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Department of School Psychology

at the National College of Education at National Louis University

ul 5.29.13

Our Strands of Practice

Our training program content is organized into 5 strands, 3 of which are explicitly organized around evidence-based practices:

  1. Professional School Psychology Practice Within a Multi-Tier System of Services and Supports
  2. Functional Assessment
  3. Interventions for Academics
  4. Interventions for Behavior and Social Emotional Learning, Including Families
  5. Instructional and Behavioral Consultation, and Supervision to Make It All Work

Professional School Psychology Practice Within a Multi-Tier System of Services and Supports (MTSS)

Schools across the country are changing how they serve all students, employing evidence-based practices in an early intervening services approach, where schools provide increasingly intensive interventions aligned with student need. This approach is called a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) or Response to Intervention (RTI). Schools are no longer willing to allow a "wait to fail" approach where some students fall farther behind academically or socially. School psychologists are active players in this educational improvement effort, serving as leaders and change facilitators. NLU School Psychology students learn about MTSS from their first course and every quarter thereafter with a school-based practicum experience that enables them to link their acquired knowledge and skills to improve outcomes for students. 

Functional Assessment

Assessment is more than just "testing," especially testing for special education eligibility. The primary purpose of assessment should be to support intervention planning and to ensure what is implemented is working or monitoring progress.  NLU students learn evidence-based screening, interventional planning, progress monitoring, and program evaluation practices in a RIOT (Records, Interview, Observe, Test) perspective to support data-based decision-making.

Interventions for Academics

Research provides educators clear direction for instruction and curriculum design to support student learning, whether it is learning language, reading, or other basic skills or mastering content knowledge such as science or social studies.  Although most NLU School Psychology graduates are not teachers, they need to know what works to improve pedagogy, to support teachers, and improve student achievement.

Interventions for Behavior and Social Emotional Learning, Including Families

Student learning is optimized when students feel safe, respected, and confident. For too many students, the school experience is not defined by activities that support these outcomes. Our students learn evidence-based practices beginning with parent training regarding their child's academic and social wellness, and continuing with the design and support of positive classroom and schoolwide environments to nurture students' social-emotional learning. Our trainees learn evidence-based interventions to support students at all levels of social-emotional/behavioral need. 

Instructional and Behavioral Consultation, and Supervision to Make It All Work

The paradox of school psychology posits that “to serve children effectively, school psychologists must, first and foremost, concentrate their attention and professional expertise on adults” (Gutkin and Conoley, 1990, p. 212). Our students are trained to deliver indirect services through consultation with teachers, administrators, and parents to promote positive academic and behavioral outcomes for children. Students learn communication skills to move efficiently and successfully through a collaborative problem-solving process. Consultation skills are taught, modeled, and practiced during practicum and internship with the support of supervision.

In addition to consultation, supervision is an essential component in the education, training, and continuing professional development of school psychologists. However, national surveys have found school psychologists are not likely to receive professional supervision once they enter the field, and that most school psychology supervisors have not received adequate training themselves. We are committed to providing our students with university- and field-based supervision each and every quarter. Supervision occurs through several formats, across settings, and via research-based techniques. University supervisors are in frequent contact with field-based supervisors to help shape a differentiated experience to meet student goals and needs.

Our doctoral students complete a full year of coursework in supervision, including applied experiences supervising less-advanced graduate students. During supervision coursework students receive metasupervision (supervision of their supervision). Formal training in supervision is rare in the field of school psychology, and NLU students are prepared to be effective supervisors in the future. 

Learn More About Evidence-Based Practices

Professional School Psychology Practice in MTSS

Evidence-Based Assessment Practices, Including Screening and Progress Monitoring

Evidence-Based Practices for Social-Emotional and Behavior

Evidence-Based Academic Practices

Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Families

  • All NLU School Psychology students are trained in primary, secondary, and tertiary evidence-based mental heatlh and behavioral supports. 
  • The Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) has generated more than 40 years of evidence-based practices for children and families at risk.

Instructional and Behavioral Consultation to Make It All Work


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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