Department of Psychology

Our Mission Statement

The Western Illinois University School Psychology Program follows what Fagan and Wise (2007) call the pragmatic model of training. This model has elements of the scientist-practitioner model and the professional model, but emphasizes the importance for students to meet national and state credentialing requirements.

In order to meet these requirements, students in the Program require a strong knowledge base in psychology and in education. Equally important, school psychologists must operate legally and ethically within the settings in which they work. They must also have effective communication, collaboration, and consultation skills in order to share effectively the knowledge they have with consumers of their services.

Students need an understanding and appreciation of diverse populations. Each of these pieces of professional preparation is a critical component of overall professional development. In the spirit of the pragmatic model of training, the Program has adopted the 10 domains of school psychology training and practice articulated by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

 

Meeting of School Psychology Students & Faculty

A primary goal of the school psychology program here at WIU is to train school psychologist practitioners and professionals who work to enhance the learning and development of all students and to assist those who are at-risk of academic or behavioral failure. Our training goal is to develop knowledge and skills in facilitating the efforts of pre-referral interventions (both academic and behavioral), providing counseling services, conducting comprehensive psycho-educational assessments, crisis planning and prevention efforts, and working to improve school climate for safe and supportive schools.

School psychologists are in the unique role as the data-driven leaders for the provision of academic and mental or behavioral health services. Therefore, a particular emphasis is given to training the development of consultation and counseling skills in order to effectively support students and work effectively with the entire school system.

Our objectives are to:

  • Train school psychologists who understand the school as a system;
  • Train school psychologists who promote cultural competence in their service delivery
  • Train school psychologists who advocate for safe schools to promote the well-being for all children.

 

The School Psychology program at WIU aims to be a welcoming and affirming place where all students, staff and faculty-Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander students, Black students, Indigenous students, students of color, LGBTQI*A+ students, international students, students with disabilities, students with intersecting identities, and other students representing diverse groups—feel supported to attain an excellent education. The mission of our program is to train the next generation of school psychologists who strive to protect the rights and opportunities for all. This work begins at home, by learning how the way social categories interact to create systems of privilege, power, discrimination, and oppression.

We are proactively working to increase the discussion and find action-oriented steps we can take in our training and profession to improve equity in school psychological services. We are committed to ensure the safety, security, and school environment for students from all backgrounds to thrive. We are dedicated to increase the efforts in coursework that recognize personal biases and places value in cultural diversity. This continued work will enable us to stay current in the dynamic political and social environments that affect the cultural norms of our students, faculty, and community members.

For more resources, programs, centers and support at WIU please see: http://www.wiu.edu/diversity/

We endorse the School Psychology Unified Antiracism Statement and Call to Action (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2372966X.2020.1809941)

Developed in collaboration with school psychology educators, practitioners, and graduate students, NASP’s new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) podcast series explores a broad range of professional topics in school psychology from an EDI lens. See how these EDI issues are discussed here: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/diversity-and-social-justice/social-justice/equity-diversity-and-inclusion-(edi)-podcast-series

And for more resources featuring social justice teaching guides, parent resources, children’s books, and discussion guides: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/diversity-and-social-justice/social-justice/external-social-justice-resources