Diversity Focus

A page within School Psychology

The school psychology program supports the mission below developed by the UWL Psychology Department's Inclusion Diversity Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee and endorsed by the UWL Psychology Department faculty:

We are committed to creating spaces that are equitable and inclusive for all people including but not limited to:  

  • Black 
  • Indigenous and Native
  • Multiracial and multicultural 
  • International
  • Women
  • Disabled 
  • Neurodiverse
  • First generation
  • Trans, Non-binary, Gender Non-conforming 
  • Bi, pan, ace, lesbian, gay, queer, questioning 
  • Younger, middle age, older
  • Socioeconomic status diversity
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Students, staff, faculty, community
  • And all the intersections between these identities and others not listed here

Our mission is to create affirming spaces for all these members of our community and beyond.  

In this mission, we understand that systemic problems require systemic solutions. Therefore, we hold ourselves accountable to developing systems that: 

  • Dismantle oppression and systemic barriers in learning and education
  • Reduce the impact of opportunity gaps on achievement and learning
  • Amplify divergent voices of students, faculty, and staff

This is an ongoing commitment and not a stopping point, checkbox, or outcome we measure at only one point in time.  

The following details some of our courses, practical experiences, research, and financial incentives and opportunities to enhance this focus on diversity.


Through an equity lens, discussions and critical analysis of diversity issues are integrated into all core School Psychology courses. Additionally, societal diversity and social justice are the primary focus of several program courses: 

  • Multicultural Psychology (SPY 771) - aims to develop students’ multicultural competence (i.e., knowledge, awareness, and skills) in order to prepare them to live and work with individuals from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. It also aims to increase students’ understanding of, and commitment to, social justice in their personal and professional lives. 
  • Human Relations in Schools and Society (EFN 705)  students critically examine aspects of their own identities, including how membership in various social groups affects their sense of being as well as how they interact with others, and consider the important role of education in promoting social justice and diversity in communities. 

Practical Experiences

Across the course of the program, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of practicum and fieldwork experiences with diverse populations, including:

  • Program immersion field trips to urban and diverse districts, like Minneapolis and Milwaukee Public Schools.
  • Additional supplemental opportunities to shadow a practicing school psychologist in Milwaukee Public Schools during winter term of the second year.
  • Opportunities to work with diverse populations of students within school districts around the La Crosse area, including larger urban districts, suburban districts, and rural districts throughout their three semesters of practica experience.


School Psychology Faculty participate in research related to a school psychologist’s role in providing services to an increasingly diverse student population and continually collaborate with other campus departments to better promote equity and social justice on UWL’s campus. 

Graduate students also have the opportunity to conduct their own research as part of their Capstone Research Project. Previously, several graduate students have completed projects on topics relating to diversity issues, which can be viewed here on our website.

Financial Incentives and Opportunities

A variety of financial assistance opportunities exist for graduate students of traditionally marginalized backgrounds 

  • Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) Grant - The intent of the Advanced Opportunity Program Grant is to provide financial assistance to graduate students who identify with various underserved populations to improve opportunities for retention and graduation and lessen the burden of student debt. More information about the AOP Grant can be found here 
  • Application Fee Assistance UWL will pay the graduate school application fee for McNair Scholars. More information about application fee assistance can be found here 
  • Wisconsin School Psychology Association (WSPA) Minority Scholarship – Offered to encourage and support the growth of minority representation in professional school psychology. Graduate students must be nominated by the UWL School Psychology Program Director, but more information can be found here 
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) ERT Minority Scholarship Program – An application-based program that seeks to provide students with financial assistance and mentoring as they progress from graduate student to practicing school psychologist. More information and a link to the application for the NASP ERT Program can be found here