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UHV’s school psychology graduate online program ranked 13th nationally

The University of Houston-Victoria’s graduate program in school psychology recently was ranked as one of the top online programs in the nation.

OnlineColleges.net ranked the Master of Arts in school psychology 13th in the nation. The website ranks programs based on a score calculated by looking at each school’s academic quality, cost and student aid, and online offerings. The program is part of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“This ranking is yet another outside acknowledgement that UHV offers some of the best online higher education programs in the nation,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “The master’s in school psychology is a strong program that is the result of great work by our faculty and directors.”

The decision to offer a graduate degree in school psychology sprang from student requests, said Rick Harrington, a UHV psychology professor and chair of the School of Arts & Sciences Social & Behavioral Sciences Division. School psychologists must take certain state-required coursework and pass a licensing exam before they can become a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and work in public schools.

At first, UHV offered coursework as part of the university’s other graduate psychology programs. As demand for the coursework grew, the university chose to expand the coursework into a degree specifically tailored to meet the state’s requirements.

Rick Harrington

The 69-hour program is unique because not only is it longer than a typical master’s program, it also requires students to obtain an internship during their final year of study.

“The university has developed good relationships with community school districts in the Victoria area and Greater Houston,” Harrington said. “Students have the chance to interview for competitive internship positions. If they are selected, that can set them on course for future employment, possibly with the same district as their internship.”

Although about 70 percent of the program is online, the rest is completed through face-to-face courses or hybrid classes with both face-to-face and online components. UHV makes an effort to accommodate the scheduling needs of students by holding face-to-face and hybrid courses at convenient times and locations for students working or living outside the Victoria area.

“This is an external validation of the quality of our program faculty, the coursework and our students’ satisfaction,” Harrington said. “We regularly do internal assessments to ensure students are reaching their learning objectives. It’s good to know our emphasis on excellence is recognized.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities, and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.