Departmental Programs: College of Education
Chair: Dr. Rick Olenchak
The Department of Educational Psychology offers graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels that prepare students to understand the conceptual base of theories, research, and methods of psychology and to apply these fields of study to the processes of education and human development.
The department offers five graduate study areas: counseling, counseling psychology, educational psychology and individual differences, health education higher education, and school psychology. Though differing in focus, all programs emphasize preparing students to be competent in the academic and professional aspects of educational psychology. Professional competence is pursued through course work, seminars and supervised research, practice, and internship experiences.
Counseling and Counseling Psychology
The master's degree program in counseling brings together the theoretical and applied principles of educational psychology that are essential to the counseling relationship, and prepares students to work as professional counselors in public and private schools, community agencies, and college counseling centers.
Graduates of the master's degree program meet the academic requirements necessary for State Board for Educator Certification's certification as school counselors and typically are eligible to sit for the examination to obtain licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas Certification and licensure requirements vary by state and may change without notification. Students should ensure that their individual degree plans concur with their credentialing expectations.
The Doctor of Philosophy program in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association and adheres to a scientist-practitioner training model. The program emphasizes the theory, research, and practice of working with normal populations from a broadly defined ecological developmental perspective. Graduates obtain faculty positions in colleges and universities; provide counseling supervision and consultation services in a variety of mental health settings; and serve as supervisors, program coordinators, and direct service providers in school districts. Students participate in a variety of training experiences including at least two semesters of practicum and a full-year, full-time, pre-doctoral internship approved by the faculty. Graduates of the Counseling Psychology program typically meet the academic requirements to apply for licensure as a psychologist in the state of Texas. Licensure requirements vary by state and may change without notifications. Students should ensure that their individual degree plans concur with their credentialing expectation.
Educational Psychology and Individual Differences
The master's degree in educational psychology program emphasizes such areas as development, learning, motivation, exceptionality or disabilities, psychological and educational measurement, and research methodology. Students expand their understanding of theory and the implications for education within these areas. Flexibility within the program affords students the opportunity to develop a program of study tailored to their professional needs. Graduates of the master’s program who previously have earned a teaching certificate return to school settings more fully prepared to teach, to become department or campus leaders, or to pursue other educational career paths. Graduates also pursue careers as associate psychologists, researchers or measurement specialists, and educational support staff for health care and other institutions.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences prepares students for employment as faculty members at colleges and universities. Graduates also find employment in areas such as directors of educational components of health care institutions and social service agencies. Typically, these students develop an individually tailored Ph.D. program which emphasizes theory and research in one or more areas related to learning and development, special populations, higher education, health education and/or measurement and statistics.
The master's degree program in Higher Education is a unique program. At its heart is the belief that our nation's future depends on our ability to productively employ the enormous resources represented by the diversity of our people and our thoughts. This degree could only be offered at an urban research university fully committed to the value of diversity in both people and ideas. This degree is constructed around the following six themes: urban perspectives, education for all people and all places, student experience and opportunity , policy and planning, collaboration and community, proven experience and leadership.
The doctoral degree program adheres to a scientist-practitioner training model, and is committed to developing professional school psychologists who are competent to engage in applied research and to apply critical analysis and inquiry to identify, select, implement, and evaluate evidence-based practices with sensitivity to cultural and linguistic considerations, and in consideration of diverse client preferences. Sensitivity to diversity issues is addressed in specific course work and embedded throughout the training experience, in part because the UH is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse research institutions in the nation.
Practicum placements for students are available in more than a dozen school districts, specialized assessment and intervention clinics at the Texas Children's Hospital (e.g., Disruptive Behavior Disorders and ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Pediatric Neuropsychology, Pediatric Neurology, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics), to the Behavioral Pediatrics Neuro-oncology Clinic at the M.D. Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital, and in other settings within the Houston area. These varied practicum settings provide opportunities for students to obtain supervised experience with diverse populations, conditions, professionals, settings, and procedures as they matriculate through the program.
Programs in Educational Psychology include the following:
- Master of Education Degree (M.Ed.)
- Educational Psychology
- Higher Education
- Health Education
The certification program in counseling prepares professional counselors to function in a public school setting. Formal admission to the counseling area in the department is required. Students must complete a required sequence of counseling courses and nine semester hours of electives, approved by an advisor for this certificate. Three years of acceptable teaching experience is a prerequisite for this certificate. Note: Many school districts prefer completion of a M.Ed. degree in Counseling inclusive of the certificate requirements.
If students and advisors plan carefully and if the students complete the appropriate additional course work, graduates of the program may meet the academic (master's degree) requirements necessary for State Board for Educator Certification's certification as school counselors, and may be eligible to sit for the examination to obtain either certification as a Psychological Associate or licensure as a Professional Counselor.
For further information, consult the Department of Educational Psychology, 491 Farish Hall, (713) 743-9830.
- Counseling Psychology
- Educational Psychology and Individual Differences
- School Psychology
Catalog Publish Date: January 14, 2013
This Page Last Updated: December 21, 2012