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Considering Moving to Ohio?

Ohio's school psychological practice licensure occurs at two levels and allows practice at both the specialist level of training or the doctoral level. The majority of school psychologist practitioners in Ohio are simply licensed through the Ohio Department of Education, which requires training in a NASP approved program and qualifying Praxis score (you can read more Ohio generally affords reciprocity with other state departments of education, so you are licensed by your state department of education, applying for an Ohio license should not be overly difficult. Do note that Ohio does not afford any special reciprocity or recognition of the NCSP credential. With an Ohio Department of Education school psychologist license, you are exempted from the State Board of Psychology requirement to have a psychological practice license and are permitted to be employed in any Ohio public school system with your scope of practice reflecting the expected areas of practice for a school-based school psychologist. However, you are not permitted to engage in any private or agency practice with exclusively holding the Ohio Department of Education license; for work in those venues, you need a State Board of Psychology license.

In Ohio, psychology licensure is two-tiers, called either a "general psychologist" or "school psychologist" license. The requirement for a general psychologist license is an earned doctoral degree from an APA or CPA accredited program, supervised pre/post-doctoral experience, a qualifying score on the EPPP, and an Ohio specific juris (law) exam (more information There are no exemptions for "grandfathering" in general psychology licensure candidates with other degrees in related psychology fields or non APA/CPA programs. This general psychologist licensure is the practice license that any doctoral level psychologist would hold who wishes to practice psychology in Ohio, regardless of any advanced certifications they may also hold (e.g. ABPP). The second tier of State Board of Psychology license is called "school psychologist" and again requires a NASP or APA approved specialist or doctoral degree in school psychology and qualifying score on the Praxis plus an Ohio school psychologist juris exam (more information This level of license allows you to independently practice school psychology in private or agency level practice, although your practice is specifically restricted to school psychology.

Across the practice domains, a proportion of Ohio school psychologists have elected to earn the State Board of Psychology school psychologist license to allow them to engage in private or other outside of public education practice work. Far few school psychologists have a general psychologist license because of the doctoral requirements, EPPP, and other demands, although we do have a few dozen across the state. I would recommend if you are exclusively interested in working in public preschool-12 grade education, certainly pursue the ODE license first as that will allow you to start working in education. If you are eligible, having a State Board of Psychology license affords you other practice opportunities beyond public education and I would certainly suggest pursuing it as well, understanding that you need not bother if you do not intend on other practice aside from preschool-12 public education practice. Of course, because Ohio is unique in that it offers a private school psychologist licensure that many states do not, we always want to encourage as many practitioners to earn it as possible.

With respect to your other inquiries, Ohio has numerous position vacancies right now and there is a significant school psychologist practitioner shortage across the state. In that spirit, this is a fantastic time to be moving to Ohio as I would anticipate you would have many employment opportunities available. As the spring moves ahead, you will be begin to see more opportunities, particularly as retirements, relocation, and other personnel decisions are made towards the end of the current academic year. The role and function in school psychology varies dramatically and as a function of the district (and sometimes the school) you are employed. There is a full gamut of multi-tiered levels of support activities, RtI, counseling/behavioral health intervention, to very traditional test and place. Because of the shortages we have in the state though, be aware you might start in a very traditional assessment role to help clear backlogs of cases from where you might gain employment.

Inquiries may be directed to:

Erich Merkle, Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP
OPA/OSPA Liaison
Past President, OSPA