Master of Arts in Psychology – Specialist in School Psychology (MAP-SSP)

About the Degree

Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs) are mental health professionals who serve students in school settings as a valued part of the educational team. The Specialist in School Psychology (SSP) degree at Houston Baptist University provides specialized training in the cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral development of children and youth. HBU students in the SSP program focus on the assessment of student learning, behavioral, and emotional difficulties; consultation with teachers and parents; and intervention with academic, social, emotional, and behavioral problems.

The SSP program at HBU is a 60-hour program that is consistent with the requirements published by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council / Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for the credential of Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) and prepares students to sit for the licensure exam.

Program Coordinator

For more information about the Master of Arts in Psychology – Specialist in School Psychology degree, please reach out to Dr. Traci Whittenberg (twhittenburg@hbu.edu).

Student Learning Outcomes

Master of Arts in Psychology – Specialist in School Psychology (MAP-SSP) students acquire the following student learning outcomes:

    • Knowledge about the full range of school-based mental health programs – from preventative “wellness” programs, to school-based counseling and behavioral intervention, to crisis assessment and effective intervention.
    • The sensitivity and skills needed to work with individuals of diverse backgrounds and developmental abilities, and to implement strategies selected or adapted based on individual characteristics, strengths, and needs.
    • The ability to use knowledge of human development to assist parents and school personnel to understand typical and atypical development, the biology of normal human development, developmental psychopathology, and strategies for maximizing children’s learning and development.
    • The ability to collect, analyze, interpret, and integrate multiple sources of information regarding the cognitive and scholastic development of pupils in order to assist parents and school personnel to make informed educational decisions regarding instructional needs.
    • The knowledge and ability to provide support and assistance for family members, in order to help them become effective participants in all aspects of children’s schooling.

Each student in the program also has multiple opportunities to engage in hands-on learning experiences in both the university classroom and in real-world supervised practicums and internships.

What Can I Do With My Specialist in School Psychology Degree?

The majority of school psychologists work in public school settings. Other primary places of employment are private schools, community agencies, hospitals, clinics, and universities. School psychologists generally work as practitioners, administrators, and faculty/researchers.

The following examples represent career paths graduates with a Specialist in School Psychology may pursue:

  • School mental health professionals
  • Behavior specialists
  • Educational diagnosticians
  • Special education counselors
  • Administrators within special education departments

Top Ten Reasons to Attend HBU’s MAP-SSP Program

  1. The Christian environment at Houston Baptist University affirms all persons in and out of the classroom and facilitates high standards in one’s personal code of conduct.
  2. The convenience and flexibility of course offerings make it possible for students to work full-time and still carry a full-time course load.
  3. There is a low student/professor ratio which allows for students to receive individual attention and mentoring.
  4. The Program meets the Texas State Board of Examiners in Psychology (TSBEP) requirements for licensure as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology.
  5. Caring Christian professors who always have the students’ best interest in mind.
  6. Students may take additional coursework/practicum hours to meet the TSBEPC requirements for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
  7. The courses are taught by doctoral-level professors and professionals in the field of psychology.
  8. Students who are admitted to the program work closely with Licensed School Psychologists who facilitate the practicum and internship courses.
  9. HBU’s beautiful, serene campus is nestled within a flourishing international city.
  10. The program is designed to value, appreciate and develop students’ unique gifts and talents.

Admission Requirements

  • Official Transcripts – For students pursuing licensure, you are required to submit ALL of your transcripts to The Graduate School.
  • References – Applicants must provide contact information for two (2) references on their application. References must be professional or academic contacts. Friends and family members should not be listed as references.
  • Résumé/CV – Applicants should email a current résumé or CV to The Graduate School at verification@hbu.edu.

Are you a school counselor or educational diagnostician? You may be halfway through your coursework leading to completion of our MAP-SSP. We are able to accept up to 30 credit hours from an already completed degree. Contact Graduate Admissions to request a degree audit!

Additional Program Requirements

This degree program is 60 hours of graduate coursework. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and complete courses with no grade lower than a “C”, be admitted to candidacy, and successfully complete the requirements of Practicum and Internships.

Foundational Requirement: EDUC 6301- Classroom Management. Students who have completed at least two years of professional, full-time teaching need not take EDUC 6301 Classroom Management. Students need to submit their Teaching Record in order to waive this requirement.

For students seeking certification or licensure inside the State of Texas: Programs offered at HBU designed to fulfill the educational requirements for a specific professional licensure or certification do meet the educational requirements for the State of Texas.

For students seeking certification or licensure outside the State of Texas: Students seeking certification or licensure from any state other than Texas should check with their state licensing board to determine eligibility. Houston Baptist University has not determined whether their program of study meets the students state licensure requirements. Please check the following link for more information.

Course Requirements

Master of Arts in Psychology – Specialist in School Psychology (MAP-SSP)

PSYC 5340: Orientation and Consultation in School Psychology 3
PSYC 5310: Ethical and Professional Issues in Psychology and Counseling 3
PSYC 6301: Principles of Human Development 3
PSYC 5360: Cultural Psychology 3
PSYC  5330: Psychology of Learning 3
PSYC 5316: Child Psychopathology 3
PSYC 6320: Research Techniques and Procedures 3
PSYC 5323: Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy 3
EDSP 6344: Educational Appraisal of Individuals with Exceptionalities 3
PSYC 6305: Individual Psychological Evaluation 6
PSYC 5353: Physiological Psychology 3
PSYC 5313: Methods and Techniques in Counseling 3
PSYC 6343: Personality Assessment 3
PSYC 6392: Program Evaluation and Statistics 3
EDUC 6330: Teaching Methodology for the Professional 3
PSYC 6309: Applied Behavior Analysis 3
PSYC 6308: Methods of Group Process 3
PSYC 6191: Practicum in School Psychology I 3
PSYC 6182: Special Topics: Current Issues in School Psychology 3
PSYC 6192: Practicum in School Psychology II 3
PSYC 6331: Specialist in School Psychology Internship I 3
PSYC 6332: Specialist in School Psychology Internship II 3
Total Hours 60

View Degree Plan

[PDF]Master of Arts in Psychology – Specialist in School Psychology (MAP-SSP) Requirements

Advantages and Opportunities

An added benefit of the MAP-SSP program is that with minimal additional coursework , students can also become eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). These requirements are subject to change. Graduates can make application to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (bhec.texas.gov), under the TSBEP and Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (TSBEPC), respectively.


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