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School Psychology Certification in Maine: Become a School Psychologist in ME

School psychology certification is granted by the Certification Office of the Maine Department of Education. The certificate authorizes service with children from birth to grade twelve who are eligible for enrollment in educational systems or intermediate education units or who are receiving special education services.

A school psychologist will need a graduate degree. The level of the degree will determine whether the title is ‘School Psychologist – Specialist’ or ‘School Psychologist – Doctoral’.

In order to move up from initial to three-year certification and continue to renew the certificate, the school psychologist will need to work for a year under supervision. Eventually the professional will need to earn either national certification as a school psychologist or earn state licensing.

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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Pathways to Initial Certification as a School Psychologist (Specialist or Doctoral)

There are four pathways for earning initial certification as a School Psychologist - Specialist or School Psychologist – Doctoral (http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/05/chaps05.htm).

Pathway 1: The first pathway is to complete a degree program that is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists/National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the American Psychological Association. A program that is approved at the time of graduation is considered approved.

Pathway 2: The second is to complete a graduate program of at least 60 semester hours that includes at least three semester hours in each of the following areas:

A candidate utilizing this pathway will need 1,500 hours of internship. The minimum time frame to complete the internship is one school year; it is also permissible to work part-time over a period of up to 24 months. At least 750 internship hours must be spent providing services to children who are part of the school system. The candidate will need a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on School Psychologists.

Pathway 3: A candidate who holds a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has met most requirements. NASP grants certification to individuals who have completed graduate programs of at least 60 semester hours and served in internships of at least 1,200 hours; candidates must have accrued at least 600 internship hours in a school setting. They must also have passed the Praxis II examination for school psychologists with a score of 165. Graduates of programs that were not approved by NASP need to demonstrate competency through submission of a case study and professional portfolio.

Pathway 4: A candidate who is licensed by the Maine Board of Examiners of Psychologists has met requirements if competency in school psychology is verified. In order to be licensed as a psychologist, a professional needs a doctoral degree. It is also necessary to pass a licensing examination and a jurisprudence examination (http://www.maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/psychologists/forms.html).

Whichever pathway a candidate utilizes, he or she will need two recommendations from certified or licensed school psychology providers. In the case of licensed psychologists, these letters will verify the candidate’s experience in the school psychology arena (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx).

Earning and Maintaining a Three-Year Certificate

The school psychologist will need supervision during the first year of practice. Supervision must meet standards set by NASP. The Maine Association of School Psychologists, the state's professional organization, has provided contact information for a professional who can provide information on this new requirement (http://masponline.net/supervision).

With a positive recommendation, the individual can move up to a three-year certificate. Renewal of the three-year certificate will require the holder to be in possession of an NCSP credential or a license issued by the Board of Examiners.

Internationally Educated School Psychologists

Internationally educated candidates may have their transcripts evaluated and a report issued by World Education Services or the Center for Educational Documentation.

Fingerprinting

Candidates will need to be fingerprinted; prints must be on file before a certificate can be issued (http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/fingerprinting/index.html).

A candidate may schedule online through Maine's approved vendor, IdentoGo by MorphoTrust. Identogo uses a live scan process. The Department of Education lists the fee as $55. There are currently twelve fingerprinting locations listed within the state (http://www.l1enrollment.com/state/forms/me/52a73d91c777b.pdf).

The applicant will need to bring acceptable identification. The results will be sent to the licensing agency after background checks are run. Detailed directions are available on Identogo’s ‘Maine’ page (http://www.identogo.com/FP/Maine.aspx). Questions about fingerprinting can be answered by phone at (855) 667-7422 on weekdays between 9:00 and 5:00.

Out-of-state applicants or others who are unable to go to an Identogo site may have prints inked and sent to Identogo (http://www.l1enrollment.com/state/forms/me/53110ea67582b.pdf). They may have a local agency capture the prints, using an FBI applicant card (FD-258). They will send the card to ‘MorphoTrust Maine Cardscan’ in Springfield. They must pre-register and pay fees beforehand; this can be done online.

The Application Process

Application forms are available on the site of the Maine Department of Education (http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/initial/application/index.html). The DOE requires official transcripts documenting both undergraduate and graduate education but notes that transcripts already submitted for a previous certification do not need to be resubmitted.

There is a nonrefundable fee of $100. Application materials are to be sent to the certification office in Augusta.

Additional Information

Additional information is found on the site of the Maine Department of Education Certification Office (http://www.maine.gov/doe/cert). The Certification Office can be reached by phone at 207-624-6603 or by email at cert.doe at maine.gov.

The Maine Association of School Psychology is the state’s professional organization (http://masponline.net).