Reasons for the School Psychologist Shortage

November 9th, 2018 | Posted by bbarr in Uncategorized

Mental healthcare is essential at any stage of life, but as we endeavor to best serve student populations the importance of mental health services in schools is incredibly paramount. That’s why PPR Education Services works to address the school psychologist shortage by staffing mental healthcare professionals at schools in need nationwide.

As the school psychologist shortage continues, various agencies and educational institutions also work to address the issue. The federal government can even play a role, with the Increasing Access to Mental Health in Schools Act having been introduced into Congress in May 2018 with the aim to “increase the recruitment and retention of school-based mental health services providers by low-income local educational agencies.”

School psychologists have a unique set of qualifications to address students’ needs due to their expertise in education and mental health. Because of their unique and crucial role, organizations like the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) are trying to spread the word and advocate for addressing the shortage. In order to do that, it’s important to understand the various reasons for school psychologist shortages — which, according to the NASP “can include both an insufficient supply of qualified school psychologists as well as an insufficient number of positions to meet the needs of students.”

Factors That Influence School Psychologist Shortages

The NASP provides a list of reasons for the school psychologist shortage that includes, but may not be limited to, the following factors:

  • Shortage of qualified faculty in graduate education programs
  • Some regions of the country experience limited access to NASP-approved graduate prep programs
  • Some programs see a limited number of qualified applicants, while other programs may have great numbers of qualified applicants than they are able to accept
  • Attracting graduates from some programs into areas where position vacancies are occurring consistently can be difficult
  • Inability to retain qualified school psychologists
  • Shortage of approved internships and qualified internship supervisors
  • Lack of racial, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity and inclusion

Are you a school psychologist who’s willing to travel and help address the shortage? Click here to search jobs now!

Written by Sarah Wengert


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