Delaware Association of 

         School Psychologists

Response to Proposed PSB Emergency Certification Revisions

09/26/2022 6:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

September 26, 2022


Response to Proposed PSB Emergency Certification Revisions

The Delaware Association of School Psychologist’s (DASP) Executive Board holds significant concerns regarding the proposed PSB regulations for emergency certification of school psychologists.  We believe the proposed revisions will prematurely put school psychologist candidates into positions they are not yet fully prepared for or equipped to handle. Consequently, we suggest consideration for revised criteria for emergency certification.

 

Justification:

We believe in the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standardized and long-standing requirements for coursework, practicum, and internship to produce competent school psychologists, outlined in NASP’s Professionals Standards (2020).  If the proposed language is implemented, candidates would theoretically be eligible for emergency certification after receiving only half of the typically required coursework. Using the school psychology program at the University of Delaware as an example, this could potentially occur after only one year of a three year graduate program. These candidates would be missing over a year or more of essential and highly specialized coursework including two of their three practicum experiences; consequently, crucial skills would be absent. For example, it would be unlikely that candidates have received training and supervision in risk and threat assessment, and they would not be fully versed and experienced in professional duties such as administering psycho-educational evaluations, completing functional behavioral assessments, providing consultation to ensure student and staff safety, and working with students in individual and/or group-based counseling.  In summary, at the proposed juncture of emergency certification at 50% of coursework completion to school psychologist preparation program and skill acquisition sequence, candidates would not be sufficiently capable to perform the job of a school psychologist. 


Proposed Revision Criteria:

In accordance with the 2020 NASP Practice Model and Standards (p.34), DASP proposes that the candidate should only be considered eligible for emergency certification as a School Psychologist at the start of their training program’s culminating field experience, often referred to as the internship. Candidates would only be eligible for emergency certification after they have completed all required practicum experiences and coursework, and would be expected to continue to receive supervision consistent with the standards in their graduate training program throughout that culminating field experience.  


Conclusion and Collaboration:

We understand the significant shortages in the field necessitating the proposed emergency certification; however, moving unprepared individuals into Delaware schools is a short-term and potentially hazardous solution. Our proposed revision would allow qualified school psychology interns to receive emergency certification, potentially helping to address shortages in the state. In turn, the promise of full-time pay and benefits during the internship year could be a powerful tool to recruit prospective school psychologists. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this proposed revision as well as collaborate on other solutions to shortages in the field.

Delaware Association of School Psychologists - P.O. Box 534 - Middletown, DE 19709

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