O'Donnell and Dunlaps 2014 article, Training, Degrees, and Credentials in the Hiring of School Psychologists," is based on research carried on the hiring process for psychologists within educational institutions. The question that necessitated the study was whether training, a certain level of degree and credentials including certificates and licenses were all indispensable for hiring a school psychologist. The primary purpose of the research paper was to establish the importance that each of these elements held in consideration of an applicant for employment as a school psychologist. The article was also based on the hypothesis that the degree which one possessed was the most crucial element in the hiring process, and especially for applicants with a doctoral degree. The research used primary data from various participants. The study sample had a size of more than one thousand and was distributed across different states in the United States. The participants were all supervisors of school psychologists. This category of individuals was fit to give feedback on the research because of their proximity to and participation in the hiring process for school psychologists. The questions that required their input were mailed to them as a package that contained a cover letter for directions on the study, the survey itself, and postage with the return address upon completion of the survey.
The participants recorded a response rate of 28 percent. The majority did not fill the surveys. Some of the responses were also missed because they were not delivered. However, with regards to the significance of a degree in the hiring process, a majority indicated that they mainly considered a specialist or advanced certificate holder as the most suitable candidate. Regarding the importance of experience, a majority of the participants showed that less than five years was the best level of experience that they took into account. For the credentials, the research approached the necessity of a certificate form the Nationally Certified School of Psychologists (NCSP) on a scale of zero to six with zero signifying not important and six signifying very important. The results indicated that most participants responded that the significance was less than four, demonstrating that a certificate from the NCSP was moderately important. In considering the importance of possessing a license, the researchers used the same approach, and most participants indicated a score of zero, showing that it was not important. These results show those elements that are considered important qualifications for one to be a school psychologist. However, other considerations should have also been included in the research. For example, a section of the survey should have required the participants to give an outline of their preferences. This inclusion would have probably seen some participants indicate they preferred a person with high moral standards and excellent listening and communication skills among other personal attributes like friendliness and approachability.
The research was very comprehensive in its coverage of the specific aspects necessary for the employment of a school psychologist. However, the study mainly majored on academic and paper qualifications and did not consider personal qualities that could make one a better school psychologist. Hence, instead of repeating the research, a follow up should be carried out including the personal traits and the supervisors opinions on the same. The research was well done, and even though the response rate was low, it still represented some states. This study, therefore, shows the weight that supervisors place on the elements and qualifications for the practice of psychology and the same extends to counseling psychology. This means that for employment as a counseling psychologist, the same criterion would also be applied.
O'Donnell, P. S., & Dunlap, l. L. (2014). Training, Degrees, and Credentials in the Hiring of School Psychologists. Psychology in the Schools, 51(6), 608-624.
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