UNI's program has been in existence since the late 1960s when the institution was first authorized to offer graduate programs. The initial program was a 33-hour master’s degree program. In 1978, the program was expanded to a 67-hour specialist in education (Ed.S.) program. This change was consistent with accrediting standards in the profession at that time. From the outset, the program has been approved by the Iowa Department of Education as meeting state standards for certification and licensure of school psychologists. The UNI School Psychology Program is a major contributor to school psychology in Area Education Agencies (AEAs) throughout Iowa. Currently, it is the only program in Iowa emphasizing preparation of specialist-level school psychologists to work in school settings. Approximately one out of three school psychologists in Iowa is a UNI graduate.
The mission of the University of Northern Iowa School Psychology Program is to prepare reflective practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to enhance the educational and psychological well-being of children and adolescents. The program focuses on data-based decision-making and strives to use data to drive both training and practice.