Psychology entails the scientific study of how the mind operates and behaves and is both an academic and applied discipline. Psychologists are educated and trained professionals who attempt to describe, explain, foresee, and modify behavior in hopes of making positive and enduring changes to improve individuals’ lives.
School psychology is a branch of psychology that involves the application of clinical psychology to the assessment, examination, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral and learning issues and difficulties in children and adolescents. School psychologists work within the educational system in order to assist these individuals with their emotional, social, and academic issues. With the help of teachers and parents, school psychologists promote a healthy academic environment. Their other responsibilities include administering personality tests to students; discussing with students their emotional, mental, social, or academic concerns or issues; conducting research within the school psychology field; developing programs that improve schools by addressing different psychological issues in children and adolescents; keeping records of students’ progress; and collecting information about students through observation, evaluations, tests, and assessments.
Students who aspire to become a school psychologist must complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in school psychology. During their academic career, students take courses such as intro to psychology, abnormal psychology, child and adolescent development, research methods, statistical analysis, measurement and assessment, neuroscience, cognitive development, memory, learning disabilities, social psychology, family violence, and psychology of personality. During the master’s degree program, students complete a thesis based on original research that they conducted. Nearing the end of the master’s degree program, they must defend their thesis and conduct further research if needed.
It is important that students attend accredited institutions. Employers hire students who have graduated from a reputable and accredited college or university since it shows they attended an institution that adheres to specific academic standards and policies.
There are particular skills and personality traits that are essential for success in this profession. School psychologists must of course, enjoy working with children and adolescents and have a passion to help others. They must promote mental well-being and encourage students to do well and succeed in school. This also entails positive leadership skills. School psychologists must have the ability to motivate students in a positive and helpful manner. Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills are also important. School psychologists must have the ability to communicate their opinion and advice as well as actively listen to students’ issues and concerns.
Those who encompass those skills and qualities mentioned above, as well as excel in the bachelor’s and master’s degree program specializing in school psychology, will no doubt be successful in this challenging but important profession.
The website below has further information regarding pursuing a career as a school psychologist.