Rob Dixon, Chair of Professional Development
Professional Development expectations have changed over the years and WSPA is committed to providing quality opportunities to continue and expand your professional expertise. We are the only school psychologist’s association in the region that offers three major conferences every year – Fall Convention, Spring Convention and Summer Institute. We are an approved provider by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). In addition, graduate credit can be earned at each of our conferences. These professional development opportunities are designed to enhance your competencies to practice school psychology. There are, however, specific requirements that you need to comply with.
To verify your attendance at all professional development activities, you will be required to sign in at the start of each session and sign out on an evaluation form. It is your responsibility to make sure that your attendance is documented.
For professionals that completed a graduate school psychology program prior to September 1, 2004 you can earn six credits that enhance your professional competence over five years. While these credits can be earned at the undergraduate or graduate level, you can easily gain graduate credits by attending and completing the requirements at a WSPA Convention or Summer Institute. Graduate credits are now offered through the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Course grades are no longer sent to an individual when a class is completed. Rather, official or unofficial transcripts can be requested at any time through the university website (https://www.uwlax.edu/records/transcript-request-procedure/).
A Professional Development Plan (PDP) is required for newer graduates (after 9/1/04) and optional for older professionals. It involves the completion of activities consistent with your PDP plan (to enhance your professional competency), which is reviewed and approved by your PDP team. Further information on this option is available through the DPI Website (http://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl) . There are also technical assistance centers available to help you with this process. WSPA will offer completion certificates for each conference to help satisfy the documentation requirement of attending a convention.
Some school psychologists operate outside the school environment and are licensed (i.e., psychologists or private practice school psychologists) by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing (DRL). The continuing education requirement of this agency is 40 hours (6 hours must be in ethics, legal issues, and risk management in psychology) through APA, Category 1 AMA or AOA, graduate courses from an accredited university, or CE approved by another state board every two years. In addition to the routine class setting, CE credits can be obtained by: (a) authoring professional papers or books, (b) teaching courses or workshops, or (c) taking graduate courses.
Finally, some school psychologists have become Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP). NASP has recently changed the expectation for NCSP holders. NCSP now requires 75 hours completed over 3 years. In addition, 10 hours must be from a NASP or APA-approved provider. Finally, 3 hours must be in ethics/professionalism. There are a number of ways to earn these hours and certainly the WSPA conventions serve as an excellent foundation to gaining professional development for this system. Other methods that will be recognized include: (a) college and university courses, (b) teaching and training activities, (c) research and publications, (d) supervision of interns, (e) postgraduate supervised experiences, (f) program planning and evaluation, (g) self-study, and (h) leadership in professional organizations (including chair and executive positions in WSPA!)
As you would expect, as a professional you are expected to know the professional development requirements as well as retain the documentation as proof of that experience. If you have questions, you are encouraged to reach the appropriate licensing/certification board for clarification. The main websites are:
· DRL: http://dsps.wi.gov/Home