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Department of Educational Psychology


Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Educational Psychology is to promote the development and application of scientific knowledge. To do so, our faculty members are committed to: Producing high-quality, innovative research and scholarship; Providing effective and culturally inclusive instructional technologies to prepare practitioners and researchers to use the tools, resources, and strategies necessary to improve the educational experience of all learners; Preparing culturally competent scientist-practitioners and researchers to effectively contribute to the applied psychological development and well-being of children and adolescents; Providing responsive educational and psychological services to the local community, schools, and beyond; Engaging in participatory and leadership roles in local, national, and international institutions and organizations.

The Department of Educational Psychology faculty provide valuable support to other departments and program areas within the College of Education and Human Development and throughout the University by teaching courses based on foundational educational psychology concepts in areas such as learning, motivation, development, assessment, and research methods. At this time, the Department of Educational Psychology offers one graduate degree: the Master of Arts degree in School Psychology. The Department also offers two graduate certificates: Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis and Certificate in Digital Learning Design.

Master of Arts Degree in School Psychology

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in School Psychology includes advanced coursework and field-based experiences related to psychological assessment, counseling, consultation, learning, development, child psychopathology, research, statistics, and professional issues. Students will also complete a full-time internship in a school setting. The program is designed to provide the academic and practical training necessary to become a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Graduates also will be eligible to apply for certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, which is a nationally-recognized professional certification granted by the National Association of School Psychologists. Due to the clinical nature of this program and number of hours required, the degree does not have a Thesis option.

Program Admission Requirements. The M.A. in School Psychology is designed for students who aspire to practice psychology in educational settings. The number of students admitted to this program may be limited, and admission may be competitive. Admission to the program is based on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must provide official transcripts indicating a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Special Education, Curriculum & Instruction, Sociology, or closely related field from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or show proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  2. Acceptance to the M.A. program is contingent on having a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework for the baccalaureate degree, as well as in all graduate-level coursework taken (if applicable). If an applicant’s GPA is between 2.70 and 2.99, probationary admission may be granted and the student must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 GPA during the first 12 hours of coursework. Applicants who have a GPA below 2.70 are denied admission as degree-seeking students.
  3. Applicants must submit an official score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE; including the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing tests). GRE scores cannot be more than five years old. Applicants must obtain a minimum score of 3.0 on the Analytical Writing test. There is not a cutoff score for the Verbal Reasoning or Quantitative Reasoning tests; rather, scores on these tests will be balanced with GPA and other criteria.
  4. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit an official score on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum scores include a score of at least 550 on the TOEFL paper version, at least 79 on the TOEFL Internet version, or at least 6.5 on the IELTS.
  5. Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation from professional references. Appropriate sources of letters include professors, supervisors, employers, and similar individuals with whom the applicant has a professional relationship. Letters should not be submitted from personal references such as friends or family members. These letters should specifically address the applicant’s academic and/or professional skills, and potential to succeed in a rigorous graduate program.
  6. Applicants must prepare a Statement of Purpose (approximately 500 words) which outlines the applicant’s (1) reasons for pursuing the M.A. degree in School Psychology, (2) experiences relevant to the field of psychology or education, and (3) career plans.
  7. Applicants who lack appropriate academic background in psychology or a closely related field may be admitted conditionally, and specific coursework will be required to address areas of deficiency. The hours of coursework required will be determined on a case-by-case basis between the student and the student’s advisor.

Please note: In addition to the importance of applicants’ other test scores and performance in undergraduate coursework, selection decisions will be strongly influenced by applicants’ writing ability as demonstrated by their Statement of Purpose and score on the GRE Analytical Writing test. Demonstration of writing skills is especially important because success in the field of School Psychology largely depends on these skills, and students will be required to complete a significant amount of writing throughout the School Psychology curriculum.

Interested persons should contact the Student Development Specialist for the School Psychology program or check the Web site for more information.

Degree Requirements. Candidates for the Master of Arts degree in School Psychology must earn a minimum of 66 semester credit hours. Students must pass a comprehensive written examination toward the end of their formal coursework. The examination may be repeated, but students must be registered for coursework at UTSA during the semester in which they take the exam. Thus, students who have finished all of their required coursework but have not passed the comprehensive examination must register for EDP 6961 during the semester in which they take the exam.

The following 66 semester credit hours of coursework are required for all students in the School Psychology program:

COU 5213   Counseling Theories
EDP 5003   Psychological Learning Theories
EDP 5033   Human Development Across the Life Span
EDP 5053   Psychosocial Contexts of Learning
EDP 5303   Principles and Techniques of Evaluation
EDP 6033   Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in School Psychology
EDP 6103   Methods and Techniques of Inquiry I
EDP 6203   Methods and Techniques of Inquiry II
EDP 6233   Mental Health Services in the Schools
EDP 6243   Assessment of Intelligence and Achievement
EDP 6263   Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
EDP 6293   Consultation in the Schools
EDP 6343   Advanced Psychological Assessment
EDP 6643   Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
EDP 6703   Clinical Neuropsychology
EDP 6733   Multicultural Assessment and Intervention
EDP 6833   Practicum in School Psychology (must be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours)
EDP 6943   Internship in School Psychology (must be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours)
SPE 5403   Survey of Special Education
SPE 5513   Curriculum and Instructional Applications for Children and Youth in Special Education

Standards and Procedures
In order to complete the M.A. in School Psychology and to be eligible to take certification or licensing examinations, students must:

  • Maintain scholastic performance, meeting or exceeding department standards.
  • Demonstrate the acquisition of, and ability to apply, skills necessary to work effectively with persons and systems having diverse needs.
  • Demonstrate professionalism in their interactions with others.
  • Conform with the codes of ethics of relevant professional associations in psychology (e.g., National Association of School Psychologists, American Psychological Association) in addition to the ethical and legal regulations relevant to the practice of psychology in the State of Texas (e.g., Texas Administrative Code, Rules and Regulations of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists).

It is the duty of faculty members in the School Psychology program to evaluate all students according to these standards in all settings in which faculty members and students interact, including classes, practicum and internship sites, advising, and supervision. It is expected that students will respond to evaluations, formal or informal, in appropriate ways and will attempt to conform to professional standards as explained to them.

Admission to the program does not guarantee fitness to remain in the program to completion. Only those students who consistently meet program standards will be allowed to continue in the program. If and when a student is judged not to meet program standards sufficiently to be allowed to provide psychological services to others, that student will be removed from continuation in the program.

Only two courses with the grade of “C” (defined as grades of “C” or “C+”) will be accepted toward this degree. A minimum of a 3.0 grade point average will be required for graduation. Those who obtain more than two grades of “C” will be put on probation and may be required to complete appropriate remedial work.

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Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Applied Behavior Analysis certificate is offered through collaboration with the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching. Admission, advising, and review of academic progress are conducted through the Department of Educational Psychology. This 15-semester-credit-hour certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is designed to meet the needs of current and prospective students interested in developing basic skills in applied behavioral analysis. The certificate is available to students who have been admitted as special students and seek the certificate independent of a degree as well as master’s degree students.

This certificate is designed to provide students with focused training in the area of applied behavior analysis as it relates to educational psychology and special education. The certificate provides educators with specialized skills in the application of behavior analysis to support the social behavior needs of students. The certificate coursework provides students with a strong background in behavioral theory and principles as well as the skills to apply this learning to relevant contexts (e.g., educational settings, clinic settings, home settings). In addition, completion of the coursework linked with the certificate will meet the coursework requirements set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. (BACB®).

The following departmental requirements are applicable to the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in an approved area of study (e.g., psychology, education).
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 for the last two years of work toward the bachelor’s degree.
  • To maintain enrollment in the certificate program, students should maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their tenure in the program.

To meet the curricular requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis students must complete 15 semester credit hours with a grade point average of 3.0 or above from the following courses:

  1. 9 semester credit hours of required courses:

    EDP 5003   Psychological Learning Theories
    EDP 6263   Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
    SPE 5503   Applied Behavior Analysis for Classroom Teachers

  2. 6 semester credit hours of practicum through EDP or SPE:

    EDP 6833   Practicum in School Psychology (must be repeated for a total of 6 hours)
    or
    SPE 5793   Practicum in Special Education: Children and Youth with Disabilities

    And
    SPE 5893   Practicum in Special Education: Individuals with Behavior Problems

Students seeking admission to the certificate program who are not enrolled in a graduate degree program will be required to apply to the Graduate School as special graduate students and indicate that they are seeking admission to the Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis. All other requirements for admission as a special graduate student described in Chapter 1, Admission, of this catalog are applicable.

All other requirements for certificate programs described in Chapter 3, Certificate Programs, of this catalog apply to this program.

Students should see an advisor if they are interested in becoming eligible to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) Examination. An advisor will provide further instructions about the requirements for the BCBA.

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Graduate Certificate in Digital Learning Design

The 15-semester-credit-hour Certificate in Digital Learning Design (DLD) is offered through collaboration with the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching. Admission, advising, and review of academic progress are conducted through the Department of Educational Psychology. The DLD certificate is designed to meet the needs of the working professional responsible for designing digital instructional materials or learning processes. The certificate is available to students who have been admitted as special students and seek the certificate independent of a degree as well as master’s degree students.

This certificate will have basic theoretical foundations in learning theory along with specialized knowledge customized to meet the needs of the professional’s design knowledge that supports professional work and career goals. The focus of the coursework is putting learning theory into practice as students are engaged in real-world cases, problems, and decision-making.

The following departmental admission requirements are applicable to the Certificate in Digital Learning Design:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • Intermediate or advanced skills in at least two of the following areas: animation, curriculum design, graphic design, online technologies, teaching, web design, or video production (indicated by completing a supplemental form).
  • Work or academic experience that involves instruction, instructional design, training, and/or curriculum development (indicated by completing a supplemental form).
  • To maintain enrollment in the certificate program, students should maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout their tenure in the program.

To meet the curricular requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Digital Learning Design students must complete 15 semester credit hours with a grade point average of 3.0 or above from the following courses:

  1. 6 semester credit hours of required core courses:

    EDP 5003   Psychological Learning Theories

    EDP 5343   Instructional Design Theory
    or
    IST  5343   Instructional Design Theory

  2. Electives (9 semester credit hours selected with consultation of advisor):

    EDP 5053   Psychosocial Contexts of Learning
    EDP 5303   Principles and Techniques of Evaluation
    EDP 5313   Assessment and Evaluation for Educators
    EDP 5603   Psychology of Human Motivation
    IST  5313   Development of Instructional Technology
    IST  5883   Storytelling as Instructional Method
    IST  6373   Games and Learning
    IST  6603   Computer Programming and Learning Environments

Students seeking admission to the certificate program who are not enrolled in a graduate degree program will be required to apply to the Graduate School as special graduate students and indicate that they are seeking admission to the Graduate Certificate Program in Digital Learning Design. All other requirements for admission as a special graduate student described in Chapter 1, Admission, of this catalog are applicable.

All other requirements for certificate programs described in Chapter 3, Certificate Programs, of this catalog apply to this program.

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