Undergraduate school psychology courses: A potential tool for diversifying the field of school psychology?

Joel O. Bocanegra, Sally L. Grapin, Yanchen Zhang, Aaron A. Gubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Minoritized populations have historically been underrepresented within school psychology. Furthermore, school psychology is in the midst of what has been termed the shortages crisis. Previous research suggests that undergraduate psychology students have little knowledge or exposure to school psychology as compared with other branches of professional psychology. Research suggests that increased knowledge and exposure to school psychology is related to increased intentions to pursue school psychology. Scholars have advocated for the creation of undergraduate school psychology courses to increase exposure to school psychology. However, to our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the effectiveness of such courses. This study took place at a highly diverse northeastern public university and included 210 undergraduate students who were enrolled in an undergraduate school psychology course. Participants were asked to complete measures examining their knowledge, exposure, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and choice intentions for school psychology at the beginning and end of the course. Results indicate that students enrolled in school psychology courses demonstrated significant increases in perceived knowledge, exposure, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations for school psychology. In addition, minoritized students demonstrated significantly greater increase in their knowledge and self-efficacy after course completion than nonminoritized students. Implications for minoritized and general recruitment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2058-2071
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • course
  • exposure
  • minoritized
  • recruitment
  • school psychology
  • shortages


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