Educational Psychology, EdD

Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Education in Educational Psychology (EdD) program provides professional preparation in applied educational/school psychology with an emphasis on learning disabilities and
child development.

The program is based on a balanced and sequential scientist/practitioner model and emphasizes that theory, research, and practice are interrelated. Students will have the opportunity to be able to design a program of study that may lead to certification or licensure in various professional areas.

Those who are interested in pursuing certification or licensure will generally meet academic, experiential, and other requirements de- pending on the type of certification/licensure sought. However, each state or jurisdiction may have additional requirements.

The program consists of four major components:

1. The psychology component consists of courses in both theory and practice, which address advanced topics in graduate-level psychology.

2. The assessment/process component includes practicums/ courses in psychological testing, diagnosis, and intervention.

3. The learning disability/child development component consists of courses that address developmental psychology, diagnosis and remediation of learning disorders, and behavioral management.

4. The research component includes courses in statistics, research methodology, and dissertation preparation and completion.

In the classroom. In the workforce.

What You'll Learn

What You'll Learn

As a student, you’ll complete the each of the components, the psychology component, the assessment/process component, the learning disability/child development component, and the research component.

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the program, you will have the knowledge and experience to work in educational and rehabilitative settings.

Student progress will be monitored by doctoral faculty. Credit is not awarded for any course when student performance falls below a B-. Further, each student must maintain at least a 3.25 overall academic record to be eligible for the Doctoral Comprehensive Qualifying Examination.

Any student receiving three (3) grades below a B- in the EdD program will be dismissed from the program. Further, students are only allowed one re-take of the Doctoral Comprehensive Qualifying Examination. Failure of the re-take will result in dismissal from the program (refer to section on Doctoral Comprehensive Qualifying Examination for specifics).

A student can also be dismissed if, in the judgment of the Chair of Graduate Studies in Psychology, the student is not making satisfactory progress, shows no indication of being professionally committed, or engages in inappropriate behavior. Appeals can be filed and will be heard by a Retention Committee composed of the Chair of Graduate Studies in Psychology, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Arts, Education and Sciences, and doctoral faculty.



Psychology Component

  • PSY5215: Counseling Theory and Practice#
  • PSY5315: Group Counseling
  • PSY5355: Systems and Theories in Psychology* #
  • PSY5325: Psychology of Learning* #
  • PSY5345: Advanced Abnormal Psychology#
  • PSY6505: Issues and Ethics in Psychology#
  • PSY5225: Family Counseling
  • PSY6515: Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse
  • PSY6615: Social Bases of Behavior and Cultural Diversity
  • PSY8340: Racial and Ethnic Bases of Behavior
  • PSY8218: Practicum and Seminar in Psychology – Mental Health Part I
  • PSY8219: Practicum and Seminar in Psychology – Mental Health Part II
  • PSY8228: Practicum and Seminar in Psychology – School Psychology Part I
  • PSY8229: Practicum and Seminar in Psychology – School Psychology Part II
  • PSY8238: Practicum in Psychology – Non-Licensure Part I
  • PSY8239: Practicum in Psychology – Non-Licensure Part II
  • PSY8518: Pre-doctoral Internship – Mental Health Part I
  • PSY8519: Pre-doctoral Internship – Mental Health Part II
  • PSY8528: Pre-doctoral Internship – School Psychology Part I
  • PSY8529: Pre-doctoral Internship – School Psychology Part II
  • PSY8538: Pre-doctoral Internship – Non-Licensure Part I
  • PSY8539: Pre-doctoral Internship – Non-Licensure Part II
  • PSY8410: Cognitive Psychology *
  • PSY9210: Physiological Bases of Behavior

Assessment/Process Component

  • PSY6850: Diagnostic Psychoeducational Assessment* #
  • PSY5338: Theory and Practicum – Diagnostic Assessment I: WISC and WAIS*
  • PSY5418: Theory and Practicum – Diagnostic Assessment II: Personality and Projectives *
  • PSY6605: Therapeutic Techniques and Consultation

Learning Disability/Child Development Component

  • PSY6225: Psychology of Behavior Management for Special Needs Children #
  • PSY6330: Theories of Learning Disabilities *
  • EDU8520: Seminar in Learning Disabilities *
  • PSY5325: Psychology of Development *
  • PSY6230: Psychology of the Exceptional Child #

Research Component

  • PSY5036: Behavioral Statistics * #
  • PSY5205: Applied Research Methodology * #
  • PSY9220: Multivariate Research Methods
  • PSY9989: Dissertation in Educational Psychology I (6 Credits)
  • PSY9990: Dissertation in Educational Psychology Part II (6 credits)
  • PSY9991: Dissertation in Educational Psychology Cont. (3 credits)

Total: 96 Credits
*Indicates courses required for Qualifying Exam
#See section on Admissions Requirements
** Various certifications can be pursued in Guidance and
Adjustment Counseling for selected students.
Students wishing to obtain a license in School Adjustment Counseling (SAC) or Guidance Counseling through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in Massachusetts will need the following additional courses (that do not count toward the doctorate).

School Adjustment Counseling

  • PSY5230: Principles and Practices of Guidance
  • PSY5241: The Juvenile Justice System
  • CRJ5660: Substance Abuse Issues in Criminal Justice
  • PSY6845: Advanced Counseling Theory and Practice II

Guidance Counseling

  • PSY6855: Group Testing
  • PSY5230: Principles and Practices of Guidance
  • PSY 6845: Advanced Counseling Theory and Practice II

Additional Program Notes
Two semesters of practicum and two semesters of internship are required for the degree. Total number of hours for practicum and internship is dependent on the type of licensure the student is pursuing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact their specific state or provincial certification/licensure board for further licensing information.



Course Descriptions

This course will examine in some detail the influence of psychoanalytic, interpersonal/social, cognitive, and behavioristic theories on present therapeutic techniques. Each style of counseling is evaluated and the relationship between the nature of the disturbance and the effectiveness of each approach is discussed. The response to counseling of those from various racial and cultural groups will be considered. Classroom discussion will be used in conjunction with film and audio tape presentations to translate theoretical understanding into effective counseling behavior.

The emphasis in this course will be on human growth and the counseling process within the group setting. Among the concepts included are curative factors, interpersonal learning, group composition, and tasks and techniques for change. Drug addictions, poverty, and education will be explored in understanding the individual response to group counseling. The class itself will experience these concepts by both participating in a personal growth group and reviewing appropriate literature.

This course traces the history of the major theoretical positions in psychology (structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, gestalt, and psychoanalysis) from their epistemological, both rationalistic and empirical, and philosophical roots, dating from ancient Greece to the present time. Coverage will include discussions of the scientific method and the philosophy of science. Finally, contemporary positions, especially those involved in the cognitive revolution, will be covered from both the psychological and physiological points of view. Throughout these latter discussions, emphasis will be placed on the developmental aspects of human growth.

Intensive coverage of the major learning theories in psychology, and their epistemological roots in philosophy, both from the point of view of rationalism and empiricism. Emphasis, however, will be on the twentieth century and will include Pavlov, Thorndike, Watson, Guthrie, Hull and Skinner as behaviorist-associationists, and Wertheimer, Kohler, Lewin, and Bruner on the cognitive gestalt side. Bandura’s social modeling theory will be stressed, including discussions of racial prejudice and attitude change. Piagets cognitive model will be stressed, including discussion of qualitative differences in learning according to developmental stage. Coverage will also include processing models, cognitive acquisition theories, and the basic models concerning the physiology of learning and memory.

This course examines disorders in adulthood, adolescence, and childhood with consideration of the relationship between biological, social, psychological, and environmental factors, as well as problems in classification and potential behavior systems. The concepts of normal and abnormal will be explored especially when attempting to understand the behaviors of culturally diverse groups. The symptomatological disorders, including borderline personalities, and various phobic and obsessive-compulsive syndromes will be studied. Also covered will be dis-compensation, stress, anxiety, and defense.

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the major issues in the practice of psychology. The course will involve an intense analysis of the philosophical, technical, and consultative issues contributing to the professional identity and function of the psychologist in a public school or clinical setting. Emphasis will be placed on the setting, the practical application of theory, and the demands placed on the setting, the practical application of theory, and the demands placed on the practicing school psychologist. This course stresses professional ethics and general standards of conduct. The guide for this section of the course is the American Psychological Associations Code of Ethics.

This course will provide students with a solid basis in General Systems Theory. Coverage will include theories and techniques that could be used by the psychologist in dealing with the family. Topics will include initial interview skills, therapeutic intervention techniques, and the application of systems theory to the family setting. Included will be usefulness and application of theory to culturally diverse groups, single parent, and blended families.

This course covers the fundamental principles of pharmacology, drug actions, tolerance, addiction, clinical use of psychotic medications, substance abuse, and addiction treatment. Research that explores the efficacy of medications taken during treatment, specific treatment programs, and the degree of recidivism is presented.

This course covers a number of advanced topics in the general area of social psychology, including cultural, ethnic, and group processes, sex roles, organizational behavior, group dynamics, status and role, attribution theory, and leadership. Special emphasis will also be placed on cultural diversity, including those issues related to racial and ethnic bases of behavior, with a focus on people of color.

This course emphasizes cultural diversity, especially regarding persons of color. The focus is on the impact of cultural diversity on psychological health and growth. The students will be involved in becoming familiar with the challenges and opportunities presented by a diverse culture. Although the emphasis will be on persons of color, coverage will also include diversity in other areas, such as gender, socioeconomic class, and cultural background.

The purpose of the practicum is to provide experience for the student in a clinical setting. The student is offered an opportunity to apply skills gained from course work to clinical practice. The student works under the direct supervision of a certified or licensed psychologist with the assistance of a college supervisor. The student is encouraged to develop goals, interpersonal skills, and to determine any individual framework. Periodic campus meetings are held with the college supervisor.

Supervised experience in psychotherapeutic and assessment procedures in an approved clinical facility. Includes seminars and case conferences and must be supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist. The internship may be selected after the student has completed 60 credit hours of doctoral work and involves 16 to 20 hours a week. On-campus meetings are also required as a key part of the supervision. Additional requirements may apply.

This course will provide students with an intensive analysis of cognitive functioning. Different paradigms of information processing, especially those that are developmentally related, will be reviewed with emphasis on cognitive development and assessment.

Introduction to the gross and microscopic anatomy of the central nervous system and to the physiology of the nerve impulse and synaptic transmission. The course reviews the relationship of behavior to the nervous system on such chemical factors as hormones and neural transmitters. A term project is assigned for which the student prepares a paper, lecture, videotape, audio tape, or any combination of these dealing with the physiological correlates of any behavior.

The purpose of this course is to learn to carry out a psychoeducational assessment using appropriate assessment instruments and to write an effective report of the assessment. To achieve this, the class will become familiar with the particulars of testing and test administration, and will critique and study formal and informal tests and testing procedures in the areas of reading, math, language, attention deficit, and behavior. The influence and impact of standardized tests on groups such as racial, ethnic, cultural minorities, and English language learners will be explored. This course will deal with the techniques of synthesizing and integrating psychological and practical information into an effective report and educational plan. Emphasis will be placed on assessment techniques, an overview of presenting problems, the development of appropriate intervention strategies, the presentation of psychological reports, and consultation and collaboration with both parents and professionals.

Provides a thorough understanding of the administration, scoring, and interpretation of both the WISC and WAIS. Subject analysis stresses an understanding of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Scoring analysis covers comprehensive personality descriptions. Differential diagnosis is also integrated in the course from a treatment-planning perspective. A major emphasis will be placed on the proper administration, scoring, interpretation, and preparation of a written report based on the Wechsler Scales. In addition, direct and indirect assessment techniques will be covered.

A continuation of PSY5338. In this course, the student will be encouraged to develop a personal frame of reference around personality assessment. Specifics include an examination of several traditional and non-traditional diagnostic instruments such as the TAT and Rorschach. Problems involved in assessing dysfunction will be included, as well as the application of assessment and diagnoses to the selection of treatment modalities.

This course will provide students with techniques to integrate the theories of treatment into specific situations that the counselor or psychologist will confront in actual practice. Topics will range from working with clients in multiple system membership to consultation around behavioral/emotional issues in schools as well as clinics. The consultation model will be considered as it relates to counselors and psychologists within a multicultural model.

Basic behavioral measures and techniques involved in working with special needs children, including theory, assessment, materials, and problem remediation. Special attention is given to communication, observation, and group management skills.

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the field of learning disabilities and acquaint students with the various concepts of learning disability and the changing and developing perspectives during the past 20 years. Included will be a review and evaluation of the evidence for the existence of a social learning disability and nonverbal learning disabilities. The evidence for a neurological basis of learning disabilities is explored. Definitions and terms are introduced and discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on the concept that a learning disability is not a single entity that will respond to a single remedial strategy, but exists rather as a multi-dimensional phenomenon basically occurring in the context of school-related tasks.

A seminar course covering current trends in the research literature. Essentially, “whats happening now” in the field of learning disabilities. Presentations by students on individual topics will be covered in-depth.

Exceptional children are those for whom special educational programming is considered necessary. In this course, we consider the characteristics, prevalence, etiology, neurological correlates (if applicable), developmental course, assessment, and treatment for the categories of learning disabilities (including reading disability and nonverbal LD), ADHD, Aspergers syndrome, children with limited English proficiency, children from culturally diverse backgrounds, and the gifted and talented.

Coverage includes descriptive statistics: central tendency, variability, transformed scores, graphing, skewness and kurtosis. Also included will be probability and inferential statistics, including z test, t tests (one and two sample), ANOVA, Chi square and the Pearson r. Basic preparation in mathematics is needed.

This course links statistical analysis and research methodology in order that the student may become a sophisticated research consumer as well as research producer. The student must learn to understand the logic of the research enterprise and have a basic grasp of the conceptual base on which the statistical tests of significance rest. Understanding research strategy and the logic behind the statistical tests is the underlying theme of the course. This will allow students to understand the nature of empirical research in developing education interventions and therapeutic strategies. Students are also required to learn the SPSS computer program.

The focus in this course is on the practical problems involved in real-world research. Topics covered include the nature of causal inference, validity of instruments and design, experimental and quasi-experimental field-based research approaches, design development, and problems involved in the statistical analysis of data obtained from complex design.

Limited to candidates for the Doctor of Educational Psychology degree who have successfully completed the comprehensive examination.

This is an introductory course designed to acquaint the student with the basics of the need, meaning, and ethics of guidance services. Issues related to school guidance practices, with an overview of the role and function of the school counselor, will be reviewed. Specifically, student scheduling, testing and assessment, career guidance, and college placement will be emphasized. Current trends in the field, as well as general guidance issues, will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on the fact that the guidance counselor serves as part of a collaborative team with a strong focus on consultation.

An in-depth look at the juvenile justice system from its historical origins to current practices. Special emphasis is placed on juvenile justice terminology, landmark cases, and procedures used with juveniles and their families. The social, economic, and racial considerations of juveniles in difficulty with the law will be considered.

This course examines the impact of drugs and alcohol use/abuse on individual, society and the criminal justice system. The course will focus on various categories of abusable substances, their physical and psychological effects, and the continuum of treatment modalities used in combating chemical dependency. Since drug and alcohol use account for the single largest category of criminal arrests and convictions in the United States, specific focus will be on the criminal justice’s responses to drug/alcohol related crimes: law enforcement, innovative treatment approaches and drug testing technologies.

The purpose of this course is to continue to have school counselors develop the psychological, behavioral, and therapeutic skills in order to provide basic counseling services to students in elementary, middle, and high school. Emphasis will be on the practical strategies to help students with problems such as depression and anxiety that are consistent in most student issues such as academic underachievement, peer relationship problems, cultural differences, emotional disorders, and the issues of homosexual and bisexual youth.

This course focuses on developing an understanding of the nature and function of group assessments. This includes, but is not limited to, such areas as achievement, aptitude, interest, and vocation. The nature and purpose of tests such as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System as a requirement for high school graduation is also explored. Students will understand the issues of assessment norms, validity, and reliability, as well as general principles of test construction. Emphasis will be on the ability to interpret and integrate information obtained from assessment tools for the purpose of addressing student needs, and on communicating assessment results to students, parents, and teachers.

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