Philosophy, Goals, Objectives & Competencies
Ph.D. in School Psychology
The Loyola University Chicago Ph. D. Program in School Psychology is focused on the preparation of professional school psychologists and system leaders who engage in scientifically-driven practice within a social justice framework. The doctoral school psychology program supports the training of future school psychologist leaders who apply a social justice lens in the application of scientifically-based interventions in underserved environments and with disenfranchised groups. A social justice perspective on school psychology practice is the overarching umbrella. Within this overarching umbrella is a focus on training future psychologists who will engage in scientifically-based practice to meet the needs of children and families in diverse environments. Our alignment with social justice and the service of others is congruent with larger mission of the School of Education (e. g. , Professionalism in the Service of Social Justice), which houses the program and faculty as well as the larger mission of Loyola University Chicago, which was founded on principles of social justice and service to others. The goals described under program goals, objectives and competencies are an operationalization of our social justice overarching framework and the application of science to school psychology practice as part of this mission and framework.
From the outset of the doctoral School Psychology training program, our focus is on guiding a social justice perspective or framework and additionally training our students to use data, research-based literature and science to inform practice in diverse settings. For example, in the first semester of our program, students are required to complete an introductory course overview course (CIEP 466, Data-based Decision Making). Students are taught to review data to make schoolwide decisions about behavior, academic and social emotional needs. Students additionally take coursework in their first year that provides instruction in basic assessment and intervention skills (e.g., CIEP 480, Assessment of School Aged Children; CIEP 477, Academic Assessment and Intervention; CIEP 482, Personality Assessment; and CPSY 423, Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy). As described in the Grid of Courses appearing in the Ph.D. School Psychology Handbook under current student resources, a series of data-based assessment and intervention courses are taken in the first year as prerequisites to the practicum (all must be taken with a grade of “B” or better). The focus on the use of data and scientifically-based literature to make informed decisions is the science and practice component of the program. At the same time, students are exposed to a social justice perspective through ELPS 432, Multiculturalism for Social Justice, through which the 75 service learning hours are completed.
The first year focuses on acquiring knowledge and an understanding of scientifically-based assessment and intervention strategies. As students move through the program, they receive supervised training on the application of scientifically-based practice.
In the second year, students begin to apply their scientifically based knowledge in their year-long school based practicum assignments (through CIEP 461 and CIEP 463) and in core courses (CIEP 479, School-Based Consultation and CIEP 485, Social-Emotional Assessment and Intervention) that have required assignments that are completed in their practicum settings.
In the third year, students are required to complete a Specialty Practicum, (CIEP 546), in which more advanced clinical skills are applied. They are also required to write a “concept paper” outlining their dissertation ideas prior to applying for internship. Following approval of the concept paper by the dissertation advisor, a full proposal is written, which must be successfully defended prior to accepting an internship. In the third year of the program, students also complete their major comprehensive examinations, which must be successfully passed before going on internship. In the fourth or fifth year, depending on dissertation progress, students complete an APPIC-approved or equivalent year-long internship under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.
In addition to the clinical training provided within the auspices of the program, we have a strong research training focus, which is facilitated by the school psychology program falling within the same program group as the research methodology program on campus. Our training requirements include the successful completion of 15 graduate credits in statistics and research. Students must apply their research training through required participation on faculty and student-led research teams and successful completion of at least one national conference presentation. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively with faculty on articles and book chapters for publication and must submit at least one paper for publication while in the program.
Goal #1: To facilitate students’ professional identity development as socially just school psychologists with strong commitments to equity and ethical guidelines in practice and research.
Objectives for Goal #1
Objective 1A: We aim to produce psychologists with a strong sense of professional identity and commitment to an ethical social justice orientation.
Objective 1B: We aim to produce ethical and socially just psychologists who have knowledge of individual differences and understand the societal discrimination, inequities, social, cultural, racial/ethnic, experiential, gender and linguistic factors on functioning.
Competencies for Goal #1
Competency 1A: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the history of school psychology, as well as traditional and emerging roles as ethical and socially just decision-makers and leaders in practice and research.
Competency 1B: Students will demonstrate professional identities as school psychologists through their membership in national professional associations.
Competency 1C: Students will demonstrate knowledge of historical discrimination and inequity on educational and psychological functioning, as well as the impact of individual differences and social/cultural influences on development and adjustment.
Goal #2: To provide students with in-depth training in evidence-based, data-driven practice from a social justice perspective using both direct and indirect service models.
Objectives for Goal #2
Objective 2A: We aim to produce psychologists who take an evidence-based data-driven approach to assessment, intervention and evaluation of services from a social justice perspective.
Objective 2B: We aim to produce psychologists who can apply evidence-based direct counseling and mental health interventions, as well as indirect consultative interventions in applied settings.
Objective 2C: We aim to produce psychologists who can work effectively with families and communities.
Competencies for Goal #2
Competency 2A: We aim to produce psychologists who take an evidence-based data-driven approach to assessment, intervention and evaluation of services from a social justice perspective.
Competency 2B: We aim to produce psychologists who can apply evidence-based direct counseling and mental health interventions, as well as indirect consultative interventions in applied settings.
Competency 2C: We aim to produce psychologists who can work effectively with families and communities.
Goal #3: To train students in the scientist-practitioner model who are competent in the evaluation, production, and dissemination of research from a social justice perspective.
Objectives for Goal #3
Objective 3A: We aim to produce psychologists who critically review and evaluate the psychological and educational research literature from an ethical and social justice standpoint.
Objective 3B: We aim to produce psychologists who demonstrate research competence and can apply such skills to execute independent research.
Objective 3C: We aim to produce psychologists who contribute to the research literature through publications and presentations at national conferences.
Competencies for Goal #3
Competency 3A: Students will critically evaluate research from a methodological, as well as ethical and social justice perspective. Students will demonstrate competence in research design, data analysis, and data interpretation.
Competency 3B: Students will apply research methodological skills and statistics expertise to successfully complete dissertation research.
Competency 3C: Students will demonstrate competence in presenting at psychological and educational conferences and preparing manuscripts for publication.