Academic journal article Education

The American Academy of School Psychology: Promoting Board Certification for School Psychologists

Academic journal article Education

The American Academy of School Psychology: Promoting Board Certification for School Psychologists

Article excerpt

   "The American Academy of School Psychology (AASP) consists of all holders
   of the Diplomate in School Psychology and was organized for the purpose of
   contributing to the development and maintenance of school psychology
   practice at its highest level. Among the potential activities of the
   Academy are: to elect members of the American Board of School Psychology
   (ABSP), to identify eligible AASP members to be trained to serve as mentors
   of new candidates and as examiners, to promote the diplomating of school
   psychologists, to encourage professional development activity in school
   psychology, to engage in advocacy activities leading to recognition of the
   ABPP Diplomate in all areas of practice, to facilitate the application of
   scientific activity to practice, and to articulate the highest standards of
   education, training, and credentialing for the school psychology specialty
   (Author, 1995)".

What is a Board Certified School Psychologist?

Board Certified Psychologists hold the Diplomate credential awarded by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), in a particular area of specialization. To earn this credential, candidates must provide evidence of training and professional practice in their specialty area, and demonstrate their competency through a formal examination process involving a peer review administered by the American Board of School Psychology (ABSP). The American Academy of School Psychology (AASP) is the membership organization for those school psychologists who have earned the Diplomate in School Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). All members of the Academy are designated Fellows; from its ranks are drawn the psychologists whose charge will be the conduct of examination process, which culminates in the awarding of the Diplomate credential. The ABPP Diplomate is the highest practitioner credential. The Diplomate credential identifies a psychologist who has demonstrated advanced competency in a specialty area of professional psychology. The AASP is a relatively young organization, having begun at the 1994 convention of the American Psychological Association, subsequent to a structural reorganization of the ABPP. While the organization has had its share of growing pains, it is maturing and beginning to prosper. At latest count there were 224 School Psychology Diplomates in good standing.

School Psychologists who have earned the ABPP Diploma are Board Certified. Board Certification means that the psychologist has demonstrated advanced competency before an examining team of peers, who are also Board Certified. The process of becoming Board Certified is open to psychologists who complete a series of steps. These are: completing an application, state licensure for the independent practice of psychology, endorsements from psychologists who are also board certified, a review of credentials and professional activity, the preparation of work samples illustrating one's practice, and an oral examination. The successful completion of this process culminates in the awarding of the ABPP Diploma. Possession of the ABPP Diploma may level the playing field in settings such as hospitals in which board certification among professionals is the norm.

Board Certification and Credentialing in School Psychology

Unfortunately, few school psychologists pursue board certification. Exacerbating this situation is the fact that the majority of board certified school psychologists are not employed in public school settings, but rather choose to work in private practice, hospital, and clinic and university settings. Consequently, they are not typically available to serve as role models of advanced professional practice for colleagues. There is generally no recognition given for, or understanding of, the meaning of this high level accomplishment in public school settings. There is often little awareness and utilization of the talents of these psychologists. …

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