Plymouth State’s School Psychology Program Earns National Certification

May 3rd, 2016 by blyndes
Left to right, Students Katie Misiaszek, Ashley Hess and faculty members Cynthia Waltman and Christina Flanders discuss an issue in a graduate-level school psychologist class.

Left to right, Students Katie Misiaszek, Ashley Hess and faculty members Cynthia Waltman and Christina Flanders discuss an issue in a graduate-level school psychologist class.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University’s school psychology graduate program has achieved a prestigious national approval from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). According to PSU Professor of Counselor Education and School Psychology Cynthia Waltman, PSU is now the first and only NASP-approved program in New Hampshire and Vermont.

“Attaining this NASP approval demonstrates to prospective students and employers that PSU’s program meets the highest standards and that we are preparing highly qualified school psychologists to support children and adolescents, behaviorally, socially and academically,” Waltman said.

For students, the approval streamlines the process for earning a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential. According to NASP, “The NCSP credential is the only professional credential acknowledging school psychologists who meet rigorous, nationally recognized standards. School psychologists who hold the NCSP demonstrate their commitment to the highest levels of professionalism, ethical practice and continuing professional development.”

PSU graduate student Zach Preston is serving a school psychologist internship at Lin-Wood Public School in Lincoln, N.H.

PSU graduate student Zach Preston is completing a school psychologist internship at Lin-Wood Public School in Lincoln, N.H.

PSU graduate student Zach Preston ’16G is interning in the school psychology office at Lin-Wood Public School in Lincoln, N.H. Preston believes well-trained school psychologists are needed now more than ever because young people require more help in dealing with the problems of modern-day society.

“The world is a different place,” Preston noted. “Social media can broaden students’ lives, but it can also make them more vulnerable to problems, like cyber-bullying.” Preston acknowledged that PSU’s school psychology graduate faculty addresses these issues in coursework and field work that prepares teachers to acknowledge and resolve present-day problems. “That kind of knowledge, along with the NASP approval is an added benefit to my degree,” said Preston.

“The NCSP credential will make my degree more valuable and I think it will help my career take off,” said Katie Misiaszek ’17 a school psychology candidate from Belmont, N.H.

Graduate student Teniel Rineer ’04 of Thornton, N.H., a school psychology candidate, believes school districts will be more confident in hiring a graduate of a NASP-approved program.

“I think that’s what a lot of schools look for—they know the level of experience and education that goes along with that, schools have the security knowing what my background is through that certification,” said Rineer. 

PSU’s Master of Education in School Psychology is a 69-credit program designed for individuals seeking certification at the state or national level. For more information about Plymouth State University’s school psychology program, contact Cynthia Waltman at cwaltman@plymouth.edu or call (603) 535-3232.

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For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu.