Professional Development Needs and Training Interests: A Survey of Early Career School Psychologists

Prerna Arora, Jacqueline Brown, Bryn Harris, Amanda L Sullivan

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Early career psychologists (ECPs) are considered a distinct professional group that faces unique career challenges. Despite recent organizational efforts to increase engagement of these individuals, little is known about the professional development needs and training interests of ECPs, particularly within psychology’s subfields. As such, this study assessed ECPs’ professional development needs and training interests in school psychology, as well as their perceptions of how well their professional organization was in meeting their needs. One hundred ECP and graduate students responded to an online survey. Results indicated that participants had a strong interest in a variety of professional development topics, including developing short- and long-term career plans, the publication process, obtaining licensure, and work-life balance. Further, participants endorsed interest in various training formats, including brief workshops, ECP mentoring programs, and conference symposia. Participants stated that their professional organization currently met their needs moderately well, but reported seeking professional development support via a number of other sources. Researchers, faculty, and graduate students reported significantly higher perceptions of their professional organization than clinicians. Findings suggest areas for desired professional development and training format. Implications for professional organizations serving ECPs and school psychology graduate programs are addressed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalContemporary School Psychologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


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