School Psychology Master of Arts (MA) and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS)

Request InformationSchool psychology is a challenging and rewarding specialty for which there is unprecedented need and demand. Our MA/CAGS in School Psychology prepares graduates to become highly skilled, confident, and culturally responsive leaders in the field. As a school psychologist, you will apply advanced expertise in learning, behavior, and mental health to serve children, families, schools and communities.

Program Overview

The School Psychology MA/CAGS Program at William James College offers a competency-based curriculum paired with structured, closely supervised field experiences that provides graduates with the strongest foundation for their careers. We offer a unique learning environment with a focus on the development of the personal and professional self and an orientation towards social responsibility. Our students receive unparalleled support and attention from experienced faculty mentors. Full-time students complete the program in 3 years, receiving a Master of Arts after earning 30 credits, and continuing on to earn a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in the final two years.

A school psychologist’s day is never boring.  We have many different responsibilities, including assessment, consultation, and counseling.  We get to take care of the whole system by shaping school climate and prevention efforts, and also respond to individual student, family, and teacher needs.  We really get a broad range of experiences, and our services are in demand.  I think that makes for a dynamic, rewarding, and lasting career.

Arlene Silva, PhD, NCSP
Chair, School Psychology Department
Program Philosophy

William James College integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and professional development assistance. We believe that the best learning comes from blending classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. While this happens throughout the program, first-year students receive a unique and particularly valuable introduction to clinical work as "Child Associates" in the Primary Project, an empirically-validated preventative mental health program. Students work with primary grade students who are at risk for adjustment problems.

"I came to William James College because I felt that I would be around a group of faculty who were committed to their students- something that is often missing at larger institutes. I can't tell you how happy I am that not only have the faculty met and exceeded my expectations, so has the entire William James College community. It's truly a family atmosphere when you enter the doors and that feeling has obviously stuck with alumni who still rave about their experiences when I meet them."

Jeff Forti, School Psychology MA/CAGS Alumnus

Program Goals
  1. Students will demonstrate professional work characteristics that optimize their effectiveness as practitioners. 
  2. Students will be prepared to apply a broad foundation of psychological knowledge and theory to professional practice, enabling them to apply an evidence-based perspective to their understanding of learning and human behavior. 
  3. Students will be prepared to apply a sound foundation of practice-related knowledge, skills, and attitudes in developing a comprehensive array of effective school psychological services.
  4. Students will develop culturally responsive practices, enabling them to work effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse students, families, school personnel, and other members of the professional community.
  5. Students will attain knowledge and develop skills and attitudes that prepare them to assume leadership roles in their work environments.
Who This Program Is For

School psychologists come from various fields and stages of life. Successful school psychologists tend to be intellectually capable and socially responsible, and enjoy working with both children and adults. School psychology is a desirable option for recent college graduates, mid-career educators, and human services professionals, as well as professionals who are seeking a career change. Applicants must have a four-year college degree from an accredited institution. Preferably, they should have prior coursework and/or work experience in psychology, education, or a related field.

Career Outlook

Career Opportunities

Our School Psychology MA/CAGS Program prepares graduates to work as school psychologists. School psychology is a challenging and rewarding profession for which there continues to be high demand; there is particular need for school psychologists who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Program graduates will be fully qualified for certification or licensure as school psychologists in Massachusetts and in other states. After working as a school psychologist for two years and meeting other requirements, graduates can apply for Massachusetts licensure as an educational psychologist and practice privately. (Credentialing requirements for private practice vary from state to state.)

Additional information about the field of school psychology and training options is available on the NASP website, at: www.nasponline.org

"School psychology is always changing. That's what makes this field so challenging and rewarding - there is always room to grow. To keep up with this fast-paced field means that school psychologists have to seek out the best possible pre-service and in-service training they can find. Lifelong learning is a necessity in this profession. For me, it has also been one of its pleasures." 

John Desrochers, PhD
 2007 NASP School Psychologist of the Year
 Adjunct Faculty, William James College School Psychology

NASP Presentations

wjc-at-nasp-2017

The School Psychology Department had 17 presentations by students, alumni, and faculty at the Annual Convention of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in San Antonio, TX from February 21-24. This year’s conference theme was “Small Steps Change Lives,” and an inspirational keynote was delivered by the incomparable Dr. Tererai Trent. Presentations led by William James College included posters, papers,practitioner conversations, trainer exchanges, mini-skills, special sessions,and documented sessions. Students, alumni, and faculty who hold various leadership positions within NASP also attended key meetings designed to further the work of the profession. The School Psychology Department hosted a program meet-up on the San Antonio Riverwalk, and enjoyed debuting their “WJC School Psychology” fleece jackets. Faculty also enjoyed a spectacular night out at the San Antonio Rodeo! 

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