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School Psychology Certification in Idaho: Become a School Psychologist in ID

Idaho school psychologists are credentialed by the Certification Division of the Idaho State Department of Education; the issued credential is a Pupil Personnel Services Certificate with School Psychologist Endorsement. Certification is based on graduate level coursework and internship.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is offering several Online Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral programs in Psychology including Educational Psychology, Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology. Capella University, is also offering three online CACREP - accredited master's programs: School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. Click here to request information about the Capella University programs.

New York University Steinhardt Department of Applied Psychology offers a Master of Arts in School Counseling (Counseling and Guidance: School and Bilingual School Counseling). The program is accredited by the Master's in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). Click Here to contact NYU Steinhardt Department of Applied Psychology about this program.

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Education and Training

The prospective school psychologist will need at least 60 semester hours of coursework. Education and training may be demonstrated through any of the following pathways (http://adminrules.idaho.gov/rules/current/08/0202.pdf).

Pathway 1: The prospective school psychologist may begin with an approved 30 semester hour master's degree in psychology or education and then articulate to a 30 hour specialist degree program in school psychology.

Pathway 2: Another option is to complete a 60 semester hour master's degree program.

Pathway 3: It is also an option to complete a 60 semester hour school specialist degree that does not build on a prior master's degree. Students utilizing this pathway will need to ensure that they have ‘classroom laboratory’ experience; either classroom teaching or special education practicum may be credited.

Whichever path a candidate takes, a 1,200 hour internship will be required. The internship is to be under the supervision of the school. Direct supervision is to be provided by a certified school psychologist.

Pathway 4: The Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential, issued by the National Association of School Psychologists, is also accepted as evidence of having met Idaho's training requirements. To be nationally certified, school psychologists must have 60 semester hours of graduate coursework and 1,200 hours of internship. They must pass the Praxis II examination for school psychologists with a score of 165. The examination is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is available around the country four times a year. Candidates who graduate from programs that were not NASP-approved will need to establish eligibility by submitting a case study and a professional portfolio. NASP has assembled a resource for graduate students who will be seeking certification (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/index.aspx).

*Idaho accepts 45 quarter hours as equivalent to 30 semester hours.

The Application Process

Application forms are available in Word form on the site of the Department of Education (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/#forms). The institutional recommendation form may be downloaded from this page as well.

The applicant will need to attest to having read the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators. The document may be assessed online. The Department notes that revisions will be published in the spring of 2014 (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/).

The application includes questions about criminal history and "certification irregularities". Any "yes" answer will require written explanation. In some instances, court records will be required.

The cost is $75 for an initial certificate. Application fees and transcripts are to be sent in the same package as the application. They may be mailed to the following address:

State Department of Education
Teacher Certification/Professional Standards
PO Box 83720
Idaho 83720-0027

Standard certificates are issued for five years at a time. Continuing education is required for renewal. NASP notes that school psychologists who hold an NCSP certification are considered to have met the continuing education requirement.

Background Checks

Idaho requires background checks through the Idaho Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), the Statewide Sex Offender Register and the FBI (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/criminal_history.htm). Fingerprints must be made on the correct card. They are to be submitted with a fee (currently listed as $40). Detailed instructions for filing out the card are found on the Department of Education site. The DOE notes that failure to include a date of birth will result in a card not being processed.

Brenda Arnold and Shannon Haas are listed as contact persons for the background check process.

Out-of-State School Psychologists

NASP notes that professionals who hold current certificates in other states may be issued interim certificates that will allow them to begin working while fulfilling state-specific requirements (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx). An interim certificate may authorize employment for up to three years.

Out -of-state certificate holders who meet all Idaho requirements may be issued standard five-year certificates.

Psychology Practice Outside the Schools

Professionals who wish to practice outside the schools will need a license from the Idaho Board of Psychologist Examiners (https://secure.ibol.idaho.gov/IBOL/BoardPage.aspx?Bureau=PSY).

Additional Information

Applicants and licensees should be aware that regulations change periodically. Proposed changes are posted on the Department of Education site (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/accredited.htm).

School psychology standards are listed beginning on page 224 of the new professional standards document (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/docs/accredited_docs/.pdf).

The Certification/Professional Standards Commission can be reached by email at certification at sde.idaho.gov or by phone at (208) 332-6882. From June to October, the hours are 1:00 to 4:45. At other months, telephone hours extend from 8:00 to 4:45. A staff directory is available on the contact page (http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_certification/contact_us.htm). The Division notes that if the most appropriate professional is not contacted, a message will be relayed; an individual should not make multiple calls.

NASP lists Certification Technical Specialist II Jerry Jensen as the state consultant.

The Idaho School Psychologist Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.idahoschoolpsych.org).