The NASP Connection

NASP delegates and student leaders serve as a connection between NASP and school psychologists practicing in diverse roles in their states.  State Delegates promote NASP’s professional positions and priority goals  at the state level and utilize their understanding of state issues to guide NASP’s strategic direction.

NASP Delegate for the state of Idaho
 

 Teresa Fritsch, Psy.S., NCSP

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NASP Student Leader - Idaho State University 

 Jennifer Dahlgren

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NASP Student Leader - Idaho State University 

Terra Falconer

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August 2021

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and took some time to do some self-care!  Many of you have been back at it to the start of the new school year and I hope it is going well!  The rest of us are gearing up!!  

NASP Practice Model

I apologize, in advance, for the length of this email but have some critical and time sensitive information to share. There has been a committee of various stakeholders working on a document titled "Rules Governing Uniformity." This committee has been editing the School Psychologist Endorsement and the Interim Certificate of School Psychologist Endorsement. The changes that are being considered do not align with NASP's Standards, in fact have gone backwards, and have significant impact for us in the field and for students, particularly related to the Interim Endorsement. Kristina Wagoner, ISPA Professional Standards and Ethics Chair, and I have been working with the NASP State Credentialing Committee and have come up with some talking points or "asks" related to a document that address School Psychologists' Endorsements.

The link to the document is here: https://www.sde.idaho.gov/topics/admin-rules/.  You can also find it by going to the Home page of the Department of Education, click on Administrative Rules to the right of Superintendent S. Ybarra's picture, click on Negotiated Rule Making and scroll down to the 3rd pdf document "Proposed 08-02-02 Rules of Governing Uniformity." Page 5 has the information related to the changes proposed to School Psychologists. You can also see at the bottom of the Administrative Rules page on the website that there is a Public Comment Form where we can begin to submit our comments. 

Below is a list of basic talking points or asks that are of significant concern for us in the field of school psychology. Guidance was provided by NASP, which goes out to all credentialing and licensing entities across the country. The guidelines NASP provides are meant to be minimum considerations for having qualified people entering the field. Please use your own words in sharing your concerns and stories. Let’s speak as a united front as these changes impact not only us but also students, families, schools and school districts, graduate programs, and communities.  

  1. Eliminate the Interim Certificate - School Psychologist Endorsement  as it is currently being proposed:

    • With the Interim Certificate as it is currently being proposed with the edits and revision, there is the potential to cause both confusion to consumers, harm to students, and liability for the district, specifically by lowering the requirements from a master's degree to only a baccalaureate degree in psychology. In addition, it opens up ethical and legal concerns related to the many gaps in content knowledge, experience, and skills (e.g., psychological evaluations, mental health services, data-based decision making, ethical/legal considerations, special education law, etc.) between an individual with only a BA/BS degree in psychology and an individual with a master's degree in psychology.  
    • The changes that need to be made to the Interim Certificate School Psychologist Endorsement in order to minimize concern/harm include: 
    • Individual must have at a minimum of a master’s degree in the field of psychology. 
    • Change so the individual is working toward specialist-level degree in school psychology from a NASP-approved graduate program.  
    • Require direct supervision from an individual holding an Idaho school psychologist endorsement in good standing 
    • Specify that individuals holding this endorsement must have a different title than “school psychologist” to avoid confusion 

     
  2. Regarding e. Interim Certificate (continued): There is no mention of who is approving any of the graduate training or the quality of the coursework (and the intern hours) or how they relate to the NASP training standards. It would be advantageous for a committee consisting of school psychologists from the graduate training program and/or the school psychologist state association to review the quality of the coursework and training.  

     
  3. Regarding d. School Psychologist Endorsement: NASP provides a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential and not a “National Certification for School Psychologists.” The NCSP is administered by National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB; established by NASP). The NCSP represents a national credential for school psychologists based upon recognized standards for advanced preparation, performance-based assessment of competency, and demonstration of positive outcomes for consumers of school psychological services. 

     
  4. Regarding d. School Psychologist Endorsement (continued): There is no mention of allowing for additional pathways for highly qualified school psychologists (graduates of NASP-Approved or NASP-Accredited programs). It would be advantageous for one of the licensing options to explicitly state a “Specialist degree from a NASP-Approved program.” There should be some mention of graduate coursework tied to NASP Standards. 

     
  5. Regarding d. School Psychologist Endorsement (continued): Based on NASP’s recommendations, the specialist-level degree in school psychology represents the minimum degree (e.g., Ed.S., SSP, CAS, Psy.S., Masters 60 hrs.) to bring quality school psychologists to the workforce. Adding the following language to the endorsement would be encouraged.  – “A minimum of 3 years of full-time study at the grad. level, or the equivalent inclusive of structured field experiences.” 

The deadline to receive public comment is September 30th. Please share this information with your colleagues - fellow school psychologists, special education directors, administrators, your Idaho legislators, etc. - in your districts and seek their assistance in making comments to the Department of Education so these changes/edits do not go through. 

Thank you!!

Respectfully, 

Teresa Stivers Fritsch, Psy.S., NCSP

Idaho NASP Delegate

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