Skip to Content

Department of Psychology

Program Goals and Mission Statement

Specific Program Goals and Objectives

There are two primary goals and five objectives that are alined with credentialing and certification requirements.

Objective 1: Identity, Function, and Ethical Understanding
Competencies: (a) to understand the roles and functions of school psychologists in school and non-school settings; (b) to understand the legal and ethical standards that relate to the practice of professional psychology and school practice; (c) to understand the various employment contexts for school psychologists, with a particular emphasis on the culture and organization of schools.

Objective 2: Psychoeducational Assessment
Competencies: (a) to obtain information through behavioral observations, interviews, records, and community resources that relates to the development of intervention programs for children with learning and/or behavioral difficulties; (b) to select, administer, score, and interpret tests of intellectual ability, educational achievement, personality, social-emotional functioning, perceptual-motor abilities, adaptive behavior, and other relevant skills and abilities; (c) to interpret and integrate information from a variety of sources (test and non-test data) to make appropriate diagnostic and intervention decisions with individuals of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and exceptionalities; (d) to seek consultation and supervision from other professional psychologists when necessary; (e) understand the conceptual and statistical underpinning of psychometric testing, including issues of reliability and validity.

Objective 3: Direct and indirect intervention
Competencies: (a) to develop and evaluate appropriate intervention plans for individuals with learning, behavioral, and/or mental health challenges; (b) to consult in a collaborative fashion and demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills with teachers, parents, and others related to the education and mental health of children; (c) to provide and evaluate direct counseling and therapy treatments in individual and group formats and for particular diagnostic issues; (d) to formulate, implement, and evaluate systems-level assessment and intervention programs; (e) develop knowledge and methods of supervision; (f) exhibit professional values, behaviors, and attitudes in all settings.

Objective 4: Research
Competencies: (a) To develop the capacity to consume, critique, and synthesize research literature; (b) to demonstrate knowledge of and ability to apply research methods (e.g. sampling, measurement, design) appropriate for research questions; (c) to demonstrate empirical skills during recruitment and data collection; (d) to demonstrate basic to advanced quantitative skills, including those appropriate for conducted research in complex systems like schools; (e) to demonstrate ability to present research ideas and results in a written or oral format; (f) to demonstrate awareness of how one’s biases influence interpretation of the results of one’s own and others’ research; (g) to apply a systems perspective through the research process; (h) to seek and provide feedback effectively as a member of a research team; (i) to demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills with participants, community members, and team members; (j) to use and interpret statistical analyses to describe data, test hypotheses, evaluate measures, and explore data.

Objective 1: Theory and Research in Core Areas of Psychology
Competencies: In accordance with the APA Standards of Accreditation, the University of South Carolina School Psychology is designed for students to develop a comprehensive foundation of knowledge in Discipline-Specific Knowledge, or the core areas of psychological science and human services psychology practice. These areas include Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Behaviorism and Learning Theory, Biological Basis of Behavior, Affective Basis of Behavior, Psychological Problems and Disorders, Diversity Issues in Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, and Psychological Interventions.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.