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Georgia Southern school psychology program largest producer of certified professionals in southeastern US

In July, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) released a report detailing the number of new nationally certified school psychologists (NCSP) in the nation. Georgia Southern University proved to not only be the top producer of nationally certified graduates in the state, but also outnumbered all neighboring states in the southeastern United States.

In one year of data collection, from June 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, Georgia Southern’s Ed.S. in School Psychology program saw 16 alumni earn NCSP status, far outpacing competing state universities.

“The NCSP is the ultimate indicator of high quality training in our field,” said school psychology program director Dawn Tysinger, Ph.D, NCSP. “It makes graduates incredibly competitive in the marketplace, because it signals to employers that this person has been held to rigorous training standards.”  

To earn credentialing from NASP, candidates must complete a NASP-certified graduate program and a 1,200-hour internship with a minimum of 600 hours in a school setting and pass the Praxis School Psychology exam. Alternatively, candidates can also complete an extensive, multiyear portfolio process.

“Because of the training that backs the NCSP, being certified simplifies the licensure process in many states and contributes to geographic flexibility for graduates in that they are not bound to only their training state for certification,” added Tysinger. “Many states and school districts offer recruitment and retainment bonuses or stipends for those school psychologists holding the NCSP.”

Georgia Southern’s school psychology program provides numerous opportunities to prepare students for field work and keep credentials up to date.

“The school psychology program candidates at Georgia Southern are exposed to didactic and experiential learning opportunities from the start of their training to ensure both knowledge attainment and skill development,” said Tysinger. “Additionally, the program is unique in some of its offerings for candidates including two partner preschools, a peer mentoring program and the School Psychology Student Association.”

While not required to complete the graduate school psychology program at Georgia Southern, Tyingser said that the faculty promote the attainment of the national certification throughout the program and dedicate a seminar course at the conclusion of the program to review program content for students taking the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educations in School Psychology exam. 

“The data support that the program is producing graduates of the highest quality,” said Tysinger. “The graduates are successfully attaining the most rigorous certification available to them.”

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