2018-2019 Academic Catalogs

Education Specialist in School Psychology


(701) 858-3145/1 (800) 777-0750 ext.3145

Department of Addiction Studies, Psychology and Social Work Graduate Faculty
Department Chairperson: Dr. Vicki Michels
Graduate Program Director: Dr. Joseph Engler, NCSP


The Education Specialist in School Psychology prepares students for certification as a School Psychologist.  Graduate students participate in a rigorous three year program. The program emphasizes hands-on experiences culminating in a one year, 1200 hour internship. The program also emphasizes rural school psychology in the coursework.

The program provides students with the theoretical and practical skills to be an effective school psychologist. The curriculum emphasizes assessment skills, intervention techniques, and consultative strategies through numerous practicum, clinic, and rural outreach opportunities. The program trains practitioners who are culturally competent service providers.

The School Psychology graduate program is Fully Approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Program Philosophy

The theme of Preparing Leaders who are Reflective Decision Makers is a guide to the mission of the School Psychology Program at Minot State University. This theme prepares students to become competent leaders in the field of school psychology with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to make effective professional decisions via reflective decision making.

The conceptual framework that supports the theme of “Reflective Decision Making + Leadership” includes the following thematic strands:

  • Professional and Content Standards
  • Diversity
  • Technology Integration
  • Partnerships
  • Learning Environments

Underlying the conceptual framework is the belief that preparation for all professional educators must be aligned with state, national and professional standards. This includes the following: a strong emphasis on the development of the student’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions, inclusion of all learning environments, relevance to diversity and technology integration, and the development and enhancement of partnerships.

Decision making is viewed as an ongoing interactive process in which a myriad of factors must be understood and balanced in making sound professional decisions. Using the scientist/practitioner approach, students are trained to consider input from a variety of sources, synthesize the information after reflection, and make data based decisions, which result in positive changes for children and their learning environments. Also inherent in the theme are teamwork efforts and promoting collaboration with other individuals; this prepares students to become professional leaders who are “Reflective Decision-Makers” following the three major aspects of the Action Reflection Knowledge (ARK) model.

Program Goals and Objectives

The goals of the School Psychology Program at Minot State University are to prepare competent school psychologists who possess the knowledge base, necessary clinical skills and dispositions to serve the educational and mental health needs of children of diverse backgrounds and to function as leaders within the educational context who promote problem solving through team work and collaboration. This is accomplished with particular focus on Response-to-Intervention (RTI) service delivery models.

Graduates of the school psychology program are prepared to provide direct and indirect school psychological services for children, parents, teachers, related personnel, administrators, and community agencies. Continuing professional development is also offered annually to area professionals in education and mental health fields (e.g. School Psychology Symposium; NDASP Conferences). 

Anchored in the mission, philosophy, and goals stated above, the program subscribes to the following objective for students enrolled in the Minot State University School Psychology Program:

  1. To provide students with knowledge of school organization and operations, which promotes their understanding of educational settings as systems.
  2. To familiarize students with the roles and functions of school psychologists as well as current professional standards and issues.
  3. To acquire data-based reflective decision making skills that facilitate outcome-based service delivery.
  4. To acquire knowledge of human learning and development of cognitive, academic, social, behavioral, affective, and adaptive skills of children.
  5. To develop clinical skills in the assessment of human learning and developmental processes pertinent to serving the educational and mental health needs of children, using various models and techniques.
  6. To prepare professional who are familiar with techniques to evaluate academic and behavioral interventions. 
  7. To develop communication, collaboration, and consultation skills and the ability to positively engage in teamwork efforts.
  8. To acquire the ability to work effectively with families, educator, and others in the community and to promote partnerships in providing comprehensive service to children and their families.
  9. To prepare students with awareness and sensitivity to human diversity and to acquire skills to work with children from diverse backgrounds.
  10. To develop awareness of and adherence to laws, ethical standards, and professional dispositions.
  11. To acquire knowledge of research, statistics, and evaluation methods and enable students to integrate theoretical knowledge, empirical research, and professional experience in practice.
  12. Ability to incorporate technology throughout school psychology practices. 
  13. To prepare students for continuing professional growth through membership in professional organizations, participation in state and national conventions, and attendance at workshops and seminars, and service learning opportunities. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Minot State University adheres to NASP's model of comprehensive and integrated school psychological services.  Therefore, students graduating from the School Psychology Program shall demonstrate an understanding of the following:

Practices That Permeate All Aspects of Service Delivery

  • Interventions/problem-solving
  • Assessment
  • Alternative models for the delivery of school psychological services
  • Emergent technologies

Direct and Indirect Services For Children, Families, and Schools

  • Instructional Design
  • Organization and operation of schools
  • Direct intervention, both individual and group
  • Indirect intervention

Foundations of School Psychologists' Service Delivery

  • Biological bases of behavior
  • Human learning
  • Social and cultural bases of behavior
  • Child and adolescent development
  • Individual differences
  • Research and evaluation methods
  • Statistics
  • Measurement
  • History and foundations of school psychology
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Professional issues and standards
  • Roles and functions of school psychologist

Departmental Admission Standards

The School Psychology program is committed to broadening diversity within the program. Students of all ethnic backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Prospective students must have/consider the following:

  1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  2. Completion of all admission requirements of the Graduate School at Minot State University. Students who have applied for admission by January 15th, for the next academic year, will be given priority consideration. Students may also apply for a secondary deadline of March 15th, pending availability of spots within the program.
  3. Completion of Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  4. Students with permanent residence in North Dakota will receive priority consideration.
  5. Students who apply to the School Psychology program should have a strong background either in education or psychology and preferably in both.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is at the core of any graduate program. Any behavior deemed as academically dishonest by the department will result in dismissal from the program. Academic dishonesty would include, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviors:

  1. Misrepresenting another individual’s work as one’s own, e.g. plagiarism.
  2. Copying from another student during an exam.
  3. Altering one’s exam after grading for the purpose of enhancing one’s grade.
  4. Submitting the same paper to more than one class.
  5. Use of any material not approved by the instructor during an exam.
  6. Turning in reports intended to be based on field collection data but, in fact, is not.
  7. Failure to respect the confidentiality of persons served or studied and to maintain the professional standards for ethical conduct as set forth in The Handbook of School Psychology published by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Academic Honesty Appeal Policy

Dismissal for academic dishonesty can be appealed. A student who wishes to appeal his/her dismissal should follow the appeal process established by the Graduate School and listed in this catalog under Graduate School Policies and Regulations.

Grading Policy

Students are advised that a grade of “C” in a required course for the Education Specialist in School Psychology degree is considered a failing grade.

Grade Appeal Policy

The process and conditions for a grade appeal follow the definitions and schedules of the Graduate School. All requests for review of a grade must be submitted according to the timelines established by the Graduate School for this process.

Written Qualifying Comprehensive Exams

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of school psychology through written qualifying and comprehensive exams. These exams will be taken in the fall of the student’s first year of graduate work and in the spring of the students second year.

Required Courses (70 SH Minimum)

ED 540Reading: Advance Diag & Remed2
ED 541Clinical Practice Remedial Read2
SPED 561Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support 3
SPED 572Methods Of Teaching the Learning Disabled3
PSY 503Statistics I3
PSY 511Human Growth and Development3
PSY 512Research Design and Measurement4
PSY 514Individual Cognitive Assessment4
PSY 515Academic Assessment4
PSY 518Psychopathology Of Children3
PSY 525Role and Function Of School Psychologist3
PSY 533Social and Behavioral Interventions In School3
PSY 584School Psychology Practicum I3
PSY 585School Psychology Practicum II3
PSY 586Clinical Experience3
PSY 590Counseling Skills3
PSY 592Special Topics (Diversity in the Schools)3
PSY 593School Safety, Crisis Preparation, and Crisis Response3
PSY 594Consultation and Collaboration3
PSY 597Thesis (optional)3
PSY 598Internship6
PSY 599Internship6
Total Hours70


Core Faculty

Dr. Joseph Engler, NCSP
Director, School Psychology Program

Graduate Faculty

Dr. Vicki Michels

Dr. Paul Markel

Dr. Deborah Olson