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School Psychology licensure in Vermont: Become a School Psychologist in VT

Vermont school psychologists are licensed by the Vermont Agency of Education. The credential is valid from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Licensure is based on education and internship; examination is required of candidates whose education falls below the doctoral level. National certification provides an alternate pathway to show that requirements have been met.

School psychologists are licensed at Level 1 after they meet basic requirements. They achieve Level 2 licensing after they have successful work experience and fulfill additional requirements.

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Educational Requirements

A Vermont school psychologist must have education at the specialist or doctoral level (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/EDU-Rule-5440_Supplement_A_Licensing_Endorsements.pdf#page=126). The program may be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

All APA-accredited programs are at the doctoral level. NASP approves programs at both levels.

A candidate can also be licensed on the basis of a program that is deemed to be equivalent to a NASP-approved or APA-accredited program. It must include, at minimum, 60 semester hours. A doctoral program must include 90. Candidates who are applying by equivalency will fill out the transcript review worksheet. They will list which courses covered content in required topic areas. Among these are the following:

Required content is based on the standards found in Rule 5440. The transcript review worksheet includes details about concepts that fall under each required area.

The Vermont Agency of Education accepts APA re-specialization guidelines for education of individuals who have at least 60 semester hours of graduate coursework in clinical, counseling, or industrial/ organizational psychology.

Internship Requirement

An internship is required. An internship is considered to meet standards if it is NASP-approved or APA-accredited. Other internships may be accepted if at least 600 hours are accrued in an appropriate educational setting under the supervision of a credentialed and experienced school psychologist. The supervisor must have, at minimum, three years of post-degree experience.

Examination Requirement

Some candidates will be required to demonstrate competency by passing the national school psychologist examination at the level required for national certification. The Agency of Education notes that the examination is not required for candidates who have completed doctoral degree programs with APA accreditation or NASP approval.

The required score on test version 0401 is 165. Candidates can visit the ‘Vermont Requirements’ page of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website to stay apprised of current requirements and to view the Vermont test code (https://www.ets.org/praxis/vt/requirements); candidates who test outside Vermont will need the code to ensure that scores are reported correctly. The page also includes a link to examination registration resources.

A computer-delivered examination with a new test code is forthcoming. The ETS site includes information about test centers around the nation (https://www.ets.org/praxis/register/centers_dates). Vermont has one computer-delivered test center, in Williston.

Alternate Pathway: National Certification

Vermont accepts the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential as evidence that education, examination, and internship requirements have been met. The NCSP credential is granted by NASP. It represents at least 60 semester hours of graduate work and at least 1,200 hours of internship; no fewer than 600 may be accrued in a school setting. NCSP candidates must take and pass the national examination for school psychologists.

In addition, candidates who completed programs that were not approved by NASP must demonstrate competencies through submission of case study and professional portfolio.

The Application Process

Candidates can download instructions and application forms online (http://education.vermont.gov/licensing/application). The Agency of Education notes that electronic transcripts are now accepted; they must be sent to the email address found on the main page of the 'Licensure' section of the website.

The application and initial licensing fee is $160. This may be paid by check or money order.

Applicants may fill out the return receipt form to receive notification of receipt. The licensing agency notes that incomplete applications are returned to sender.

Application materials can be mailed or hand delivered to the Licensure Office in Barre.

An applicant who has never had a Vermont Educational Criminal Record Check will need to submit a $16.50 fee and fill out two forms related to the fingerprinting and background check process. One form requires notarization. The other will be validated and returned to the candidate; this is to be brought to the fingerprinting site. The candidate may have fingerprints made at a local law enforcement agency using an FBI applicant card (form FD-258). The agency will submit the FBI card for processing.

Candidates who have previously had a Vermont Educational Criminal Record Check may submit an authorization form to have information released. Candidates must carefully follow steps in the background check information packet.

The Vermont Agency of Education notes that an FBI background check takes about 12 weeks.

Level 2 Licensing

The Level 1 license is issued for three years.

Vermont school psychologists earn Level 2 licensing after satisfactory work experience. They must also fulfill a continuing education requirement and create an Individual Professional Learning Plan (IPLP) based on analysis of classroom data and professional practice.

As per rule 5431 of the Vermont Standards Board (2013), a professional who fails to earn a recommendation for higher level licensing after working in the endorsement area within the state for three years is allowed one renewal (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/educ_5100_licensing_regulations.pdf).

Provisional Licensing

A professional with a clinical psychology license may be approved for a provisional school psychology license when a school is unable to fill a position with a fully qualified professional (http://education.vermont.gov/documents/educ_5100_licensing_regulations.pdf).

Additional Information

The Agency of Education Licensing Office is the source for current and updated information. The Licensing Office can be reached by phone at (802) 479-1700 or by email at AOE.LicensingInfo at state.vt.us.

The Vermont Association of School Psychologists, an affiliate of the National Association of School Psychologists, is the state's professional organization (http://www.vasponline.org/).