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Welcome to the School Psychology Program!


About the School Psychology Program

The School Psychology Program prepares school psychologists to be systems change agents in culturally diverse schools. More specifically, we aim to provide our graduates with:
  • Ecological and systems perspectives by which to consider problem situations in the schools,
  • Cultural competencies to serve the multicultural populations of public schools,
  • Knowledge and skills to serve both general and special education populations, and
  • Skills to function as advocates, change agents, and consultants in the schools, providing a broad range of culturally appropriate assessment-intervention services.
The program embraces an ecosystemic philosophy-orientation and emphasizes multicultural content, processes, and experiences. In design and content, the program is influenced by these ecosystemic principles:
  • There are problem situations, not problem children;
  • These situations are a result of dysfunctional transactions and reciprocal determinism among, for example, children, teachers, and parents;
  • Culture is brought to the forefront as a base for hypothesis generation regarding the nature of the situation; and
  • Assessment-intervention is unified in response to person/situation characteristics. Individuals as well as groups of individuals are viewed as open and modifiable systems.
Design, Vision, & Outcomes

The SDSU School Psychology Community (i.e., faculty, students, alumni, supervisors) supports the NASP ten domains as themes for professional preparation:

  • Domain 1: Data-Based Decision Making and Accountability
    • School psychologists have knowledge of varied models and methods of assessment and data collection for identifying strengths and needs, developing effective services and programs, and measuring progress of outcomes. 
  •  Domain 2: Consultation and Collaboration
    • School psychologists have knowledge of varied models and strategies of consultation, collaboration, and communication applicable to individuals, families, groups, and systems and methods to promote effective implementation of services. 
  • Domain 3: Interventions and Instructional Support to Develop Academic Skills  
    • School psychologists have knowledge of biological, cultural, and social influences on academic skills; human learning, cognitive, and developmental processes; and evidence-based curricula and instructional strategies. 
  • Domain 4: Interventions and Mental Health Services to Develop Social and Life Skills 
    • School psychologists have knowledge of biological, cultural, developmental, and social influences on behavior and mental health, behavioral and emotional impacts on learning and life skills, and evidence-based strategies to promote social-emotional functioning and mental health. 
  • Domain 5: School-Wide Practices to Promote Learning
    • School psychologists have knowledge of school and system structure, organization, and theory; general and special education; technology resources; and evidence-based school practices that promote learning and mental health. 
  • Domain 6: Preventive and Responsive Services  
    • School psychologists have knowledge of principles and research related to resilience and risk factors in learning and mental health, services in schools and communities to support multitiered prevention, and evidence-based strategies for effective crisis response.
  • Domain 7: Family-School Collaboration Services
    • School psychologists have knowledge of principles and research related to family systems, strengths, needs, and culture; evidence-based strategies to support family influences on children's learning and mental health; and strategies to develop collaboration between families and schools.  
  • Domain 8: Diversity in Development and Learning 
    • School psychologists have knowledge of individual differences, abilities, disabilities, and other diverse student characteristics; principles and research related to diversity factors for children, families, and schools, including factors related to culture, context, and individual and role difference; and evidence-based strategies to enhance services and address potential influence related to diversity.
  • Domain 9: Research and Program Evaluation 
    • School psychologists have knowledge of research design, statistics, measurement, varied data collection and analysis techniques, and program evaluation sufficient for understanding research and interpreting data in applied settings.
  • Domain 10: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Practice
    • School psychologists have knowledge of the history and foundations of school psychology; multiple service models and methods; ethical, legal, and professional standards; and other factors related to professional identity and effective practice as school psychologists.  

We support these domains through a multicultural context and identified outcomes for SDSU school psychologist in each area. These areas serve as the framework for curriculum development, field experience activities, and evaluation of students’ development of competencies.

The Program provides an integrated sequence of theory, research, and practice in these seven areas over a three year sequence of full-time study followed by a full-time yearlong internship. This integrated graduate-profession program culminates in the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology and the California Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology. Students simultaneously complete and earn: (a) the Masters of Science (M.S.) degree in Counseling with a Concentration in School Psychology, usually at the end of their second year in the program, and (b) the California School Psychology Internship Credential at the end of their third year. The program has held NASP approval since 1989 and is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Specializations in Culture-Specific or Multicultural School Psychology
We have enjoyed federal funding for personnel preparation projects; all focused on addressing educational equity for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Each of these projects provides specialized training and funding for students. We have provided continuous (since 1986) funding and specializations in:
Supervised Field Experiences in the Schools
Consistent with our ecosystems philosophy and the research supporting success of diverse students, we emphasize collaborative and field-based learning in culturally and linguistically diverse schools. We use three types of field experiences: (a) supervised field experiences (placement with a credentialed school psychologist as a supervisor), (b) school-based courses (taught on-site by SDSU faculty), and (c) field based assignments for courses. Supervised field experiences are graded in scope and intensity across all four years. Students complete a sequence of three years of formal field experience, accumulating at least 900 hours in the schools, prior to the 1200-hour culminating internship funded by school districts. The breadth of field experiences allows for the candidate to observe and practice a full range of school psychology roles and functions prior to internship, usually across two school levels (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school). Professional development seminars accompany each of these field experiences and provide critical analysis of best practices, group supervision of cases and activities, and discussion of legal and ethical issues.

Student Spotlight

SPSA 2016 Treasurer

Paul Pham

School Psychology Trainee in Oceanside Unified School District

The School Psychology Program at San Diego State has provided me with bountiful opportunities to develop professionally and personally. I am constantly learning new ideas in our seminar class about culturally appropriate assessments, school-based prevention programs, and interventions to support students learning. My practicum experiences taught me consultation skills to better understand teacher and support them, as well as counseling skills to allow me to work with diverse students. 

Read more about Paul here.  

Alumni Spotlight

SP Sagi


Sagi Mesa-Jones, Ed.S.

School Psychology Alumni 2005 

School Psychologist in San Marcos Unified School District 
Supervisor through San Diego State University 

SDSU has prepared me to confidently excel due to the rigorous training and focus not only on the career of school psychology but in being self-reflective and culturally aware. I love my profession and am thankful for the training I received at SDSU!

 Read more about Sagi here.   

 Congratulations Class of 2016!

SP Interns 2016 

 Ed.S. School Psychology Graduates

SP 2nd Years 2016 

M.S. Counseling Graduates 

Contact Us

Phone: 619.594.7730
Fax: 619.594.7025

Program Office: North Education, Room 189 

Mailing Address:
San Diego State University, College of Education
5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA, 92182-1179

Our Graduates Live Our Vision

More than 200 graduates since 1985 have served as school psychologists in the public schools. Currently 85% are school psychologists; 10% hold administrative positions (e.g., special education program specialists, principals, state department of education consultants); and 5% are full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members in school psychology, special education, or educational leadership. Our practitioner graduates have a variety of leadership roles: 15% are designated lead psychologists in their districts, 10% have taught in our program, 14% have received or are pursuing a doctorate, 5% have held elected positions in the California Association of School Psychologists (including two presidents), and many have been officers in their county affiliates. 

News & Events 

SP Elaine Article 

SDSU Graduate, Elaine Chen, featured in U.S. News & World Report. Read more about Chen.  

SP Angela, AJ

AJ and Angela presented at the Annual Student Research Symposium.  

SP COE Jenna
Jenna received the "Dean's Award" at the Annual Student Research Symposium.  
SP NASP Consultation Group
Emily, Dr. Ingraham, Kenia, and Anais presented at NASP 2017 in Texas.