Valparaiso University trains compassionate, competent, and caring school psychologists.
School psychologists support the academic and social/emotional needs of students, their families, and the larger education system. Valpo’s school psychology program attracts recent college graduates – especially those who have a background in education or psychology – and a range of working professionals and career-changers.
THREE YEARS, TWO DEGREES
Valpo’s program includes three years of sequenced study (including two summers) and results in two complementary degrees. After the first full year, students earn an M.Ed. in education and psychological foundations. In the second year, students deepen their learning in preparation for the final year: a full-time internship in a school system, supervised by a licensed school psychologist. After successful completion of coursework and field experiences, students earn their educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree.
School psychology students progress through classes as a cohort. Within their cohort, students build professional and personal connections that will last far beyond graduation.
FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME
During the academic year, Valpo’s school psychology classes start no earlier than 3:45 p.m., making them accessible to many working professionals. Students can choose whether to complete the degree through full-time study or on a part-time schedule. Both pathways require experiential learning components which are integrated throughout the curriculum; those must be completed during the hours when elementary and secondary schools are in session.
Valpo graduates benefit from Indiana’s licensure reciprocity agreements with dozens of other states, including Illinois. Because of this, a Valpo degree is truly portable.
The school psychology faculty emphasize the importance of social justice throughout the curriculum. The program’s practical experiences also expose students to varied field settings — Pre-K and secondary; rural and urban; affluent and under-resourced.
Research plays a part in every aspect of the school psychology program. Students learn how to conduct their own research and assessment because working school psychologists have to evaluate their outcomes with students. Students also learn how to wisely interpret current research and apply new findings to their practice. Finally, Valpo faculty apply current educational research to the program sequence and the structure of individual classes.
Tuition is extremely competitive for one of the top institutions in the Midwest and lower than many other private universities in the region. Students may also be eligible for financial aid through federal loans and work study. A limited number of research, academic, and project assistantships are available through the Graduate School.
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All applicants must have graduated from an accredited college or university and have a standing of 3.00 (B) in all undergraduate or graduate work.
Applicants are expected to have a background in psychology, which includes
- one course in introductory psychology
- one course in human growth and development, and
- one course in basic statistics.
Applicants who have not completed those courses may be admitted to the program with the understanding that they will complete these courses prior to their first semester at Valparaiso University.
An applicant whose native language is not English is required to submit a TOEFL score of at least 550 (213 computer based version or 80 iBT version) or an IELTS score of at least 6.0. Students who do not meet these requirements but have reason to believe that they can succeed in and benefit from graduate study will be considered on an individual basis and, if appropriate, admitted conditionally. When an admission is made conditionally with the stipulation of a certain number of credits at the level of B or better, all credit must be earned at Valparaiso University.
Admission to the school psychology graduate program is decided by the dean of the Graduate School following receipt of the following materials:
- A completed Graduate School application form
- Graduate application fee of $30 for U.S. applicants, $50 for international applicants
- Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work
- A reflective essay of two double-spaced pages relating graduate study to professional goals. The essay should include a self-assessment of experience and education that would qualify one for undertaking work in school psychology.
- Two letters of recommendation. Recommendation forms for each degree are available either online or at the Graduate School. Persons writing the recommendations should not be related to the applicant.
Online applications may be submitted through the Graduate School website: valpo.edu/grad. PDFs of the appropriate forms are also available on this website. In response to an application request, the Graduate School will provide comprehensive application packets, including a complete list of the admission requirements for both the Graduate School and the school psychology program.
Admission is offered only for the fall semester, with priority given to applications submitted by March 1. Preference is given to applicants who plan to complete the program through full-time coursework.
Never a dull moment
Jessica Voirin ’16 knows that, as a school psychologist, there will be no such thing as a “typical workday.”
Dr. Sara Golomb structures the school psychology curriculum to emphasize a crucial skill: collaboration.
Getting on the right path
Benjamin Cunningham Ed.S. ’10 hopes to prepare some of Indiana’s youngest students for a successful future.