FLORENCE---The Department of Psychology and Sociology at Francis Marion University has been notified by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) that the school psychology option of the master of applied psychology program has been granted full approval as a specialist-level training program.
NASP’s training standards are employed by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) to approve specialty programs within NCATE accredited institutions. Francis Marion University’s teacher and specialty personnel certification programs are NCATE accredited. The master of applied psychology program, which has two options—school psychology and clinical-counseling psychology, also holds national accreditation through the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council.
“This approval represents a significant achievement for our school psychology training program and documents the program’s rigor and quality,” said Sam F. Broughton Jr., coordinator of FMU’s school psychology program. Approximately 20 percent of school psychology training programs seeking initial approval obtain full approval during any given accreditation cycle, he said.
FMU’s program becomes one of 123 specialist-level programs with NASP approval nationwide. Students who graduate from nationally approved programs are eligible for national certification as school psychologists through the National School Psychology Certification Board. Presently, 18 states use national certification as part of their school psychology credentialing process.
Students enter the school psychology option following a competitive selection process and must complete 54 semester hours of graduate coursework, a minimum of seven semester hours of practicum, and a six semester-hour internship. Practica include a minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical experience in clinics and schools, completed concurrently with coursework. The internship requires a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised clinical experience obtained during a full academic year while functioning as a full-time school psychologist. The training program requires a minimum of three years to complete and generally has about 30 students enrolled in various phases of the program.
Three of the Department of Psychology and Sociology’s nine full-time faculty members are school psychologists: John R. Hester, who also serves as chairman of the department, Robert C. Bridger and Broughton. Two adjunct faculty members also are school psychologists: Gabriel Batarseh and Sue Faykus.
Individuals who desire more information or who may be interested in applying for admission to the program may contact Broughton at 843-661-1378 or the Francis Marion University Office of Graduate Studies at 843-661-1281.
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