School Psychology MAE/EdS

Elementary students working

Program Description

School psychologists are an essential member of the educational team in today's school. If you're looking to help students succeed in the classroom socially, behaviorally and emotionally, the UNI School Psychology Program is the program to turn to.

The UNI School Psychology Program believes that effectively linking multi-method assessment to evidence-based interventions is crucial to successful practice. To this end, we prepare practitioners who make professional judgments that take into consideration ethical principles; social, political, and policy contexts; and best practices derived from research and theory. Valid and reliable professional judgments are made by school psychologists who are committed to a process of continuous professional growth, necessitating ongoing, critical examination of both practice and the current literature in the field. The program strives to train practitioners who will become leaders in the practice of school psychology and advocates for all children and families.

Interrelated didactic, seminar, and practicum training experiences, which occur every semester starting in the first Fall semester, are designed to facilitate students’ development of knowledge and critical thinking skills. Personal and professional development is further promoted through participation in a learning community of professors, other graduate students, and practitioners.

Why Study School Psychology at UNI? 

  • The UNI School Psychology program is National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-approved.
  • You'll learn from faculty are licensed school psychologists who have experience as practitioners and remain active in the schools.
  • You gain valuable experience in schools for practicum every semester of the program except summer term.
  • Fall of M.A.E. year: Students shadow three school psychologists in different settings with one area education agency (AEA).
  • Spring of MAE year: Students work in a local elementary classroom one day per week. All students and the instructor are on-site at the same time.
  • Fall Ed.S. year: Students work under the supervision of a school psychologist one day per week.
  • Spring Ed.S. year: Students work under the supervision of a school psychologist two days per week.
  • School psychologist interns in Iowa are paid as a first-year school psychologist with full benefits.
  • Number of alumni who remain in the field
  • Collaboration with the Psychological Assessment Clinic
  • Meet requirements for licensure in most states







  • Introduction to School Psychology
  • Foundations of Instruction
  • Individual Intellectual Assessment
  • Educational Research
  • Practicum I
  • Academic Assessment and Intervention
  • Psychological Consultation in Schools
  • Interdisciplinary Study of Disability
  • Advanced Assessment & Evaluation of Literacy
  • Masters Research
  • Practicum II
  • Risk & Resilience: Child, Family, School & Community (Ed.S.)
  • Measurement and Statistics (MAE)
  • Psychosocial Assessment
  • Behavioral Interventions in School Settings
  • Special Education Law and Policy
  • Ed.S. Research (thesis option) or Program Evaluation
  • Practicum III
  • Systems Level Consultation
  • Counseling Children and Adolescents
  • Early Childhood Assessment & Intervention
  • Ed.S. Research (thesis option only)
  • Internship in School Psychology

View Full Program of Study

Program Faculty and Staff

Primary Faculty and Staff Contacts
Kerri Clopton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School Psychology Program
Debra Jacobs image
Secretary III
Stephanie Schmitz, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Research and Faculty Excellence, and Associate Professor, School Psychology Program
Nicole Skaar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Coordinator, School Psychology Program
Additional Faculty and Staff Contacts
Robert Boody
Interim Department Head and Professor
Suzanne Freedman
Professor, Co-chair of the COE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Elana Joram, Ph.D.
Professor & Coordinator, Professional Development for Teachers Program (on-line)

Application Process

The UNI School Psychology Program is a NASP-approved full-time program which consists of two degrees: a Master of Arts in Education (MAE) and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.), both of which follow a scientist-practitioner model. 

The MAE in Educational Psychology: Context and Techniques of Assessment is earned after the first full year of coursework, including one summer course between the first and second year, and the successful completion of a literature review for the MAE paper.

The Ed.S. degree in School Psychology is earned after completion of an additional 36 semester hours, including a full-time internship, typically two years after the MAE.

There is both a thesis and non-thesis option for the Ed.S. program.

Individuals who have earned a master’s degree in a related field may be admitted to the Ed.S. program. These individuals must complete all of the requirements of the School Psychology program to be granted the Ed.S.

To be considered for admission, all application materials must be submitted by December 15th for admission the following Fall semester. The Program only admits students for study beginning in the fall semester.

Application Checklist for 2021

Apply Now

 If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact Dr. Nicole Skaar at 319-273-7649 or


Maximum Award Apply By
Dean's Graduate Fellowship $1,500 8/16/2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Research

The UNI School Psychology Program is a scientist-practitioner program where the faculty support students in reading, conducting, and disseminating research. Students from our program often present at the annual convention of the National School Psychology Association, and some students will have opportunities to publish their work in school psychology and related journals.

Selected Presentations and Publications

(Student names in bold)

Skaar, N. R. & Maas, S. (in press). Improving student behavior and mental health: School-based therapies vs functional approaches to behavior intervention. In M. Burns (Ed.), Introduction to School Psychology: Controversies and Current Practice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kraayenbrink, A., Skaar, N. R., Clopton, K. (2018). Using Mindfulness to Promote Resilience. Communique, 46, 1.

Ellingson, R., & Skaar, N. R. (2015). Promoting prevention and early intervention of adolescents’ self-disclosure and online risk behavior. Youth Voice Journal. Online publication.

Skaar, N. R., Freedman, S., Carlon, A., & Watson, E. (2015). Using models of change and collaborative consultation to infuse forgiveness education into school bullying programs. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 25, 1-24.


Skaar, N. & Walton, K., (2018, February). What About Mental Health Services: Parent Perceptions of IEPs. Paper presented at 2018 NASP Convention, Chicago, IL.

Skaar, N., Carlson, L., Austin, C., & Johnson, J. (2017, February). Is risk taking always bad: Prosocial risk behavior in adolescence. Paper presented at the 2017 NASP Convention, San Antonio, TX.

Skaar, N., Carlson, L., Austin, C., & Johnson, J. (2017, February). Mindfulness and power posing interventions to decrease emotional distress. Poster presented at the 2017 NASP Convention, San Antonio, TX.

Graham, R., & Skaar, N. R. (2016, February). FBA training for teachers: Implications for school psychology practice. Poster presented at the 2016 National Association of School Psychologists Convention, New Orleans, LA.

Moery, T., Clopton, K., Skaar, N. R. (2016, February). Teaching social skills to enhance resiliency in children. Poster presented at the 2016 National Association of School Psychologists Convention, New Orleans, LA.


Graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships are available and awarded on a competitive basis.

There are three types of graduate assistantships

  1. Program awarded graduate assistantships
  2. Graduate assistantships offered from other programs
  3. Central Rivers Area Education Agency assistantships

Go to the Graduate College website for more information on graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships