With a solid understanding of the issues and pressures facing pupils today, educational psychology candidates with this embedded dual degree and credential are well equipped to serve as school psychologists in public school settings and communicate with pupils of all cultures, socioeconomic levels, and learning abilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for school psychologists are also expanding, with growth projected at 22 percent—faster than the average for all occupations—through the year 2020. Graduates gain preparation to serve as highly qualified psychologists in the following professional capacities:
- Public and private schools
- Colleges and universities
- School-based health and mental health centers
- Community-based day treatment programs or residential hospitals
- Juvenile justice centers
- Private practice—School psychologists with three years of experience working within a public school can become Licensed Educational Psychologists by taking the LEP exam.
- Applied behavior analysis clinics—School psychologists may work with specialized populations as consultants and interventionists for behavior change.
Graduates are also equipped for:
- Further studies at the doctoral level
- Pursuing coursework to become a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA)
Additional Career Paths with Specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Graduates with an added specialty in ABA are equipped to provide vital services for the growing population of children and adolescents diagnosed with autism and related disabilities. At Azusa Pacific, candidates gain academic and practical experience to administer Christ-centered, compassionate behavioral interventions and supports for youth and their families.
School psychologists and educational professionals with specialized skills in this area are increasingly in demand. While ABA is the preferred method of treatment in public schools, many school psychologists lack this advanced and highly specialized training, making BCBAs highly desirable to school districts.
Graduates find career opportunities as behavior consultants and behavior specialists in these additional settings:
- Behavior management providers
- Clinical services providers
- Regional centers (California Department of Developmental Services)
Additional Career Paths with Specialization in Clinical and Educationally Related Mental Health Counseling
An added specialty in ERMHS counseling allows candidates to provide designated support services for students with emotional or behavioral disorders.
APU graduates not only gain advanced knowledge and skills to assist these student populations, but they also build a strong foundation of ethics and compassion that drives their commitment to serve others. School psychologists with such character traits are highly sought-after by districts and schools.
Graduates find additional career opportunities within the school system providing necessary mental health services to students with more intensive needs.