School Psychology Certification in New Hampshire: Become a School Psychologist in NH

In New Hampshire, school psychologists are certified by the Bureau of Credentialing, under the banner of the Department of Education. School psychology is considered an educational specialist certification (http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/documents/codelist.pdf).

A school psychology candidate will need a graduate degree and a year of internship (or two years of acceptable supervised experience). In some instances, individuals may be certified before meeting all requirements; in this instance, they will complete their internship requirements as credentialed educators.

New Hampshire no longer issues associate school psychologist licenses but recognizes experiences gained in this (or similar) capacities.

Educational specialists with degrees at the master’s level or higher are exempted from New Hampshire’s basic skills testing requirement. New Hampshire does not currently require a content area examination for school psychologists. Some candidates may wish to take the Praxis II examination as part of a national certification process; in many instances, national certification simplifies the process of getting a credential in a new state.

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Educational Requirements

Requirements are delineated in more specific terms for candidates who have master’s degrees as their highest degree than for those who hold doctoral degrees.

Candidates with degrees below the doctoral level will need at least 60 semester credits of graduate work. There must be at least 54 semester credits exclusive of internship. There must be a master’s that includes coursework in the following content areas:

  • Human development and growth
  • Learning theory
  • Personality theory
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Public school organization and purposes
  • Strategies and programs for exceptional children
  • Statistics and research
  • Individual personality assessment
  • Individual intelligence assessment
  • Counseling and psychotherapeutic techniques (including group counseling)
  • Educational evaluation techniques

Doctoral degrees in school psychology are acceptable if the program has been approved by the state board of education.

The Department of Education has provided a list of approved in-state programs for educators (http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/documents/programapprovalbook.pdf).

Internship or Supervised Experience Requirements

The school psychology professional will need at least 1,200 hours of internship experience. The experience may be gained during one full-time academic year or two part time academic years. The student may receive internship credit for time accrued in non-school settings that serve children (for example, psychiatric hospitals). However, no fewer than 600 hours may be in a school setting.

Two years of supervised experience earned as a school psychologist associate may be substituted.

Certification of Individuals who have Not Yet Met All Requirements

New Hampshire educators who have not yet met all requirements may be credentialed if their training is in an area of critical need. The New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists, the state’s professional organization, notes that “school psychologist” has fallen into this category in recent years.

The 2013 to 2014 “Alternative 4” instructions state that school psychology candidates applying under this pathway must possess at least a master’s degree (http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/documents/alt4memo.pdf). The candidate must have documented psychology experience as well as coursework in tests and measures. The New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists recommends that applicants be finished with all requirements except the internship before applying.

Individuals may be hired on the basis of a Statement of Eligibility, but they will then need certification.

Lisa Landenberger is listed as the support person for Alternative 4. Rilma Fox is listed as evaluator.

The Application Process

Application forms are available on the Department of Education website (http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/index.htm). Some of the pathways described, and some directions, will not be applicable to school psychologists.

The New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists has provided discussion of application pathways and how they apply to school psychologists, noting that most applicants will fall under Alternative 1 or 2 (http://www.nhaspweb.org/index.php?page=employment); Alternative 2 is for those whose programs were approved by a licensing agency in another state. Candidates who complete in-state programs should expect to receive application materials from their schools.

Candidates who have been educated in other nations will have additional steps to follow (http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/foreign_cred.htm).

Applicants will provide information about their most recent seven years of professional history. They will answer questions about legal history and about any actions against state issued credentials.

Official transcripts will be required. (The applicant will note whether transcripts are enclosed or will arrive separately.)

The fee is currently listed as $130 (http://www.education.nh.gov/certification/documents/fee_sched.pdf).

New Hampshire education specialists should expect to have fingerprint-based background checks at the employment level.

Renewal of School Psychology Certification

Renewal procedures will depend on whether the professional is currently employed. The National Association of School Psychologists notes that New Hampshire school psychologists are expected to do 75 professional development hours every three years (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx).

Limitations of School Psychology Certification

A credential issued by the Department of Education does not authorize private practice; this requires a license issued by the Board of Psychology.

Additional Information

The Bureau of credentialing may be contacted by phone at 603-271-2408. A list of contact persons is available on the Department of Education site (http://www.education.nh.gov/contactus/index.htm).

The National Association of School Psychologists lists Marian Gfroerer (of Guidance and Counseling) as the state consultant for school psychology (http://www.nasponline.org/certification/state_info_list.aspx).

The New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists, or NHASP, does not issue certifications, but serves as an additional resource (http://www.nhaspweb.org/).