Title

School Psychologists' Perceptions of Educators on Special Assignment

Date of Award

6-1-2021

Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology

Department

School of Education and Health Sciences

Advisor/Chair

Sawyer A. Hunley

Abstract

The field of school psychology is currently facing a shortage that has impacted states across the nation. This study examined data gathered from individual interviews of currently licensed school psychologists within the state of Ohio who have worked with an educator on special assignment due to the shortage of trained school psychologists within the state. The study aimed to gather more information regarding school psychologistś⁰₉ perceptions of this practice including any benefits or drawbacks that they had experienced or anticipated. Analysis of the interviews resulted in four broad themes, variation in the role of an educator on special assignment, need, concerns, benefits/opportunities, and solutions. Interviewees indicated a clear need for support based upon the shortage and clerical demands, while also revealing concerns surrounding potential misuse of the position, a lack of opportunity to work with students, and inconsistent background/training for the role. Some of the benefits noted included reduced burnout and additional time to engage in consultation and other practice. While the use of educators on special assignment is one potential solution being utilized within the state of Ohio, additional proposals for solutions such as clerical support/paperwork reductions, more trained school psychologists/graduate programs, more flexible training opportunities, and pay commensurate with education were also revealed. Recommendations for future discussions to provide clarification of this role and explore other potential solutions to the shortage both within Ohio and nationally are provided.

Keywords

Education, Psychology, School Counseling, school psychology shortage, educator on special assignment, potential solutions to school psychology shortage, school psychology assistant, ODE memo

Rights Statement

Copyright 2021, author

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