The school psychology graduate program is approved by the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP), and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
The SSP degree clearly reflects the fact that the requirements for graduation from the School Psychology Program at WCU are more intensive than would be expected for a Masters degree. The program is 72 hours long and requires 3 years of course work, thesis work, practicum experiences, and internship experiences. The SSP is a terminal degree which means that the students do not earn a Masters degree on the way to getting the SSP. The program is cognitive-behavioral and based on a child advocacy model. In this model, the needs of the child are at the center of all activity engaged in by the school psychologist. Our students are trained to facilitate growth in development, behavior, and learning of children and youth.
All applications and supporting materials are submitted online. When the Graduate School has received the completed online file, the Department of Psychology is notified for action.
The Psychology Department is very aggressive at seeking out Graduate Assistantships for students entering the psychology graduate programs. As a result, for the last 5 years at least, 100% of the graduate students who are eligible through full acceptance into the program have been provided with an Assistantship. Every year the Graduate school also offers a limited number of in-state and out-of-state tuition reimbursements that are distributed based on GRE and undergraduate GPA scores. In the past few years, most of the out-of-state graduate students in the psychology department have received some sort of tuition reimbursement. Our students are also very competitive for scholarship funds available through the Graduate School.