Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology

Department of Educational & Counseling Psychology is a multidisciplinary endeavor devoted to research, teaching, and service in the use of psychological principles to promote lifelong growth, learning, and development in multiple life roles and contexts. Four disciplines are represented in the department: Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology & Methodology, School Psychology, and Special Education.

Chair: Kevin Quinn
(518) 442-4988

The Counseling Psychology division offers a variety of graduate-level scientist-practitioner preparation programs in Counseling Psychology and Mental Health Counseling.

Division Director: Myrna Friedlander
(518) 442-5056

The Educational Psychology & Methodology division has a long history of preparing excellent scholars, teachers, and researchers on the graduate level to advance human learning and development in a variety of settings, with approaches accommodated to the range of human diversity.

Division Director: Joan Newman
(518) 442-5055

The School Psychology division prepares school psychologists to integrate psychological theory, research, and established methods of scientific inquiry into effective practice; and to engage in research and evaluation activities that contribute to the science and practice of psychology.

Division Director: Deborah K. Kundert
(518) 442-5052

The Special Education division offers full-time and part-time graduate-level programs in Special Education and Inclusion, as well as a combined Special Education/Literacy degree with the Reading Department.

Division Director: Kristie Asaro-Saddler
(518) 442-5055

The Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology offers programs leading to a B.S. in Human Development; an M.S. program in Mental Health Counseling and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology; an M.S. in Educational Psychology and Methodology, a certificate of advanced study in Educational Research, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Methodology; a certificate of advanced study in School Psychology, as well as a Psy.D. in School Psychology; and M.S. degrees in Special Education and Literacy (I), Special Education and Literacy (II), Special Education, Inclusion, and Inclusion and Special Education, as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Special Education.

Educational and Counseling Psychology Faculty

David Yun Dai, Ph.D.
Purdue University
Michael V. Ellis, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University
Myrna L. Friedlander, Ph.D.
The Ohio State University
Susan D. Phillips, Ph.D.
Columbia University

Eminent Research Professor
Sigmund Tobias, Ph.D.
Columbia University, Teachers College

Associate Professors
Heidi G. Andrade, Ed.D.
Harvard University
Kristie Asaro-Saddler, Ph.D.
University at Albany, SUNY
Lynn Gelzheiser Ph.D.
Columbia University, Teachers College
Deborah King Kundert, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin
David Miller, Ph.D.
Lehigh University
Joan Newman, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Alex L. Pieterse, Ph.D.
Columbia University, Teachers College
Kevin P. Quinn, Ed.D.
Northern Illinois University
Bruce Saddler, Ph.D.
University of Maryland
Zheng Yan, Ed.D.
Harvard University

Assistant Professors
Erin Baker, Ph.D.
Bowling Green State University
Kimberly F. Colvin, Ed.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jessica L. Martin, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Lisa M. McAndrew, Ph.D.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Mariola Moeyart, Ph.D.
KU Leuven, Belgium
Gabriel Schlomer, Ph.D.
University of Arizona
Hung-Bin Sheu, Ph.D.
University of Maryland
Benjamin Solomon, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor
Callen Kostelnik, Psy.D.
University at Albany

Instructors and Supervisors
M. Dolores Cimini, Ph.D., New York State Licensed Psychologist
University at Albany
Tammy Ellis-Robinson, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Jason B. Gallo, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Matthew LaFave, Ph.D.
University at Albany

B.S. in Human Development

The fundamental mission of the interdisciplinary Human Development program is to explore the psychological, social, and cultural facets of human development and learning across the life span. Students will learn to critically assess social and cultural frameworks and the ways in which individuals, families, and communities are situated within them. Furthermore, they will be intellectually engaged in high quality, specialized knowledge refined by research and engagement within the community. Within this program diversity will be highly valued; students will explore diversity through issues of equity and social justice while taking into account the effects these issues have on human development. All students will take classes in human development, psychology, education, individual differences, quantitative and qualitative research, and statistics. These courses will stress self-directed learning and provide team-based learning opportunities that foster effective collaboration skills. Students will graduate with strong skills in research methods and be comfortable using data to make professional decisions.

Students with a degree from the University at Albany in Human Development will possess skills that will prepare them for employment in schools, social services, child-care organizations, criminal justice, health-care agencies, mental health and community development organizations. They will also be prepared to continue their education in a graduate program in business, child and family advocacy, counseling, education, law, psychology, and social work, as well as to pursue one of the current graduate programs offered in the School of Education in Counseling Psychology, Educational Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, School Psychology, and Special Education.

Special Programs or Opportunities
The department offers opportunities for students to participate in internships, research activities, and independent studies specifically geared toward the students’ concentration and supervised by professionals in the field and by department faculty.


Declaration of the major in Human Development must be made by application to the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology. The application deadline for current students is the second Tuesday in March.

I. Criteria for Students Admitted as Freshmen to Albany:

  • The student must have completed at least 24 credits (sophomore status)
  • The student’s cumulative grade point average for all coursework at the University at Albany must be 3.00 or higher at the time of evaluation
  • The courses A PSY 101, A SOC 115, and E PSY 200 must have been completed with a minimum grade of C or better
  • Students must submit a Written Statement clearly stating their reasons for pursuing the major in Human Development               

Applications will be reviewed by a departmental committee comprised of the departmental Division Director, two faculty chosen on a rotating basis, and the Human Development program coordinator. If qualified applications exceed the number of available spaces, the following criteria will be used sequentially to select students to the program:

  • Overall GPA
  • GPA in the prerequisite admission courses (A PSY 101, A SOC 115, E PSY 200)
  • Student’s Written Statement of reason for seeking to undertake a Human Development major

II. Criteria for Transfer Students:

  • Transfer students are expected to meet the admission criteria specified in section I, and are expected to apply for admission to the program when applying for admission to the university. For fall admission, applications must be received by July 1st.
  • Transfer students who plan to major in Human Development but have not completed the admission criteria specified in section I, may declare their intention to major in Human Development but will not be formally admitted to the major when they enter the University. Students must fulfill the criteria specified in section I.

Appeals: Students who do not meet the admission criteria due to extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal. Contact the Academic and Administrative Coordinator of the Human Development major for more information about the process.

Students who are admitted into the program may not minor in Educational Studies. Upon admission to the program, students must declare their concentration in the major:

Counseling Psychology Concentration
A concentration in Counseling Psychology within the Human Development major will prepare students for careers in psychological health and welfare. Students will explore diversity through an introduction to a variety of theoretical approaches to counseling. Specifically, the curriculum will provide the students with a foundation in developmental and counseling psychology, with an emphasis on the underlying psychological processes.

Students will be well prepared to continue their education in a graduate program in mental health counseling, college/residential life counseling, counseling psychology, and clinical psychology. A concentration in Counseling Psychology will prepare graduates to pursue careers serving as residential counselors, behavioral specialists, addiction counselors, counselors for at-risk youth, providers of support services for youth with mental or physical disabilities, service providers for children, youth, and families of military personnel, directors of recreational programs, youth group leaders, parent trainers and advisors, human services agency directors, and child life specialists working with children, youth, and families in children's hospitals or pediatric wards.

Educational Psychology Concentration
A concentration in Educational Psychology within the Human Development major will introduce students to research about human learning and development within a variety of settings (e.g., in the home, in peer groups, and in schools) and about approaches to accommodate learners based on the range of human diversity encountered in such settings. Students will learn how to evaluate and utilize research to create better learning environments. The understanding of research methodologies will provide a basic preparation for graduate study in educational, counseling, clinical, or school psychology. In addition, students will be prepared to pursue careers as research assistants, members of program evaluation teams, academic advisors, institutional researchers, and workers in child care and educational settings.

Peer Assistance and Leadership Concentration
The Peer Assistance and Leadership concentration provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate Human Development majors to integrate academic study with community service and student organizational leadership development experiences. Classroom learning and campus agency-based service opportunities within this concentration provide students with access to a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which they learn and develop community engagement, intervention and leadership skills through active participation in organized service experiences that meet campus and community needs. Learned skills can be applied to the world of work and graduate study in education as well as a wide range of other fields.

Special Education Concentration
A concentration in Special Education within the Human Development major will provide students with a foundation in atypical human development across the life span and knowledge of a variety of educational interventions for individuals with disabilities. Students will examine educational and life opportunities for children and adults with disabilities, as well as gain knowledge about the laws created to promote equity in access, education, and work for individuals with disabilities. In addition, students will be introduced to specific areas such as inclusion, universal design, instructional and community accommodations, and educational best practices. This concentration is appropriate for students who would like to pursue a career working with individuals with disabilities in community agencies or daycare centers, as teacher assistants for children with disabilities in schools, and/or continue their education in a graduate program leading to teacher certification.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Human Development

General Program B.S.: A minimum of 45 credits, including 30 credits in the core and 15 credits in a concentration.

Core Courses: 30 credits

  • Foundation Courses (9 credits): a grade of C or better in A PSY 101, A SOC 115, and E PSY 200
  • Educational Psychology & Counseling Psychology (12 credits): E CPY 360, E PSY 224, 250, and 330
  • Elective in Psychology or Sociology (3 credits): A PSY 270, 327, 329, 333, 338, 340, A SOC 250, 362, 384
    NOTE: Students pursuing the concentration in Counseling Psychology must take a course 300 level or above
  • Elective in Human Development (3 credits): A COM 371,  A ENG/A WSS 362, A PHI 326, A PSY 327, 329, 333, 338, 340, A SOC  362, 384, E CPY 410,  E LTL 404, 406, E PSY 411, H SPH 341, 342, 343, R CRJ 308
  • Field-Based Learning Experience (3 credits)*: E PSY 390

*All students must complete the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) training. It is recommended to be completed before the field-based learning experience.

Approved Concentrations: 15 credits

  • Counseling Psychology Concentration**: A PSY 327, A PSY 333 or 338, E CPY 204, 421, and one elective course from A PSY (A PSY 214 or A PSY 270 are strongly recommended)
  • Educational Psychology Concentration: E PSY 400, 420, 440, 441, and 480 or 481
  • Peer Assistance and Leadership Concentration**: E CPY 400, 403, 404, 405, and E CPY 406 or E PSY 411
  • Special Education Concentration**: E PSY 400,  E SPE 369, 460, 463 and E LTL 404 or 406 or A PSY 333

**Students may not take the same course to fulfill multiple requirements in the core and in the concentration.