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Career and Education Opportunities for School Psychologists in Columbia, Missouri

School psychologists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Missouri area. About 1,930 people are currently employed as school psychologists in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow 9% to about 2,100 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for school psychologists are expected to grow by about 11.1%. In general, school psychologists investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.

School psychologists earn about $24 per hour or $51,010 annually on average in Missouri and about $30 hourly or $64,140 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for school psychologists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Social Sciences in Missouri, and not quite as good as the overall Social Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: guidance counselor, school psychologist assistant, and assessment specialist.

The Columbia area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a school psychologist. Given that the most common education level for school psychologists is a post-Master's certificate, you can expect to spend little over two years studying to be a school psychologist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or a short time if you have 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 Columbia include:

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  • 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.
  • Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
  • Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: School Psychologist Training

William Woods University - Fulton, MO

William Woods University, One University Avenue, Fulton, MO 65251-1098. William Woods University is a small university located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,287 students and an admission rate of 85%. William Woods University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated one student in 2008.

Columbia College - Columbia, MO

Columbia College, 1001 Rogers, Columbia, MO 65216. Columbia College is a large college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,081 students and an admission rate of 53%. Columbia College has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated four students in 2008.

Westminster College - Fulton, MO

Westminster College, 501 Westminster Ave, Fulton, MO 65251-1299. Westminster College is a small college located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 992 students and an admission rate of 77%. Westminster College has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated one student in 2008.

Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Fayette, MO

Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248-1198. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is a small university located in Fayette, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,031 students and an admission rate of 66%. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology.

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Psychology which graduated 251, nine, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Lincoln University - Jefferson City, MO

Lincoln University, 820 Chestnut, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029. Lincoln University is a small university located in Jefferson City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,109 students. Lincoln University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated nine students in 2008.

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate & Extended Studies - Fayette, MO

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate & Extended Studies, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248-1198. Central Methodist University-College of Graduate & Extended Studies is a small university located in Fayette, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,373 students. Central Methodist University-College of Graduate & Extended Studies has 2 areas of study related to School Psychologist. They are:

  • Psychology, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Counseling Psychology, master's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Stephens College - Columbia, MO

Stephens College, 1200 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215. Stephens College is a small college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,147 students and an admission rate of 71%. Stephens College has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology.

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: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.