New school psychology program increases student access to mental health services

UNI faculty Nicole Skaar with school psych program

A new program from the University of Northern Iowa and Green Hills Area Education Agency will help increase student access to mental health services in high-need, rural areas of western Iowa currently struggling to hire school psychologists. 

Through a “grow your own” distance education program, the project will increase the number of school psychologists in these areas by 20% across a five-year grant period.

“This is a great opportunity to work with Green Hills AEA on creating a distance program to put more school psychologists in rural schools. The school psychology faculty at UNI are grateful for their commitment to the practice of school psychology in Iowa,” said Nicole Skaar, associate professor of school psychology at UNI. “This addition of 10 school psychologists over the 5 years of the project will provide greater access to mental health services to rural students in Western Iowa.”

The current ratio of school psychologists to students in Iowa is approximately 1:1400, about half the number of school psychologists per student recommended by the National Association of School Psychologists.

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