiveness in, the provision of services with diverse populations.
    • 4. Students demonstrate a strong professional identity as a school psychologist, including an understanding of the roles and functions of school psychologists.

Goal #3 Objectives And Competencies

Objective 3-A: (Consumers of research): To produce scholars who have a firm knowledge of scientific psychology (research, evaluation, measurement, and statistics), and are able to use research as a means of problem solving, particularly with respect to diverse populations.​

  • 3-A Competencies:
    • 1. Students demonstrate competence in understanding, analyzing and interpreting research data.
    • 2. Students can critically evaluate scholarly literature and use research findings to inform their research efforts with diverse populations.
    • 3. Students can critically evaluate and use relevant scholarly literature to inform their practices with diverse populations.

Objective 3-B: (Producers of research): To prepare informed researchers who produce, and advocate for, culturally responsive research designed to improve conditions of diverse children, families and communities.​

  • 3-B Competencies:
    • 1. Students demonstrate understanding of psychometrics, testing, and psychological measurement.
    • 2. Students demonstrate understanding of research methodology and techniques of data analysis.
    • 3. Students demonstrate competency in developing original research designed to address research questions/issues relevant to diverse populations.
    • 4. Students demonstrate competency in conducting ethical and empirically sound research relevant to diverse populations.
    • 5. Students disseminate research within scholarly outlets.