How to Become a School Psychologist in Oklahoma [2024 Certification Guide]

School Psychology and Oklahoma

Embarking on the journey to become a school psychologist in Oklahoma opens the door to a fulfilling and impactful career. As a school psychologist, you will have the chance to make a significant impact on the lives of numerous students, families, and educators.

Working as a school psychologist in Oklahoma,  you will utilize your skills in mental health, learning, and behavior to support students in flourishing academically, socially, and emotionally. By collaborating with teachers, administrators, and families, you will help establish caring and supportive learning environments that enable solid connections between home, school, and community.

Covering educational requirements, internships and certification, we will guide you through every aspect of this thrilling journey, equipping you to enter the world of school psychology and create a lasting impact on the lives of students in Oklahoma.

What are the Requirements to Become a Certified School Psychologist in Oklahoma?

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a certified school psychologist in Oklahoma, it’s essential to understand the steps involved in achieving this goal.

Becoming a certified school psychologist requires dedication and commitment to your education and training. So, let’s explore the necessary steps to become a certified school psychologist in Oklahoma:

  1. Obtain a Master’s degree, a Specialist degree, or a doctoral degree in school psychology. Regardless of the degree you choose, you must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours in the field.
  2. Complete a year-long, 1,200-hour supervised internship. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing your skills and understanding of the school psychologist’s role. If you are still completing your internship, you may apply for an Emergency Certification that’s valid for one year.
  3. Achieve a passing score on the required exams. These include the PRAXIS School Psychology Test or the state-specific tests such as the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), Oklahoma Professional Teaching Exam (OPTE), and Oklahoma Subject Area Test (OSAT) in School Psychology.
  4. Submit the Standard Teacher Certification Application for Oklahoma, along with all your college transcripts. This application is a vital step in showcasing your educational achievements and readiness to become a certified school psychologist.
  5. Undergo a background check. Ensuring the safety of students and staff is of utmost importance, so completing a background check is a standard requirement for anyone working in a school setting.

Certificate Renewal

The standard school psychologist certificate is renewed every 5 years. Oklahoma does not require any continuing education (CE) or professional development hours for renewals.

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

The time it takes to become a school psychologist in Oklahoma can vary, depending on your specific degree program and personal circumstances. However, generally, the process takes around 7-10 years to finish the required education and training. Here’s an outline of the expected timeline:

  1. Bachelor’s degree: 4 years – You will need to complete an undergraduate degree, typically in psychology, education, or a related area.
  2. Master’s degree, Specialist degree, or Doctoral degree in School Psychology: 2-4 years – The duration of these programs can differ, with Master’s and Specialist degrees usually taking 2-3 years to finish, and a Doctoral degree taking about 4-5 years.
  3. Supervised internship: 1 year – Before you can become a certified school psychologist, you will need to complete a year-long, 1,200-hour supervised internship.

Taking into account the time required to complete the necessary education, training, and internship, you can expect to spend about 7-10 years to become a certified school psychologist in Oklahoma.

Can I Become a School Psychologist in Oklahoma With a Bachelor’s Degree?

No, to become a certified school psychologist in Oklahoma, you need a master’s degree, specialist degree, or doctoral degree in school psychology.

What is the Scope of Practice for School Psychologists in Oklahoma?

The scope of practice for school psychologists in Oklahoma is quite diverse and covers various aspects of student support and development. School psychologists work with students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community members to enhance the overall educational experience and well-being of students.

Their responsibilities can be divided into the following main areas:

  • Improving Academic Achievement: School psychologists in Oklahoma guide the implementation of academic response-to-intervention processes, provide staff training on effective academic interventions, and use data to support administrators in making informed curricular decisions.
  • Promoting Positive Behavioral & Mental Health Support: They guide the implementation of behavioral response-to-intervention processes, provide individual and group counseling or social skills instruction, and facilitate referrals to community-based providers when needed.
  • Supporting Diverse Learners: Oklahoma school psychologists work to create safe and welcoming learning environments for all students, provide equitable and culturally responsive services, and address racial/ethnic disproportionality in discipline and special education.
  • Creating Safe & Positive School Climates: They advocate for best-practice crisis management and violence prevention, ensure students have access to the supports they need to be successful, and guide the implementation of school-wide positive behavior supports.
  • Strengthening Family-School Partnerships: School psychologists in Oklahoma support communication and coordination between home and school, include parents in planning efforts to improve student outcomes, and value parents as important stakeholders in the special education process.
  • Improving School-Wide Assessment & Accountability: They facilitate the collection and evaluation of school-wide data to assess needs, regularly evaluate the effectiveness of positive interventions and supports, and use their expertise in program evaluation to monitor school-wide systems.

In summary, the scope of practice for school psychologists in Oklahoma is extensive, encompassing various aspects of student support, including academic achievement, mental health, diverse learner support, school climate, family-school partnerships, and school-wide assessment and accountability.

By addressing these areas, school psychologists in Oklahoma help create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that enable strong connections between home, school, and the community.

What is the Job Outlook for School Psychologists in Oklahoma?

The job outlook for school psychologists in Oklahoma appears promising, with an anticipated 8% increase in employment opportunities between 2021 and 2031. This growth in job openings can be attributed to several factors that contribute to the demand for qualified school psychologists.

Firstly, there is a growing awareness of the importance of mental health and well-being for students, and schools are recognizing the need for professionals who can address these concerns. School psychologists play a crucial role in helping students overcome emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. As schools become more proactive in addressing these issues, the need for school psychologists is expected to rise.

Secondly, the increase in job opportunities can also be linked to the growing enrollment in Oklahoma schools. As the student population expands, so does the need for comprehensive support services, including school psychology. The higher number of students means a greater demand for professionals who can work with diverse student populations and provide specialized assistance.

Lastly, as school psychologists currently working in the field approach retirement age, new positions will become available for those entering the profession. This turnover will create job openings for aspiring school psychologists who have completed the necessary education and training.

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