School Psychology Program Overview

The University at Albany, State University of New York, offers two degrees: a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree (APA Accredited*) that prepares students for the practice of professional psychology, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology (CAS) degree (NASP Approved**) that prepares students for practice as a school psychologist. The University is fully recognized by the regional accrediting body, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

*Information about APA accreditation is available from the:

Commission on Accreditation:
American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242

**Information about NASP Program Approval is available from:

National Association of School Psychologists
4340 East West Highway
Suite 402
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-0270

Mission of the University and Program

The University has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and public service. The PsyD Program is integral to the missions of the University and the SOE. Specifically, the University has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and public service. Consistent with this broad mission, the SOE fosters enhanced learning and human development for diverse individuals and groups across the lifespan in and out of the classroom. The SOE’s contribution to the University’s mission of excellence in graduate education is evidenced by its ranking among the very best schools of education in the nation by US News and World Report. The PsyD Program contributes to the following defining values of the University:

1. Pursuing performance at its highest level, across all endeavors;
2. Committed to individuals to pursue education without limitation by economic or societal factors;
3. Cultivating an environment in which we share our respective strengths to work toward a common goal;
4. Addressing local to global needs through engagement with diverse communities;
5. Valuing diversity, academic freedom, and the rights and dignity of individuals;
6. Commitment to and expect from all, honesty, transparency, and adherence to these core values.



Commitment to profit intellectually and imaginatively from differences of opinion and of culture. The Division of School Psychology, in concert with the University, is committed to Principles for a Just Community. These principles include striving toward the ideals of justice and democracy, and exclude consideration of characteristics that are irrelevant to the merit of an individual as a participant in academic life. The consequent respect for, and valuing of, individual and cultural diversity is a hallmark of both the Division and the University.

Framework for Conceptualizing Graduate Training

Our Division uses a broad framework for conceptualizing graduate training that integrates three types of knowledge: propositional knowledge, case knowledge, and strategic knowledge (Shulman, 1986).

1. Propositional knowledge represents the theoretical and empirical basis for professional practice. Students gain propositional knowledge through class lectures and readings.
2. Case knowledge reflects the application of propositional knowledge in the context of case exemplars. Shulman identified three types of case knowledge: prototypes (case studies that exemplify theoretical principles), precedents case studies that communicate practical knowledge), and parables (case studies that demonstrate values and norms). Students gain case knowledge through presentation and discussion of hypothetical or real-life case exemplars.
3. Strategic knowledge is reflected in professional judgment as one engages in the active decision-making (problem solving) process of professional practice. The application of strategic knowledge relies on propositional and case knowledge relevant to the particular situation. Students gain strategic knowledge through active involvement in field training.


Our Division focuses on the continual integration of propositional, case, and strategic knowledge. Propositional and case knowledge are imparted to students-in-training through course work in the scientific bases of psychology (i.e., development, learning, psychopathology, biological psychology, personality), as well as introductory professional courses (i.e., assessment and interventions). This knowledge is then expanded and reinforced through strategic knowledge experiences (i.e., practicum, field placement, and internship).

Students are involved in a systematic and reasoned, sequential plan of study that includes course work, field training, and research experiences. The sequential plan of study is designed to aid the students' attainment of the propositional, case, and strategic knowledge necessary to engage in and enhance psychological practice.