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School Psychology Certification in New Jersey: Become a School Psychologist in NJ

New Jersey school psychologists are licensed by the State Board of Examiners, under the banner of the State of New Jersey Department of Education. They receive an Educational Services Personnel certificate that authorizes service with preschool through twelfth grade. Certification is based on graduate education and supervised internship or externship.

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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Requirements for Standard School Psychology Certificate

School psychologists will need a degree at the master's level or higher. They will need at least 60 semester hours of applicable graduate coursework. They may meet the education and training standards of the state of New Jersey or those of a national certifying agency ( (http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/license/endorsements/3100S.pdf). The following is an outline of the two options.

Pathway 1: The 60 semester hours are to be distributed as dictated by New Jersey code.

Twelve semester hours are to be in the areas of educational foundations and school psychology practice and development. Coursework may include multicultural education, learning theory, curriculum development, educational organization, and school psychologist roles and functions.

At least twelve semester hours must be in human behavioral development. Social psychology, physiological psychology, human development, and psychopathology are among the creditable topics.

At least six semester hours are to cover students with disabilities. Coursework in the education, psychology, and assessment of disabled students would be creditable.

At least eighteen semester hours must be in the combined areas of intelligence and personality assessment and school consultation.

The student may credit additional coursework in research and intervention techniques. It is acceptable to credit more than the minimum in other content areas, for example, school psychology practice or disability education. Credit awarded for practicum or externship may be applied toward the 60 semester hour total.

The student will need at least 300 clock hours of practicum; practicum must be reflected on the transcript. Additionally, the student will need 1,200 hours of internship. At least 600 must be spent working with school aged children in a school setting; the remaining hours may be in either a school setting or an appropriate clinical setting. Hours spent working under an emergency certificate may be credited if the individual is concurrently a student in a school psychology program.

Pathway 2: The candidate may present a certification issued by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). NASP also requires a 60 semester hour program and 1,200 hours of internship. NASP does not require a particular program-level accreditation but simplifies the certification process for those whose programs held NASP approval at the time of graduation. Other candidates will need to submit a case study and professional portfolio.

Certification candidates must take the Praxis II examination for school psychologists. The minimum score will depend on the version of the test. The threshold score on version #0401 is 165. Candidates who took the examination in 2008 or earlier may have taken a version where a 660 was required. The upcoming computer-delivered will utilize a different scoring system.

Certification information is available on the NASP website (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/becomeNCSP.aspx). Information about examination registration is available on the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website (http://www.ets.org/praxis/register).

A candidate should expect to pay $115 for testing. Certification fees will depend on NASP membership status and what stage the candidate is in their career.

Requirements for Emergency Certificate

In order to be eligible for emergency certification, an individual will need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and at least 30 semester hours of graduated coursework applicable to a standard school psychology certificate. The individual will need to have completed practicum work in assessment.

Candidates do not apply to the Department of Education for emergency credentials. The school district wishing to employ the individual will need to work through their local office; a list of local offices can be accessed online (http://www.state.nj.us/education/counties/).

Emergency Certification/ Externship for Professionals with Experience in Clinical Psychology

An individual who holds a degree in clinical psychology at at least the master's level and who can document 600 hours of clinical psychology service with children can meet New Jersey's practicum and externship requirements through a 600 hour externship (http://www.state.nj.us/education/counties/). The individual will work under an emergency certificate.

The Application Process

Candidates submit their applications online through the Teacher Certification Information System, or TCIS (http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/license/tcis). They will need to mail additional supporting documentation to the New Jersey Department of Education. The DOE asks that supporting documents arrive together in a single envelope.

A candidate will need to provide official course descriptions to show that New Jersey's coursework requirements have been met. A candidate applying on the basis of an NCSP credential will include a copy of the certification. Official transcripts are required in all cases.

A notarized statement will also be required. The candidate will affirm support of the U.S. and New Jersey constitutions and will divulge any criminal history or revoked or suspended certifications. Candidates who answer "yes" to legal or professional history questions will need to supply details.

Candidates who hold certification in other states will include copies of their certificates.

The application fee is currently listed as $95; payment must be submitted online. Materials may be sent to the following address:

Office of Licensure and Credentials
New Jersey Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500

Application status may be monitored online. A school district that wishes to employ a certification candidate may request expedited review.

The Department of Education recommends that an applicant read the TCIS User Manual before beginning the process. Technical problems may be brought to the attention of TCIStechassist at doe.state.nj.us .

Additional Information

Licensing customer service representatives are available at 609-292-2070 on weekdays between 8:00 and 4:00.

The ‘licensure and credentials’ page of the New Jersey Department of Education is the source for current and updated policies (http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/license).

The New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (NJASP) is an additional resource for the state's school psychology professionals (http://www.njasp.org/). NJASP has provided a description of certification pathways (http://www.njasp.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1099203).