Rob Dixon, Chair of Professional Development
Professional Development expectations have changed over the years and WSPA is committed to providing quality opportunities to continue and expand your professional expertise. We are the only school psychologist’s association in the region that offers two major conferences every year – Fall Convention and Spring Convention. We are an approved provider by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). These professional development opportunities are designed to enhance your competencies to practice school psychology. There are, however, specific requirements that you need to comply with.
To verify your attendance at all professional development activities, you will be required to sign in at the start of each session and complete an evaluation form. It is your ethical responsibility to make sure that you attend the session to receive your documentation.
Effective in Fall 2017, Wisconsin changed the licensing laws to create a lifetime license for all Professional Educators. While the final detail are still being developed, practitioners are encouraged to keep up to date with these changing expectations for professional development.
Some school psychologists operate outside the school environment and are licensed (i.e., psychologists or private practice school psychologists) by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). The continuing education requirement of this agency is 40 hours (6 hours must be in ethics, legal issues, and risk management in psychology). This can be achieved through WSPA, APA, Category 1 AMA or AOA, graduate courses from an accredited university, or CE approved by another state board every two years. In addition to the routine class setting, CE credits can be obtained by: (a) authoring professional papers or books, (b) teaching courses or workshops, or (c) taking graduate courses.
Finally, some school psychologists have become Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSP). NASP has recently changed the expectation for NCSP holders. NCSP now requires 75 hours completed over 3 years. In addition, 10 hours must be from a NASP or APA-approved provider. Finally, 3 hours must be in ethics/professionalism. There are a number of ways to earn these hours and certainly the WSPA conventions serve as an excellent foundation to gaining professional development for this system. Other methods that will be recognized include: (a) college and university courses, (b) teaching and training activities, (c) research and publications, (d) supervision of interns, (e) postgraduate supervised experiences, (f) program planning and evaluation, (g) self-study, and (h) leadership in professional organizations (including chair and executive positions in WSPA!)
As you would expect, as a professional you are expected to know the professional development requirements as well as retain the documentation as proof of that experience. If you have questions, you are encouraged to reach the appropriate licensing/certification board for clarification. The main websites are:
WSPA Conference Posting Policy
Although there are myriad conferences, workshops and other professional opportunities available. WSPA's policy is to post workshops and conferences by organizations with whom WSPA has a formal relationship, or workshops sponsored by the several training programs in Wisconsin.