What is a School Psychologist

School psychologists support students, consult with teachers, families, and other professionals, such as school counselors or school social workers, to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services. School psychologists help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face.

“Our profession looks at all the elements of a student’s world to improve their life, ” said Psychologist Vincent Hodge in St. Joe County. “Psychologists have the expertise to review a child’s life in class, at home or at play to find them a better path forward.”

School psychologists help the school improve academic achievement, promote positive behavior and mental health, support diverse learners, help to create a safe and positive environment, and they strengthen the partnership between families and schools.

A school psychologist is skilled in communication, adaptability, respect for diversity, responsibility, interpersonal relationships, and initiative in dependability. 

No two days are the same.

These mental health professionals help students manage stress and create the best version of themselves. They also work with concerned parents regarding their child’s anxiety or depression.

In a round frame: A middle aged white man sits at a wooden table in a classroom with a young white boy. They draw on two separate notebooks. The boy is focused and the man is looking up and smiling.

How to Start Your School Psychologist Journey

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in any of the following areas:

  • Psychology.
  • Education.
  • Counseling.
  • Social work.
  • Or similar.

Step 2: Earn a master’s degree in school psychology.

  • This allows you to work in a school setting.

Step 3: Complete an internship in a school or educational setting. 

Step 4: Certification. 

Do you love research? Do you want the opportunity to work in schools, universities, hospitals, and clinical settings? A PhD in school psychology might be the career for you. Click here for more information about a PhD in School Psychology.

Associations to Support You

Scholarships & Grants

Michigan Reconnect is a scholarship program that pays you to attend your in-district community college tuition free or pays up to the in-district rate if you attend a community college where you’re considered out-of-district. Applicants must be 25 years old to apply.

Ensures all eligible Detroit residents have a tuition-free path to a degree. The student should check with the school to ensure their degree is pell-eligible. This scholarship cannot cover programs that are not Pell-eligible. Detroit Promise funding is not competitive; every student who registers and meets the requirements will receive funding if their college determines they have an eligible funding gap.

Amount: $37,000 annually for 3 years

Need help paying for college? Fill out the FAFSA – Federal Student Aid – form each year in October, and you may qualify for loans to help cover college tuition.

Free College Opportunities

Dual Enrollment & Early Middle College Options for High School Students

Dual Enrollment Allows students to earn college credit (up to 10 courses) while in high school at no cost between 9th-12th grade. The classes that students are eligible for must not be offered by the high school or PSA and must lead towards postsecondary credit, accreditation, certification, and/or licensing. 

How to apply – Students are to talk with their high school advisor on eligibility, application, deadlines, and college course options.

Early Middle College (EMC) is a Michigan Department of Education approved five-year program of study.

EMCs work closely with certain colleges to provide students with an opportunity earn a high school diploma and one or more of the following:

  • 60 transferable college credits.
  • An associate degree.
  • A professional certification.
  • The Michigan Early Middle College Association (MEMCA) technical certificate.
  • Participation in a registered apprenticeship.

Michigan List of EMC’s

Volunteer to Gain More Experience!

Get hands-on experience and find a classroom near you that is in need of a volunteer!

Job Shadowing

To participate in a job shadow, reach out to a school district and request to job shadow a school psychologist for a day.

Each school district has their own policy when it comes to job shadowing, but you may need a state ID or a driver’s license to participate. 

College Program Information

Click a point on the map to find degree programs, scholarships, grants, and organizations to join!

According to the U.S. News and World Report, school psychology is a top ranked job!

#2

in Best Social Services Jobs

#18

in Best STEM Jobs

#36

in 100 Best Jobs

Michigan Association of School Psychologists represents psychologists at both the state and local levels and drives the profession forward with leading edge professional training, legislative advocacy. The association also raises the bar on practices in academic achievement. 

In a round frame: A middle aged white male sits in a conference hall in front of sunny windows. He wears a Michigan State University sweater and a watch. He is talking and his hand is gesturing forward.

School Psychologist Story Tellers

Below are videos highlighting school psychologists throughout Michigan.
Find out why they love the profession.

MASP Energizes Careers!

Lauren Ahlers,
MASP Regional Director

Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP), an amazing resource if you are or becoming a school psychologist.

Matt Koekkoek

Muskegon County School Psychologist

Matt Koekkoek of Muskegon tells a personal story that led him to help others with life struggles. It’s an amazing career path.

join the success

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from Michigan school psychologists.

A middle aged white male sits in a conference hall in front of sunny windows. He wears a Michigan State University sweater and a watch. He is talking and his hand is gesturing forward. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Matt Koekkoek".
A middle aged white woman with medium length brown hair stands in the doorway of a conference hall. She wears a black top and a silver necklace, and speaks animatedly. A white hand holds a microphone up to her. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Jana Aupperlee".
A middle aged African American man stands in the doorway of a conference hall. He wears glasses, a black suit coat, a purple shirt, and a purple paisley tie. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Vincent Hodge".

join the success

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from Michigan School Pyschologists

A middle aged white male sits in a conference hall in front of sunny windows. He wears a Michigan State University sweater and a watch. He is talking and his hand is gesturing forward. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Matt Koekkoek".
A middle aged white woman with medium length brown hair stands in the doorway of a conference hall. She wears a black top and a silver necklace, and speaks animatedly. A white hand holds a microphone up to her. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Jana Aupperlee".
A middle aged African American man stands in the doorway of a conference hall. He wears glasses, a black suit coat, a purple shirt, and a purple paisley tie. In the bottom left corner is a blue box with white text in it that reads "Vincent Hodge".

Questions About Your Educator Journey?