MSUM’s School Psychology program recently redesigned its program to be more accessible and flexible to meet students’ needs and is now accepting applications for the summer 2022 cohort.    

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-approved program offers master’s and specialist programs and now lets students choose their path to completion — two years plus an internship or three years plus an internship. Students continue to engage in relevant field experience starting their first year.   

Improved accessibility also provides flexible learning formats where students can take classes in person on campus or entirely online. The online option accommodates school districts wanting to ‘grow their own’ or develop their staff to become school psychologists or students with ties to schools for practicums.   

The redesign also provided an opportunity for curriculum updates to meet the needs of today’s students and schools. 

“We added increased coverage of topics like social-emotional learning, trauma, and behavior analysis to prepare graduates to meet the current challenges facing students and their families,” said Lisa Stewart, director of MSUM’s School Psychology Graduate Program“A new diversity course also strengthens our program’s and MSUM’s commitment to preparing graduates to be school leaders in an increasingly diverse society.”    

About MSUM’s MS & Specialist in School Psychology 

As one of the first programs in the country to receive NASP approval, students receive the most current education and training. And they get hired. MSUM graduates enjoy 100 percent related employment.  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the psychology field is expected to grow by 14 percent between 2018-28, much faster than most occupations. School psychologists work closely with teachers and school counselors, nurses and social workers to advocate for youth mental health and school success for at-risk students.

“We need more school psychologists,” Stewart said. “The demand for psychological services in schools continues to increase and is essential for supporting students’ academic success.”    

Small, 16-member cohorts create close-knit camaraderie and support for students. Not only are they mentored by highly credentialed faculty who are experienced school psychologists, but they also develop strong professional connections with their future peers. 

“I had no idea how much a cohort model would benefit me until we were out in the field and we were still problem-solving and supporting each other,” said Alannah (Dosh) Valenta, PsyS, NCSP, a school psychologist with the Sheyenne Valley Special Education Unit.

MSUM is accepting applications are for the graduate cohort starting summer 2022. To apply or get more information about the program, visit