Perceptions of a School Psychology Training Program to Support Emergent Bilinguals

Sharolyn Pollard-Durodola, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Gloria Miller, University of Denver


School psychologists are increasingly placed in advocacy roles to support a growing diverse population of emergent bilinguals (EBs). The pre-training practices of school psychology programs that prepare graduate students to specifically engage with EBs and their families are largely unknown. The purpose of the current study was to better understand the perceptions of graduate school psychology student interns and their respective group of field supervisors around a school psychology program that incorporated experiences and content knowledge to prepare students to respond to the multi-dimensional needs (academic, socio-emotional, assessment) of EB PK-12 students. Findings indicated that students benefited from the school psychology training but the internship experience included challenges that suggested gaps in students’ preparation. These findings are reminiscent of 35 years of investigations and outcomes about school psychology trainings to support culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. Implications for practice include requiring more comprehensive and diverse program experiences that are contextualized within a social justice and critical race framework.