Dec 12, 2010
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Psychology Student
I am curious if there is a difference between school conselor and school psychologist. I would imagine that school psychologist would be a little more dificult and longer to obtain a degree in. If this is the case, could one obtain an ma/ms in school conseling and then pursue school psychologist credentials? Or would both be too different and have to start over? Thanks for any advice/information I can get.
 
Jul 7, 2010
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Psychology Student
I am curious if there is a difference between school conselor and school psychologist. I would imagine that school psychologist would be a little more dificult and longer to obtain a degree in. If this is the case, could one obtain an ma/ms in school conseling and then pursue school psychologist credentials? Or would both be too different and have to start over? Thanks for any advice/information I can get.
As far as I know, a school psychologist has to obtain their masters in school psychology, and this training involves a ton of training regarding assessments (such as the WISC), and also a clinical practicum in a school setting. You would also need to pass a licensing exam for your state. I am not quite sure what a school counselor is. It sounds like something that could perhaps be done with a bachelor degree? I am a clinical student, so I am no expert in the field of school psychology. Perhaps somebody can elaborate a bit more :)
 

Therapist4Chnge

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A quick search on here will yield a more thorough response, though the quick and dirty response is that school psychology requires a specialist degree (credit-wise it is between an MS and doctorate) in most states. The primary role of a school psychologist is to administer education related assessments and assist in IEP planning. School counseling is quite different from this and requires an MS. I don't know as much about the latter, though generally there is not much, if any, cross over between the degrees.
 

coldsweat

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What would be your reason for pursuing a master's degree in school counseling AND certification as a school psychologist? You receive counseling training in specialist's programs for school psychology, granted the quality of this training varies by program. If you want to provide counseling as a school psychologist, it's a matter of locating a position in a school district that allows for these opportunities. Based on my discussions with school psychologists, TIME, not training, is the factor limiting the time they spend counseling.

Regardless, my answer to your original question would be likely no. The overlap between the fields is marginal. Even though the role of school psychologists has been evolving from tester to consultant, the knowledge base required remains distinct.

It sounds like you need to do more research on the topic. A basic internet search would reveal the difference between school psychology and school counseling.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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New York
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Pre-Medical
Actually both the School Psychology and School Counseling Degree in New York anyhow have the same amount of credits, are considered specialist degrees as they both contain a CAS (Certificate of Advanced Study) and need to do practicums, internships and take license exams. Both have exposure to assessment and counseling to a degree, however, each has a special reason within the school and overall training. One is not better then the other and many people automatically think because one has a title of psychologist that they are the supreme degree of school based mental health and this is not the case. School Psychologists test to help the CSE department to see if a child needs special services or not. They themselves do not diagnosis any of the 13 disorders of I.D.E.A, but are psycho-metricians and consults between special education, staff and parents. Counselors are based more in providing moment to moment mental health, implementing programs and other assessments (School Psychologists do IQ testing exclusively within the school system). Counselors also sit on CSE boards, provide expertise and provide services that help staff and parents work together. Also, School counselors learn a great degree more psychotherapy (that is what counseling really is) then School Psychs, since psych's are busy with cognitive assessment training.
Word of warning: When I was in School Psych you learn quickly that counselors have the better job. We just test and report and are special-ed gate keepers. You learn also that School Psychology within the field are overworked in testing not stop and are becoming obsolete with the coming of RIT intervention and out sourcing.
 

coldsweat

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Actually both the School Psychology and School Counseling Degree in New York anyhow have the same amount of credits, are considered specialist degrees as they both contain a CAS (Certificate of Advanced Study) and need to do practicums, internships and take license exams. Both have exposure to assessment and counseling to a degree, however, each has a special reason within the school and overall training. One is not better then the other and many people automatically think because one has a title of psychologist that they are the supreme degree of school based mental health and this is not the case. School Psychologists test to help the CSE department to see if a child needs special services or not. They themselves do not diagnosis any of the 13 disorders of I.D.E.A, but are psycho-metricians and consults between special education, staff and parents. Counselors are based more in providing moment to moment mental health, implementing programs and other assessments (School Psychologists do IQ testing exclusively within the school system). Counselors also sit on CSE boards, provide expertise and provide services that help staff and parents work together. Also, School counselors learn a great degree more psychotherapy (that is what counseling really is) then School Psychs, since psych's are busy with cognitive assessment training.
Word of warning: When I was in School Psych you learn quickly that counselors have the better job. We just test and report and are special-ed gate keepers. You learn also that School Psychology within the field are overworked in testing not stop and are becoming obsolete with the coming of RIT intervention and out sourcing.
It was probably a typo that you typed RIT instead of RTI, but maybe not because your last statement reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about RTI. Research does not suggest that RTI will necessarily decrease the need for school psychologists (for a reference, look at the article "Response to Intervention: The Role and Effect on School Psychology" by Matthew Burns & Melissa Coolong-Chaffin). Some states as Iowa have been implementing a problem-solving approach for a long time and school psychologists have not become obsolete there. Again, RTI decreases the amount of time they spend in assessment, but it doesn't eliminate the need for this role. In fact, to implement RTI with integrity, school psychologists are necessary, for example, to select evidence-based interventions and interpret progress data.

Your description of school psychology only focuses on assessment and completely ignores their consultative role. It appears that you have a grudge against the field with comments as "When I was in School Psych you learn quickly that counselors have the better job" and "many people automatically think because one has a title of psychologist that they are the supreme degree of school based mental health." These assumptions may be based on your experience but it is important to recognize that they do not necessarily apply elsewhere.
 
Feb 24, 2010
22
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Psychology Student
School psychology and school counseling are distinct where I live as well. Additionally, there is also a less severe distinction between school counseling and counseling psychology in my area: teaching credentials are necessary for a school counselor, so the former tends to be more teachers expanding their expertise.

I would disagree with CuriousWeasel's description of school psychology vs. school counseling though. School psychologists do have extensive training in assessment, but they're definitely not limited to that role. They are trained in program development, implementation, and evaluation as well as sitting on boards, providing expertise and services for staff and parents. They're certainly not psychometricians: if they were, their job title would be psychometricians, not school psychologists. :rolleyes:

Additionally, some school psychologists, especially those at the PhD level, can provide diagnoses (including some of the 13 disorders of IDEA - mental ******ation, definitely, emotional disturbances, etc.). I think the big draw for people pursuing school psychology is that after completing their PhD, they are eligible for licensure as a registered psychologist (in all states except Wisconsin or something), which ultimately results in greater flexibility in their duties and work settings. If therapy is one's focus though, I think school counselor or social worker would definitely be more suitable: it's not an area that's emphasized in school psych, although you can pursue it more on the side if you'd prefer.
 
Jan 1, 2012
6
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Does anyone know if there are programs that offer a Masters in school psychology and the Ed. Specialist degree at the same time?
 
Jan 1, 2012
6
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
thanks for the information. Do you know of any good schools for this on the east coast or NY? I am trying to find a good program but overwhelmed with the information.
 
Nov 3, 2011
76
0
Status
Psychology Student
I'm not familiar with that area but I would just look at the list of programs approved by NASP and go from there. Just go to each program's website to get more info and find out which ones offer the specialist degree:
http://www.nasponline.org/certification/naspapproved.aspx

Hope this is helpful!

Edit: I saw you were also posting in another topic about the differences between degrees and certifications. Each state can have different requirements. You may want to find the state department in New York that is in charge of certifying school psychologists so you can find out what degree/coursework/practicum is required to practice.
 
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