School Psychology (Ed.S.)

Program Overview

Rider University offers one of the region’s finest school psychology programs.  It is one of only seven specialist-level programs in New Jersey to hold full accreditation from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). This program is designed for students seeking national certification as a school psychologist.

Making a Difference in the Lives of Children
Across the country, there is a growing need for specially trained school psychologists who can work with students, teachers, families and other professionals to promote safe and supportive learning environments. They play an increasingly important role in helping children succeed — and thrive — academically, socially and behaviorally.


  • Rider’s 64-credit Educational Specialist degree is a graduate-level program that typically takes three years of full-time study to complete.
  • This program follows a cohort model in which students take classes together in a group, or team. Each cohort begins in the fall.
  • Students develop and apply skills through fieldwork that complements coursework, starting with their first semester. Each student is expected to complete a 100-hour practicum each semester during the first two years.
  • During the third year, students complete a one-year professional internship (1,200 hours) in a school setting where they perform the role and function of a professional school psychologist. Students have the option of completing this internship at an approved site setting anywhere in the country.
  • In addition to New Jersey, the program meets requirements for certification in other states, including Pennsylvania and New York.
  • Graduates of the program are eligible for national certification as a school psychologist after earning a passing score on the School Psychology Praxis.

Curriculum Overview

Rider University’s School Psychology program will prepare students to become a productive and vital member of the school team through a highly-structured, developmental curriculum that builds on coursework and hands-on experience.

Students will learn to:

  • effectively assess children’s skills and abilities, including diverse learning needs;
  • assess emotional and behavioral needs;
  • apply effective social-emotional and academic interventions;
  • plan appropriate Individualized Education Programs for students with disabilities;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs;
  • consult with parents, administrators and teachers.

The program emphasizes problem solving and data-based decision making aimed at improving the educational and mental health of children and adolescents.  Rider's innovative program provides a blend of traditional and contemporary school psychology training, including psychological assessment, response to intervention, consultation, positive behavior support, counseling and curriculum-based measurement. And, students learn to work sensitively with people from diverse cultural and individual backgrounds.

Degree Offered

  • Ed.S. in School Psychology


Stefan Dombrowski, Ph.D.
Professor and Director, School Psychology Program
Bierenbaum Fisher Hall 202J

Program Website: School Psychology
Associated Department: Department of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling

Related Programs

School Psychology Educational Specialist Program Requirements

  • Satisfactory annual ratings for retention and progression in the School Psychology program. Program faculty will evaluate the academic, professional competencies, and professional work characteristics of each student based upon their portfolio and personal statement. A recommendation for continuation, continuation with remediation, or dismissal will be made by August 31st of each year.
  • Based upon the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standards, all students must fulfill a residency requirement by enrolling as a full-time student (minimum of nine graduate credits for one semester) so as to develop an affiliation with colleagues, faculty, and the profession.
  • Completion of 64 graduate credits with a minimum GPA of 3.3.
  • Take and attain a passing score established by NASP on the Praxis Submitted Assessment test in school psychology during the first semester of internship, EDPS 590.  Furnish a copy of the score to the Director of the School Psychology program.

Course Requirements for an Ed.S. in School Psychology

(64 total credits)

Foundations of Education and Human Behavior

(21 credits)

Educational Foundations
EDSO 510Sociological and Cultural Foundations of Education3
EDAD 501Educational Leadership and Organizational Theory3
EDPS 508Cognitive Processes and Learning3
Human Behavior and Development
EDPS 502Psychological Development of the Child and Adolescent3
or EDPS 503 Human Growth and Development
EDPS 535Biological Basis of Behavior3
EDPS 538Developmental Child Psychopathology3
SPED 514Positive Behavior Support3
Total Credits21

Professional Core: School Psychology Practice

(43 credits)

Assessment and Intervention
EDPS 500Cognitive Assessment3
EDPS 514Assessment and Intervention I: Standardized Measures of Academics And Behavior3
EDPS 515Assessment and Intervention II: Curriculum-Based Measures3
EDPS 509Assessment and Intervention III: Psychoeducational Assessment and Report Writing3
EDPS 510Assesment & Intervention IV: Behavioral and Social-Emotional Needs3
EDPS 570Advanced Interventions for Children, Adolescents and Families3
EDPS 581Practicum in Psychoeducational Assessment and Report Writing1
EDPS 582Practicum in the Assessment of Behaviorial and Social-Emotional Needs1
EDPS 584Practicum in Curriculum-Based Measures1
CNPY 515Consultation in School and Agency Settngs3
EDPS 583Practicum in Consultation in School and Agency Settings1
EDUC 500Introduction To Research3
EDPS 521Statistics and Quantitative Analysis3
Professional Practice
EDPS 513Professional Practice of School Psychology: Issues and Historical, Ethical, and Legal Considerations3
EDPS 590Internship in School Psychology I3
EDPS 591Internship in School Psych II3
Counseling Psychology
COUN 550Counseling Techniques Laboratory3
Students are expected to complete 400 practicum hours prior to their internship. During each practicum, students will develop specific skills in the field relative to associated coursework and under program faculty's supervision.
Total Credits43

Internship serves as the culminating experience consisting of 1,200 hours. The internship occurs on a full-time basis over the period of one year OR on a part-time basis over two consecutive years.

Courses and Descriptions

CNPY 514 Psychopathology 3 Credits

A survey of the study of abnormal psychology. Includes classification, assessment, and treatment and prevention of psychopathology. Characteristics of healthy psychological functioning are examined. Biological, psychological, and sociocultural bases of well-adjusted and maladjusted behavior patterns are considered. Stress, anxiety, and milder forms of psychopathology are considered, as are more severe psychopathological conditions.

COUN 550 Counseling and Helping Techniques Laboratory 3 Credits

This a laboratory course, which provides opportunities for both the observation and practice of counseling and professional helping skills. The purpose of this course is to provide students with their initial training in counseling and helping skills under closely supervised conditions. The focus of this course is the development of initial client interviewing and basic counseling and helping skills through an emphasis on techniques (basic and advanced listening and helping skills), strategy (the counseling and helping process), and self-development (the student as counselor and helper) grounded in theories of counseling and related helping professions.

EDAD 501 Educational Leadership and Organizational Theory 3 Credits

This introductory course will provide leadership candidates with a framework for understanding the complexity of organizational behavior in an educational setting. Theories and issues in the technical core of teaching and learning, educational governance, leadership, communication patterns, decision-making, school culture, organizational problem solving and school change will be presented, examined and applied through a series of case studies and student initiated inquiry/research projects and presentations. Students will demonstrate course understandings through actual classroom and school applications that are referenced to state adopted core curriculum content standards, professional development standards and national school leadership standards.

EDPS 500 Cognitive Assessment 3 Credits

This course addresses contemporary intellectual theories and the process and procedure of cognitive assessment. It presents the relevant issues related to intelligence testing and interpretation. Through a variety of pedagogical approaches, students acquire needed skills in administering, scoring, and interpreting results from contemporary tests of cognitive ability.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 502 Psychological Development of the Child and Adolescent 3 Credits

Surveys of psychological principles applied to counseling services with emphasis on developmental processes, individual differences, and mental health. Concepts and theoretical orientations to human development from conception through adolescence. The analysis, interpretation, and practical implications of significant research that has contributed most to the knowledge of human development of the child and adolescent.

EDPS 503 Human Growth and Development 3 Credits

Provides an overview and broad understanding of life span developmental theories and research applied to counseling services with special emphasis on developmental processes, individual differences and mental health. Includes strategies for working with developmental issues across the life span.

EDPS 506 Testing and Measurement Techniques in Reading/Literacy Education 3 Credits

Studies basic characteristics of test scores, including: reliability and validity, selection, administration, and scoring of tests; measurement of achievement, intelligence, aptitude, and interests; and the writing and editing of items of teacher-made tests, school marking procedures, interpreting of test scores. Covers basic statistical tools needed by reading specialists.

EDPS 507 Advanced Educational Psychology 3 Credits

A critical examination of contemporary learning theory as applied to educational thought and practice. The psychological, physiological, and sociological foundations of education and training; personality problems encountered by classroom teachers.

EDPS 508 Cognitive Processes and Learning 3 Credits

This course deals with what is known relative to the principles of cognitive psychology and their application to learning. The flow of information is followed from where it begins through the processes of integration and storage. Cognitive principles will be studied relative to concept formation, reasoning, and problem solving. Their relationship to specific educational tasks such as the teaching of reading, writing, mathematics, and other content will be explored and confirmed through empirical evidence.

EDPS 509 Assessment and Intervention III: Psychoeducational Assessment and Report Writing 3 Credits

This course furnishes students with the clinical, practical, and theoretical sophistication to understand the assessment and report writing process for academic, behavioral, adaptive, and social-emotional concerns. Students are expected to master a wide range of concepts and skills to successfully complete this course including integrating multiple pieces of assessment data for case conceptualization, classification, and treatment recommendation. Students are required to synthesize data from multiple methods of assessment and sources to produce written psychoeducational reports that inform intervention practice.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 510 Assesment & Intervention IV: Behavioral and Social-Emotional Needs 3 Credits

The assessment of personality is reviewed from the context of a comprehensive, ecological model of social-emotional, behavioral, and academic development. Assessment is studied from an empirically based, problem-solving model that links directly to intervention. Students learn to select appropriate assessment tools to match individual referral questions so as to evaluate the behavioral and social/emotional problems of children and adolescents.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 512 Psychology of Exceptionality 3 Credits

This course provides opportunities for the study of school psychological issues associated with specific educational exceptionalities, including learning disabilities, mental retardation, behavior disorders, physical handicaps, and giftedness. The characteristics, identification procedures, and current intervention strategies are examined from a psychological and sociocultural perspective. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.

EDPS 513 Professional Practice of School Psychology: Issues and Historical, Ethical, and Legal Considerations 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide an introduction to school psychology through an analysis of the contemporary roles and functions of school psychologists. Professional issues are explored in the context of the history and evolution of school psychology as a specialty area of professional psychology. In addition, the study of professional ethics, best practices, and standards for delivery of school psychological services that have been adopted by national organizations representing the profession of school psychology will be reviewed.

EDPS 514 Assessment and Intervention I: Standardized Measures of Academics And Behavior 3 Credits

This course will increase students’ understanding of the standardized assessment process, measurement issues, psychometric properties of assessment instruments, and the role of these instruments in informing academic, behavioral, and social-emotional interventions.

EDPS 515 Assessment and Intervention II: Curriculum-Based Measures 3 Credits

This course will build upon students’ knowledge and skills in individual-referenced assessment based upon the standards and general curriculum. Students will be able to design, administer, score, and interpret curriculum-based assessment and link these data to intervention.

EDPS 520 Measurement,Tests and Assessments in Counseling 3 Credits

This course covers the use of assessment instruments in counseling practice. Topics include descriptive statistics, reliability and validity, social and ethical considerations in testing, the appropriate selection and usage of standardized tests, and the communication of their results. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to administer, evaluate and interpret assessment instruments commonly used in the counseling profession.

EDPS 521 Statistics and Quantitative Analysis 3 Credits

This introductory statistics course will cover basic descriptive and inferential statistics for use in counseling, school psychology, and education. Students will learn how to interpret and evaluate statistics in empirical articles and to understand some of the considerations in selecting and using different statistical techniques. In addition, they will learn to analyze data and interpret output using statistical software.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 520, EDUC 500.

EDPS 535 Biological Basis of Behavior 3 Credits

This course will emphasize a biological approach to the study of psychology and behavior. Topics studied will include the following: 1) the genetics of human psychological differences; 2) the anatomy of the nervous system; 3) psychopharmacology; 4) neuropsychological diseases (e.g., epilepsy, autism, multiple sclerosis); 5) memory and amnesia; 6) sleeping, dreaming, and circadian rhythms; and 7) the biopsychology of mental health difficulties.

EDPS 538 Developmental Child Psychopathology 3 Credits

The course will furnish students with a comprehensive account of the characteristics, correlates, causes, contexts, and outcomes of psychopathology in children. It serves to augment students’ understanding of specific conditions in childhood and adolescence including autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation, childhood anxiety/depression, enuresis/encopresis, learning disabilities, communication disorders including selective mutism, and emotional/behavioral disorders. The diagnostic nosologies of the DSM and IDEA will be referenced and thoroughly discussed. A special emphasis upon a developmental-systems framework for understanding child psychopathology will be presented wherein the importance of context and the influence of multiple, interacting events and processes in shaping adaptive and maladaptive development will be investigated.

EDPS 570 Advanced Interventions for Children, Adolescents and Families 3 Credits

This course provides opportunity to expand each student’s knowledge and skills in the development of effective interventions to meet academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs. Currently accepted practices based upon the individual’s referral problem will be explored. Intervention will be approached from a problem-solving model and based on current assessment data. Case studies will be used to link theory and application.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 581 Practicum in Psychoeducational Assessment and Report Writing 1 Credits

This practicum experience provides supervised practice in administering, scoring, and interpreting an array of individually administered assessment instruments for the purpose of producing a written psychological report that is linked to intervention.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 582 Practicum in the Assessment of Behaviorial and Social-Emotional Needs 1 Credits

This practicum experience provides supervised practice using the techniques and methods taught in EDPS 510 Assessment of Behavioral and Social-Emotional Needs. Students will be expected to complete a Functional Behavioral Assessment including recommendations for a behavior intervention plan and a means to monitor and evaluate the target student’s progress.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 583 Practicum in Consultation in School and Agency Settings 1 Credits

This practicum experience provides supervised practice in the study, implementation, and evaluation of a problem-solving model to provide consultation across school and agency settings. Students will be expected to successfully initiate and lead the 4-step consultation process resulting in a databased intervention. The consultation will be documented in a formal report.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 584 Practicum in Curriculum-Based Measures 1 Credits

This practicum provides supervised experience in identifying academic needs of students utilizing curriculum-based assessment (CBA) methods within a problem-solving framework. Students will practice the selection and administration of appropriate CBA tools to match referral question(s) at the individual, class-wide and school-wide levels. Students will also practice assessment of the academic environment by conducting structured direct observation of the classroom. Students will summarize and analyze assessment data, develop goals and objectives and make recommendations for intervention.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 513.

EDPS 590 Internship in School Psychology I 3 Credits

The student functions as a school psychologist in a 600-hour approved field placement under the supervision of a certified school psychologist. At least 50 percent of the internship must occur in a school setting. Additionally, students attend weekly seminars that deal with issues related to professional ethics, problem-solving and intervention design, and group supervision. The internship occurs at the end of the student’s program.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 581, EDPS 582, and EDPS 583.

EDPS 591 Internship in School Psych II 3 Credits

The student functions as a school psychologist in a 600-hour approved field placement under the supervision of a certified school psychologist. At least 50 percent of the internship must occur in a school setting. Additionally, students attend weekly seminars that deal with issues related to professional ethics, problem-solving and intervention design, and group supervision. The internship occurs at the end of the student’s program.

Prerequisite(s): EDPS 590.

EDPS 600 Independent Research and Study in School Psychology 1-3 Credits

Course content varies with the academic research interests of students who wish to engage in independent study related to the overall content of school psychology.

EDSO 510 Sociological and Cultural Foundations of Education 3 Credits

The American public school as a social organization which influences and is influenced by local, national and international cultural evolution. An exposition and analysis of the vibrant multicultural issues that sometimes determine the outcome of public education. An exploration of contemporary educational problems and challenges resulting from changing social and cultural conditions. A perceptive and reflective placement of these changes in a historical context to enable students put the future in perspective.

EDUC 500 Introduction To Research 3 Credits

This course will provide students with the tools to evaluate the claims and uses of research related to teaching, counseling, and psychology. Students will learn how to find and critique the literature, and will be able to conduct some of their own basic evaluative research to assess the efficacy of their practice and programs. At the conclusion of the course, students will have developed an understanding of rigorous research and evaluation design, and will have skills in data analysis and interpretation.

SPED 514 Positive Behavior Support 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide extensive knowledge and practice in meeting the behavioral challenges of individuals. Candidates will receive instruction in a problem-solving approach to identify the possible function(s) of problem behavior and the design of proactive, positive behavior intervention plans that emphasize the teaching of appropriate alternative skills. An emphasis is placed upon behavior change strategies, which intervene on antecedent events, teach appropriate alternative skills, and provide supports in the natural environment. Multicomponent interventions also are designed to include the interest and preferences of the target student. Legal and ethical considerations are considered. An experience in the field will enable students to apply knowledge in a realistic classroom setting.