2022-2023 Catalog 
    Apr 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Education Specialist in School Psychology (with Pupil Personnel Services Credential and Emphasis in School Based Mental Health)

School: California School of Education

Modality(ies): Hybrid

Calendar(s): 8-week term

CIP Code: 42.2805

Program Description/Overview

The mission of Alliant International University is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership while promoting the discovery and application of knowledge with the goal of improving the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world. Further, The California School of Education’s mission and vision statements reaffirm our values and commitment to collaboration, diversity, and service to candidates, shared leadership, and the continuous support of the education profession.

With increasing frequency, schools must find ways to help students learn while coping with a broad array of challenges that include language and cultural barriers; exposure to violence, victimization, or substance abuse; attention deficit, and other neurological/ behavioral disorders.

The roles of and School Psychologist have expanded and now include additional areas of competencies which require advanced theoretical knowledge and practical competency beyond the Master’s degree level. Professional Organizations have identified Intervention, Counseling, Consultation, Behavior Analysis, Psychometric Evaluation, Organizational Change, Research and Program Evaluation as being critical professional roles. By expanding our programs to include an emphasis in School Based Mental Health (SBMH), we are adding critical additional training that expands our graduates’ skills. Additionally, the attainment of an advance terminal degree along with these added areas of expertise (SBMH) positions our graduates as preferred entry level professionals thereby increasing their employability furthering the accomplishment of our university’s mission.

This program prepares students to gain Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential that allows them to practice in California’s schools. This program also prepares students by giving them skills and confidence to provide Educationally Related Mental Health Services and Evaluations in both the school and private practice setting. The program will be of interest to recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees, current educators, school personnel and professionals in other related fields.

Students seeking the education specialist degree in school psychology with an emphasis in school based mental health with a pupil personnel services credential in school psychology will receive both a master’s degree (MAE in School Psychology) and education specialist degree upon completion of the total 78 units.

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals Coursework for this program assures that each candidate has knowledge and displays leadership in the following areas:

  1. Data-Based Decision-Making and Accountability: School psychologists have knowledge of varied models and methods of assessment that yield information useful in identifying strengths and needs, in understanding problems, and in measuring progress and accomplishments. School psychologists use such models and methods as part of a systematic process to collect data and other information, translate assessment results into empirically-based decisions about service delivery, and evaluate the outcomes of services. Data-based decision-making permeates every aspect of professional practice.
  2. Consultation and Collaboration: School psychologists have knowledge of behavioral, mental health, collaborative, and/or other consultation models and methods and of their application to situations. School psychologists collaborate effectively with others in planning and decision-making processes at the individual, group, and system levels.
  3. Effective Instruction and Development of Cognitive/Academic Skills: School psychologists have knowledge of human learning processes, techniques to assess these processes, and direct and indirect services applicable to the development of cognitive and academic skills. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, develop appropriate cognitive and academic goals for students with different abilities, disabilities, strengths, and needs; implement interventions to achieve those goals; and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Such interventions include, but are not limited to, instructional interventions and consultation.
  4. Socialization and Development of Life Skills: School psychologists have knowledge of human developmental processes, techniques to assess these processes, and direct and indirect services applicable to the development of behavioral, affective, adaptive, and social skills. School psychologists, in collaboration with others, develop appropriate behavioral, affective, adaptive, and social goals for students of varying abilities, disabilities, strengths, and needs; implement interventions to achieve those goals; and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Such interventions include, but are not limited to, consultation, behavioral assessment/intervention, and counseling.
  5. Student Diversity in Development and Learning: School psychologists have knowledge of individual differences, abilities, and disabilities and of the potential influence of biological, social, cultural, ethnic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, and linguistic factors in development and learning. School psychologists demonstrate the sensitivity and skills needed to work with individuals of diverse characteristics and to implement strategies selected and/or adapted based on individual characteristics, strengths, and needs.
  6. School and Systems Organization, Policy Development, and Climate: School psychologists have knowledge of general education, special education, and other educational and related services. They understand schools and other settings as systems. School psychologists work with individuals and groups to facilitate policies and practices that create and maintain safe, supportive, and effective learning environments for children and others.
  7. Prevention, Crisis Intervention, and Mental Health: School psychologists have knowledge of human development and psychopathology and of associated biological, cultural, and social influences on human behavior. School psychologists provide or contribute to prevention and intervention programs that promote the mental health and physical well-being of students.
  8. Home/School/Community Collaboration: School psychologists have knowledge of family systems, including family strengths and influences on student development, learning, and behavior, and of methods to involve families in education and service delivery. School psychologists work effectively with families, educators, and others in the community to promote and provide comprehensive services to children and families.
  9. Research and Program Evaluation: School psychologists have knowledge of research, statistics, and evaluation methods. School psychologists evaluate research, translate research into practice, and understand research design and statistics in enough depth to plan and conduct investigations and program evaluations for improvement of services.
  10. School Psychology Practice and Development: School psychologists have knowledge of the history and foundations of their profession; of various service models and methods; of public policy development applicable to services to children and families; and of ethical, professional, and legal standards. School psychologists practice in ways that are consistent with applicable standards, are involved in their profession, and have the knowledge and skills needed to acquire career-long professional development.
  11. Information Technology: School psychologists have knowledge of information sources and technology relevant to their work. School psychologists assess, evaluate, and utilize information sources and technology in ways that safeguard or enhance the quality of services.

The program is designed to meet the growing need for School Psychologists to develop advanced competencies in addressing mental health needs for students in the school community. Coursework in this program focuses on the following:

  1. Developing multicultural competencies specific to social/emotional issues, and identify best practice procedures for addressing the myriad of mental health issues for students
  2. Understanding the complexities of collaborating with other professionals working in and outside of school systems,
  3. Assisting in addressing the current critical needs of crisis intervention, due to critical incidents, suicidality, and substance abuse, in addition to the many dimensions of PTSD that exist in our student population that effect their ability to learn and thrive.
  4. Developing a variety of intervention skills in order to best meet and address the needs of our school students and the school community.

Professional Organizations cite in their policy statements that there should be greater access to mental health services, and that these services seek to address a wide spectrum of important issues and conditions, such as trauma and crisis intervention, as well as building skills in mindfulness and resiliency. With these recommendations in mind, the courses in our program focus on four areas of mental health:

  1. Multicultural and diversity issues and understanding Mental Health
  2. Professional collaboration with others
  3. Crisis response and intervention
  4. Intervention


The program prepares candidates to be eligible for the PPS Credential in School Psychology, approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Graduation and program completion results in the recommendation to the California CTC for the PPS Credential in School Psychology. Students interested in this program and working in California K-12 school systems should review all CTC requirements as published on their website.

Students who desire to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor will be required to seek additional coursework outside of this program. They will also be required to complete additional clinical practice hours and take licensing exams which are outlined in the Board of Behavioral Sciences Handbook which can be found on the California Board of Behavioral Sciences website.

Programmatic Accreditation

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC)

Internship, Practicum, and/or Dissertation Information

Students who are seeking the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Psychology must complete a 450-hour practicum and a 1200-hour internship (as detailed in the School Psychology Handbook). Internships may be paid or non-paid. Paid internships are dependent upon the budgets and policies associated with individual school districts.

Credit Units

Total Credit Units: 78

Total Core Credit Units: 78

Total Elective Credit Units: N/A

Total Concentration Credit Units: N/A

Degree Requirements

  1. National School Psychology Praxis II Exam

All students are required to take and pass the Praxis 2 exam (a score of 147 is considered “passing”) prior to the completion of their internship and submit their scores to the program. Students are responsible for: 1) paying the examination fees, 2) going to the local testing center, 3) taking the exam, and 4) are responsible for forwarding the scores to the School & Educational Psychology Programs. The exam students will need to take is the Praxis Exam: School Psychology (5402).

If a student does NOT pass the Praxis 2 exam, the student will be required to retake the exam and will be referred to the SERC team and/or undergo an evaluation process prior to exiting the program; dismissal from the program may occur.

IMPORTANT: When registering for a test, students are permitted to send four free score reports to agencies or institutions of choice. Students must 1) designate Alliant as their institution during the registration processing and 2) designate Alliant as a score recipient during the registration process.

  1. Applicants for admission to the master’s degree program in school psychology will need to have a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in their undergraduate work. Students must also maintain a 3.0 in their studies at Alliant International University. In a competency-based program, a course grade of “B-” is below the threshold for graduate work. Students who receive a B- grade or below have not demonstrated competency in at least one critical area and are at risk for incurring a GPA below 3.0. Furthermore, students that receive a grade less than “B-” in any required coursework may be required to retake the course. Thus, students receiving a less than or equal to B- grade may be referred to the Student Evaluation and Review Committee (SERC) and expected to develop a remediation plan and demonstrate competency in a way that is approved by the program director (or equivalent). Course remediation does not result in a change of the original grade earned unless the student successfully repeats the course as part of the remediation plan.
  2. A Student must be a program completer with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA to be recommended for a preliminary credential.

  3. Pass all sections of the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)

Curriculum Plan

8-Week Calendar

Term 3 (4.5 units)

Term 10 (3 units)


*The courses indicated are core curriculum, assessment and/or internship courses not eligible for transfer credit.