The doctoral program in Educational Psychology provides professional preparation in applied educational psychology with a major in school psychology. There are two learning tracks to choose from. Students may choose the school psychology track with an emphasis on learning disabilities and child development to meet the educational requirements for licensed school psychologist in Massachusetts, and similar professional designations in other states. In addition, students may choose the non-licensure track for experience addressing special education, human dynamics and social justice in a variety of institutions or work places. The program is based on a balanced sequential scientist/practitioner model and emphasizes the interrelatedness of theory, research, and practice, and offers choices to meet the individual needs of students.
Those who are interested in pursuing certification or licensure will generally meet academic, experiential, and other requirements depending on the type of certification/licensure sought, however, each state or jurisdiction may have additional requirements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet all state licensing requirements. For specific information, your state or provincial certification/licensing board should be contacted.
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.
As a graduate of the program, you will have the knowledge and experience to work in educational and rehabilitative settings.
(Students required to complete only the practicum and internship in their area of study)
Total Required Credits: 96
#Students without a Master’s may qualify for a Master’s in Educational Psychology (MAEP). See Admissions Requirements.
Students must pass the Comprehensive Qualifying Exam (COMPS) before starting dissertation. 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 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. Students with a Master’s degree in a related field must complete a minimum of 63 credits as determined in consultation with the program director. Those with a Master’s degree in psychology from AIC may be given additional consideration for equivalent courses.
This course examines a variety of statistical methods. Students will apply statistical methods to actual human behavioral topics and issues. Coverage includes descriptive statistics: frequencies, percentages, central tendency, variability, graphing, skewness and kurtosis. Statistical analyses included are probability and inferential statistics, including t tests (one and two sample), ANOVA, Chi square, Pearson r correlation and regression. Basic preparation in mathematics is needed. PREREQUISITE: Preparation in math.
This course examines social science research including evaluative methodologies and strategies, types of research, program evaluation, needs assessments, and ethical and legal considerations. Students will link statistical analysis and research methodology so that students may become a sophisticated research consumer as well as research producer. Understanding research strategy and the logic behind the statistical tests for applied purposes is an underlying theme of the course. This course will allow students to understand the nature of empirical research in developing surveys, educational interventions, program evaluations and therapeutic strategies. PREREQUISITE: None
This course examines the major theories, principles and techniques of mental health counseling and the application of such theories to counseling settings. This includes the examination of the influence of psychoanalytic, interpersonal/social, cognitive and behavioristic theories on present therapeutic techniques. A number of treatment modalities and styles of counseling are evaluated and the relationship between the nature of the current DSM diagnoses and the effectiveness of each approach is discussed. Coursework, classroom discussion and role play are used to translate theoretical understanding into effective counseling behavior for a clear understanding of applying theoretical perspectives to work with clients and for consultation with individuals and families. PREREQUISITE: None
This course will provide students with a solid basis in General Systems Theory in relation to mental health counseling for family, marriage and couples counseling and consultation. Coverage will include theories and techniques that could be used by the counselor or psychologist in dealing with family, marriage, and couples’ issues. Topics will include initial interview skills, therapeutic intervention modalities and the application of systems theory to the family setting. Included will be usefulness and application of theory to culturally diverse groups and diverse family dynamics in relation to counseling and consultation. PREREQUISITE: None
This course will examine the theoretical and experiential understandings of group development, purpose, dynamics, group counseling methods and skills, as well as leadership styles for group facilitation. Coursework covers the dynamics and processes of mental health groups (therapeutic, psychosocial, psycho‑educational). An emphasis of this course is on personal 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. Topics such as addiction, poverty, diversity, and education will be explored in understanding the individual response to group counseling. PREREQUISITE: None
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. PREREQUISITE: None
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. Students will incorporate the theories in applied behavioral interventions useful to counselor and psychologists when working with clients in need of behavioral changes. The emphasis will be on the twentieth century theorists 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. Piaget’s cognitive model will also 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. PREREQUISITE: None
Provides a thorough understanding of the administration, scoring and interpretation of the WISC, WAIS and WCJ COG. Students will practice administration, interpretation and report writing for cognitive assessment. 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 of cognitive scales. PREREQUISITE: None
This course includes the identification and diagnosis and mental health treatment planning for abnormal, deviant, or psychopathological behavior and includes assessments and treatment procedures. 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. The standards for differential diagnosis will be clarified. Conditions relating to dis-compensation, stress, anxiety, and defense mechanisms will be covered. PREREQUISITE: PSY 5417
This course addresses the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development across the lifespan for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, including a description of behaviors that are present at the various stages and explanations for those behaviors regarding relative contributions of heredity and environment. The major theories of physical, cognitive, affective and social development across the life span for individuals and families are applied to the understanding of learning, personality development, and mental health counseling practice. The sociocultural and social economic factors that may contribute to a developmental outcome are also considered. PREREQUISITE: None
In this course, the student will be encouraged to develop a personal frame of reference around understanding of psychometric theories including validity, reliability and other facets of measurement used to understand group and individual assessment. Students will practice assessment procedures, data collection, scoring and reporting. Specifics include an examination of several diagnostic instruments such as personality and cognitive assessments including the WISC/WAIS, Mini Mental Status Exam, MMPI, TAT and Rorschach, etc. Problems involved in assessing dysfunction will be included, as well as the application of assessment and diagnoses to the selection of treatment modalities used by mental health counselors or psychologists. PREREQUISITE: None
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. PREREQUISITE: None
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, Autism/Asperger’s syndrome, children with limited English proficiency, children from culturally diverse backgrounds and the gifted and talented. PREREQUISITE(S): PSY 5415
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. PREREQUISITE: None
The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the major ethical issues in the practice of mental health counseling and psychology. This course includes the understanding of professional roles and functions of counselors or psychologists, with particular emphasis on legal and ethical standard through ethical case conceptualization, analysis and decision making as it relates to clinical practice. The course involves an intense analysis of the philosophical, technical and consultative issues contributing to the professional identity and function of the counselor or psychologist in a variety of clinical settings. Emphasis will be placed on the practical application of theory and the demands of particular setting. This course stresses professional ethics and general standards of conduct by examining the standards set by the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association for the understanding of licensure and regulatory practices. In addition, a guide for this section of the course is also the American Psychological Associations Code of Ethics. PREREQUISITE: None
This course examines the theoretical bases of the counseling processes, mental health counseling techniques, and their therapeutic applications in relation to the understanding and practice of counseling skills necessary for the mental health counselor and psychologists. This course will provide students with a number of treatment modalities and techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychoanalysis to integrate the theories of treatment into specific situations that the counselor or psychologist will confront in actual practice. Case studies and simulations of therapeutic interventions will support the application of theories to practice. Topics will range from working with clients individually and multiple system membership to consultation around behavioral/emotional issues in a variety of clinical settings. The consultation model will be considered as it relates to counselors and psychologists within a multicultural model. PREREQUISITE: PSY5347
This course covers the fundamental principles of pharmacology, drug actions, tolerance, clinical use of psychotic medications, substance abuse and addiction treatment. A component of this course includes a focus on addiction and the treatment of individuals within this special population relevant to mental health counseling. Research that explores the efficacy of medications taken during treatment, specific treatment programs and the degree of recidivism is presented. PREREQUISITE: None
This course examines the theories of multicultural counseling, issues and trends of a multicultural and diverse society and includes the foundational knowledge and skills needed to provide mental health counseling services to diverse populations in a culturally competent manner. This course covers a number of advanced topics in the general area of social and interpersonal psychology, including cultural, ethnic and group processes, familial patterns, sexual orientation, gender roles, disability status, religious beliefs, age, 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 cultural, racial and ethnic bases of behavior. PREREQUISITE: None
The purpose of this course is to learn how to carry out a psychoeducational assessment using appropriate assessment instruments and how to write an effective report of the assessment. Students 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, cognitive functioning, 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. PREREQUISITE: PSY 6330
This course emphasizes diversity in relation to the theories, issues, and trends related to multicultural counseling and family consultation. The focus is on the impact of diversity on psychological, physical and social health and growth. Coursework covers studies of the attitudinal and behavioral patterns of diverse people based on life stage, religious beliefs and rituals, sexual orientation, gender identity, racial identity, ethnicity, cultural beliefs and rituals, familial dynamics, socioeconomic status, and intellectual and physical differences. The students will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to provide competent counseling and consultation to diverse individuals, groups and families. PREREQUISITE: None
This course will provide students with an intensive analysis of cognitive functioning in relation to human thought and behavior. Course topics include brain and behavior, cognitive neuroscience, information processing, perception, attention, language, memory, problem solving, creativity, decision making, cognitive development, intelligence, and consciousness. Different paradigms of information processing, especially those that are developmentally related, will be reviewed with emphasis on cognitive development and assessment. Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI) and other brain disorders will also be discussed in relation to providing psychological services to these individuals and their families. PREREQUISITE: None
This course covers the study of the structures of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system and their relationship to human behavior. Coursework includes an introduction to the gross and microscopic anatomy of the central nervous system and to the physiology of the nerve impulse and synaptic transmission and reviews the relationship of behavior to the nervous system on such chemical factors as hormones and neural transmitters. The course covers the examination and discussion of physiological disorders related to human functioning. The neurobiological effects of drugs and other substances will also be discussed. Students will apply their knowledge of the physiological basis of behavior to potential psychological interventions. PREREQUISITE: None
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.
The purpose of the practicum is to provide experience for the student in a school and/or clinical setting. The student is offered an opportunity to apply skills gained from course work in actual practice of psychology. The student works under the direct supervision of a certified or licensed psychologist with the assistance of a college adviser. The adviser helps the student to develop appropriate goals, to effectively use interpersonal skills, and to determine the areas to be further developed. Periodic group meetings are held with the college supervisor in order to provide additional academic information and to discuss practical experiences.
The purpose of this second semester of practicum is to continue to provide experience for the student in a school setting. The student is offered an opportunity to apply skills gained from coursework in actual practice of school psychology. The student works under the direct supervision of a certified or licensed school psychologist with the assistance of a college adviser. The adviser helps the student to develop appropriate goals, to effectively use interpersonal skills and to determine the areas to be further developed. Periodic meetings are held with the college supervisor in order to provide additional academic information and to discuss practical experiences. PREREQUISITE: Advanced standing and permission of the department chair
The first semester of a two semester supervised experience in psychometric and assessment procedures in an approved public or private school setting that must be supervised by a licensed school psychologist. The internship may be selected after the student has completed 60 credit hours of doctoral work and involves a total of 1200 hours over two semesters. On campus meetings are also required as a key part of the supervision. Additional requirements may apply. PREREQUISITES: Advanced standing and permission of program director
The second semester of a two semester supervised experience in psychometric and assessment procedures in an approved public or private school setting that must be supervised by a licensed school psychologist. The internship may be selected after the student has completed 60 credit hours of doctoral work and involves a total of 1200 hours over two semesters. On campus meetings are also required as a key part of the supervision. Additional requirements may apply. PREREQUISITES: Advanced standing and permission of program director
Limited to candidates for the Doctor of Educational Psychology degree who have successfully completed the comprehensive examination.
The second semester of the dissertation process. Part II of the dissertation process includes the completion of the dissertation and passing the oral defense of the dissertation in accordance to the program manual and approval of the completed dissertation and oral defense by the dissertation committee and program director. Limited to candidates for the Doctor of Educational Psychology degree who have successfully completed the comprehensive courses PSY9949 and PSY 9950. PREREQUISITE: Completion of all course requirements and permission of the program director.
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