School Psychology: Diverse Needs, Specialized Training
Breaking down barriers to support every young learner
When Texas State University researchers in the College of Education identified a critical need for a particular population of Texas school children, they got busy developing a solution.
Cynthia Plotts and Jon Lasser are school psychology professors and co-principal investigators for Project SUPERB — Scholars Using Psychology and Education to Reach Bilinguals, a grant-funded program that aims to prepare highly qualified, bilingual and culturally competent school psychologists.
School psychology is growing, both as a professional field and an essential resource for students and their families. As Texas grows more diverse, schools have a greater need for school psychologists able to support the social, emotional, and academic needs of students coming from different cultures, speaking different languages and shaped by different life experiences.
This year, as the first students to graduate from Project SUPERB enter the field, Plotts and Lasser hope the program can become a model that changes the profession throughout Texas and around the world.
- School psychologists provided support to students with a variety of emotional, developmental and behavioral issues.
- Studies show children of migrants and refugees can suffer trauma associated with being uprooted and immersed in an unfamiliar culture.
- The Texas Education Agency reports that in 2012, almost 48 percent of all students with disabilities were Hispanic (and almost 50 percent for ages 3-5 years.)
- The Texas Education Agency reports that more than 850,000 students are identified as limited English proficient.