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School Psychology Licensure in Ohio: Become a School Psychologist in OH

Ohio school psychologists are licensed by the Ohio Department of Education (or DOE). The state’s school psychologists may also seek licensure through the Ohio State Board of Psychology; this credential can expand their scope of practice.

Both licenses require education at the master's level. Both require an internship and a written examination. The license issued by the State Board requires several years of school psychology experience beyond the internship level. Candidates for State Board licensing also need to provide references and go through an oral examination process.

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 Requirements for DOE Licensure

Licensure as a school psychologist by the Department of Education requires completion of an approved program at the master's level or higher (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/3301-24). The National Association for School Psychologists notes that Ohio has not stipulated a minimum number of graduate semester hours (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx).

The Ohio Board of Regents and the Department of Education together ensure that in-state programs meet state standards. Prospective students may search for educational programs by the type of license that graduates are eligible to apply for (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Licensure/Prepare-for-Certificate-License).

A nine month internship is required. This is to be carried out in accordance with policies found in the Ohio internship in school psychology guidelines. At least 600 of the internship hours must be earned in a school setting.

Ohio school psychologists must pass the national examination for school psychologists (offered as part of the Praxis II series). Educational Testing Service (ETS) lists 161 as the minimum score for Ohio school psychologists taking version #0401 of the test. Candidates who take the upcoming computer-delivered Praxis II can expect a different minimum score. The ‘Ohio requirements’ page on the ETS site lists scoring requirements for paper- and computer-delivered tests; candidates can click on “professional pupil services” (https://www.ets.org/praxis/oh/requirements).

The school psychologist examination is given at sites around the nation. A candidate who tests in another state will need to enter the Ohio code to ensure that the score report reaches the Ohio Department of Education (http://www.ets.org/praxis/oh). Candidates will find a handbook and registration information on the ETS website.

The DOE Application Process

The Department of Education requires applicants to have fingerprint-based criminal background checks (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Licensure/Additional-Information/Background-Check-FAQs). In most cases, candidates will be required to have their fingerprints captured electronically using the WebCheck system. Exceptions may be made for candidates who live more than 75 miles away. The Ohio Attorney General’s website has provided a list of locations. Out-of-state candidates may call (614) 466-3593 to receive fingerprint cards.

It typically takes only a few days to complete and report a clear background check (provide all information has been filled out correctly). The DOE notes that it is acceptable for the background check results to arrive before the application.

Candidates will apply online for their educator license (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Licensure/Additional-Information/Complete-List-of-Applications). They will initiate the process by creating a SAFE account. The DOE has created videos to walk applicants through the online process (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Licensure/Apply-for-Certificate-License). There will be some differences in procedures for those who complete Ohio-approved programs. An authorized representative from the school may e-sign the application.

Licensure as a School Psychologist by the State Board of Psychology

School psychologists may achieve licensure through the State Board with education at the master's level (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4732-9-02). This credential is only available to professionals who have completed, in addition to internship, three years of professional experience. At least two years of the total credited experience must be under a public board or a private school which is found to meet standards of the State Board of Education. The professional will need to perform services delineated in 4732-9-02 of state code. Nine months of full-time service is counted as a year.

If the degree is not clearly identified as having been granted in school psychology, the candidate may furnish a letter from the graduate school identifying it as such. If necessary, the degree may be evaluated for equivalency. The degree must be earned through an accredited institution. The school psychology student will need a minimum of 48 semester hours of applicable coursework. The following topics must be covered:

The student will need practicum as well as instruction in individual assessment of children.

Additionally, the student will need coursework in three of the following five content areas:

Candidates vying for school psychologist licensure through the State Board will need to achieve a Praxis II score of 165 on test #0401 (http://psychology.ohio.gov/pdfs/SchoolPsychApp.pdf); this is the same level that is required for national certification through the National Board of School Psychologists. The Ohio State Board will accept scores up to nine years old. Some school psychologists may have taken a previous version of the school psychologist exam where the passing score was set at 660.

Ohio State Board candidates will also need to go through an oral examination; this will assess knowledge of applicable laws and rules. Candidates will need references from three psychologists (or from school psychologists licensed through the Board).

The license application and reference forms are available on the Board site (http://psychology.ohio.gov/licensing.stm). There is a $300 application/ licensure fee, to be made out to “Treasurer, State of Ohio”.

Additional Information

Current information on educator licensure is available on the Department of Education website (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Teaching/Educator-Licensure). The Office of Educator Licensure may be reached by phone at 614-466-3593 or toll free at 877-644-6338. The email address is educator.licensure at education.ohio.gov.

State Board candidates my email psy.ce at exchange.state.oh.us for licensing information or application materials.

Ohio Administrative Code 4732-5-02 discusses scope of practice differences between the two types of school psychology licensure (http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4732-5-02).

The Ohio School Psychologists Association is an additional professional resource (http://ospaonline.org).