The Attallah College of the Educational Studies’ School Psychology graduate program at Chapman University was recently awarded full accreditation for another five years by the International Association of School Psychologists (ISPA).

Chapman University is one of only five school psychology programs in the United States accredited by ISPA. Although 16 school psychology training programs are approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in the state of California, Chapman is the only program to also hold ISPA accreditation.

“International accreditation has offered us a unique opportunity to consider our program practices from a global perspective,” said Kelly Kennedy, Ph.D., Attallah College Associate Professor and Director of the School Counseling and School Psychology Programs.

ISPA Accreditation

A key mission of the ISPA is to promote high standards in the training and preparation of school psychologists and the delivery of school psychological services. As part of its accreditation process, ISPA developed a set of goals and standards for school psychology programs that indicate the achievement levels that all new entrants to the profession should attain in order to work successfully as a school psychologist.

The ISPA goals and standards are founded on the assumption that all school psychology programs should lead to a recognized degree from a university and provide an organized, sequential program of study in a department of psychology or educational psychology (or its equivalent).

Although the practice of school psychology differs in different countries, given varying political systems, economic development, and cultures, the ISPA standards promote consistent training across core skill areas that are useful in diverse contexts. Such consistency in training also protects communities by assuring there is a baseline of skills and knowledge among school psychologists.

Benefits of International Accreditation

The ISPA accreditation process offered Chapman’s School Psychology program a valuable chance to examine its programs, processes, and outcomes from a more international/global lens, said Dr. Kennedy.

“We are honored to be one of the few US institutions of higher education to have obtained ISPA accreditation,” she said. “Our faculty and students will continue to benefit from exposure to international perspectives across our curricula.”

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