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Mission Statement

The School Psychology Doctoral Program at TWU embraces a scientist-practitioner model of training in which practice, research and theory are considered integrated components. A balanced emphasis is placed on developing competencies necessary for functioning in applied settings, such as schools and community agencies, and in academic or research positions in institutions of higher education.

The theoretical philosophy of the program is grounded in an integration of the biopsychosocial perspective in combination with the application of a data-based problem solving approach. The biopsychosocial perspective posits that biological, psychological and social factors play a significant role in an individual’s functioning. The biological system emphasizes genetics, diseases, anatomical and structural components of the individual. The psychological system incorporates developmental factors, personality and motivation of the individual. The social system includes cultural background, environmental and familial influences. This comprehensive perspective encompasses the variety of systems that are influential in the lives of children and posits that each component system affects and is affected by all other systems.

The biopsychosocial perspective is complemented by a data-based problem solving framework for the practice of school psychology. Problem solving methods are consistent with the experimental tradition in psychology where the problem is defined, directly measured, interventions are designed based on the measurement data and progress on the intervention is monitored and revisions occur as needed. Additionally, problem solving is viewed as a collaborative process involving the child, family, and professionals representing various education and community institutions. TWU’s School Psychology Doctoral Program assumes that the functions of a school psychologist involve primarily problem-solving whether service or research oriented, and that problem-solving will be most effective when approached from a data-based framework supported by a biopsychosocial perspective. The goal is to produce school psychologists who can employ scientific knowledge and methods of problem-solving in the delivery of direct or indirect services to children, families, schools and communities. It is our intent to produce competent, ethical school psychologists who integrate the principles of scientific inquiry into service delivery functions with respect for diversity and individual differences.

In order to achieve these broad philosophical goals and translate them into practitioner skills the doctoral program has been designed to be sequential, with foundational skills developed first; cumulative, with skills building upon previously learned skills and knowledge; and increasingly complex, wherein knowledge must be integrated and applied. The program has been designed to prepare students to seek internship or postdoctoral experiences to further enhance their skills. Thus, all graduate students take a core set of courses covering the foundations of psychology, then specialized coursework in the field of school psychology in conjunction with experiential activities in practice oriented settings, culminating in the capstone experiences of dissertation and internship.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL #1: Professional Identity and Conduct: To facilitate the development of well-trained professionals who present an identity as a psychologist as evidenced by a strong commitment to ethical behavior and competent service delivery with an understanding and appreciation for working with individuals from diverse populations and backgrounds.


  1. Students will demonstrate a solid knowledge base in psychological and educational foundations.
  2. Students will demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of ethical behavior and will practice in an ethically appropriate manner.
  3. Students will develop an identity as a psychologist with an understanding of the specialty of school psychology.
  4. Students will demonstrate professional conduct and respect for the dignity, diversity, and welfare of others.

GOAL #2: Competence in Research: To train students in the practitioner-scientist model who are competent in the evaluation, production, and dissemination of research.


  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to critically analyze and evaluate psychological and educational research literature.
  2. Students will demonstrate basic knowledge and skill in research design, data analysis, and methods of multiple forms of technology.
  3. Students will actively engage in research (e.g., research team participation, scholarly presentations/publications) and disseminate the results of their research to the profession and broader community using APA style competently in writing scholarly products.

GOAL #3: Competence in practice: To provide students with in-depth supervised training in both direct and indirect assessment, intervention, and supervision.


  1. Students will demonstrate conceptual understanding and appropriate application of theory and research pertinent to assessment, direct and indirect intervention, and supervision.”
  2. Students will acquire and demonstrate competence in direct and indirect service provision in the following areas: intervention, assessment, and supervision.

GOAL #4: Integration of research, practice, professional identity and conduct: To facilitate the development of students who are competent in the integration of professional identity, research, and practice.


  1. Students will demonstrate an integrative knowledge of educational and psychological foundations and translate that into effective practice.
  2. Students will be able to access, evaluate, and apply relevant evidence-based practice in specific areas of intervention, assessment, and supervision.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate professional identity and ethical behavior.

page last updated 9/12/2016 4:51 PM