Project to address shortage of school psychologists

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Heather Ormiston, Clinical Associate Professor in School Psychology, is working with a local school district on a new project to support the development, training and retention of school psychology graduate students.

The project, funded through the U.S. Department of Education Mental Health Professional Development Grant Program, will utilize a trauma-informed, multi-tiered system of support in collaboration with Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation. Data will be collected on achievement, student mental health and retention of school-based mental health personnel in RBB while also monitoring the number of school psychology graduate students receiving training in RBB during the project’s tenure.

According to Ormiston, there is an immense need to focus on student mental health and trauma-informed practice while also addressing the shortage of school psychologists across Indiana and around the nation.

The five-year grant will allow school psychology graduate students to be placed in the district each year, with the goal of retaining students each year to continue training within the district. It is estimated the grant will train up to six students per year, with students receiving over 13,000 hours of training as a result.