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Career and Education Opportunities for School Psychologists in Fort Smith, Arkansas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for school psychologists in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. Currently, 1,110 people work as school psychologists in Arkansas. This is expected to grow by 17% to about 1,300 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for school psychologists are expected to grow by about 11.1%. School psychologists generally investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.

A person working as a school psychologist can expect to earn about $26 per hour or $54,810 annually on average in Arkansas and about $30 hourly or $64,140 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Sciences, people working as school psychologists in Arkansas earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Sciences nationally. People working as school psychologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: child psychometrist, school psychologist assistant, and psychometrist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can study to be a school psychologist, among nine schools of higher education total in the Fort Smith area. School psychologists usually hold a post-Master's certificate, so it will take little over two years to learn to be a school psychologist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or a short time starting with a Master's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: School Psychologist

In general, school psychologists investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.

School psychologists furnish consultation to parents and others on topics such as learning styles and behavior modification techniques. They also assess an individual child's needs and potential, using observation, review of school records, and consultation with parents and school personnel. Equally important, school psychologists have to compile and interpret students' test results, along with data from teachers and parents, to diagnose conditions, and to help assess eligibility for special services. They are often called upon to promote an understanding of child development and its relationship to learning and behavior. They are expected to refer students and their families to appropriate community agencies for medical or social services. Finally, school psychologists initiate and direct efforts to foster tolerance and appreciation of diversity in school communities.

Every day, school psychologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

It is important for school psychologists to layout classes and programs to meet the needs of special students. They are often called upon to attend workshops or professional meetings to remain informed of new developments in school psychology. They also conduct research to generate new knowledge that can be used to address learning and behavior issues. They are sometimes expected to report any pertinent data to the proper authorities in cases of child endangerment or abuse. Somewhat less frequently, school psychologists are also expected to refer students and their families to appropriate community agencies for medical or social services.

School psychologists sometimes are asked to maintain student records, including special education reports, confidential records, records of services provided, and behavioral data. They also have to be able to collect and analyze data to review the effectiveness of academic programs and other services and furnish educational programs on topics such as classroom management or parenting skills. And finally, they sometimes have to serve as a resource to help families and schools deal with crises.

Like many other jobs, school psychologists must believe in cooperation and coordination and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
  • Industrial Psychologist. Apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: School Psychologist Training

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Vocational Evaluation Specialist: The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) believes that individuals certified as vocational assessment professionals (CVE, CWA, and CCAA) must continue to expand their skills to enhance the quality of services they provide.

For more information, see the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.