School Psychology Ph.D.

Accreditation

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Our program MISSION

  • To promote an educationally and psychologically healthy environment for all children and youth by implementing research-based, effective programs that prevent problems, enhance independence and promote optimal learning.
  • To value and respect human diversity; defined by the rich spectrum of cultural, physical, and cognitive differences, family configurations, sexual orientations, socioeconomic status, and exceptionalities.
  • To work together to produce and disseminate knowledge in our field that supports the long-term well-being of our diverse society.

The School Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Montana is dedicated to training psychologists in the scientist-practitioner model; understanding of empirical research and how theory influences the clinician’s best practice in service delivery. Students in the program obtain extensive background knowledge in psychology through a variety of coursework, providing them with foundational knowledge in human behavior and practical exposure to evidence-based interventions.

Our Program Aims & Objectives

    • Aim 1: Scholarship and Inquiry. To train future school psychologists to understand and apply scientific methods, so that they may be competent and critical consumers, producers, and distributors of psychological research and utilize research to inform practice.

      • 1.1 Students will demonstrate integrative knowledge of, and competency to understand, plan, undertake, and disseminate quality research in the field.

      • 1.2  Students will acquire and use advanced skills important for scientific inquiry, such as research design, statistics, and measurement.

      • 1.3  Students will conduct and disseminate research to national/local audiences, and through submission of their work for publication consideration.

      • 1.4  Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and skills in applying research within their practice.

    • Aim 2: Evidence-based Psychological and Educational Service Delivery. To train future school psychologists to use collaborative problem-solving to provide evidence-based psychological and educational services to children, families, and systems.

      • 2.1 Assessment. Students will have the assessment skills, including selection, application, interpretation, and communication of assessments (cognitive, academic, social, emotional, and behavioral) necessary for competent delivery of professional services.

      • 2.2 Intervention. Students will have the intervention skills, including selection, application, interpretation, and communication of interventions (academic, social, emotional, and behavioral) necessary for competent delivery of professional services.

      • 2.3 Data-based Decision-making. Students will demonstrate knowledge and competence to design, implement, and evaluate services and programs through data-based decision making to inform their practice.

      • 2.4 Supervision. Students will have the knowledge of supervision practices and basic supervision skills.

      • 2.5 Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills. Students will have the knowledge of consultation practices, and the consultation skills necessary for competent delivery of professional services.

    • Aim 3: Professional, Ethical, and Legal Practice. To train future school psychologists in the importance of demonstrating behaviors associated with high levels of professional, ethical, and legal practice across a variety of settings.

      • 3.1 Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and skills in applying legal and ethical standards within practice and research.

      • 3.2 Students will demonstrate knowledge of, and skills in the area of professional practice.

      • 3.3 Students will behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology and respond to increasingly complex situations with greater independence across training.

      • 3.4 Students will engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning to engage in continuous improvement of professional effectiveness and personal well-being.

      • 3.5 Students will demonstrate effective communication and other interpersonal skills to develop and maintain professional relationships with a wide range of individuals.

      • 3.6 Students will demonstrate a grasp of professional language and concepts through producing and comprehending oral, nonverbal, and written communication.

    • Aim 4: Individual and Cultural Diversity.  To train future school psychologists to have the knowledge, skills, and awareness of individual and cultural diversity in their professional roles and activities, and to integrate such knowledge, skills, and awareness in psychological and educational service delivery

      • 4.1 Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and awareness of cultural diversity as well as demonstrate cultural humility when providing assessment and intervention services.

      • 4.2 Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and awareness of cultural diversity as well as demonstrate cultural humility when providing consultation and working in interdisciplinary/interprofessional teams.

      • 4.3 Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills, and awareness of cultural diversity as well as demonstrate cultural humility in the provision of supervision practices and basic supervision skills.

Our program OFFERS:

  • Core coursework in social, biological, developmental, and individual bases of behavior as well as statistics and research methodology
  • A focus on the continually developing field through the design, execution, and evaluation of clinical research
  • An emphasis on developing students’ independent research skills
  • Practicum seminars focusing on professional and ethical issues, the skills and knowledge of assessment, treatment/intervention, and consultation
  • School-based and clinic-based practica and opportunities to work with children, families, school professionals, and school systems
  • An on-campus training clinic:  Clinical Psychology Center
  • Community clinical placements and opportunities to serve mental health needs in rural, under-served communities
  • An emphasis on developing cultural competence skills to effectively work with children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • An emphasis on promoting students’ strengths and supporting all students through the problem-solving model and Response to Intervention (RTI)

Our program relies on a MENTORSHIP model of training.

We seek students who are interested in areas of research related to those of our faculty.

We seek students with a high level of dedication, outstanding intellectual skills, and excellent interpersonal skills.

Our students work collaboratively with their faculty mentors to develop, design, and conduct an empirical study, and report the findings.

Faculty mentors typically chair their students’ thesis and dissertation committees, encourage personal growth, and help prepare students for training and internship.

Our students are free to work with other faculty as interests develop.

Top 5 Reasons to ATTEND our program:

  1. You have an interest in conducting assessments, intervention/therapy, and consultation in a variety of settings, including schools and clinics, starting in your 1st year in the program.
  2. You have an interest in working with faculty who have a diverse range of clinical and research expertise, including bullying prevention, culturally responsive evidence-based practices, and crisis prevention.
  3. You have an interest in working with children and families from rural and tribal communities.
  4. You have an interest in being trained within a psychology department, taking core classes taught by clinical and experimental psychologists, and collaborating with students and other faculty in other areas of psychology.
  5. You have an interest in living in a vibrant place with an abundance of outdoor activities.  Missoula has consistently been listed as one of the best places to live for outdoor enthusiasts.

Please check out UM’s School Psychology Program’s video for more information about the wonderful opportunities you will receive as a student in our program.