UHV school psychology degree receives national ranking

The University of Houston-Victoria’s Specialist in School Psychology degree recently was named one of the top 30 programs in the nation for its affordability, accessibility and emphasis on learning through practical experience.

The national Online Psychology Degrees website ranked the UHV School of Arts & Science’s Specialist in School Psychology 21st in its list of Top 30 Online Master’s Degrees in Educational Psychology Online 2018. The specialist degree was first awarded in 2017 after being upgraded from a master’s degree. It is the highest degree UHV offers. The master’s degree was upgraded because students already were completing the same requirements as the specialist degree.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“It is gratifying to see this program receive recognition for its excellence in training future school psychology professionals,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “In today’s world, it is especially important that mental health resources be available for students, and UHV is proud to offer excellent opportunities to prepare future specialists to make those services available.”

When compiling its list, the website considered several factors including the programs’ affordability, accessibility, flexibility, quality of coursework and opportunities for hands-on learning. UHV’s program was applauded for preparing its students specifically to apply for and become Licensed Specialists in School Psychology, which the website notes is not offered by many other schools.

Elise Hendricker

“UHV’s approach to enabling students to pursue licensure offers our students a distinct advantage as they prepare to move into careers working with students,” said Elise Hendricker, assistant professor and director of the school psychology program. “We’ve made rigorous changes during the last five years to ensure we are able to train and equip students to be excellent, effective school psychologists.”

Although much of the program can be completed online, UHV does require some face-to-face courses, but these are offered on flexible schedules that will help students working full time. Because the program is rigorous and students often are under pressure, it helps for faculty to have the opportunity to see their students in person and work with them, Hendricker said.

“Our faculty members are committed to helping our students be successful,” she said. “We have previous experience working as school psychologists, and we share those experiences and professional perspectives with our students. We are constantly working to stay up to date on the field so we can filter that back to our students and help them be more effective.”

During the final portions of the program, students must spend at least 300 hours working with a licensed specialist as part of their practicum and must complete a yearlong, 1,200 hour internship in the schools. Getting this real-world experience helps the students put everything they’ve been learning in class into practice and gain practical experience. In addition to helping them apply their classroom knowledge, the practicum and internship experience also helps students start their job searches with professional references and a work history, Hendricker said.  

To learn more about the Specialist in School Psychology program, contact Hendricker at or 281-396-3706.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs 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 an instructional site in Katy, Texas, 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.