The Educational Specialist Degree (EdS) Program
The program of study leading to the EdS in school psychology is designed to enable individuals with advanced degrees to enhance their professional competence and/or satisfy Massachusetts DESE licensure and national certification requirements. The program is for those who have completed a master’s-level program in school psychology. It is also suited to those with a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field, such as counseling, special education, teacher education, or clinical psychology.
The EdS in School Psychology requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework, a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills portion of the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL), completion of a 1,200-clock-hour internship, presentation of an acceptable professional portfolio, a passing score on the Praxis II: School Psychology exam, and satisfying all state and national certification standards. Students who fail the Praxis II twice may petition the program director to substitute an alternate comprehensive exam for this requirement. Upon graduation, the candidate qualifies for initial licensure as a school psychologist in Massachusetts and other states.
Prerequisites to full acceptance: Massachusetts Test of Educator Literacy; a course in child development (if needed, COUNSL 620 Human Development: Research, Theory and Practice recommended); a course in statistics (if needed, a course such as PSY 270 Introduction to Psychology Statistics).
EdS students are responsible for the entire content of the MEd/EdS program. Upon consultation with the core program faculty, courses can be waived if taken in a substantially similar form in the previous graduate program.
EdS Capstone 1: Praxis II: School Psychology exam. A passing score on the Praxis II: School Psychologist Examination (Praxis II) is required for
- National certification by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) as a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP),
- Professional licensure in school psychology by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and
- Licensure as an Educational Psychologist by the State Board of Examiners in Mental Health and Allied Professionals.
Students take the Praxis II exam as a university capstone for the EdS in school psychology. Students are encouraged to take the Praxis II before or during the first semester of the internship year. See ETS for more information. Students must submit their official Praxis II scores directly to the School Psychology Program director.
EdS Capstone 2: Portfolio in school psychology. Students are required to submit a professional portfolio as a NASP capstone for the EdS in school psychology. Throughout the internship, students complete components of the portfolio and submit them to the seminar instructor for feedback and adherence to rubrics found in the Appendices of the Fieldwork Handbook. An intern may need to revise and resubmit repeatedly until the seminar instructor judges the component to be portfolio ready. The instructor then assigns a grade to the document, and the intern includes it in the portfolio. The Fieldwork Handbook and the syllabus for SPY 688/SPY 691 contain additional information regarding the portfolio.
Please see the general statement of admission requirements for all graduate studies programs in the “Admissions” section of this publication. Also refer to the description of admission requirements listed under “Professional Preparation Programs for Educators” in the “Regulations, Procedures, and Degree Requirements” section of this publication.
Specialist Program: EdS Level
The School Psychology Admissions Committee reviews all applications to the EdS level of the specialist program in School Psychology. It then recommends admission for those applicants who present evidence of their ability to perform graduate work with distinction. Such evidence typically includes:
- Transcripts of all previous college work, undergraduate and graduate. Transcripts must be official (bear the college seal) and be from regionally accredited institutions.
- Evidence of having completed at least a master’s degree in school psychology or a related field of study.
- Undergraduate and graduate cumulative grade point averages (GPA) should be at least 3.0 overall and 3.0 in psychology courses as well.
- A minimum of five courses in psychology at either the undergraduate or graduate level, including introductory psychology, human development, and statistics.
- Three letters of recommendation addressing the candidate’s ability to succeed in advanced graduate training in school psychology and promise to develop into a thoughtful and responsive practitioner. At least two of the letters should be from instructors in the applicant’s most recent master’s degree or doctoral program. At least one letter should address the candidate’s demonstrated skills as an employee working with children and adolescents.
- International applicants are required to earn a minimum score of 6.0 on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants who have received at least 4 years of education (including an undergraduate program) in Australia, Canada (except Quebec), England, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, the United States, or Wales are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS. All others are required to submit official score reports.
- Scores on the Communication & Literacy Skills (reading and writing) portions of the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL). Students who are provisionally admitted without this score must take this test within a semester of matriculation.
- A letter of intent describing an understanding of school psychology practice and detailing personal career objectives. Please answer this question and not the one from the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- If invited, an interview with the School Psychology Program Admissions Committee.