Ph.D. Subspecialization: School-Based Prevention

School psychologists frequently work to assess and intervene with students who have been referred because of academic and/or behavior problems. These children often present significant challenges to school personnel.

Using a problem-solving model, school psychologists frequently are called upon to serve as consultants to help schools develop, implement, and evaluate programs for students who are either at-risk for or have identified disabilities. Knowledge and competencies in the adaptation of instruction, functional assessment, functional analysis, and interventions for difficulties in emotional/behavior domains, are required for effective delivery of school psychological services. Likewise, school psychologists need knowledge of system wide change processes to develop prevention programs that are likely to effect broad scale change in schools and school systems. 

The overall objective of this subspecialization is to develop school psychologists to serve as effective problem-solving change agents who can identify students at-risk for developing psychological and/or academic skills problems, work with school personnel within a problem-solving model as effective consultants to facilitate empirically supported interventions, and advocate effectively in support of school-wide change processes. 

At the core of this subspecialization is the development of competencies in areas of special education, school-wide organizational change, and effective interventions for students identified with significant academic as well as behavior difficulties.


  • EdL   470 Special Education Law (3)

  • Doctoral Seminars in Special Education or School Psychology (6 hours) This seminar is in addition to those listed for the doctoral core. Students take a total of 6 hours. 

Special Education Electives (3):

  • SpEd 418 Life Skills and Transition Strategies (3) 

  • SpEd 419 Academic and Curricular Strategies (3)           

  • SpEd 428 Positive Behavioral Support (3)

  • SpEd 452 Assessment and Planning with Individuals with Disabilities (3)

  • SpEd 465 Advanced Methods for Inclusion (3)

  • Others by Advisor Approval

Counseling Psychology Electives (6): 

  • CPsy 439 Theory and Practice of Group Counseling (3)

  • CPsy 440 Intro to Family Counseling (3)

  • CPsy 442 Counseling & Therapeutic Approaches (3)

  • CPsy 445 Elementary School Guidance (3)

  • CPsy 460 Theories of Psychological Counseling (3)

  • CPsy 462 Assessment of Personality (3)

  • CPsy 480 Practicum (3)

  • Others by Advisor Approval