A page within School Psychology: An online program for Wisconsin educators

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a School Psychologist do? expanding section

Check out this description of the profession from the National Association of School Psychologists.

I have my substitute teacher license - does that meet the admission requirement of having a Wisconsin educator license? expanding section

Unfortunately no. We need you to have the experience of regularly leading a classroom as well as the commitment from the district that you will be part of the school system moving through your educational time with us.

What if I haven't completed an undergraduate statistics course? expanding section

Statistics plays an important role in understanding the tests, assessments, and results that school psychologists use on a regular basis.

UWL offers a statistics class (STAT 145) online, and many offerings at other institutions are available. If you are considering a class not listed, check with the director for approval prior to taking the class to make sure it counts.

You will need to have started your stats course by the time classes start for the program in early July. 

Can classes I took for a different graduate degree count towards the completion of the school psychology program? expanding section

The school psychology program is an integrated program of study that spans the Master's and Education Specialist degrees. Individual graduate-level classes with significant overlap to classes in the program of study will be considered for transfer credit towards the program. Students in the program would not have to complete any classes for which transfer credit was granted. Evaluation of classes for transfer credit will be completed through an examination of course syllabi. Applicants should review the program course descriptions to initially identify potential classes to be considered for transfer credit. The request, course syllabi, and any other pertinent materials should be sent directly to the director, Dr. Rob Dixon.

How many credits from another graduate degree can count towards the completion of the school psychology program? expanding section

There are university policies regarding the number of classes and the timing of prior coursework that may impact the granting of transfer credit. If you have additional questions about the ability to transfer in previous graduate coursework toward completion of the School Psychology Online program, please contact the director, Dr. Rob Dixon.

Am I ever required to come to campus? expanding section

In general, no. However, we will hold a Summer Gathering on campus each July, for program networking and orientation of new students. If a scheduling conflict prevents you from attending, we will provide the information for you in another format.

Do I have to be online at certain times? expanding section

In general, no. However, instructors may include synchronous online sessions for specific learning reasons. These will be arranged to match student schedules, at the start of the semester. Instructors may also have online office hours as an opportunity to connect and discuss questions about the class and/or program.

Can I get financial aid or scholarships? expanding section

Yes, graduate students in this online program will be eligible for financial aid, internal and external scholarships. Students will be eligible for federal financial aid during all terms except the first summer of the program and the final fall and spring, since aid eligibility requires enrollment in 4+ credits for summer and 5+ credits for fall and spring.

Can I finish sooner if I take more classes at once? expanding section

No, the curriculum is designed for students to focus on the concepts in one class at a time.

How many classes are required to complete the degree? expanding section

School Psychology is actually two degrees—a Master's of Science in Education plus an Education Specialist degree. There are a total of 21 classes in the degree, including a full year of internship (4th year of the program).

How much does the online degree program cost? expanding section

Tuition and fees for the four years of the program totals $35,536. This cost does not include textbooks.

How will this degree help me grow in my career? expanding section

You will be eligible to provide independent school psychological services during your internship (4th year of the program).

Is the GRE required? expanding section

No, the GRE is not required for admission to the School Psychology Online degree program.

Will I have to complete a thesis or take a comprehensive exam? expanding section

The comprehensive exam for the program is the PRAXIS exam #5403 (School Psychology). The passing score is set by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). While a thesis is not required, a capstone project and a case conceptualization are required components. Students will be encouraged to select an action research project that can relate to their district. Faculty will mentor the students through both the capstone and case conceptualizations.

Is there a time limit for completing the degree? expanding section

The program of study is designed to be completed in four years. UWL has a seven-year completion policy for graduate degrees, meaning that all credits counting toward a graduate degree must be completed within a continuous seven year policy. This includes any transfer credits. Extensions are possible with an appeal to the Graduate Council.

What happens if I stop out for a semester or two? expanding section

In this cohort-based program, each course is offered just once a year. If you stop out, you may need to wait a year to continue with your coursework, and you will likely become part of the following cohort of students rather than continuing with your current cohort. Furthermore, students re-entering graduate study after more than a semester must re-apply to their graduate program.

What is the difference between the online degree and the on-campus degree? expanding section

The online degree for Wisconsin was designed explicitly for licensed educators who have experiences in the classroom and will have a school-based site to apply their learning for their courses. While the overlap between educators and school psychologists is minimal, we were able to waive three full education-based classes from the curriculum. This speeds up degree completion. Furthermore, classes are offered entirely online to allow participants to access key points of knowledge and skills in their community. Finally, in the online program students complete just one class at a time, and courses last 6–7 weeks instead of taking 12–15 credits in 14 weeks.

Do I need to provide all transcripts? expanding section

If you took fewer than 10 undergraduate semester credits at an institution, you do not have to provide that transcript. Transcripts for all graduate credits must be submitted.