Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data
The PhD Program in Educational Psychology (School) at Ball State offers candidates preparation for the practice of professional psychology, specifically for entry-level practice in school psychology, a substantive area of professional psychology. School psychology is a professional discipline with the objective of enhancing the psychological and educational well-being of children, adolescents, adults, and families through the provision of empirically derived assessment, consultation, prevention, and intervention services. The doctoral program’s coursework, research, experiences, practica, and internships afford candidates the competencies to work in school, private practice, mental health, hospital, and academic settings. It is our belief that school psychologists too often have been limited by the focus on “school.” We believe the title does not necessarily define the location where services will or should be provided. It is our contention that our graduates are best defined by their skills -- those necessary to perform the professional role asked of them across settings and within the ethical bounds of their education, training, and supervised experience. The American Psychological Association has continuously accredited the Ph.D. Program in Educational Psychology (School) since 1985. It is also approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
The program’s primary goal is to train school psychologists as scientists and practitioners. To this end, Little (1999) and others have noted that Ball State graduates were in the top 10 in the nation in number of publications. A more recent study ranked faculty from Ball State University’s school psychology program among the nation’s best for scholarly productivity (Wagner, Lail, Viglietta, & Burns, 2007). The program’s faculty was ranked seventh nationally in total scholarly publications and seventh in scholarly publications published in major school psychology journals from 1995-1999. In general, our faculty was fifth among the 53 programs accredited by the American Psychological Association from the period of 1977-1999. A number of published studies rank Ball State University’s School Psychology Doctoral Program among the nation’s top 10 in scholarly productivity and success of graduates. Below are some of the program’s accomplishments mentioned in recent publications.
The training perspective of the program is the scientist-practitioner model (Boulder). The doctoral program prepares candidates to integrate psychological theory, research, and established methods of scientific inquiry into effective practice, and to engage in research and evaluation activities that contribute to the science and practice of psychology.
The program’s goals, objectives, and competencies are consistent with the scientist-practitioner model and the substantive area of professional psychology, school psychology. Specifically, the program has the following five goals:
Goal #1: Assessment: Demonstrate knowledge and skills concerning fundamentals of measurement and assessment, and the use of assessment measures in a non-biased, reliable and valid manner.
Objectives for Goal #1 :
Goal #2: Consultation: Demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical knowledge and skills when consulting with teachers, parents, and other professionals.
Objectives for Goal #2:
Goal #3: Prevention/Intervention: Demonstrate knowledge and skills concerning the theories and tactics used to guide the design and implementation of effective interventions for children and adolescents.
Objectives for Goal #3:
Goal #4: Research and Evaluation: Demonstrate knowledge and skills pertaining to research design, statistical analysis, and the communication of research results.
Objectives for Goal #4:
Goal #5: Professional Practice: Demonstrate skills required for appropriate professional practice, legal and ethical decision-making, and sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.
Objectives for Goal #5:
For each goal, specific objectives (13 total) have been identified and corresponding competencies have been developed. The program’s curriculum focuses on candidates and developing competencies in assessment, consultation, prevention, research, and professional practice. Professional practice includes gaining knowledge of legal, ethical, and quality assurance expectations as they related to the practice of psychology. The program also has determined minimal levels of achievement and specific methods for assessing outcomes specific to each competency.
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