Published: June 21, 2018

MSU school psychology program extends national accreditation

Contact(s): Lauren Knapp College of Education office: 517-353-3429, Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709

The doctoral program in school psychology at Michigan State University has earned national accreditation from the American Psychological Association, or APA, through 2027. This recognition was formalized in April 2018 through the APA’s Commission on Accreditation.

The 10-year accreditation period is the longest assigned by the commission. MSU is one of the three programs nationwide to be accredited for this length of time.

“Accreditation has profound implications on recruitment, retention, graduation and placement," said John Carlson, professor of school psychology. “The history of accreditation has allowed us to bring a large, diverse group of individuals into the program and to connect them with a range of school and community-based service agencies who serve school-aged populations.”

Coursework is taught by seven core school psychology faculty, along with additional affiliated faculty from across the College of Education and MSU.

“This tends to be a close-knit program,” said Jana Aupperlee, clinical assistant professor. “I love to be involved in student growth and development over time, helping us and them to engage deeply in practice and learning.”

Accreditation allows students to apply for high quality internships and postdoctoral opportunities, preparing them to become licensed psychologists and health service psychologists.

“Our students go on to become faculty members in research-focused universities, to work in schools, to focus on pediatric psychology in healthcare settings and to become clinicians, providing mental health services to children, adolescents and families in community settings,” Aupperlee said. 

Recent alumni have found positions across the state and nationwide, with other universities, hospitals and outreach organizations.

“Through the program, you feel there is an opportunity to impact schools and lives in a very positive way,” associate professor Sara Witmer said. “There is a huge demand for school psychologists that corresponds with a growing understanding of the need for mental health support in school settings.”

Aupperlee was instrumental in developing the Mid-Michigan Psychology Internship Consortium, dedicated to providing more opportunities in-state for students; she currently serves as the training co-director. 

“Historically, if our students wanted high quality training, they needed to leave the state,” she said.

Through the consortium, created in 2016, Aupperlee has helped formalize five partner internship sites.