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Career and Education Opportunities for School Psychologists in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for school psychologists. About 720 people are currently employed as school psychologists in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 810 people employed. 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.

Income for school psychologists is about $21 hourly or $45,390 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $30 hourly or $64,140 per year. Earnings for school psychologists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Social Sciences in West Virginia and not quite as good as general Social Sciences category earnings nationally. School psychologists work in a variety of jobs, including: school social worker, school psychological examiner, and preliminary school psychologist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a school psychologist, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. 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 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 Charleston include:

  • Economist. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. May collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.
  • 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

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated four students in 2008.

West Virginia State University - Institute, WV

West Virginia State University, Rte 25, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State University is a small university located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,347 students and an admission rate of 57%. West Virginia State University has a bachelor's degree program in Psychology which graduated thirty-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.

LICENSES

School Psychologist

Licensing agency: West Virginia Department of Education
Address: Office of Professional Preparation, State Capitol Complex, Building 6 Room 358, Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: None
Website: West Virginia Department of Education Office of Professional Preparation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.