17 psychology graduates from CWU placed with jobs at Washington schools

17 psychology graduates from CWU placed with jobs at Washington schools
Image courtesy of Central Washington University

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University (CWU) set a new record of 17 graduate students placed at school districts throughout Washington for Fall 2021.

Students will be asked to complete a school psychology Educational Specialist program over the summer before beginning their stints at regional school districts. Graduate program director Heath Marrs says that these 17 graduates will use their training to assist students in grades K-12.

Participants will be scattered throughout the state including local counties and cities. Marrs mentioned the Tri-Cities, Moses Lake, Yakima and Bellingham as known locations for the upcoming school year.

We’ve been very encouraged to see our grads going to local school districts because there is such a need right now,” Marrs said. “We’re glad we can help ease the shortage this year, and it’s also nice that they will be spread out around the state.”

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CWU’s school psychology summer cohort program is helping to accelerate the process for many graduates hoping to get hands-on experience in the field. This program, which takes place over four consecutive summers so that school employees can participate, makes post-graduate degrees more attainable compared with a more traditional two-year, full-time commitment.

“The advantage is the people who enroll in the summer program are really committed to their districts and they are most likely going to stay,” he said. “But the students also like it because they don’t have to take two years off for the traditional graduate program, and they can complete the requirements when school isn’t in session.”

A recent shortage of school psychologists opens a gateway to new opportunities for CWU students like those in this year’s record-setting class. According to the CWU press release, an estimated 99% of school psychologists find a job within the first year of their search and make $71,000 per year on average.


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