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What I Wish I Knew: Advice To College Grads, Part 1

school-psychologist-with-student

Let me be first to say congratulations! You made it through the long study hours, the tests, the Praxis, the many graduate classes. You walked across the stage and now have your diploma in hand. Awesome! Now what? This blog will focus on finding a job.

Here’s some advice from one school psychologist to you:

  1. Every school district is different. Some districts will be testing focused while others will want you to focus on assisting with RtI.  Figure out what you are interested in doing and find a district that coincides with your interests.
  2. Ask what your role will be. Yes, you will have the typical school psychologist responsibilities, but some districts have their school psychologists also split responsibilities, such as one psychologist is considered the Preschool Psychologist, another psychologist may oversee Autism, etc.
  3. Ask what test kits are available for you or will you have to share. Also, check to see if the district is willing to purchase additional assessment, if necessary.
  4. Ask about Continue Education Credits (CEUs). You will need to obtain these in order to renew your licenses.  I recommend you figure out how many you need before your renewal date and try to gather so many per year.  Some districts will pay for you to take workshops and gather CEUs, others will pay for some, and others will not pay for anything.  This is very good to know because workshops, especially if they are out of town, can be expensive.
  5. Make sure your district has your back. With all the legal issues out there, it’s good to know that your district is supporting you.  If you can, chat with other psychologists who work for the district to see how they feel about their district.  Talking with school personnel is also beneficial.

These are just some initial ideas to consider when talking to potential districts. The main aspect to consider is how do you feel? If you get a “good vibe” from those you interact with that is a good sign. Remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. There is currently a shortage of school psychologists so try not to postpone making a decision on a district for too long and aware of their needs as well.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

Author: Kelly Dale, School Psychologist

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