This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit


The school psychology program is housed in the Beeghly College of Education. Students who successfully complete 45 credit hours of coursework are awarded the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Intervention Services. An additional 54 credit hours are required for the awarding of the Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology. Candidates must also pass the PRAXIS II examination in school psychology for licensure in the State of Ohio and for certification by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). (Please note the following are required for admission to the Educational Specialist degree: Successful completion of the YSU M.Ed. In Intervention Services, demonstration of successful skills as evidenced by grades and disposition ratings throughout the program, and a successful Ed.S. admissions interview.)

The program provides a curriculum that is comprehensive, integrated, and sequential. It follows the school psychology standards set forth by the State of Ohio, NASP, and the Council for the Accreditation of Education Preparation (CAEP). Courses reflect current advances in the field of school psychology and education. In addition, the program has a unique emphasis in low incidence disabilities. The program is committed to implementing and integrating the most current technology.

The school psychology program is structured so that course content is accompanied by appropriate field experiences. Practicum experiences are designed to provide students with opportunities to practice skills that are required in professional practice while under direct supervision. Practicum experiences occur in conjunction with specific courses and are individualized in terms of setting and assignment to a field supervisor.

Full-time study in school psychology (M.Ed and Ed.S.) generally constitutes a three-year sequence. To develop the needed specific competencies and to meet the training goals of the YSU school psychology program, candidates during the first year of study complete coursework in counseling, educational, and psychological foundations at the master’s level. The first year includes 180 practicum hours and provides candidates with experiences related to a variety of low and high incidence disabilities.  Upon successful completion of year one requirements, candidates will graduate with a Master of Education in Intervention Services.  

For more information about the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology, contact the Department Office at 330-941-3257 or visit our Department website .


Our program is designed to prepare graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve our community. Youngstown State University offers a Master of Education in Intervention Services as the initial degree required for admission to the Educational Specialist in School Psychology program.  The School Psychology program at YSU enrolled its first class of candidates in 2012 and graduated its first class of School Psychologists in August 2015. This is the first new degree program in Ohio dedicated to the preparation of school psychologist in over four decades. Master’s students will find a unique educational experience that prepares them for study in School Psychology. I encourage you to review the website and to contact the program director below. 

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D. 
Chair / Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Special Education & School Psychology
(330) 941-1936

Program Director

For specific questions about the Master of Education in Intervention Services and the School Psychology program, please contact the program director:

Richard W. VanVoorhis, D.Ed., NCSP, Associate Professor
3212  Beeghly College of Education
(330) 941-3266

Admission Requirements

A set of specific criteria must be met before the applicant can be officially accepted as a candidate for a YSU graduate degree in school psychology. Meeting the basic criteria for acceptance as a graduate candidate by the YSU College of Graduate Studies and the Beeghly College of Education at that Master’s and Educational Specialist level is for full candidacy. Undergraduate/graduate coursework, grade point average, relevant work experience, letters of recommendation and personal maturity are considerations for entrance into the program. To begin the application process, prospective candidates should contact Dr. Richard Van Voorhis, Graduate Program Director. 

The Youngstown State University school psychology program is a cohort-based program and will accept students on a full-time time basis. The first year of the program commences during the summer. The requirements for applying to the YSU School Psychology program are:

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university or college
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results (Verbal and Quantitative, Analytical Writing)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions
  • A “Position Paper” describing
    • Motivation and reasons for selecting the field of school psychology
    • Aspirations following the receipt of the graduate degree in school psychology
    • Personal qualities which relate to success as a graduate student and school psychologist.
  • Minimum of 9 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate work in school psychology related coursework (psychology, education, special education, social work, counseling, or other as determined by the admission committee) with a grade of “B” or better
  • Completion of a Good Moral Character statement which reflects no criminal convictions which may impact your ability to work in educational settings
  • An interview is the last step in the application process. Completed applications will be reviewed by the selection/admission committee to select individuals for interview. The process is competitive and meeting eligibility criteria does not assure admission into the program.
  • Application Deadline:  February 1st


An application for the initial National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) approval was submitted during Spring 2016. Programs must first complete a three year cycle producing graduates before application may be made for full NASP approval.   

Victoria E. White Kress, Ph.D., Professor
Self-injurious behavior; complex psychological trauma; child abuse, domestic violence, rape/sexual trauma survivors; DSM; strength-based/creative counseling interventions

Don Martin, Ph.D., Professor
Academic and social skills among students of poverty; neuropsychology rehabilitation of stroke and CNS disorders; sports psychology with emphasis on D1 athletes

Kenneth L. Miller, Ph.D., Professor
Measurement of cultural bias and discrimination; child abuse; technology use in clinical supervision; gender equity

Matthew Paylo, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Child and adolescent treatment; qualitative research; residential and prison mental health; advocacy and social justice issues

Jake J. Protivnak, Ph.D., Associate Professor
School counseling; professional advocacy and development in counselor education; ethical issues; career development

Successful completion of the following 45 credit semester hours and successful completion of comprehensive examination (capstone experience)

Required courses for the M.Ed. in Intervention Services are as follows:

Required Courses
SPSY 6901System-Wide Consultation/Collaboration in the Schools3
SPSY 6909Assessment and Intervention for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities3
SPSY 6912Multilevel Tier Interventions Across General Education and Special Education Programming3
COUN 6962Counseling Theory3
COUN 6973
Group Counseling Theory and Practice
and Group Counseling Laboratory
SPSY 6904Crisis Counseling3
PSYC 6905Human Growth and Development3
PSYC 6955Psychopathology3
SPSY 6902School Organization, Classroom Analysis, Cross-Categorical Settings3
SPSY 6905Cultural/Ethnic Issues Relating to Youth and Families3
FOUN 6904Introduction to Educational Research3
FOUN 6914Statistical Methods in Education3
SPSY 6906Role and Function of a School Psychologist3
COUN 6900Counseling Methods and Practice3
Capstone Experience
SPSY 6907Comprehensive Readings in School Psychology3
Total Semester Hours45

Learning Outcomes

  1. Candidates will be well prepared to serve all children /students and their families including those diagnosed with high and low incidence disabilities.
  2. Candidates will reflect professional practices that demonstrate respect for human diversity and promote effective services, advocacy, and social justice for all children and families.
  3. Candidates will demonstrate the educational foundations of school psychology including the organization and operation of general, special education plus instructional and remedial techniques.
  4. Candidates will obtain theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and experiences related to developing appropriate mental health strategies with children, families, and groups.
  5. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of basic statistical and research methodologies as applied to research in the schools.
  6. Candidates will understand the historical, current, legal and ethical issues, alternative models of delivery, emergent technologies, and knowledge of the school psychologist’s role and function.