A program in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas has been re-accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists.

The school psychology master’s program has earned a seven-year re-accreditation, a designation that represents the highest accreditation status from the NASP.

The NASP, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is the world’s largest organization of school psychologists and represents more than 25,000 professionals and graduate students in the field in the U.S. and 25 other countries.

The UCA program, located in the college's Department of Psychology and Counseling, has maintained its accreditation with the NASP since 1994.

According to a news release, the program is a 60-hour, specialist-level program that prepares its students to address the social, emotional, behavioral and academic challenges students face and the majority of school psychologists work in schools, while others work in settings such as hospitals and pediatric offices. 

To receive the re-accreditation, the program submitted a report detailing the number of students enrolled, program outcomes, faculty credentials and other data.

The NASP accreditation report cited the quality of faculty and a 100 percent pass rate on the Praxis exam as school psychology master’s program strengths.

“It validates our goals, and it’s a compliment to not just the department, university, program and faculty; it speaks very well for our students,” John Murphy, school psychology program director and professor of psychology, said. “It is a validation of what we’re trying to do to prepare students to make a difference in the lives of students and families, and improve the quality of life in schools.”

School psychologists work with both caregivers and preschool- through college-age students to assist with challenges such as anxiety, depression, impulsivity, bullying, aggression and more. About seven to 10 students are enrolled in the program each year, Murphy said.

For more information on the program, uca.edu/psychology/masters-school-psyc/.