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A Shortage of School Psychologists

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Many schools across the country are discovering a shortage of school psychologists. Schools often need to share those individuals that they have and struggle to replace any that leave for one reason or another. School psychologists are a part of the school community that support students while learning and teachers while teaching. Individuals with a school psychologist training have a background in learning, mental health, and more. They are able to work with students on boosting their academic, social, emotional, and behavioral well being within the school day. School psychologists are often the individuals that build the home, school, and community connection to support students in their learning environment.

The National Association of School Psychologists recognizes that there is a problem right now. They report that there are about 38,000 school psychologists in the country and not nearly enough to fill positions needed. School psychologists test students, collect and analyze data, give students and families direct support and intervention, and work on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for special need students. All school psychologists have credentials within their state or may be nationally certified by the National Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB). The National Association of School Psychologists make standards for graduate programs, credentials, and their professional practice and ethics.

The need for school psychologists is constantly growing in most schools and districts. These educational professionals help young children and teens when they face different types of problems. This may include difficulties learning, relationships with peers or family, trouble with decisions, and regulating of emotions. School psychologists have background in mental health and education to assist children if they are feeling depressed, anxious, worries, and isolated. They can provide support to teachers when they are faced with special needs from children coming to them with these concerns. They focus on strategies and ways to make all children thrive and be more successful within all aspects of their lives.

School districts may need to think outside of the box when filling school psychologist positions. Perhaps they can give continuing education credits to someone working within to get the education and certification needed to work as a school psychologist.

Schools are also being forced to advertise beyond their geographical area to relocate people to their area. In addition to this, some are signing contracts for long distance work to be done. Some school psychologists travel to a district once a month to help with testing and data collection. They are able to take this home with them and use technology to do video conferences that will aid those school psychologists and others working within the school. This means that the individuals in the school are able to work with kids that have already been tested and not have to take time out of the day to do that part of the job. The key is thinking ahead to make sure that your school is not caught looking for a new school psychologist. Have a plan ahead of time before you are put in a place to get someone hired in an emergency situation.

Contributor Ashley Waters

Ashley spent 6 years as a pharmacy tech, and has since grown with Soliant over the past 10 years, running and growing our school’s pupil services group from 3 recruiters to over 40! She’s originally from Southeast Georgia, graduated from Valdosta State University, and enjoys spending time with her husband Brandon and daughter Cameryn.