Requirements to Become a School Psychologist in Ohio [2024 Certification Guide]

School Psychology and Ohio

As the Buckeye State, Ohio boasts a rich landscape, bustling cities, and a multifaceted educational system. Ranking seventh in population in the United States, Ohio demonstrates a strong dedication to education through its extensive range of public and private schools, colleges, and universities.

In this thriving educational atmosphere, the importance of school psychologists cannot be overstated. They work hand-in-hand with students, educators, and parents to create a nurturing, inclusive, and effective learning experience for everyone.

Pursuing a career as a school psychologist is both fascinating and gratifying. These experts play a crucial role in nurturing young minds by addressing their psychological, emotional, social, and academic needs.

School psychologists in Ohio serve in diverse educational settings, such as public and private schools, colleges, and universities, and often collaborate with other community professionals.

This article will outline the necessary steps to become a school psychologist in Ohio, including education, licensure, and professional development requirements.

What are the Requirements to Become a Licensed School Psychologist in Ohio?

Below is a quick breakdown of requirements to become a licensed school psychologist in Ohio:

  1. Complete either a Master’s or an Ed.S. degree
  2. Enroll in an internship program
  3. Apply for a Temporary Pupil Services License
  4. Complete 1,200 hours of internship in a recognized school setting
  5. Pass the Praxis School Psychologist exam
  6. Pass the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE)
  7. Apply for a Professional School Psychologist License

Temporary Pupil Services License

In order to acquire a Temporary Pupil Services License in Ohio, it is essential to fulfill specific educational and experiential prerequisites. Firstly, candidates must complete either a Master’s degree or an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in the field of school psychology.

These advanced degrees are designed to equip aspiring school psychologists with the requisite theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for effectively addressing the diverse needs of students.

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Education necessitates that applicants provide evidence of their enrollment in an internship program. This internship must consist of a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised, hands-on experience in a school setting. The internship serves as an invaluable opportunity for candidates to apply their acquired knowledge and skills within a real-world context, under the guidance of experienced school psychologists.

This practical experience not only reinforces the candidates’ academic foundation but also prepares them for the multifaceted responsibilities they will encounter in their professional roles as school psychologists.

Professional School Psychologist License

Acquiring a Professional School Psychologist License in Ohio entails meeting a series of educational, experiential, and testing requirements. Initially, applicants are expected to have earned a Master’s degree in school psychology, which lays the groundwork for their professional knowledge and expertise.

Following this, candidates must complete a full-time internship that consists of 1,200 hours in a recognized school setting. A crucial aspect of this requirement is that at least 600 hours must be specifically devoted to a school environment, ensuring that prospective school psychologists gain pertinent, hands-on experience in the field.

In the final stage, applicants must showcase their competence in school psychology by obtaining a satisfactory score on a standardized examination. In the state of Ohio, there are two options available: candidates can either secure a score of 147 or higher on the Praxis School Psychologist exam or achieve a score of 220 on the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE).

These assessment tools are designed to measure candidates’ capabilities in various dimensions of school psychology. This ensures that only qualified professionals with the essential skills and competencies are licensed to provide effective support to students, educators, and parents within the educational sphere.

License Renewal and Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

The renewal of a Professional School Psychologist License in Ohio occurs every five years and requires the completion of ongoing professional development.

This process involves the completion of either six (6) semester hours of relevant coursework or 18 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), equivalent to 180 contact hours, for professionals employed in a school setting.

This commitment to continuous learning ensures that licensed school psychologists remain up-to-date with the latest developments and best practices in the field of school psychology.

Alternate Pathway to Practice School Psychology Outside of Schools

Holders of the Temporary Pupil Services License or Professional School Psychologist License, issued by the Ohio Department of Education, are authorized to offer their services in K-12 public schools, as well as pre-K, early childhood environments, and private and charter schools.

However, practicing outside of school settings is not permitted with these credentials. The Ohio State Board of Psychology provides an alternative School Psychologist Licensure for those interested in working beyond school contexts.

To obtain this license, candidates must achieve a passing score of 147 on the Praxis exam, successfully complete an oral examination, provide three letters of reference, and hold at least a master’s degree in school psychology.

Furthermore, applicants are required to confirm their internship completion and three (3) years of professional experience, with a minimum of two (2) years of professional experience in public or a private schools adhering to the Ohio Board of Education’s standards.

Furthermore, the four years of experience should include nine (9) months of full-time work each year. Any experience gained outside of a school setting must be supervised by a qualified licensee of the Ohio Board of Psychology.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed School Psychologist in Ohio?

The time it takes to become a school psychologist in Ohio depends on several factors, including the completion of educational and experiential components. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Generally, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree takes about four years. While there isn’t a specific major requirement, pursuing a degree in psychology, education, or a related field is often beneficial.
  • Master’s or Education Specialist (Ed.S.) Degree: A Master’s program in school psychology typically spans two to three years, while an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree may take three to four years to finish. These programs encompass coursework and practical training in school psychology.
  • Internship: Licensure requirements mandate the completion of a 1,200-hour internship, which usually takes one academic year (9-12 months) to finish. This internship must comprise a minimum of 600 hours in a school environment.
  • Examinations: To obtain licensure, applicants must pass either the Praxis School Psychologist exam or the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE). The preparation time for these exams varies depending on an individual’s familiarity with the subject matter and study habits.
  • Additional Requirements: Specific licenses (Professional School Psychologist License or School Psychologist Licensure by the Ohio State Board of Psychology) may entail extra requirements, such as oral examinations, reference letters, and experience verification.

In short, the path to becoming a school psychologist in Ohio usually takes a minimum of 7 to 9 years, accounting for the completion of a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s or Ed.S. degree, and a one-year internship.

Do You Need a Doctorate to be a School Psychologist in Ohio?

No. The educational requirement to become a school psychologist in Ohio is a master’s or an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in the field of school psychology.

Can I Work as a School Psychologist in Ohio Without a License?

No, you cannot work or call yourself a school psychologist in Ohio without obtaining the required school psychologist license.

What is the Role of School Psychologists in Ohio?

The scope of practice for school psychologists in Ohio encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. They conduct assessments and interpret student data while assisting teachers with individualized instruction and interventions. They promote positive behavior, motivation, and engagement, as well as support students’ social-emotional development.

School psychologists in Ohio provide counseling and coordinate with community-based providers, encouraging problem-solving and conflict resolution skills among students.

Furthermore, School psychologists in Ohio offer culturally responsive services to diverse populations and develop individualized education programs for students with disabilities. They maintain communication with parents about student progress and implement positive behavioral supports and restorative justice practices.

Assessing school climate and improving learning atmosphere are also part of their role, as is identifying and addressing at-risk students and school vulnerabilities.

In addition, school psychologists in Ohio provide crisis prevention and intervention services, assist families with understanding children’s needs, and connect them to community services.

It is important to note that the specific scope of practice may vary depending on the license held and the setting in which the psychologist practices.

How Much Does a School Psychologist Make in Ohio?

As of April 2023, the average annual salary for school psychologist in Ohio is $79,143, with top earners making well over $130,000 per year.

Are School Psychologists in High Demand in Ohio?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 5% growth in job opportunities for school psychologists in Ohio from 2021 to 2031, which is faster than the average for all jobs. This increased demand may stem from an elevated recognition of mental health’s importance and the vital role school psychologists hold in supporting students’ academic, social, and emotional development.

In Ohio, the need for school psychologists can vary based on the specific region and school district. Nevertheless, the general trend implies a continuous requirement for qualified professionals in this area. The expanding focus on early intervention, special education, and mental health services in schools is expected to fuel the demand for school psychologists within the state.

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