School counselor works with young student

School psychology program rises to the top

Students benefit from new accreditation and 100-percent job placement rate

November 21, 2018

In late September, the School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) celebrated an important milestone. Its doctor of psychology (PsyD) school psychology program earned accreditation on contingency from the American Psychological Association (APA) – which is no small feat.

“The accreditation is a big deal, because it offers [geographic mobility and degree flexibility].” 

– Prospective student

It is one of only nine school psychology PsyD programs in the nation with APA accreditation, and the only one west of the Mississippi River. The accreditation signifies to the public that the training program meets the highest standards in the profession.

The foundational mission of the program is to train culturally and linguistically responsive school psychologists. Course themes revolve around equity and social justice. The program is one of only two APA-accredited programs in the country that offers an optional bilingual school psychology concentration.

A 100-percent job placement rate

The school psychology program already has a 100-percent job placement rate, and APA accreditation opens the door to additional internship, job and leadership opportunities for students.

The school psychology program faculty – Franci Crepeau-Hobson, PhD, associate professor; Bryn Harris, PhD, associate professor and program director; and Rachel Stein, PhD, clinical assistant professor – attended the celebration. So did current and prospective students, supervisors, community leaders, and faculty and staff from CU Denver.

Jack Davenport, a third-year student in the program, was excited about the new accreditation.

“It opens up a lot of prospects for graduates of the program, including more opportunities for APA-accredited internships,” he said. “It also provides an easier path towards licensure post-graduation.”

Third-year school psychology student Jennifer Sill really enjoys the classes in the program.

“They give us a lot of opportunities to learn the different routes and job types we can take within school psychology,” she said.

Complete career preparation

Fourth-year student Catherine Thompson is in the internship phase of the program.

“This accreditation is a great tribute to the hard work of faculty in the program and how they have put the curriculum and experiences together,” Thompson said. “I feel so prepared, because I’m working in the schools, as well as completing my internship this year.”

As a result, CU Denver students are visible in schools and throughout the community.

“Our students are very involved in promoting important issues, such as youth suicide prevention, with groups like the Second Wind Fund, a nonprofit suicide prevention program,” Crepeau-Hobson said.

Partnerships across the state

The SEHD school psychology program partners with Colorado school districts, the American Psychological Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Colorado Department of Education, the CU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists, Project ECHO and the U.S. Department of Education.

“I’ve been stalking the program online for a few years,” said a prospective student at the celebration. “The accreditation is a big deal, because it offers a lot more mobility – not just in terms of geography, but in terms of how flexible you are with the degree.”

Guest contributor: Julia Cummings, School of Education & Human Development