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Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Be or not to be a Ph.D?!?!?!

According to Merrell, Ervin and Gompel, “One of the first decisions that must be considered is whether to pursue training at a doctoral level or at a specialist level.” (2006, pg. 77). To work as a school psychologist, most public schools do not require training past a masters or specialist degree. As the responsibilities of a school psychologist diversify and becomes more demanding, would we benefit from doctoral level training?

There are many obstacles that a graduate student may face when deciding whether or not to continue training past a master’s degree. Many of us do not have the luxury to pursue a doctorate full time. With the unemployment rate in the U.S. reaching double digits those of us who are working are doing all we can to hold on to our jobs to support ourselves and our families. So for those of us who cannot pursue a doctorate, what are our other options? What can we do to help us mature and develop into our roles as future school psychologists? What supplemental courses/classes/training do you think you will need to take after the seventy-four credit requirement of our program?

This Blog was created by Ana Palma, Alarys Medina and Amanda Bisheit

Confidentiality is Key

What are the limits of confidentiality and providing direct services to the student?

According to Jacobs and Hawthorne (2006, p. 65) confidentiality is described as an ethical decision or agreement not to expose any personal information about the individual unless:

· The individual requests that information be shared with another party
· There is a situation involving danger to the individual or others
· There are legal obligations to testify in a court of law
As school psychologist, we are encouraged to discuss the limitations of confidentiality at the onset of services. We are asking our clients to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with us and assuring them that the information will remain confidential, contingent upon the content.
Do you think that a conditional promise of confidentiality will help or hinder the psychologist’s effectiveness with the client?

This Blog was created by Danielle Muhammad and Prattima Kaulessar.

Taken from The Black Briefcase – The Blog of The Life of a School Psychologist…

“Today we met with teachers to discuss the accommodations page in each child's IEP. This meeting usually isn't a big deal because the teacher has only known the child for a couple of days at this point. We met with the specials teachers (art, music, gym and media) to discuss all of the children who have IEPs. We had to discuss the new child who has a history of sexual abuse. We had to make certain arrangements so that the child would have an escort for whenever she left the room. We had to inform the teachers about this plan, without explaining why. It was hard to emphasize the need for constant supervision without giving any details. I adhere to confidentiality, almost to the point where I don't even share information with team members. I don't participate in hearsay, if someone wants information I tell him or her to consult the file, if he or she has permission to do so.I am sensitive to this child's needs, but I'm also sensitive to the safety and well-being of the other children. I also don't want to single-out this child, but I'm not sure how to ensure safety without doing so. This will be tough.”

Confidentiality is a huge issue in many practices, especially in that of school psychology. The code of ethics state that it’s important that we keep students’ information safe and that we respect their privacy and that of their families. But to what degree do you think this is actually put into practice in schools? Do you believe that school personnel abide by confidentiality rules such as the School Psychologist in this article or do you think that they do participate in hearsay with their colleagues? What is it like at your school?


This Blog was created by Denise Torres and Stefanie Tych.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Call To Action

Why does technology scare so many people? I feel as though I am surrounded by professionals terrified of "gadgets" and "on-line" networking that makes them so unprofessional.

Take a stand. Be an advocate of responsible and innovative technology.