The goal of the East Carolina University MA, CAS school psychology program is to prepare highly qualified, entry-level school psychologists to work with children, families, and other professionals in public schools. The school psychologist draws on multifaceted skills from both psychology and education for the purpose of promoting healthy academic, cognitive, social and emotional development and is expected to have appreciation for human diversity and respect for each person with whom the psychologist will come into contact. The school psychologist is concerned with enhancing teacher effectiveness, creating a positive classroom environment for children, and influencing educational practices within the school setting. The school psychologist also recognizes the tremendous influence of the social and cultural environments on children, including the impact of gender, ethnicity and exceptionality.
ECU's program is developed following the scientist-practitioner model. Students are trained to be good consumers and producers of empirical research. Empirical knowledge serves as the basis for developing interventions and solving problems in practice. The curriculum exposes the student to theory, research and practice in school psychology, which are integrated through a planned sequence of course work, practica and internship. The program requires 63 semester hours, including a 1,200 hour full-time internship (6 semester hours), a thesis (6 semester hours), and 51 semester hours of course work.
The school psychology program admits a select number of students each year who are judged by the faculty to have excellent potential for success as school psychologists. In accordance with University Policy, the program does not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability. Regular admission to the program is contingent upon meeting all requirements of the Graduate School and being recommended for admission by the school psychology faculty.
Criteria for regular admission include:
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, child development, or a closely related degree. Students must have a common core of undergraduate psychology courses including introductory psychology, statistics, and experimental psychology. Additional coursework in learning, developmental, physiological psychology, and tests and measurements is recommended;
- An overall GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4 point scale;
- Graduate Record Examination scores taken within the previous five years. Accepted students typically have GRE combined Verbal + Quant score of 300 or above;
- Three letters of reference, two of which must be from psychologists (usually psychology professors);
- Completed Graduate School Application;
- Completed personal statement outlining the applicant’s professional goals, reasons for pursuing training in school psychology, and how the applicant and program will benefit from the applicant’s admission to the program;
- Evidence from application materials that the student has the requisite dispositions to be successful in the program and to practice effectively as a school psychologist. These dispositions include a commitment to the profession, a reflective approach to personal strengths and weaknesses, ability to work collaboratively with others, accepts constructive feedback, responsibility, and academic motivation.
Applications should be made by February 1 for Fall admission. Admissions decisions are made based on a combination of GRE scores, GPA, previous experiences, recommendations and information from the applicant’s personal statement.
Graduate assistantships within the Psychology Department may be available to qualified students. Applicants wishing to be considered for an assistantship should include a letter with the application indicating a desire to be considered for an assistantship and explaining any outstanding need for financial assistance. Students may also pursue graduate assistantships in other departments in the university. These positions are advertised in various university sources.