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    School Psychology PhD

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  1. As mentioned above, you can state your external funding at different stages of the application. If you reach out to potential PIs before applying, you can mention that in your interaction and see if there are different procedures. Admission policies vary; some admissions are entirely program decisions while in some other programs individual PIs may have more say in that. Alternatively, would you consider programs in the UK or Australia? Even at top universities, funding can be scarce so they provide more flexibility to PhD students. Some may not require coursework to begin with (expected in previous studies). There are international students who work in their home country and only fly to the UK and Australia for more intensive supervision in addition to virtual meetings from time to time. It typically takes these students longer to graduate as it can be difficult to balance a full-time job and a PhD (which some people consider a full-time job), and some do not end up graduating. But it seems with your experience it may not be a problem.
  2. It's unclear whether she does not have sufficient subject knowledge or advisory skills. Giving good feedback is something that needs training, which may not be something she was exposed to. There are definitely professors who can get by through collaboration with others without contributing much. If she's this laid back, you may need to push her and send her reminders from time to time. My advisor is terrible at keeping up with emails too so I just need to check in with them if they don't respond after a period of time. It can be frustrating. My cohort members joked about how I have been advising myself but as I decided to stick with them, I just have to accept that there's more I can do in order to graduate. So it sounds like the student who left was looking for what works best for her. Like you said, some students may not be able to stay productive unless their advisor stays on top of things and pushes them. You seem like driven enough to motivate yourself but looking for additional research experiences that others are getting in the program. If your advisor is cool with it and this is something you really want, hopefully you'll be able to identify a lab and advisor that makes for you.
  3. I'm sorry this is happening to you, but it seems that you've already identified different directions you can go about it. And what decision you make is pretty much based on what you prioritize. My first suggestion would be to find out more about what happened with the senior student who left your supervisor. Culture within a department varies but it is not uncommon for someone to switch advisors. Just that some students may be worried about possible repercussions. Although you can choose your dissertation committee, you may not be able to choose who assesses you for comps for example. Finding out how your supervisor responded to that student's switch can be helpful. In terms of supervision style, it sounds like you would like your supervisor to be more hands-on, but it seems that she might not be that helpful even if she was more hands-on. Is the research project you are working on in her area of expertise? If it is not, it is common for supervisors not to know it all, and they may refer you to people who know more about that area for consultation or co-supervision if possible. However, I've also seen professors whose competence is questionable. As you mentioned, a downside is that you are not learning as much from her, but an upside is that they are not demanding. Volunteering in another lab is a useful strategy. You can use it to fill the gap in your research training. If you do well there and decide to switch advisors later, it will also be a smoother transition. However, workload does add up as you spend more time on practicum/externship so that is something you should consider too. Based on your experience, I'm not surprised that the other senior student in your lab is unwilling to help you when he may be struggling just like you without enough guidance. It sucks not to have that mentorship but that's not something you have control over. You can possibly experience a "real" research team/lab if you decide to volunteer in another lab. As you ultimately want to practice, you may want to think about how much time you are willing to spend on research training. While it is extremely helpful to be able to understand and/or do advanced research, it'll take time and efforts. You're entering your second year so you have more wiggle room to consider these different factors. Good luck!
  4. Second this. I had a colleague who entered a Psy.D. program and realized it wasn't a good fit after a year. They left the Psy.D. and did an MSW instead so she can focus on therapy.
  5. That's a tough decision to make and it comes down to what is more important to you and what your career goals are. Feel free to PM the school names/PIs and see if I can provide more specific information. I wouldn't place as much emphasis on licensure outcomes because school psych PhD students may not necessarily pursue licensure as a psychologist and instead apply to become an NCSP only. Some programs also tend to focus on training researchers who have no interest in pursuing licensure (although increasingly faculty positions require/recommend licensure). You may also want to consider practicum opportunities available. Some programs encourage getting clinical experiences for one of the practicums to increase chances of matching to an APA-accredited internship (although it remains more difficult for school psych compared to clinical/counseling psych). Is summer coursework required throughout all 3-4 years for School A? Worth considering if you want to do some other activities (e.g., just relax, do research, work at a summer camp etc.)
  6. Short answer: both are important. I don't know about the actual article, but based on my familiarity with how faculty are hired at my department, both program prestige and university prestige are considered by different people. The faculty within the department focus on applicants' supervisors (whether they are people our faculty know of and how well our faculty know them) and publications. However, as hiring has to go through the college, the dean has the final say on who should be interviewed or hired. One applicant did not get an offer despite recommendation from the department because they did not go to a "tier-1 school" (whatever it means). I'm sure there are departments with more autonomy in who they hire, but you never know how your applications are evaluated by different people in the process.
  7. The NASP website is your best bet. The school psychology program information page provides information about individual programs including number of applicants, PRAXIS results, student outcome data etc. As the profession is expanding, it is quite difficult for a graduate not to be able to find a job so as long as student outcome data look good and the program is NASP-approved, you can just go ahead. PRAXIS results are not reliable because it is so easy that people don't care much about it. Unless they are originally from another state, most graduates have chosen to work within the state where they did their specialist degree so probably school psychologists there may be able to tell you more about within-state reputation, but such information is probably not accessible to us. So I second the opinion that you should ask around if you want to stay in the same state after graduation.
  8. I agree with all other posters on why you didn't get in. Being an international student is a major issue given the budget cuts. Canadian schools are not so good in terms of funding but U.S. private schools are extremely competitive. If you are really interested in research, you can try PhD in psychology programs with a mental health research focus. Those will be less competitive but won't enable you to get licensed. Another thing you may want to consider is whether you want to stay in the U.S./Canada or go back to your home country after graduation as tenure-track positions everywhere are difficult to get. You had some good experiences but since then you have pursued another career. It may take more elaboration in your personal statement to convince potential supervisors that you're committed as well besides worries about adaptation because there are many local applicants with similar profiles but more recent experience. So I'll suggest you look further into different programs and understand what they allow you to do in the future. In the U.S., all clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs enable to become a licensed psychologist. You may want to reconsider other options and apply to other programs in addition to clinical psychology programs. I was also an international applicant, working full-time as a teacher, studying part-time for my master's, RAing part-time, and preparing for my applications at the same time. I ended up in a PhD program in School Psychology that I really like. Making time is very important. You can make use of your commute time, get up earlier to study before you go to work etc. GRE is just an exam you need to spend more time on and there are a lot of materials available.
  9. Starting early is a great step! I agree with what almondicecream said and have heard similar things. I'd just like to add certain things you may want to pay attention to as an international student. 1. While people may say that some supervisors will consider your non-native background and cut you some slack when it comes to GRE verbal and AW, I believe you can still do better than that. Getting great TOEFL scores can somehow make up to that, but you should check the university websites carefully as many universities now have specific requirements for international students who want to be considered for teaching assistantship. It has something to do with the lack of oral English skills in some international students in the past. I have seen requirements ranging from 25 to 28 for your TOEFL speaking score. Just something to bear in mind. Also, as a developmental graduate student, you may need to collect data from children and interact with parents. It's thus also possible for them to require better English communication skills. 2. You can submit presentation proposals to international conferences. Just make sure you pay attention to their deadlines, requirements, and target audiences. I'm sure there are also some national conferences in China. 3. Some universities publish statistics. For example, http://psychology.berkeley.edu/students/graduate-program/faq-general-admissions. You can say it's competitive as most candidates are well-qualified. You can see there were applicants from Peking University who got in. I'm sure you can ask around and seek advice from professors from your department about who they are and what they did. But in general, Chinese students tend to do cognitive psychology and neuroscience, which require more technical knowledge. 4. I would say if you want to stand out, you should try to publish. If you work for a good research lab, recruitment is more of the professor's concern than yours. You may help with recruitment, but usually they will tell you how. 5. As I said above, you need to convince your supervisor that they should choose you over local applicants. Besides English communication skills, cultural differences can also be an issue. They need to be assured that you'll be able to adapt to life in a different country while staying productive as a researcher. Another thing you may need to is the budget cut that has hit public universities hard. Some public universities are concerned about funding international students who are not eligible for in-state tuition. Private universities usually have more resources. However, the safest bet is to find a supervisor who is doing research that aligns with your interest and is externally funded. Some grants include funding a PhD student in their budget so the department does not have to pay for that student and the supervisor has more autonomy in who they want. I was once taught by a developmental psychologist who did her undergrad at Peking University and her PhD in the US. So it's also possible for you. Good luck!
  10. I believe it depends on your goals and priorities. Northeastern provides different concentrations so if you're interested in becoming a BCBA along the way, you can choose their ABA concentration. Other than that you can become an NCSP after completing either program. Worcester State didn't provide data to NASP this year. Otherwise you could also compare other information such as cohort size, PRAXIS passing rate etc. You can certainly ask Worcester State for the info. You may also consider where you want to work in the future. While being an NCSP gives you mobility, many school psychologists choose to find a position in the nearby areas. Attending Northeastern also means higher COA. Whether you're willing to take on more debt is a personal choice.
  11. When I applied last year funding was quite bad for both because of state-wide budget cut. Madison is still a bigger name and I've heard bad things about Milwaukee and was advised against applying to it because of lack of organization and faculty members.
  12. I think it depends on how bearable you find staying at School #1. Of course it's true that potentially the brand name and your adviser's network can get you somewhere after graduation, but you cannot ignore the 5-7 years you're gonna spend on working toward your PhD. It can be difficult to endure without passion for what you do or where you stay for that matter. I also agree that the adviser at School #2 is both an opportunity and a risk. You never know what may happen. So obviously School #1 is the safer choice, but if you want to experience something new, School #2 won't be a wrong choice either, especially when diverse experiences are valued
  13. Congratulations on your acceptance! Sorry to hear about your funding situation. I heard that funding has always been tricky at Temple. And funding is poorer in school psych than clinical/counseling psych in general. While you can always try to negotiate, you can talk to current students and see whether this is typical first. Then you can decide how you can approach it more appropriately.
  14. All the applicants invited to the interview day of my program had some research experience. The least I saw was a senior with some lab experience. While I would say never say never, your chances are slim. I think what you can do is offer to work for professors. I was in your shoes back then (working full-time, studying part-time) and I worked for a lab for 10 hours a week for a year on weekday nights, on Saturdays, and during long holidays. I'm not sure if you can find something similar but you can ask around and see.
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