Combined Counseling / School Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

This 123-hour Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD Training Program prepares students more broadly than traditional programs to more flexibly address school and behavioral health needs through the application of research and practice in a variety of settings.  For program procedures and forms, see our Combined Counseling/School Psychology Doctoral Student Handbook.

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Integration of theory, research, and practice comprises the core of the Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD Program at Northern Arizona University.  We believe that this core is best realized using a scientist-practitioner training model that includes assessment of human behavior, careful application of best practice, and evaluation of the effectiveness of these applications.  Our doctoral program reflects a training curriculum that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.

Students are expected to gain essential skills in both counseling and school psychology by taking courses that reflect common knowledge across both areas and by taking courses that train specific aspects of counseling psychology and school psychology.  In addition, students may also take elective courses in counseling psychology or school psychology and gain additional clinical and research experience in settings related to one or both areas.

Upon program completion, trainees will be able to effectively intervene in educational, emotional, and behavioral arenas with individuals, families, groups, and organizations.

Accreditation Status

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Thank you for your interest in our Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD Program.

We are very pleased to inform you that the APA Commission on Accreditation (CoA) has issued a Notice of Actions indicating that the NAU Counseling/School Psychology program has been granted initial Accreditation, on contingency.  According to the CoA Accreditation Operating Procedures, "‘Accredited, on contingency’ is granted to a doctoral program when the program demonstrates initial evidence of educational quality consistent with the SoA [Standards of Accreditation] and the capacity to meet all accreditation standards in the designated time frame. Review for this status requires matriculation of students, clinical evaluations of students in practicum, evidence of the integration of science and practice, and significant resource allocation.” 

Students who complete a program that is recognized as “accredited, on contingency” effective before their graduation date will have completed an APA accredited program. Accreditation is effective from the last date of the site visit, April 6, 2017. The CoA will conduct its next review of the NAU program in 2020, at which time the program will be considered for full accreditation status.  
To view the program’s accreditation status, see the APA-Accredited Programs website. Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

The American Psychological Association Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242
202.336.5979

Application Process

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This Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD Program is only offered at our Flagstaff campus.

Admission Deadlines

Completed application files are reviewed and admission decisions are made during one cycle each year.  All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate College online application by December 1st to be reviewed for entrance in the subsequent academic year.  ***Admission decisions are made by the first week of March and students receive notification of this decision electronically.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their application file is complete.  Incomplete files are not reviewed.

***The Office of the President at NAU has a special initiative to attract outstanding doctoral students with specific research interests.  This initiative offers a generous fellowship during the individual’s graduate studies at NAU.  Individuals who would like to be considered for this Research Fellowship will be required to apply for the program by November 15th. Applications received by the November 15 date will be reviewed for consideration for this fellowship.   

Admission Application Requirements

  • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
  • GRE® revised General Test
  • Completion of bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in psychology, education, or closely-related field; or a Master’s or Ed.S. degree in Counseling or Psychology
  • Transcripts 
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
  • 3 letters of recommendation with at least two from faculty
  • Responses to specific essay questions
  • Interview
  • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
  • International applicants have additional admission requirements.  Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

Note: Students who do not have the prerequisites below will be expected to take these early in their programs of study by taking classes in one of the counseling or school psychology master-level programs:

Graduate Level Courses:

  • Group Counseling/Group Dynamics
  • Human or Lifespan development

Graduate or upper level Undergraduate Courses:

  • Psychological or Educational Statistics
  • Applied Behavior Management
  • Research Methods
  • Special Education

Application Review Process

The materials in the applicant file are evaluated by faculty using an objective, multi-criteria system.  Points are assigned for each applicant using the following weighted percentages associated with each criteria: 

  1. 50% Academic Aptitude for Graduate Study (GRE scores and GPA),
  2. 20% Essay Responses (autobiographical and professional interest questions*),
  3. 5% Work Related Experiences (relevant paid and volunteer work),
  4. 10% Potential to Contribute to Profession and Program (professional activities and letters of recommendation),
  5. 15% Goodness of Fit to the Program (areas of focus congruence, fit to College of Education mission, and professional characteristics)

*Essay Questions

  1. What are your long-term professional career goals? Please be sure to address the following components in your response.
    a. How will this Combined Counseling/School Psychology program, which trains students to address school and behavioral health needs of rural and Southwest communities through the application of research and practice, help you to achieve those goals?
    b. How have your background and experiences shaped your long-term goals?
  2. Describe your experiences with diversity and how these experiences may have impacted you as a person and your decision to pursue this program at NAU.
  3. Describe your research interests and explain how these interests align with one or more faculty members in the combined doctoral program.

Each applicant is ranked within the applicant pool after points have been assigned.  Highly-ranked candidates will be invited to participate in interviews.  Interviews will generally be held approximately one month after the application deadline.  

The interview will be worth 35 points (approximately 25% of the total points) and the average score from faculty interviewers will be added to the overall score (file review [100 points] + interview [35 points]).  Students scoring highest on a combination of the application and interview scores will be offered admission.  Approximately five to seven students will be admitted in a given year for the combined doctoral program.

All applicants will be informed approximately two weeks in advance of the interview date.  At least two faculty members from the combined doctoral program area will be present during the telephone/video conference interview.

Each interview will last for approximately twenty to thirty minutes.  All faculty members present will rate the applicant on a matrix related to the questions which focuses on specific characteristics relevant to doctoral training.

Requirements for Admitted Students

Individuals who are offered admission and accept the program offer must begin the program during the subsequent summer or fall semester.  In general, individuals unable to begin at this time must re-apply to the program.  Deferred enrollment is offered in rare circumstances.  The EPS Doctoral Steering committee will consider each request for deferred enrollment individually.

Arizona state law requires that personnel who engage with minors or vulnerable adult populations have an IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  That requirement applies to graduate students in practical psychology experiences as well.  Admitted students will need the Identity Verified Fingerprint Clearance Card (IVP card) by the start of the fall semester.  You may request a packet directly from DPS by either calling (602) 223-2279 or faxing your request to (602) 223-2947.  Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  If you are in-state you may complete the online application and get digital fingerprints at a contracted Field Print site within Arizona.  The link to the agency that provides the fingerprint clearance is: http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Fingerprint/ 

Educational Philosophy and Training Model

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This program prepares students to function as well-rounded generalists with a strong foundation in both counseling psychology and school psychology.  The combined training approach promotes the optimal development of individuals, families, groups, and environmental systems using empirically supported, culturally sensitive interventions that include assessment and diagnosis, interdisciplinary teamwork, relatively brief intervention approaches, prevention, consultation, outcome evaluation, career-development, and ethical decision-making, in a broad array of settings including schools, universities, integrated healthcare, community mental health, correctional facilities, and independent practice.  The program is organized to emphasize general preparation as counseling/school psychologists through:

  • Integration of theory, research, and practice of health service psychology
  • Ethical decision making and commitment to professional standards of practice
  • Multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills with particular emphasis on working with peoples in the rural, Southwestern United States (e.g., American Indians, Latinas/os)
  • Application of health service psychology theory, research, and practice concepts in training, supervision, and consultation

Our doctoral curriculum includes coursework in psychological foundations, educational foundations, discipline-specific competencies, research, and statistics. 

Our doctoral program reflects a training curriculum that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity for both research skills and clinical application.  The program is designed to prepare students for culminating internship and dissertation experiences.  Students are expected to gain essential skills in both counseling psychology and school psychology by taking courses that reflect common knowledge across both areas and by taking courses that train specific aspects of counseling psychology and school psychology.  In addition, students may also take elective courses in counseling psychology or school psychology and gain additional clinical and research experience in settings related to one or both areas. 

Our low doctoral student-adviser ratio affords the opportunity to receive significant individual supervision in assessment, interventions, and research training.

Combined doctoral training across counseling psychology and school psychology prepares students more broadly than traditional programs, to more flexibly address school and behavioral health needs of rural and Southwest communities through the application of research and practice.

Upon program completion, trainees will be able to effectively intervene in educational, emotional, and behavioral arenas with individuals, families, groups, and organizations.

Graduates will be able to pursue one of these paths in a variety of community and school-based settings:

  • Licensed psychologist
  • State credentialed school psychologist (if students do a school psychology internship)
  • College or university professor in Counseling Psychology and/or School Psychology

For additional information, please see the Combined Counseling/School Psychology Doctoral Student Handbook.

Goals and Objectives

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The Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD Program has three goals and eleven objectives. Each objective is measured by one or more competencies that may be found in the Combined Counseling/School Psychology Doctoral Student Handbook.

Goal 1: Graduates will demonstrate ethical behavior and a commitment to professional standards of practice, including multicultural awareness, knowledge, skills, and social justice principles.

  • Objective 1: Graduates will demonstrate ethical behavior that adheres to professional standards and legal guidelines for psychologists.
  • Objective 2: Graduates will demonstrate skills in self-assessment of competence and self care.
  • Objective 3: Graduates will demonstrate competent delivery of psychological services to diverse populations, particularly those located in the rural Southwest.
  • Objective 4: Graduates will demonstrate effective social justice advocacy methods.

Goal 2: Graduates will demonstrate entry-level practice skills and strong identity as psychologists.  

  • Objective 5: Graduates will demonstrate evidence-based assessment, diagnosis and treatment skills. 
  • Objective 6: Graduates will apply consultation and collaboration skills in interdisciplinary settings, taking into account the unique needs of systems located in the rural Southwest.
  • Objective 7: Graduates will demonstrate supervision knowledge and skills.
  • Objective 8: Graduates will demonstrate critical thinking about issues and practices central to professional psychology and regularly participate in professional conferences and workshops.

Goal 3:  Graduates will effectively apply scientific theory and research methods to the practice of Counseling and School Psychology.

  • Objective 9: Graduates will apply critical thinking and analytical skills to evaluate existing research for use in psychological practice. 
  • Objective 10: Graduates will demonstrate ability to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment approaches.
  • Objective 11: Graduates will generate research that advances the knowledge and practice of psychology.

Degree Requirements

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In addition to University Requirements for Doctoral Degrees, the following Program Requirements must be met:
  • At least three years of full-time equivalent graduate coursework, at least two years of which must be completed following enrollment in the doctoral program.  The doctoral program is expected to include four years of study and one year of internship for students entering with a bachelor’s degree. 
  • Two consecutive semesters (Fall and Spring) of full-time residency
  • A comprehensive exam
  • Completion of a nine month (1500 hours in a school psychology setting) or 12 month (2000 hours in a counseling psychology setting) full-time internship
  • Completion and submission of a dissertation
  • Completion of a minimum of 123 units
 

Program of Study

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2016-17 Program of Study - PhD Combined Counseling/School Psychology 

The program of study (POS) is the agreed-upon plan for completing program requirements.  Current and previous programs of study may be downloaded from the NAU Graduate College Programs of Study webpage.  Students complete the POS with their advisers during the first semester of graduate work.  The POS is used as a verification document when students apply for graduation.  The original, signed POS, is submitted to the Educational Psychology department office and  placed in the student’s file.  In most cases, amendments to your POS can be made with your adviser’s approval. 

Please be aware that the necessary coursework for this plan is only available at the Northern Arizona University-Flagstaff Campus.

Prerequisites

Please be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take.  Course prerequisites are listed on the Program of Study form.  Students may also review the online catalog for selected courses where prerequisites are required.  Please check with the department or a faculty adviser if you have questions regarding prerequisites.

In addition to course prerequisites, students who do not have the prerequisites below will be expected to take these early in their programs of study by taking classes in one of the counseling or school psychology master-level programs:

Graduate Level Courses: 

  • Group Counseling/Group Dynamics
  • Human or Lifespan development

Graduate or upper level Undergraduate Courses:

  • Psychological or Educational Statistics
  • Applied Behavior Management
  • Research Methods
  • Special Education

Notice regarding School Psychology Certification/Licensure

Students who wish to meet the requirements for school-based certification/licensure must either meet the requirements of the Ed.S. degree in school psychology OR complete a doctoral internship in a school-based setting. 

Related Forms and Websites

When completing or revising the POS, the following documents may be useful:

The following websites may also be useful when crafting the program of studies: 

Student Admission, Outcomes and Other Data

Download:  Student Admission, Outcomes and Other Data 

Professional Codes of Ethics and Licensure Guidelines

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Students in this doctoral program should follow the professional codes of ethics and licensure guidelines established by the following organizations:

Ethical Codes

 

Licensure Guidelines

 
 

Combined Counseling/School Psychology PhD Program Faculty

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Sara Abercrombie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Phone: 928-523-7148
Sara.Abercrombie@nau.edu 
Dr. S. Abercrombie Bio 

Saumya Arora, Ph.D, Assistant Clinical Professor
Phone: 520-879-7931
Saumya.Arora@nau.edu
Dr. S. Arora Bio 

Kathy Bohan, Ed.D., Associate Professor and COE Associate Dean
Phone: 928-523-0362
Kathy.Bohan@nau.edu 
Dr. K. Bohan Bio 

Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-8225
Rebecca.Campbell@nau.edu
Dr. R. Campbell Bio 

Joyce DeVoss, Ph.D., Professor
Phone: 520-879-7940
Joyce.DeVoss@nau.edu
Dr. J. DeVoss Bio 

lore m. dickey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Doctoral Training Director
Phone: 928-523-4082
lore.dickey@nau.edu 
Dr. l. dickey Bio 

Steve Farmer, Ph.D., Associate Clinical Professor
Phone: 602-776-4646
Steve.Farmer@nau.edu
Dr. S. Farmer Bio 

Lena Gaddis, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-1895
Lena.Gaddis@nau.edu 
Dr. L. Gaddis Bio 

Y. Evie Garcia, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-7106
Y.Evie.Garcia@nau.edu 
Dr. Y. E. Garcia Bio 

Melvin Hall, Ph.D., Professor
Phone: 602-776-4612
Melvin.Hall@nau.edu
Dr. M. Hall Bio 

Robert Horn, Ph.D., Associate Professor and EPS Department Chair 
Phone: 928-523-0545
Robert.Horn@nau.edu   
Dr. R. Horn Bio 

Kim Kalas, Ed.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Phone: 928-523-8206
Kim.Kalas@nau.edu 
Dr. K. Kalas Bio 

Pit Kolodinsky, Ph.D., Professor and Program Coordinator
Phone: 928-523-8495
Pit.Kolodinsky@nau.edu
Dr. P. Kolodinsky Bio  

Katie Koo, Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Phone: 928-523-5296
Katie.Koo@nau.edu
Dr. K. Koo Bio 

Jieun Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Phone: 928-523-8569
Ji-Eun.Lee@nau.edu 
Dr. J. Lee Bio 

John McClure, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Phone: 928-523-0578
John.McClure@nau.edu 
Dr. J. McClure Bio 

Michael Mellott, Ed.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Phone: 928-523-4183
Michael.J.Mellott@nau.edu
Dr. M. Mellott Bio 

Ramona Mellott, Ph.D., Professor and COE Dean
Phone: 928-523-6534
Ramona.Mellott@nau.edu 
Dr. R. Mellott Bio 

Gene Moan, Ed.D., Professor
Phone: 928-523-9604
Eugene.Moan@nau.edu 
Dr. E. Moan Bio 

Lisa L. Persinger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator
Phone: 928-523-6556
Lisa.Persinger@nau.edu 
Dr. L. Persinger Bio 

Trina Spencer, Ph.D., Associate Research Professor
Phone: 928-523-8103
Trina.Spencer@nau.edu 
Dr. T. Spencer Bio 

Tim Thomason, Ed.D., Professor
Phone: 928-523-1341
Timothy.Thomason@nau.edu
Dr. T. Thomason Bio 

Patricia Young, Ed.D., Assistant Clinical Professor
Phone: 602-776-4673
Patricia.Young@nau.edu
Dr. P. Young Bio