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School Psychology Certification and Licensure in Louisiana: Become a School Psychologist in LA

Louisiana school psychologists are certified by the Louisiana Department of Education. Certification is based on graduate level education and supervised practice.

The credential issued is referred to as an ‘ancillary certificate’. The Standard Level A certificate is issued to school psychologists with doctoral degrees; the Standard Level B certificate is for those with specialist degrees (signifying 60 semester hours of post-baccalaureate education).

During the initial year of supervised practice, Louisiana school psychologists hold a provisional certificate.

There's been a licensure update taking effect 8/1/2014:

Act 136 provides a licensure option for school psychologists to practice as a Licensed Specialists in School Psychology. The license falls under the authority of the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP).

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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Educational Requirements for Provisional School Psychologists

School psychology programs are to provide education in accordance with the NASP Standards for Training and Field Placement Programs in School Psychology (http://www.nasponline.org/standards/2010standards.aspx); those who are licensed at the provisional level will have fulfilled all standards but internship.

Doctoral degrees may be earned in school psychology or in other psychology programs that emphasize child development, education and assessment.

Educational Requirements for Standard School Psychologist License

Candidates demonstrate that they have met educational requirements for a standard certificate by completing a program with education and training that meets NASP training standards. Degrees are to be completed at regionally accredited institutions.

Requirements are the same as for the provisional license, but at this level, candidates will have met all requirements, including internship. The Level B school psychologist will have earned at least 60 semester hours of graduate credit and the Level A school psychologist at least 90. The master’s program will include at least 54 semester hours of coursework exclusive of internship. The doctoral program will include at least 78 semester hours of coursework exclusive of internship and dissertation.

Alternative Pathway to Standard License: National Certification

Candidates may also show that they have met education and training requirements by seeking credentialing as Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Certification reflects similar standards. An individual must have completed a 60 semester hour program to be eligible for credentialing as an NCSP. In some cases, an individual who completes a 60 hour school psychology program that does not hold NASP approval will still qualify for certification; submission of a portfolio and case study may demonstrate competence.

Those who opt for NCSP certification will need to take the Praxis II school psychologist examination. This is administered by Educational Testing Service, or ETS (https://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0401). The required examination is #0401. The required score for national certification is 165. Candidates can download a handbook; they will find practice questions as well as information about scheduling. The examination is given in pencil and paper format approximately four times a year. The cost is currently listed as $115 (http://www.ets.org/praxis/about/fees/).

Internship Requirements

Louisiana requires 1,200 hours of internship for individuals enrolled in specialist programs; at least 1,500 hours of internship are required of those who enroll in doctoral programs. A minimum 600 internship hours must be served in a school setting. (Doctoral candidates who completed the required 600 hours while pursuing a lower degree may have more latitude when it comes to internship settings at the PhD level.)

Internship is earned under a provisional certificate. While working under a provisional certificate, the school psychologist should have two hours of weekly supervision. Internship supervision that takes place in a school setting will be provided by a credentialed school psychologist; internship supervision that takes place in other settings will be provided by a psychologist with appropriate credentialing.

Part-time internships are permissible. The provisional certificate may be renewed once.

The Application Process

A candidate applying for provisional status will submit a transcript verifying that a bachelor's has been awarded. Additionally, he or she will submit a letter from the graduate institution verifying that all degree requirements have been met except the internship.

A candidate applying for a standard license will submit transcripts verifying that a graduate degree has been awarded and that internship was done through a regionally accredited institution.

Candidates should use the ‘ancillary certification’ application packet found on the Teach Louisiana site (https://www.teachlouisiana.net/teachers.aspx?PageID=3204). There is a $50 nonrefundable fee. Application status can also be monitored through the Teach Louisiana site after submission.

The standard certificate is renewed every five years.

Other Available Credentials

Supervisor certification is available to school psychologists who have had three years of supervised experience. At least two supervision years must have been accrued in Louisiana. A professional who earns this status may supervise entry-level school psychologists

NASP notes that individuals with school psychology training may qualify for other credentials through the Department of Education. The Qualified Mental Health Professional Counselor is a new credential. School psychology is a qualifying degree, but the individual will also need related experience.

Private practice requires a license issued by the Louisiana Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

Licensed Specialists in School Psychology

Act 136 provides a licensure option for school psychologists to practice as a Licensed Specialists in School Psychology. The license falls under the authority of the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP).

Learn more about the ACT 136 licensure option: http://lspaonline.org/Resources/Documents/SB128Enrolled.pdf

The Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (http://www.lsbep.org/) has additional information regarding the licensure process.

This is where the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists will have the application forms: (http://www.lsbep.org/forms.php)

Additional Information

Additional information is found on Teach Louisiana, a Louisiana Department of Education website (http://www.teachlouisiana.net/). The Division of Certification, Preparation, & Recruitment can be reached by telephone at 1-877-453-2721.

NASP lists Debra Duhe as the state consultant (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx).

The Louisiana School Psychological Association is an additional professional resource (http://lspaonline.org). School psychologists may stay apprised of legislative issues as well as participate in continuing education activities. The organization notes that there is a current bill on the table that would allow for optional licensing of Louisiana school psychologists. This could extend their scope of practice. It could also make charter school psychology services eligible for funding through Medicaid. Licensed school psychologists would have an additional level of accountability beyond certification.

The LSPA has also provided a summary of current certification requirements (http://lspaonline.org/schoolpsychinla).