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Expanding Our Reach: OSPA Initiatives to Grow & Diversify the Field

The Ohio School Psychologists Association is committed to developing creative efforts to assist in alleviating the current shortage of school psychologists. Historically, many school psychologists discovered the field “by accident” or happenstance despite previous efforts to spread awareness about the profession (e.g., School Psychology Awareness Week - SPAW - presentations, word of mouth, etc.). This, in conjunction with attrition, training constraints, an expanding role in schools, and an ever evolving need for increased school psychologists-to-student ratios to address unmet academic and mental health needs, has resulted in a critical shortage of school psychologists nationwide.

To address such shortages, OSPA has collaborated with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Assistance To States program, the Inter-University Council (IUC) of Ohio’s school psychology training programs, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio University and Muskingum Valley ESC, regional school psychologist associations and various other external stakeholders and organizations. For example, representatives from ODE, the Ohio Psychologists Association (OPA), and Ohio School Counselors Association (OSCA) regularly attend OSPA executive board meetings during which workforce shortages are discussed. OSPA’s Executive Director, Ann Brennan, also regularly attends state legislative hearings and actively advocates to ensure the needs of OSPA, its members, and the students and families we serve, are both heard and addressed. As an organization, we continue to actively maintain and nurture these relationships, and we are also working to further develop relationships with organizations who serve disadvantaged populations.

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