Certificate in School Psychology

A school psychologist is equipped to understand the physiological, psychological, relational, spiritual and educational needs of K-12 students

George Fox’s certificate in school psychology program is designed for those who already hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a mental health field and wish to pursue licensure in the school psychology profession.

The certificate program, or Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program, prepares graduates to work in public and private schools, to test and assess students, and to analyze test results discerning need areas for children in Oregon and throughout the country.

Upon completion, you will …

  • Be equipped to understand the physiological, psychological, relational, spiritual and educational needs of K-12 students
  • Demonstrate and articulate the core dynamics of school psychology in concert with how personal faith informs one’s identity and practice as a professional school psychologist
  • Be equipped to use appropriate individual and group testing and assessment tools in the areas of academic skills, learning aptitude, social skills, personality and emotional development
  • Be prepared to assist in strengthening the working relationships between educators, parents and community resources
  • Possess the cross-cultural skills to work with a variety of students of different ages, diverse backgrounds, and varied developmental stages, cognitive, emotional and physical abilities
  • Be equipped to work in schools, private institutions, community clinics and faith-based organizations
  • Demonstrate foundational counseling skills
  • Be prepared to meet the requirements for the Initial School Psychology License as defined by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC)


The George Fox University school psychology program is tracking current and future NASP (National Association of School Psychologists) standards and planning program changes accordingly so that future George Fox school psychology students will graduate from a NASP-approved program. Currently, our program covers content of the 10 NASP Practice Model Domains, so our graduates have been able to pursue and receive personal NASP certification after graduation.

Program Requirements

The Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program is generally two to four years in length, with 43 semester hours of prerequisite coursework and 18 semester hours of coursework required as a minimum for graduation. Of those 18 hours, three are in spiritual integration course work, nine in core counseling and school psychology coursework, and six in internship hours.

Of the 18 semester hours required for the Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program, a minimum of 13 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. The first one to three years are classroom course work and the last year is a full-time internship in a public school.

Prerequisite Coursework

All prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the last 10 years. Transcripts of previous graduate work and supportive documentation will be evaluated by the Graduate School of Counseling (GSC) faculty committee to verify completion of the following prerequisite courses:

Course Hours
GCEP 500 Introduction to Couple and Family Therapy 3
GCEP 501 Principles and Techniques of Counseling 3
GCEP 502 Clinical Practicum 3
GCEP 510 Human Growth and Development 3
GCEP 520 Personality and Counseling Theory 3
GCEP 543 The Exceptional Child 3
GCEP 544 Academic Assessment 4
GCEP 545 Cognitive Assessment 4
GCEP 546 Test and Measurement 3
GCEP 547 Personality and Behavioral Assessment 4
GCEP 550 Group Theory and Therapy 3
GCEP 551 Program Evaluation Research Designs 2
GCEP 566 Research Methods and Statistics 2
GCEP 567 Cultural Foundations and Social Justice 3

Prior courses taken may potentially be accepted, upon approval, as prerequisite hours required to complete the program. Waivers of prerequisite coursework* might vary greatly from student to student. In addition to the prerequisite coursework, all students must complete the required 18 semester hours of coursework listed in the curriculum plan.

*Applicants for the Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program may petition the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) if they are dissatisfied with a denied waiver request.

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Curriculum Plan

Complete the following:

This course is preparatory for students' schoolbased internship experience, and is designed to acquaint students with the professional, legal, and ethical issues with which school counselors and school psychologists grapple. Students will become familiar with the ACA and ASCA or APA and NASP ethical codes, Oregon laws related to licensure and practicing as a school counselor or school psychologist, as well as the legal and professional responsibilities of school counselors and school psychologists, and will understand and experience how their values interact with the implementation of their codes. Students will also understand licensure and certification requirements relevant to their respective fields as part of their ongoing professional identity development. For students in School Counseling and School Psychology Programs only.
This course is a general introduction to the field of school psychology with an overview of major issues related to the professional practice of psychology in the schools. Topics for study include historical development, education and training, practice and research, licensure and certification, legal and ethical issues, diversity, and future directions. For students in the School Psychology program only, others by permission.
This course is intended to follow up on completion of all course work other than internship and the graduate clinical project, and in conjunction with GCEP 548 Internship in School Psychology I. The student will explore comprehensive assessment techniques and the administration, scoring, and interpretation of objective personality measures, as well as preparing written reports of test results; intervention strategies; appropriate community referrals; and collaboration with the school system and parents. Various therapeutic methods utilized in treatment and management of mental disorders will be presented. Pass/No Pass. For students in School Psychology programs only. Co-Requisite: GCEP 548
In this course, the student will complete the Clinical Portfolio. In Part I, the student will prepare a comprehensive literature review of their theory of application. In Part II, through use of video, session transcripts, and written reflection, the student will demonstrate the application of this theory in an actual case presentation, and in Part III the student will provide work samples for each of the TSPC school psychology standards. For students in School Psychology programs only. Pass/ No Pass. Corequisite: GCEP 549. Additional course fee required.
This course examines both the content and process of the Christian faith as well as its implications for clinical practice. Explored are an introduction to spirituality in mental health, basic hermeneutics as applied to Christian Scripture, basic theological concepts, the relationship between theology and psychology, health and toxic faith systems, spiritual development, spiritual/religious assessment, the spiritual/religious orientation and value system of the therapist, and treatment interventions in the spiritual/religious realm.
This course intends to deepen the student's knowledge base regarding the complexities of the human experience by examining neurological functioning and its role in human distress and recovery. Specifically, it explores the interplay between neurobiology, the social environment, and pharmacological interventions, and its influence on cognitive, affective, and behavioral functioning. The course offers an overview of neuroanatomy orienting the student to basic brain structure, advances in interpersonal neurobiology confirming the role of attachment relationships in brain development, and the role of interpersonal relationships and pharmacology in altering brain functioning.

Complete the following:

The internship will be completed in a school system psycho-educational facility, with the goal of emphasizing the professional practice of school psychology. Students will be expected to complete a total of 1,200 hours over a two-semester internship (600 hours per semester) of school psychology practicum under supervision, provided weekly both at the site (individual) and at George Fox University (in groups). Pre-requisites: completion of all other coursework.Students must have (a) completed all prerequisites with a B or better grade, (b) applied and been accepted as an internship candidate, and (c) attended the Internship Fair (during spring semester of that year). For students in School Psychology programs only.
The second internship will be a continuation of the first internship, and completed within the school system psycho-educational facility. It is designed to stress the professional practice of school psychology. Students will be expected to complete a total of 1,200 hours over a two-semester internship (600 hours per semester) of school psychology practicum under supervision, provided weekly both at the site (individual) and at George Fox University (in groups). (Students must have: (a) successfully passed candidacy, (b) completed all prerequisites with a B grade or better, (c) applied for internship, and (d) attended the Internship Fair before enrolling in internship.) Co-Requisite: GCEP 559, EDFL 708


In addition to fulfilling the above course requirements, school psychology students in the Initial School Psychology Licensure Preparation Program who seek the Initial School Psychology License will be asked to submit passing scores on the following assessments:
  1. California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) or Praxis I (PPST), or have five years of experience practicing school psychology full time in a public school or regionally accredited private school in a U.S. jurisdiction before holding any Oregon license
  2. Praxis II Specialty Area Test in School Psychology
  3. ORELA Protecting Student and Civil Rights in the Educational Environment Examination


All classes are held at the university’s Portland Center location.


Advantages of the George Fox Certificate in School Psychology program …

  • Courses taught from a systemic perspective inclusive of family, community and cultural dynamics
  • Opportunity to interact with students who are pursuing other mental health professions
  • The combined expertise of the counseling, education and psychology departments
  • An environment that encourages the integration of faith and learning
  • Post-graduate certificates for additional employability and specialization
  • Full time, accessible, widely trained faculty
  • A convenient Portland Center location
  • Evening and weekend course work for the working adult

Employment Outlook

Graduates of the program can expect favorable job prospects, according to U.S. News & World Report, which ranked school psychology No. 2 on its “ Best Social Services Jobs” list. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for clinical, counseling and school psychologists are projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Certificate in School Psychology

Program length 2 to 4 years
Semester hours 18 (plus 43 prerequisites)
Cost per semester hour $734*
Tuition cost for entire program $13,212 (total tuition for 2-4 year program, not including missing prerequisite coursework)
Accreditation National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); approved by Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) of the state of Oregon
Format In-person
Location Portland Center (near Tigard)

*All stated financial information is subject to change.

NCATE Accredited