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School Psychology Licensure in Minnesota: Become a School Psychologist in MN

Minnesota's school psychologists are credentialed by the Minnesota Department of Education under the category “related services licensure”. Minnesota school psychologists may offer direct and indirect services to students from pre-k to grade 12. Full licensure can be granted immediately upon completion of a qualifying program at the specialist level.

Minnesota grants temporary limited school psychologist licenses to individuals who have not yet met all requirements; this is done in cases where there is documented need on the part of the school district. Limited intern licenses may be granted to students who are completing degree requirements in a school setting.

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 First-Time Licensure

There are two pathways to initial licensure: completion of a program approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) or credentialing as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP); this credential is also granted by NASP (http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/RelServLic/index.html).

Pathway 1: Candidates may attend a NASP-approved program anywhere in the nation. NASP approves programs at both the specialist and doctoral level. The degree represents at least 60 semester hours of coursework and supervised experience; there must be at least 54 semester hours of coursework exclusive of internship. Students may earn a master’s en route to a higher degree. Doctoral programs include at least 90 semester hours of coursework; there will be at least 78 semester hours exclusive of dissertation and internship. Some programs, termed “respecialization”, accept students with graduate degrees in closely related fields; they do not necessarily confer an additional degree. A student may view a national directory of NASP-approved programs online (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/index_grad.aspx).

Pathway 2: Candidates may pursue NCSP certification. A 60-semester hour program is a prerequisite. The program does not necessarily have to be NASP-approved. However, graduates of programs that do not have NASP approval are required to demonstrate competence through submission of a case study and professional portfolio. Portfolio instructions are found in the application packet for Non-NASP graduates (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/NON_NASP_approved_NCSP_app.pdf).

NASP sets minimum internship hours for all candidates, regardless of approval or accreditation. Certification candidates must complete 1,200 hours of internship with at least 600 hours served in a school setting.

The Praxis II examination for school psychologists is another certification requirement. The examination is administered by ‘paper delivery’. The required score for certification is 165. Candidates who took the examination in the past may have taken a version of the exam which utilized a different scaling system; this is acceptable. Candidates whose scores are more than ten years old will need to retake the examination.

A candidate handbook can be downloaded from the ETS site. The test is offered at sites around the nation approximately four times per year. Testing fees are currently listed as $115. The NASP Certification Department can be reached by phone at 866- 331-NASP or 301-657-0270.

Limited Intern Licensure

A student who has completed a master’s but needs to complete an internship as part of a NASP-approved school psychology program may apply for a Limited Intern License. The individual must be supervised by the college or university. A licensed school psychologist must provide direct supervision. The Department of Education notes that interns may not fill a school psychology vacancy.

The intern license is issued for one year. It authorizes service at a particular charter school or school district (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=8710.1050). One renewal is allowed.

Requirements for Limited Licensure

Limited licensure is granted when a school district or charter school is unable to locate a fully qualified professional (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=8710.1250). In order to qualify as a school psychologist, an individual must hold at least a master’s degree in school psychology (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx). The limited license is issued for one year. Additional temporary licenses may be issued if the professional is making sufficient progress toward full licensure and if the institution still needs the professional’s service; NASP notes that a condition is that the employing institution is still unable to find a fully qualified school psychologist. To move up to a standard credential, the license holder will need to finish a NASP-approved program or achieve NCSP certification.

The Application Process

Minnesota uses an online application system (https://w1.education.state.mn.us/MIDMSWEB/MDELogin.html). Candidates may click "create account" to initiate the process.

Requests for expedited processing of applications may be made by the school district that will be employing the individual.

Certificates are renewed on a five-year basis. There is a professional development requirement.

Additional Information

The educator licensing division can be found online at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/index.html. Interested individuals may email mde.educator-licensing at state.mn.us or dial 651-582-8691.

NASP lists Related Services Specialist Mary Hunt and Director of Educator Licensing Richard Wassen as state consultants.

Private practice requires a license issued by the Minnesota Board of Psychology (http://www.psychologyboard.state.mn.us/). This option is only available to those who hold doctoral degrees.

The Minnesota School Psychologists Association, a NASP affiliate, is another professional resource (http://www.mspaonline.net/). Membership in this organization does not authorize an individual to work in the schools.