New School Psychology Program Aims to Meet Growing Demand

Class in the Rosauer Center for Education. (Photo by Austin Ilg)

November 02, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University School of Education announces the approval and launch of its Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in School Psychology program to help meet the growing demand for school psychologists in PreK-12 education in the state and nationwide.

The program offers two entry tracks: one for post-baccalaureate degree candidates and one for post-master’s degree candidates. The first group of post-baccalaureate degree candidates is being recruited now to begin in fall 2018. The first group of post-master’s students will begin in summer 2019. The program features evening classes, allowing professionals to continue working while earning their degrees.

“I am proud of the tenacious efforts of the faculty and staff and our external partners to begin this program in the near future,” said Dean Vincent Alfonso. “This is a critical need in the state, and across the nation. At least 75-80 school psychologist positions in the state of Washington alone were unfilled during the 2015-16 school year. Our mission in the School of Education called us to address this pressing demand.”

The program prepares candidates to become practicing school psychologists in the state of Washington and to meet criteria as nationally certified school psychologists. Graduate preparation in school psychology educates and trains individuals to apply principles of psychology and education to support schoolwide academic and social-emotional programs, collaborate with teams to identify candidate learning and behavioral problems, and develop evidence-based intervention plans.

Gonzaga will provide central administrative support for the program, which was formed with the help of an advisory board comprised of SOE faculty and community partners. The SOE also received support for the program from state and national organizations.

“We applaud Gonzaga’s effort to build a program to meet current workforce needs, as school psychologist shortages exist in the state, region, and nation,” noted Jamie Chaffin, former president of the Washington State Association of School Psychologists.

The program also received letters of support from the presidents of the state school psychologist organizations in California and Utah. John Kelly, president of the National Association of School Psychologists, also supports the program.

To apply to the program, visit To request more information about the program, visit For more information, please contact the SOE Graduate Admissions Office at (509) 313-3481 or