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School Psychologist Certification in Oklahoma: Become a School Psychologist in OK

Oklahoma school psychologists are certified by the Oklahoma State Department of Education; school psychology is considered a "specialist certification" or “advanced certification area”. The Department of Education also offers a related credential in school psychometry.

Certification at either level is based on graduate education. Requirements are higher for school psychologists. An individual can qualify by meeting Oklahoma's education and examination standards or meeting those of a national certification agency.

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 School Psychologists

Oklahoma Administrative Code stipulates the competencies that an individual must demonstrate to be certified as a school psychologist. Oklahoma educator preparation programs follow standards set by the Commission for Teacher Preparation.

The National Association of State Psychologists (NASP) states that NASP-approved programs meet Oklahoma standards and that out-of-state programs must have NASP approval to be accepted (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list2.aspx). A list of approved programs is available on the NASP website (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/NASPapproved.aspx).

Oklahoma Administrative Code states that the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential is as accepted as evidence that a candidate has met competencies.

National Certification Pathway for School Psychologists

NCSP certification candidates complete 60 semester hour programs prior to application. They accrue at least 1,200 internship hours; at least 600 must be in a school setting. The Praxis II examination is an additional certification requirement. Candidates can visit the ‘NASP’ page of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to see current testing information (https://www.ets.org/praxis/nasp/requirements/). Registration can also be carried out online.

It is not necessary to graduate from a NASP-approved school psychology program to attain national certification, but it does simplify the process. Candidates whose programs did not hold NASP approval are, excepted in limited circumstances, required to submit a case study and professional portfolio. Candidates who graduated from school psychology programs that achieved approval status within one year of the time of graduation may be excused from the portfolio and case study requirements provided they can demonstrate that their course of study was substantively similar to that that was in place when approval was granted. Portfolio requirements are found in the application materials for graduates of non-approved programs (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/becomeNCSP.aspx).

Examination Requirement for School Psychologists

Oklahoma utilizes a state-specific examination system. Examinations have been developed by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation (http://www.ok.gov/octp). School psychologists take the school psychologist exam (033) to demonstrate content-area knowledge (http://www.ceoe.nesinc.com/CE16_certificationrequirements.asp). Examination information is available on the site of Certification Examinations for Oklahoma Educators, or CEOE (http://www.ceoe.nesinc.com/index.asp). Candidates can download study guides that include examination-specific information. Candidates with questions about testing requirements may call the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation at 405-525-2612 (http://www.ceoe.nesinc.com/CE_contact_opener.asp).

The Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation reviews out-of-state examinations for comparability. The National Association of School Psychologists notes that out-of-state candidates are expected to take the Praxis II examination for school psychologists and score a 165; this is the same score required for national certification. Beginning in September of 2014, candidates will take a different version of the Praxis II examination. It is based on the latest revision of NASP standards. The new examination is computer-delivered and has a different scoring system. Examination information is available on the ETS site (https://www.ets.org/praxis/prepare/materials/0401).

School Psychometrist Certification

School psychometrists can qualify for certification by completing an approved program and meeting examination requirements. The National Association of School Psychologists states that a school psychometry degree from a regionally accredited institution will qualify (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list2.aspx).

Candidates for school psychometrist take the psychometrist examination (034).

Criminal Background Checks

Oklahoma requires criminal background checks carried out by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. Candidates may opt to have fingerprints laser-scanned at the Oklahoma State Department of Education building in Oklahoma City; the DOE notes that this can expedite the process. The hours are 8:00 to 4:00 on weekdays.

Another option is to have fingerprints made at one of the satellite locations. Satellite locations are operated by a third party, and appointments are required. The candidate may call (877) 219-0197 or visit IdentoGo (formerly L-1) on the web (http://www.identogo.com/FP/Oklahoma.aspx).

It is also acceptable to have fingerprints made at a sheriff's office or police department using the traditional inked method. Candidates who opt for the traditional method will send the completed fingerprint card to the State Department of Education for scanning.

A list of fingerprinting sites is available on the DOE site, organized by region of the state (http://www.l1enrollment.com/locations/?st=ok).

The background check processing fee is currently listed as $59.

The Application Process

Candidates with degrees from in-state approved programs may apply online (http://www.ok.gov/sde/traditional-path-oklahoma-teacher-certification).

Out-of-state candidates must submit official transcripts. The license application form can be downloaded in PDF format (http://www.ok.gov/sde/traditional-path-oklahoma-teacher-certification).

Earning a Standard Certificate

After a year of successful employment, an educator can be issued a five-year standard certificate.

Licensure as a Psychologist

The National Association of School Psychologists notes that the DOE credential does not authorize private practice. Professionals with doctoral degrees in school psychology can fulfill additional examination and supervision requirements and achieve licensure as professional psychologists. They must apply through the Oklahoma Board of Examiners of Psychologists (http://www.ok.gov/OSBEP).

Additional Information

The Teacher Certification Section can be found on the web at http://ok.gov/sde/teacher-certification. The Section can be reached by telephone at 405-521-3337.

The Oklahoma School Psychological Association is the state's professional organization (https://www.ospaweb.org). It is affiliated with the National Association of School Psychologists.